Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chicago Radio Spotlight: John Landecker, Robert Murphy & Spike O'Dell

I was lucky enough to speak with three legends this week. Each of them have had big changes in their careers since I last spoke with them, and that was the subject of this week's Chicago Radio Spotlight.

You can read it here.

Cubs 365, January 14

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1984, Ray Kroc passed away. He is one of the most famous entrepreneurs in history, the man who made the golden arches famous around the world, and he grew up in Oak Park--a die-hard Cubs fan.

When he became a multi-millionaire he tried to rescue his favorite team from Wrigley family ownership, which he felt was ruining the team. He asked his good buddy George Halas to serve as intermediary with the Wrigley Family, to convince them to sell.

At the time (this was the early 70s), Phillip K. Wrigley was a disinterested owner, barely paying attention to his team. Nevertheless, he refused to sell the Cubs to Kroc because he had made a deathbed pact with his father never to sell the team.

Frustrated by his inability to buy his favorite team, Kroc settled on buying the San Diego Padres in 1974. He spent a fortune on the team and transformed them into a winner.

When he died in January of 1984, the Padres pledged to dedicate the season to their beloved owner. If memory serves, that team did manage to make it all the way to the World Series that season.

Unfortunately, the team they discarded on the side of the road on the way to that pennant was the team of Ray Kroc's childhood: The Chicago Cubs.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rick and Brendan on video

Maybe it's just me, but I kind of like the aging fat guy with thinning hair and a tie that was tied in 1995 (on the left). To me, just watching him makes me think: "gravitas".

The links we refer to in the video, by the way, are here....

The event at the Catalyst Ranch

The best place to buy the book

Rick & Brendan on TV

Tune in to WGN-TV on Tuesday (Jan 17) morning, and you might see two familiar faces on the 11 AM News. Brendan and I will be on with Steve Sanders discussing our book "The Living Wills".

Set the DVR if you can't watch it live.

(And then, after the fact, please help your favorite technical idiot figure out how to post the video on my site.)


Via Jimmy Fallon...

Poems for Men & Women

Contributed by "DS"...


Before I lay me down to sleep,

I pray for a man, who's not a creep,

One who's handsome, smart and strong.

One who loves to listen long,

One who thinks before he speaks,

One who'll call, not wait for weeks.

I pray he's rich and self-employed,

And when I spend, won't be annoyed.

Pull out my chair and hold my hand.

Massage my feet and help me stand.

Oh send a king to make me queen.

A man who loves to cook and clean.

I pray this man will love no other.

And relish visits with my mother.


I pray for a deaf-mute gymnast nymphomaniac with a

big chest who owns a bar on a golf course,

and loves to send me fishing and drinking. This

doesn't rhyme and I don't give a crap.

Cubs 365, January 13

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1950, future Cubs second baseman Mike Tyson was born.

As we mentioned earlier this week, he didn't have the greatest Cubs career, and it cost the Cubs a prized relief pitcher named Donnie Moore to acquire him, but Tyson had something that Moore could never quite pull off.

He had a hell of a mustache.

A Leap of Faith

You knew this was coming...a Tim Tebow song.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"The Living Wills" e-book on amazon

It's finally on amazon!

This is the direct link.

The price is right, by the way. It's only $3.99

Koyie Hill on the Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals signed former Cubs catcher Koyie Hill to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training, and it elicited this response from a Cardinals fan to St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Joe Strauss...

Q: The Cards and sneaky Mo have signed a good defensive catcher Koyie Hill today. Isn't that a sign that Molina is not going to sign an extention and the time to trade him is before the season starts? Angels would love to have him to keep little baby Albert about Trombo for Yadi straight up?

Joe Strauss: Are you projecting Koyie Hill as the Cards' long-range starting catcher? If so, seek counseling immediately.

It's good to see that Cub fans aren't the only ones that are semi-delusional.

More Reader Reviews for "The Living Wills"

Thanks to everyone who is posting their reviews of "The Living Wills" on GoodReads and Facebook. Here are a few more...

"What a great book by Sullivan and Kaempfer. Although I was born a Chicago native, I haven't lived there since 1979. The book brought back memories of my younger days and the characters reminded me of people I grew up with. The writing is both funny and moving, a great combination. As I neared the end of the book, I would only read 3 or 4 short chapters each night. I wanted to stretch out the ending for as long as I could. The way in which the characters' lives unexpectedly interconnect catches the reader off guard and provides a number of "Oh my gosh!" moments. This book was very skillfully written. The Living Wills is one of the best books I've read in quite a while, right up there with Mitch Albom's stories. I look forward to the next book."
--Francis A.

