Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Ron Riley

After a two month hiatus, Chicago Radio Spotlight is back.

This week I go back to the 1960s to interview WLS Radio legend Ron Riley. Lots of cool stories about a truly memorable time in Chicago history.

You can read it here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Application to become a Packers Fan

"SR" sent me this link.

It's very mean, but very funny.

It's a PDF, so it may take a second to load.

More Deep Thoughts

Not sure of the origin of these. They arrived in my e-mail box from "BN"...

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 a piece on those little bottles of Evian water?
Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE
2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
3. OK..... So if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the 'Jags' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the 'Bucs,' what does that make the Tennessee Titans?
4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea does that mean that one enjoys it?
5. There are three religious truths:
a.. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or Hooters.
6. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
7. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*
8. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?
9 Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?
* ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
10. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?
11. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, dry cleaners depressed and prostitutes delayed?
*~*~*~*~*~*! ~*~*~*~*
12. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
13. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
14. ! What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
15. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me ... they're cramming for their final exam.
16. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?
17. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them?
Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?
*~*~*~*~! *~*~*~*~ *~*
18. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
19. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive!
21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?
22. If a cow laughed, would she spew milk out of her nose?
23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
24. At income tax time, did you ever notice: When you put the two words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells ... 'THEIRS'?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Middle Aged Road Trip, The Sequel

Regular readers of this blog may remember a column I wrote a few years ago, about a middle aged road trip to Memphis with my college buddies. We enjoyed that experience so much, we decided to do another middle aged road trip last weekend.

The excuse: Our buddy Dane's 50th birthday. Destination: Milwaukee. Number of intrepid middle-aged road trippers: 6. Cast of characters: Dane, Rick, Mike, Scott, Jeff and Dave.

It went a little something like this...

*When Dave sent out the itinerary for the weekend, he estimated pick up time for Rick at 4:42 PM. The car arrived four minutes early, but only because it left four minutes early.

*When we checked into our hotel in Milwaukee, the clerk surveyed the giddy expressions on our faces and asked: "Weekend with the guys?"

*We gathered in the lobby after freshening up, and noticed that Dave was wearing a sweater that Bill Cosby wouldn't have worn. It's almost impossible to describe. Imagine that "The Grimace" had his chest cut out, bleached lavender, and shaped into a sweater.

*Rick was excited to live the authentic Milwaukee German experience. Sure enough, the waiter and waitress at the two German restaurants we visited both had authentic accents. Unfortunately, the accent at Mader's was Australian, and the one at the Hofbrauhaus was Russian.

*Dane had his heart set on an authentic Wisconsin fish fry, and we went to a great one. But he probably wasn't thrilled when his "friends" had the German oompah band sing "Happy Birthday" to him, and wish him a happy 60th. He couldn't help but notice that nobody said "Wait a minute, you can't possibly be 60."

*We knew we were really in Wisconsin at the fish fry when we heard our first "Cripes!" of the weekend.

*Dave was so offended that the rest of us were giving him such a hard time about his sweater, he asked a woman at Mader's what she thought. Her response: "Did someone make that for you?"

*Every pig in Wisconsin was on alert all weekend. Scott ordered a sausage platter at every stop. The rest of us helped him eat it, but only out of concern for his health.

*At one neighborhood tavern we decided it would be fun to scrounge up birthday kisses for Dane. The plan was immediately scrapped when the first two women we saw had mustaches.

*One of our final stops of the first night was Lucille's piano bar not too far from our hotel. Rick and Mike couldn't stop watching the guy in the front row that looked like Kid Rock. This flannel-wearing long-haired trucker was fighting back tears during a Billy Joel medley.

*The pianists also serenaded Dane for his *ahem* 60th birthday. Of course, since it was a piano bar, they made Dane get up on stage as they sang to him. They rewrote the lyrics to "The Sounds of Silence." The first words were; "Hello Penis, my old friend..."

*Back at the hotel bar, Rick and Jeff ordered a scotch for what they thought would be a nightcap. Instead, what they were served was more like a nightsombrero; filled with enough scotch to kill Braveheart. Of course, even Braveheart would have been smart enough not to drink all of it.

*Dave and Scott started making small talk with the people sitting at the bar, and discovered we were hanging out with the entire crew from the Monster Truck show. They were very friendly. Before long they had offered to run over Dave's sweater with a Monster Truck--free of charge.

*It wasn't until someone mentioned it was 2 am, that the intrepid road trippers finally hit the sack. Of course, at 10 am breakfast, we were no longer intrepid--we were decrepit. If Snow White was there, she would have called us "foggy", "slurry", "pukey", "gassy", "chunky" and "maybe I really am 60."

*Breakfast was eaten in almost complete silence. A few were not feeling well enough to eat. Scott ordered sausage. Dave broke the silence with a monologue featuring vivid descriptions of his bowel movements.

*At the end of breakfast, Dane asked what everybody wanted to do. The consensus was clear: Naptime.

*Dave and Scott really wanted to go to the casino after our naps, so we agreed to go for two hours maximum. While Dave and Scott sat at the poker table,  Dane found a $10 slot machine, inserted his twenty, pressed the button twice, won $100, and called it a day. (Happy 60th birthday!)

*Interesting loophole in Wisconsin law: it's illegal to smoke inside a bar or restaurant, but it's legal to smoke inside a Native American casino. We were all outraged (outraged!) at the politically incorrect joke about the reason for this loophole ("So the casino owners could send smoke signals").

