Friday, September 21, 2012

We Can Lose 100 Games

Thanks to the Beachwood Reporter for posting this updated version of our song.

"We Can Lose 100 Games"

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

Jack Shafer ‏@jackshafer
I distrust readers: MT @lheron: Gallup: Distrust in media up. 60% don't trust media at all

Dave Wischnowsky ‏@wischlist
Interesting fact I uncovered this week: From 1906 through 1910, the Chicago #Cubs AVERAGED 106 wins a season.

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
Nick Jr. Suspends Production On 'The Almighty Muhammad's Porkalicious Toon Jihad'

Simon Dumenco ‏@simondumenco
Mitt Romney was the best the GOP had. The strongest candidate in the Republican field. Let that sink in for a bit.

Mark Edwards ‏@markedwards
New Jersey Bans Smiling in Driver's License Photos - ABC News

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy
Survey Shows: The Notebook is the #1 movie guys tell women they love, just to hook up with them. #MIXMindBender

Gawker ‏@Gawker
Guinness officially certified "Gangnam Style" as YouTube's most liked video of all time

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
UFO secrets will be revealed here this weekend by 4 retired Army and Air Force colonels ‏@TIME
Uh oh, Nemo: Could clownfish be added to the endangered species list? | (via @TIMENewsFeed)

Al Yankovic ‏@alyankovic
I stand corrected - a mammogram is NOT a message delivered by a topless woman.

Homer's Vote


"Cheeseland" in Beverly

I'm heading down to the south side on Sunday to support Eckhartz Press author Randy Richardson. He's doing the "Author Afternoon" discussion/chat at the Beverly Arts Center (2407 W. 111th St.) from 2-4pm. If you're in the area, stop by! He'll be discussing his awesome novel "Cheeseland" (much of which takes place on the south side).

Listening to Nothing

Because I once worked in radio, I'm often asked what radio station I listen to in the car. If I'm going a long distance, I'll usually turn on the radio and listen to either talk radio (sports, news, etc) or classic rock (usually The Drive or XRT).

But if I'm going short distances, I usually listen to nothing. I enjoy it. I enjoy the silence.

David Bryne of the Talking Heads was asked a similar question, and he had a similar response. I really enjoyed his piece in Smithsonian Magazine.

By the way, for you kids out there who have never seen David Bryne perform. You're really missing something. Here's an example from the mid-80s...

I Love Lucy

CBS still owns the rights to the classic television show "I Love Lucy". Care to guess how much money "I Love Lucy" brought in last year, more than 50 years after it signed off?

$20 million.

The Obamas on The View

According to the Associated Press, the Obamas are making their first joint appearance on The View next week. Be careful, Mr. President. Remember what Mitt Romney said on that hidden videotape. Those ladies have sharp tongues.

Cubs 365, September 21

On this day in 1983, Ferguson Jenkins won his 284th and final big league game.

He came in to relieve Cubs starter Chuck Rainey in the 6th inning, with the Cubs leading the game 5-4. Jenkins helped get Rainey out of trouble that inning, but in the seventh Fergie struggled after getting the first two outs. The rest of that inning included a walk, a balk, a single, a double, and an error by a young Cubs second baseman named Ryne Sandberg. Two unearned runs came across the plate, and the Pirates had the lead 6-5.

But because the Cubs scored twice in the bottom of the seventh (thanks to a sacrifice fly by Jody Davis and an RBI single by Larry Bowa), Fergie was the pitcher of record when the dust settled.

It wasn't a thing of beauty, but in a career filled with tough-luck 1-0 losses, it seems only fair that Fergie's final win would be a cheap one. He retired after the season, and was elected into the hall of fame in 1991.

Mel's Exit Looms

From this morning's Radio Online...

"More fuel to the speculative fire that Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin may be leaving the company. With the Sirius XM most likely soon to be controlled by Liberty Media, Karmazin has admitted he is uncertain about his future. Meanwhile, an SEC filing from yesterday shows Karmazin exercised options to purchase more than 5 million shares of SIRI stock at 43 cents per share, then immediately sold the stock at prices of $2.37 to $2.45 per share. Per the filing, the options were exercised on September 17, 18, and 19, and purchased in blocks of 3,462,700, 950,000, and 740,000 shares. Each block of stock was sold the same day netting Karmazin a profit of around $10 million."