"I really was surprised at how magical the characters came together as the story unfolded. There were some very touching moments, too. And, a good laugh sprinkled in, of course. Don't take this the wrong way, but reading your book reminded me of one of my favorite movies "Love Actually." Multiple characters and plot lines come together and entertained me from start to finish. Thanks and congratulations! I hope you will continue to explore this unique and rewarding collaboration for all of your new and old fans. Cheers!"
--Jeff H.

"This book was a fun ride from start to finish. The authors introduce a bunch of characters connected to a bowling team at the beginning of the novel and you follow each individual's story in the early going, but hang on. As the book progresses, be prepared to be surprised as the plot moves forward and the characters start to link up. I adored all the references to my favorite city, Chicago, and had several laugh out loud moments, along with a few tearful ones. For a fast, fun read, I heartily recommend The Living Wills!"
--Kim S.

"After the first couple of chapters, I was a little unsure of where this was all going and what it was all about, but I was soon caught up with all of the characters, their lives, and how they were connected to each other. By the end. I had laughed out loud, several times, and cried, several times, and thoroughly enjoyed the book."
--Michael K.

"I could not put this book down, what a Great Read! Each chapter kept you wanting the next. Tell your Family and Friends to read this book they will thank you for it! I can't wait for their next book!"
--Nick C.

Our overall rating at GoodReads is 4.92 out of 5. We'll take it. If you've read the book and enjoyed it, please post your reviews at GoodReads or Facebook too (on the Eckhartz Press page). We know the e-book hasn't been out long, but any reviews at the B&N, Sony, or Apple sites that are selling "The Living Wills" would also be greatly appreciated!

Cubs 365

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1902, future Chicago entertainer Joe E. Lewis (photo) was born. He was the headliner at the famous north side jazz club The Green Mill during the 1927 season. The owner of the club was Machine Gun Jack McGurn.

As you might have guessed from his name, Machine Gun Jack McGurn was a Capone henchman. When his star attraction Lewis refused to renew his contract and went to a competitor (New Rendezvous) instead, McGurn wasn't a happy man. Each day that Lewis packed the house there, McGurn got angrier.

On November 27, three of McGurn’s men stormed into Lewis’ hotel suite, beat him up, and cut his throat from ear to ear. The comedian survived the attack, and was even able to recover his singing voice, but McGurn's boss--Al Capone, was very unhappy with his lieutenant's behavior. He advanced Lewis $10,000 so that the performer could get back on his feet.

What does this have to do with the Cubs, you ask?

Well, on the very day this story was making headlines in all the Chicago newspapers, the Cubs quietly acquired KiKi Cuyler (photo) from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cuyler would lead them to two National League pennants during his Hall of Fame Cubs career. He was such an exciting player, Al Capone even came out to see him play at Wrigley Field.

No word on whether Machine Gun Jack McGurn saw Cuyler play or not, but their Chicago careers lasted almost exactly the same length of time. Cuyler left the Cubs in 1935. McGurn left the earth in a hail of bullets in 1936.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thanks Chicagolandradio & Media!

The moderator of Chicagoland Radio & Media gave us another plug yesterday. Thanks so much to Larz for posting the following on his influential site...

"Authors Rick Kaempfer and Brendan Sullivan, both former Chicago radio people, will be discussing how they created their new book "The Living Wills" in front of an audience at a special session at the innovative meeting/events space, The Catalyst Ranch (656 W Randolph St, Chicago). The two authors often met and brainstormed at this location during the formation of the new novel, so it made sense to have this gathering here this month. The event will take place on January 24th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. The Catalyst Ranch asks that attendees donate two children's books for Open Books or $15. For those who have not yet picked up a copy of "The Living Wills," the book will be sold at the event and the authors would be happy to autograph it. More information on this evening can be found HERE."

If you're downtown that Tuesday, please swing by after work. I can probably be talked into going out for a few beverages after the event. I don't get out much.

Aging Rockers

I just posted my weekly Suburban Dad column to the City Mom blog at ChicagoNow. This week's is about aging rockers, and was inspired by the Van Halen video below.

You can read it here.

The New Van Halen Single

Your thoughts?

Cubs 365

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1933, the Cubs were rudderless. Team president William Veeck had just died only months after team owner William Wrigley had died, and new owner Phillip K. Wrigley didn't know anything about baseball.