*On Saturday night we went to a Packers bar to watch the Packers playoff game against the Falcons. Jeff ordered brat shots. You read that right. Brat shots. Shot glasses filled with sliced bratwurst.

*Dave made the mistake of telling one of the drunks at the next table that we were from Chicago. The drunk (then drunker, then drunkest) Packer fan spent the rest of the night coming over to our table, putting his arm around one of us, and saying "I tell you what, that Packers-Bears game is gonna be somethin'"

*On the opening kickoff, one of the Packers fans actually screamed: "SPEAR HIM!"

*The drunks at the table next to us knocked over their entire table, not once, but twice; providing a refreshing beer bath to the tables around them.

*The bar owner was feeling generous. He said there would be free shots to everyone in the house for every Packers touchdown. The Packers scored SIX touchdowns. The unidentified green and/or yellow shots may have provided a helping hand in the table knockdowns.

*After the sixth free Packer shot was passed out, we left the bar before our Packer friend passed out on us. The intrepid road trippers were back at the hotel by 10:30.

*There was a wedding in our hotel that night and one of the wedding guests rode up the elevator with us. He said: "How about that football game, huh?" Dave said, "Actually we're from Chicago." The guest said: "So am I. F*** the Packers."

*The last morning we met for breakfast again. This time, after a good night's sleep, we were almost back to normal. Jeff looked at the menu and said: "I don't think I've had a vegetable since Friday."

*The Packer hype was already reaching a fever pitch. The Milwaukee Sentinel sports headline screamed: "You want a piece of this?" The name of the writer that wrote that column? I kid you not: Mike Hunt. Look it up.

*We stopped at the Brat Stop in Kenosha on the way back to Chicago to watch the Bears-Seahawks game. How does one describe the Brat Stop? Maybe this will help paint a picture. Someone had already "lost their lunch" in a urinal, and it was noon. Mind you, this urinal was two feet away from a sink, and five feet away from an actual toilet, and someone was so loaded they lost it in the urinal. That, my friends, is the Brat Stop.

*Scott ordered the sausage sampler platter, then upon discovering how tasty one of the sausages was, ordered more sausage. One for the (burp) road.

*When we got back to Chicago we all immediately checked into rehab. We should be out in time for the Bears-Packers game on Sunday. "I tell you what, that Bears-Packers game is gonna be somethin'"

Punch a Packer Person Polka

This is a little ditty I wrote several years ago for Landecker & the Legends, but it certainly works again this week.

It's called: "Punch a Packer Person Polka"

Is it just me, or are the Packer fans obnoxiously cocky this year?

Deep thoughts

Not sure exactly what the origin of this is, but I received it in my e-mail box from "AH"...

Why, Why, Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?

Why do banks charge a fee due to insufficient funds when they already know you're broke?

Why is it that when someone tells you that there are one billion stars in the universe, you believe them but, if they tell you there is wet paint, you have to touch it to check?

Why do they use sterilized needles for lethal injections?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose cruel idea was it to put an "s" in the word "lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that, no matter what color bubble bath you use, the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people run over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the first end you try?

How do those dead bugs get into enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart, then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right"? Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That really hurt, why don't you watch where you're going?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

Why, in winter, do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

The statistics on sanity say that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're OK, then it's you.

30 years ago today...

...Ronald Reagan was inaugurated.

The hostages in Iran were released on the same day.

50 years ago today...

...JFK was inaugurated.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

LBJ orders pants

You heard the audio last year.

This year, enjoy the video.

It's very funny.

And yes, it really is LBJ.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cubs trade Gorzelanny to Washington

Chicago's take on it is here.

Washington's take on it is here.

The Reader's Digest version is that the Cubs got three minor-league prospects in return, the best of which was rated as the National's 18th best prospect.

Will this be a good deal for the Cubs? I'm looking at it this way--At least they got some young talent to help replenish the minor league system that had been severely depleted by the Matt Garza trade.

Monday, January 17, 2011

People will come Ray

James Earl Jones hasn't emerged from the cornfields yet, but if he came out today, he'd be turning 80 years old (just like Don Zimmer, see below).

This is one of my all-time favorite movie scenes...

Happy Birthday Popeye

Don Zimmer is 80 years old today.

We've written about Don Zimmer's days as a Cubs player, and his days as a Cubs manager, and his nickname at Just One Bad Century.

He'll always be one of our favorites.

What the World Needs Now

I like to post this every year on Martin Luther King day. It's a record that was put together and released by a Detroit DJ named Tom Clay in the early 1970s, and it's inspired by the rash of assassinations we endured as a country in the l960s, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Will the Cubs be throwing at Theriot?

Ryan Theriot's sin, in case you missed it, was saying that he's "finally on the right side of the rivalry" now that he's with the Cardinals. Cubs backup catcher Koyie Hill sure made it sound like the Cubs are upset and may throw at Theriot when they face him this year.

The story is here.

I personally think Hill was overreacting and/or playing to the Cubs convention crowd. They won't throw at Theriot. They shouldn't either. What was he supposed to say when he came to St. Louis? I wish I was still a Cub? C'mon.

Don't get me wrong--I didn't like hearing it either--but I don't really think Theriot has any animosity toward Chicago. He was just trying to get Cardinals fans to accept him.

Pee Wee on SNL

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. This one is called "The Tooth Fairy Interrogation" and it's about my youngest son Sean's attempt at discovering whether or not the tooth fairy exists.

You can read it here.