Yup, he's a goner. And once again, he's walking away a very very rich man.


The new NBC show "Revolution" had a Cubs angle. From the website Policymic...

"The show, about a future without electricity, featured three of its main characters traveling across the post apocalyptic landscape of Chicago, Illinois, including Wringley Field, the home ballpark of the MLB Chicago Cubs, where a rusty marquee reads: "2012 World Series Champions."

As Yahoo Sports points out, the day the trailer came out, the Cubs' record was 14-20, and had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Furthermore, the show's producers then digitally erased the Cub's World Series championship, effectively revoking the Cubs' fictional victory, prompting online mockery from the team's critics who highlighted the Cubs haven't been able to win World Series since 1908."


Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Fine Mess

My "A Fine Mess" contribution to the latest issue of Shore Magazine is called "Fashion Faux Pas of the Fashion Criminally Insane."

I didn't write the headline. I just lived it.

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

Hammond Morris ‏@OnionAdCzar
Name your child "Messin with Sasquatch" and get a free bag of Jack Link's!

Mark A. Rayner ‏@markarayner
Does anyone else suspect Adobe has some corporate form of OCD? They're updating their software on an hourly basis. Make it PERFECT!

Seth Meyers ‏@sethmeyers21
Weekend Update Thursday live tonight at 8PM. #NBC

Phil Rogers ‏@ChiTribRogers
While the Cubs aren't going to chase big game like Josh Hamilton this winter, they do have money to spend

Sporting News ‏@sportingnews
Reds manager Dusty Baker hospitalized with irregular heartbeat

WGNMorningNews ‏@WGNMorningNews
91% of you support Larry's #NoPantsThursday THAT, people, is LOVE.

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
Sean Lennon tells twitter user 'you are an argument for abortion'

NYDN Entertainment ‏@NYDNentertain
Romney to make nice with ‘sharp-tongued’ ladies of ‘The View’ after calling them ‘high-risk’

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
'What About That Whole Birth Certificate Thing?' Romney Suggests To Staff

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner
Any question Jesus was married? He invites 5000 friends over, then asks "Do we have any food?" #ThanksBeKind2YourWaitress


I must admit, even though I'm a father of three, I found this story hilarious. It's about a mother who taped "Lilo & Stitch" for her kids, and a porno popped up in the middle of the movie, while they were watching it. I'm glad it didn't happen to me, but there are a few laugh out loud moments in the mom's description.

I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't be laughing. But funny is funny.

FOX Carolina 21

The Forbes 400

The list of the richest 400 Americans was published this week by Forbes. #1 on the list again--Bill Gates ($66 billion). #2: Warren Buffett ($46 billion). #3: Oracle's Larry Ellison ($41 billion). New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also made the top ten (#10).

There are a few other names you may recognize. Rupert's on the list (#36). This year he's tied with Mark Zuckerberg. Sumner Redstone is #91.

Hollywood has a few on the list too: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Oprah Winfrey.

Tom Skilling Signs 10-year Deal

Weatherman Tom Skilling is still the number one reason people tune into WGN-TV news at night, so it seems only fitting that they've locked him up to a long-term deal.

Robert Feder has the details.

This deal will take him to his 70th birthday.

WJOB Hammond

I know a bunch of Chicago radio pros who got their start working at WJOB in Hammond, Indiana. It's still going strong, and will soon be celebrating its 90th anniversary.

You read that right. 90th anniversary.

Shore Magazine has a nice story about them. I love the picture of the record library. Reminds me of the record library at my old college radio station WPGU.

Emoticons Turn 30

This was news to me.

ABC News did a story about the history of emoticons. Would you believe they started 30 years Carnegie Melon University?


It looks like amazon has a new competitor in the e-book market. It's called "Brightline" and it's financed by Barry Diller and Scott Rudin. Diller has been a media bigwig for many years, and Rudin is an Oscar-winning movie producer.

I'm all for it.

Amazon has been systematically trying to crush it's competition. It will take some big boys with deep pockets to compete.

60 Minutes

The presidential candidates will both be interviewed this weekend on 60 Minutes. Obama will be interviewed by Steve Kroft and Romney will be interviewed by Scott Pelley.

It should be a good apples vs. apples comparison for the five or six undecided voters still left in America.

