Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Bill White

I just posted my latest Chicago Radio Spotlight interview. This week I spoke with the new program director of WGN Radio, Bill White. I believe this is the first interview he has given.

You can read it here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Coming this weekend

Tomorrow morning I'll be posting my Chicago Radio Spotlight interview with WGN program director Bill White. I believe it will be the first interview he's conducted since taking the job there.

Sunday morning I'll post my latest Father Knows Nothing column. This week I'll be updating my struggles with Extreme Lent.

Have a great weekend!

Emergency Schmamergency

I posted another guest column at my friend Kim Strickland's "A City Mom" blog at ChicagoNow. This one is called "Emergency Schmamergency"

You can read it here.

Pillsbury Dough Boy

Happy birthday, you little giggler. He's exactly 50 years old today...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alex Chilton

Last St. Patrick's day the world lost one of the great rock and roll singers, Alex Chilton from the Box Tops. He was only 59.

St. Patrick's Day

Yes, I realize I'm not Irish, but my wife is Irish, and therefore, my boys are partially Irish too. The picture on the left was taken at one of our many St. Patrick's Day parades. That's Bridget and me with our baby boy Tommy in 1997.

I always enjoyed the South Side parade, which has sadly been discontinued. A few years ago I asked my friend Brendan Sullivan to write a guest blog for me about growing up South Side Irish, which is something I like to feature every year.

Of course, St. Patrick's Day also wouldn't be complete without a bunch of Irish jokes. Enjoy the following crop contributed by "CM"...

Irish Jokes

Two Irishmen, Patrick Murphy and Shawn O'Brian grew up together and were lifelong friends. But alas, Patrick developed cancer, and was dying. While on his deathbed, Patrick called to his buddy, Shawn, "O'Brian, come 'ere. I 'ave a request for ye." Shawn walked to his friend's bedside and kneels.

"Shawny ole boy, we've been friends all our lives, and now I'm leaving 'ere. I 'ave one last request fir ye to do."

O'Brian burst into tears, "Anything Patrick, anything ye wish. It's done."

"Well, under me bed is a box containing a bottle of the finest whiskey in all of Ireland. Bottled the year I was born it was. After I die, and they plant me in the ground, I want you to pour that fine whiskey over me grave so it might soak into me bones and I'll be able to enjoy it for all eternity."

O'Brian was overcome by the beauty and in the true Irish spirit of his friend's request, he asked, "Aye, tis a fine thing you ask of me, and I will pour the whiskey. But, might I strain it through me kidneys first?"

* * * * *

Three guys, one Irish, one English, and one Scottish, are out walking along the beach together one day. They come across a lantern and a Genie pops out of it. "I will give you each one wish, that's three wishes in total", says the Genie.

The Scottish guy says, "I am a fisherman, my Dad's a fisherman, his Dad was a fisherman and my son will be one too. I want all the oceans full of fish for all eternity." So, with a blink of the Genie's eye FOOM! the oceans were teaming with fish.

The Englishman was amazed, so he said, "I want a wall around England, protecting her, so that no one will get in for all eternity." Again, with a blink of the Genie's eye POOF! there was a huge wall around England.

The Irishman asks, "I'm very curious. Please tell me more about this wall." The Genie explains, "well, it's about 150 feet high, 50 feet thick, protecting England so that nothing can get in or out."

The Irishman says, "Fill it up with water."

* * * * *

An aging man lived alone in Ireland. His only son was in Long Kesh Prison, and he didn't know anyone who would spade up his potato garden. The old man wrote to his son about it, and received this reply, "For HEAVENS SAKE, don't dig up that garden, that's where I buried the GUNS!!!!!"

At 4 A.M. the next morning, a dozen British soldiers showed up and dug up the entire garden, but didn't find any guns. Confused, the man wrote to his son telling him what happened and asking him what to do next.

His son's reply was: "Just plant your potatoes."

* * * * *

Two Irishmen, Patrick & Michael, were adrift in a lifeboat following a dramatic escape from a burning freighter. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, Patrick stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously To the amazement of Patrick, a genie came forth. This particular genie, however, stated that he could only deliver one wish, not the standard three. Without giving much thought to the matter, Patrick blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into Guinness Beer!" The genie clapped his hands with a deafening crash, and immediately the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the genie vanished. Only the gentle lapping of Guinness on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. Michael looked disgustedly at Patrick whose wish had been granted. After a long, tension-filled moment, he spoke: "Nice going Patrick! Now we're going to have to pee in the boat!