So, he turned to one of the minority owners of the team, William Walker, and named him President of the Cubs. The outspoken Walker hadn't been allowed to contribute to any baseball decisions during the Wrigley/Veeck era, and was chomping at the bit to take over. Why hadn't Veeck or the elder Wrigley listened to Walker? For a very good reason. He also didn't know anything about baseball; he was the owner of a wholesale seafood business.

Walker didn't last the year.

It didn't take long for word to get out that the Cubs had a neophyte running their organization. One of his first trades is still known as one the worst trades in Cubs history. He traded slugger Dolph Camilli (photo) to the Phillies for Don Hurst. Camilli went on to hit over 200 home runs, made two all-star teams, and led the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers to the World Series. He won the MVP that year too.

Don Hurst, on the other hand, hit .199 and retired after the season. Walker was such a terrible team president that PK Wrigley was forced to buy him out just to get him to stop destroying the team. The man who succeeded Walker as team president, however, remains the worst team president in Cubs history.

PK Wrigley himself.

He remained in the job until the year he died (1977).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hollywood Squares

I mentioned earlier this morning (see below) that I was looking for a classic Hollywood Squares clip of Paul Lynde, and MB sent me this e-mail...

Hollywood Squares: These great questions and answers are from the days when 'Hollywood Squares' game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course..

Q. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?
A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency...

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say 'I Love You'?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty...

Q. What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A.. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries Are you going to get any during the first year?
A.. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q.. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh

Paul Lynde

30 years ago today Paul Lynde passed away in Los Angeles. I was always a big fan of his work on Hollywood Squares and went searching for a classic clip on YouTube. While there were a few good ones, this clip caught my eye instead.

The 70s really are inexplicable, aren't they?

Cubs 365

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1973 the Cubs picked a young pitcher named Donnie Moore in the first round. Moore pitched parts of four seasons in Chicago and was beginning to show some promise when they traded him away for a middle infielder named Mike Tyson.

In typical Cubs fashion, Tyson didn't do much, while Moore became an all-star closer for the Angels.

Unfortunately, the Donnie Moore story has a very tragic ending. He was haunted by a home run he gave up in the 1986 ALCS, and just a year after the Angels released him, he took his own life at the age of 35.

This is the LA Times obituary, printed the day after his death.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Rick & Brendan at the Beverly Arts Center

Rick and Brendan have another author event coming up on the South Side of Chicago...

Date: January 29, 2012
Time: 2pm
Place: Beverly Arts Center
Address: 2407 W. 111th St
Cost: $5 (or $4 for BAC members)

Books are available to purchase at event to have signed by the authors.

Description of Event: Author Afternoon, starring Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer, co-authors of "The Living Wills". "Two former Chicago radio producers, Rick Kaempfer and Brendan Sullivan, have co-written The Living Wills, a novel about “a split-second decision made 30 years ago and the ripple effects it caused.”

Author Afternoons is a monthly interview series featuring Chicago authors discussing their works. Facilitated by Penny Golden, the series has welcomed Jonathan Eig (Get Capone), Dave Reidy (Captive Audience), Arnie Bernstein (Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing), Kevin Guilfoile (The Thousand), Hilary Wagner (author of the children’s fantasy novel Nightshade City) and more.

More info and box office here.

Cubs 365

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1952, future Cub "Tarzan" was born. Joe Wallis earned the nickname "Tarzan" because he was fond of cliff diving. He played parts of four seasons (75-79) with the Cubs, playing all three outfield positions, but predominantly a very shallow centerfield.

Tarzan didn't hit much for average (lifetime .244), or power (16 career homers), and he didn't have a lot of speed (7 stolen bases in 5 big league seasons), but he did have one thing that many of his teammates desired for themselves...a great nickname.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Living Wills E-Book

Many of you have been asking about it, and now here it is. It will be on amazon any day now, but it is now officially available at the following places...

Apple's iBookstore

Barnes & Noble's Nook Store

The Sony Reader Store

The retail price for the e-book is only $3.99.

Father Knows Nothing

My latest "Father Knows Nothing" column has been posted at NWI Parent. This week's is called "2011 Recap".

You can read it here.

Cubs 365

Every day in 2012, the Just One Bad Century blog will feature a story about this day in Cubs history. We're calling it Cubs 365.

On this day in 1953, future Cubs Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter was born. He was a great relief pitcher for the Cubs, winning the Cy Young Award and going to four all-star games as a Cub, but he entered the Hall of Fame wearing a Cardinals hat.

His Hall of Fame credentials are here.