Cubs 365, September 20

On this day in 1930, Hack Wilson got a single against the Boston Braves, and set a record for most RBI in a season. When the season ended a week later, Hack had added to his total, finishing with an unbelievable 191 RBI.

It is probably the best hitting season in National League history. He scored 146 runs, hit a then NL record 56 homers, batted .356, and single-handedly accounted for 33% of the runs the Cubs scored that year.

Unfortunately for Hack, it was also the beginning of the end of his time in Chicago. Because the Cubs choked away the pennant in the closing weeks of that season, manager Joe McCarthy was fired and replaced by Hack's teammate (and nemesis) Rogers Hornsby. The two men would fight and bicker throughout Hack's very disappointing 1931 season, and Wilson would be a St. Louis Cardinal by 1932.

He never again approached his astounding numbers of 1930.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Royko at 80

Mike Royko was born 80 years ago today. I was fiddling around the internet looking for Royko stuff and found this incredible blog post.

It features a letter that Frank Sinatra once wrote to Royko, and it ain't a nice one. I love it!

Of course, I have my own Royko story which I've shared in this space many times. You can read that here.

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten of my favorites today...

Richard Lewis ‏@TheRichardLewis
Why is it is harder to vote in many states than having a three-way with your wife and two ex-girlfriends

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner
Romney, Romney, Romney! I'm sick of hearing about Romney! Hasn't Paul Ryan said something stupid and cruel this week?

david carr ‏@carr2n
What's for dinner, honey? Chef Killed His Wife and Boiled Her for Four Days

CBS Chicago ‏@cbschicago
Hungry? Check our "Best German Food In Chicago" list!

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
Clint Eastwood on The Chair: ‘If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention...’

Julie Hammerle ‏@JulieHammerle
Today is the annual "I sit back and not get it while people make a thing about pirates for some reason" day.

Mark A. Rayner ‏@markarayner
In case you'd REALLY like to talk like a pirate today, here's a glossary of #pirate terms at JP Morgan's website

Anita S ‏@Chezhdchick
Seriously. There are no words. Cutler 'proud' of performance vs. Packers

alan cox ‏@alancoxshow
I bet "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" was never a phrase that was used while they were in school.

Robin Roberts ‏@RobinRoberts
JUST completed chemo. Today is day of rest - positive thoughts,words & deeds. How every day should be. Love YOU from bottom of my graeful ♥.

RIP Steve Sabol

This was a big loss for the football world. Steve Sabol passed away yesterday at the age of 69. Sabol and his dad played a big part in popularizing the NFL with their incredible NFL Films. This one is one my favorites...

There's a great line in this film: "He was Moby Dick in a goldfish bowl."

Romney is afraid of "The View"

I watched the whole Romney-behind-closed-doors video yesterday and it was fascinating.

The political stuff has been reported extensively, but I also got a kick out of Mitt's discussion of the media. For instance, he considers appearing on "The View" to be "high risk". This is what he said...
"‘The View’ is fine. Although ‘The View’ is high risk because of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative."
Mitt, just go back and watch George W. Bush's appearances on the show. They were very nice to him. Same with John McCain. If you think talking to the ladies on "The View" is "high risk", you're a wuss.

No offense.

Happy Birthday Sean!

My youngest son Sean isn't a baby anymore. He's hitting double digits today.

Hard to believe. The big 1-0.

Happy birthday, buddy!

Cubs 365, September 19

On this day in 1955, Ernie Banks became the first player in baseball history to hit five grand slams in one season. He was only 24 years old at the time. The record would remain on the books for more than thirty years. (Don Mattingly hit six in 1987)

Ernie hit that fifth grand slam in St. Louis against future teammate Lindy McDaniel. It was Banks' 44th (and last) homer of the season.

Between 1955 and 1960 Ernie would hit more home runs than any other player in baseball, including Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays, and would win two MVP awards playing for one of the worst teams in baseball.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Randy Newman's Song for the Election

I suspect some will take it at face value. That happens to Randy all the time...

This Morning's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten of my favorites from the last hour...

Ricky Gervais ‏@rickygervais
Dress old people in inflatable full body suits. If they fall over they'll just bounce. Got to do something. We're running out of hips.

Anita S ‏@Chezhdchick
How much douche could a douchebag douche if a douchebag could bag douche? #imimmature #youknowwhoimtalkingabout

Darren Marlar ‏@darrenmarlar
Huge thanks to the drunk 18-wheeler driver who swerved into my lane three times this morning; I am no longer struggling to stay awake.