* * * * *

An Irishman and an American were sitting in the bar at Shannon Airport.

"I've come to meet my brother," said the Irishman. "He's due to fly in from America in an hour's time. It's his first trip home in forty years".

"Will you be able to recognize him?" asked the American.

"I'm sure I won't," said the Irishman, "after all, he's been away for a long time".

"I wonder if he'll recognize you?" said the American.

"Of course he will," said the Irishman. "Sure, an' I haven't been away at all".

* * * * *

His wife had been killed in an accident and the police were questioning Finnegan.
"Did she say anything before she died?" asked the sergeant.
"She spoke without interruption for about forty years," said the Irishman.

* * * * *

A young gentleman sitting at a bar with his pet pig asks for a couple of drinks. The confused bartender said no animals were allowed at the bar. The man proceeded to say "Ah, but this is a very special pig. Just last week there was a fire in the house and that pig came charging out of his pen into the house and woke us all up. Then a few days later my son fell into the pool and that pig was grazing out on the lawn, and he came running and jumped into the pool and saved my son. ""Well " said the bartended "I guess this pig is very special so I'll get him a drink. By the way I noticed that he is missing one leg, what happened? " "Well said the young man, when you got a pig this good you don't eat him all at once !!!"

Starlin Castro

The kid shortstop for the Cubs is quietly hitting the heck out of the ball in spring training this year. He's one of the legitimate reasons to be excited about this season (there are a few).

But he won't be batting leadoff.

Mike Quade has made that clear. Castro is the #2 hitter in the lineup, at least for now.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Keep on Lovin' You

I was a senior in high school when this song came out thirty years ago. (It was #1 on this day in 1981.) I always thought it was a lame song, but I never disrespected its power to set the mood. (Don't give me that look--I was in high school. I needed all the help I could get.)

Remember when MTV videos tried to tell a story? This one's pretty hokey (OK, extremely hokey), but I do have fond memories of those old school music videos.

Bartman Documentary

ESPN has produced a documentary film about the Steve Bartman game as part of their 30 at 30 series, and it looks like it will debut next month.

The producer of that documentary happened to see the following video on Just One Bad Century, and contacted Dane Placko to be a part of his film. Dane was interviewed for it last year, and I'm pretty sure he will be in the final cut...

Dewitt and Baker

According to the Sporting News, it looks like those Michael Young rumors are not true, and the Cubs are happy going with a platoon of Blake DeWitt and Geoff Baker at second base.


I don't want to be alarmist, but that's about as good as the Mike Tyson/Steve Dillard combination from 1980. (They hit 6 homers, 42 RBI, and batted .230) The only difference is that those guys had much better mustaches.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dismantling a Dynasty

On this day in 1911, exactly one hundred years ago, the Chicago Cubs began dismantling their dynasty when they sold Harry Steinfeldt to the Boston Braves.

Who was Harry? He was the Pete Best of the Cubs most famous infield that included Tinker, Evers and Chance. But Harry was more than an extra. He was the MVP of the 1906 pennant winners, an excellent fielder (like the others), and probably their top clutch hitter during the seasons they went to 4 World Series in 5 years.

His name just wasn't poetic enough. Try rhyming Steinfeldt sometime.

By the way, he's the one on the far left in this picture. You may have seen the picture before with his body cropped out.

It ain't easy bein' a Steinfeldt.

The Ides of March

Since today is the Ides of March, it seems fitting to feature this great song from Chicago's very own Ides of March...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pi Day

My mathlete son informed me this morning that today was "Pie day", and I just figured out what he meant a few minutes ago. D'oh! It's Pi day, not Pie day.

March 14. 3/14. 3.14

Whoo boy. I'm slow and getting slower.

Me and Bobby McGee

#1 on this day exactly 40 years ago today. Janis wasn't around to see it. She died the previous October. The song, by the way, was written by Kris Kristofferson. This is the only live version I could find of Janis singing it (shortly before her death), and she mentions that she thinks Kris is going to become famous someday...

Cubs updates

Marlon Byrd is feeling the heat from MLB about his ties to Victor Conte

Carlos Zambrano is very sharp this spring.

Are the Cubs talking to Texas about Michael Young?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column has been posted at NWI Parent. This week I write about a battle lost after a valiant 47 1/2 year fight.

You can read it here.