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
"It's cheaper than a massage" -- author on why she drinks

Fred Winston ‏@FredWinston
Watching Ann B celebrate Puertrican heritage on @WGNMorningNews I yelled, "Shake it baby" at home before Larry did on the air.

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
I am too fat to be executed, says 480-pound man on death row

Gawker ‏@Gawker
The secret Mitt Romney video as explained to a five-year-old through a YouTube animal video

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980
The guy who sat in front of me at the Sox game was a weapons-grade dumbass. His wife, too

WCKG Chicago ‏@WCKGChicago
WCKG is back. 9-19-12

Ricky Gervais ‏@rickygervais
Despite the Royal Family pushing for an injunction to ensure my breasts are never seen in public, here they are...

Jimi Hendrix

Today is the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death. I was looking for a good live performance to post, and found this version of "Fire". It certainly shows his virtuosity...

Another Erotic Trilogy

I had to look at this story in Publisher's Weekly a few times to make sure I read it correctly, but yes it's true. Romance novel writer Maya Banks has just been signed to a SEVEN-figure deal to do an erotic trilogy. It's totally different than "50 Shades of Gray".

"The series follows three men, and business partners, who Penguin said "dominate in both the boardroom and the bedroom." Each book--Fever is scheduled for April 2013 and Burn for August 2013--will follow one of the men as he finds love."

See? Totally different. This one is about three men. That makes it three times better.

I guess I can spill the news now. My erotic trilogy is in the works too. It's called "50 Shades of Eggshell" and it involves a dominating hero named Benjamin Moore. His antics in the bedroom are incredibly kinky. When Ben comes around, he makes the ladies shake his can, cover the bed in plastic, and tape up the floorboards.

You'll have to read all three books (the others are called "Fifty Shades of Navajo White" and "Fifty Shades of Antique White") to get the full story.

The McRib

I love Ad Age's headline this morning: "Can the McRib Save Christmas?"

McDonald's usually trots it out in October, but this year they're waiting for December to boost earnings at the end of the year. I'm trying to guess which Christmas song they will use to sell it. I think it will either be: "McRib You a Merry Christmas" or "I'm Dreaming of McRib Christmas."

But that's just a guess.

Guest Hosts for GMA

With Robin Roberts out getting chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Good Morning America is bringing in all sorts of celebrities to fill in for her while she's gone.

It's a pretty impressive list already.

Among the people who are doing it: Stephen Colbert, the cast of Modern Family (one at a time), Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, and Oprah Winfrey.

Bill O'Reilly versus Jon Stewart

Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart are going to debate the issues in a 90-minute debate at George Washington University in Washington, DC on October 6.

Here's the website. You can watch it live on the internet for only $4.95 and a big chunk of that money will be going to charity.

Looks like it will be awesome.

Stewart will be on O'Reilly's show tonight to tease it.

Cubs 365, September 18

On this day in 1959, future Cub Ryne Sandberg was born.

He was destined to have a great nickname because he was named after the famous Yankees relief pitcher "Blind Ryne" Duren. Ryno is a hall of famer, but he was just a throw in to even out the Ivan DeJesus/Larry Bowa trade with the Phillies. The Phillies had two other second base prospects who were pretty good (Juan Samuel, Julio Franco), but neither one of them had the career Ryno had.

Nicknamed Ryno for obvious reasons (not his similarity to the horned beast), when he retired, Sandberg held the record for home runs by a second baseman. He was an MVP (1984), a ten-time all-star, nine-time gold glover, seven time silver slugger, and the most popular Cubs player of his era.

Romney's Whoopsie

Wouldn't you love to know who videotaped Mitt Romney inside a Republican fundraiser behind closed doors? It must have been taped by one of his own donors. To me, that's almost as interesting as the content of the tape itself.

As for the content, if you've ever wondered how he talked about voters when they weren't around, wonder no longer. Among other things, he essentially says that 47% of America is only looking for a government handout, and won't take responsibility for themselves.

The Washington Post has the full story.

I saw his news conference about this last night. He looked terrified. I can see why. Insulting HALF of the electorate may not be the best way to get elected.

From TV to Radio

Remember Bob Goen? He was one of the hosts of "Entertainment Tonight" and he has also been a game show host, but he started in radio, and that's what he's returning Cincinnati. From Radio Online this morning...

"The husband and wife team of Bob Goen and Marianne Curan join AC WRRM-FM (Warm 98)/Cincinnati for mornings beginning October 1. They replace morning talent Chris Lynn, who moves to middays and remains as Program Director. Sam Alex also comes aboard as the duo's producer. Most recently, Alex aired on the morning show at WMZQ-FM/Washington, DC."

Monday, September 17, 2012

This Morning's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten of my favorites from the last hour...

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
Contenders most in need of a victory today: 1. Detroit. 2. Detroit. 3. Detroit. 4. Philadelphia. 5. Detroit.

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner
My kids can't go back to school so soon. The landscaping isn't close to being finished. #realworldskills

Ana Fernatt ‏@AccidentallySxy
I will never understand why bald guys keep their ponytails.

Simon Dumenco ‏@simondumenco
Nothing says Christmas like a restructured pork product molded into the shape of ribs

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock
When the 2012 #MLB season ends AJ Pierzynski must go because even his teammates now hate him.

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
[Top Weekend Story] Romney Just Saying He Grew Up Poor In Memphis Now

Mark Caro ‏@MarkCaro
C'mon, tomatoes, this warm weather isn't going to last. Ripen, please.

Julie Hammerle ‏@JulieHammerle
Lest you think the Illinois legislature can't get anything done, you now need a photo ID to buy Drano.

Will McAvoy ‏@WillMcAvoyACN
The only person whose political opinion I value less than @realDonaldTrump is @KimKardashian.

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin
A couple humped in a Yankee Stadium bathroom for 3 innings (i.e. as long as the Rays' starter lasted on Sunday).

The New American Idol Judges

The announcement was made over the weekend. From Bloomberg...

"Fox TV’s “American Idol,” one of the most-watched U.S. television shows, added country singer Keith Urban and rapper Nicki Minaj as judges for the series’ 12th season, following the departures of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez earlier this year."

Looks like I missed an entire era. I never watched a single show with Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing is called "Knocking Out the Swagger"

You can read it here.

Greg Kihn

Former rocker Greg Kihn has been working as a morning radio personality in San Francisco since the 90s. His radio station let him go over the weekend. From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

"After a remarkable 16-year run in mornings on Entercom Classic Rock KUFX (K-Fox 98.5/San Jose & 102.1/San Francisco), rock star-turned talented radio personality Greg Kihn is now a free agent as he exits the station. "I am unemployed, along with a large percentage of my fellow Americans, but I am an optimist," Kihn said in a statement that is posted on his website. "I believe for every door that closes others open... and I'll be back on the air soon doing what I love to do most; entertaining my loyal fans." Kihn came to national prominence in the '80s as the leader of The Greg Kihn Band, which enjoyed several big radio hits like "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em Like That)" and "Jeopardy."

I saw him perform this song in concert at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield way back in 1982 or 1983. I don't know why radio stations don't play it anymore. It's a great song...

Cubs 365, September 17

On this day in 1882, future Cub Frank Wildfire Schulte was born. Wildfire didn't get his nickname for his style of play (although he stole home 22 times), or his tendency to hit the town (although Frank Chance used to chide him for that in the press). He got it because he named his favorite pony after his favorite Broadway show "Wildfire" (starring Lillian Russell), and soon it became his nickname too.

Schulte was known as a bit of a flake, but his teammates loved him for it. Joe Tinker once said: "I doubt whether a quainter or more original character ever existed in the National Pastime". One of his more bizarre eccentricities was that he had a thing for hairpins. He thought they were good luck, so he would search the streets looking for them. The bigger the hairpin, the better the luck.

Wildfire wasn't just a character, he was also a great player for the Cubs from 1904-1916, an era that spanned four NL pennants. He had a 13 game hitting streak in the World Series (and hit .321 overall in 91 World Series at bats). He was the MVP of the league in 1911. He led the league in homers, triples, and RBI. In short, he was a superstar.

Many years later, when Ty Cobb was an old man, he was asked what he remembered about Wildfire Schulte, his opponent in the 1907 and 1908 World Series. He said simply, "Schulte was one of the all-time greats."

Wildfire was the last remaining member of that last championship team when he was traded on July 29, 1916. He passed away in 1949 at the age of 67.