Thursday, October 25, 2012

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...

Richard Roeper ‏@richardroeper
Even for Trump, that was embarrassing. He literally doesn't understand the difference between "news" and "publicity stunt."

John Berman ‏@johnsberman
On a day like today, I long for the contents of Al Capone's vault.

CollegeHumor ‏@CollegeHumor
Donald Trump is quickly becoming the least entertaining Bond villain ever.

Andy Borowitz ‏@BorowitzReport
Attention parents: if you give your children even the tiniest bit of attention now, maybe they won't grow up to be Donald Trump.

davidfrum ‏@davidfrum
Trump's genius plan. Trap Obama into releasing his transcripts. Then blast him as an "elitist" when he is shown to have earned straight As.

SportsPickle ‏@sportspickle
Warren Moon Says Criticism of Blaine Gabbert is Not Racially Motivated: "He just sucks" -

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy
Survey Show: 28% of men truly believe that they have the knowledge to write a manual on how to "do it" with a lady... #MIXMindBender

Melissa Clouthier ‏@MelissaTweets
Woman gets plastic surgery, doesn't tell future hub, they get married and have an ugly baby: Divorce ensues.

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast
Powell Endorses Obama #cheatsheet

Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS
RT @fivethirtyeight: Obama up to 71% in our forecast, his highest since Oct. 9, on favorable trend in nat'l trackers.

Is Howard Leaving Next?

Now that Mel Karmazin is leaving XM/Sirius, is Howard leaving next?

It sure sounds like it.

iPad Backlash

It turns out that iPad customers are a little ticked off that Apple came out with a brand new iPad model only seven months after the previous iPad model. They are starting to feel like Apple is taking advantage of them.

AMEN! I mean, let's get serious here. Can we at least keep it down to once a year? I don't even own one. I'm just trying to keep my pictures of iPads from being obsolete.

Obama Explains Trump's Obsession

Nicely done, Mr. President.

Cubs 365, October 25

On this day in 1923, future Cub Russ Meyer was born. He was known as Mad Monk because he had a vicious temper and didn't take to coaching. He pitched for the Cubs from 1946-1948, and then returned to the team for one season at the end of his career (1956).

One night he ran into an old girlfriend at a bar the players frequented. They began to argue and she got so mad at him that she bit off the tip of his nose. It was still hanging there, but he had to have it stitched back together. The next day he had to sneak into the clubhouse, but he couldn't hide his face forever. It was all bandaged up and he had two black eyes. The woman claimed she was retaliating for being bitten on the nose herself, and filed suit. It was quietly settled out of court near the end of the 1947 season. Shortly after that he was traded to Philadelphia (1948).

Mad Monk frequently angered his teammates, opponents, and the umpires, often to his own detriment. He would lose his cool on the mound after a base hit or an infielder's error. Once, with the Phillies, after being knocked out of a game, he took off his spikes and hurled them into the shower ceiling, where they stuck. He won 17 games for the Phillies in 1949, and helped the Braves win the pennant in 1953. He returned to the Cubs only after he was washed up. While he was away from the Cubs he went 24-3 against them. Those 24 wins were almost one third of this 79 overall wins.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trump's Surprise

Here's the video.

As I suspected, it's a complete non-story. He's offering to donate to a charity if Obama releases his college transcripts and passport application. Wow. Burn.

Why do I suspect that wherever Mitt Romney is right now, he's saying: "Why in the world is he bringing up not releasing records? People have completely forgotten about my tax returns."

What music do you listen to during sex?

That's not my question (please don't tell me), it's USA Today's question. The answers to the question in USA Today's article are putting visuals in my head that will disturb me the rest of the day.

#1 on the list is the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing, which I suppose I understand, but check out some of the others in the top twenty.

#13: "The Sound of Music" soundtrack
("Honey, seriously, your hills are alive with the sound of music, and I'm not just saying that because we're listening to this incredibly erotic soundtrack.")

#15: "Grease", the soundtrack
("I'm so sorry, honey. Summer lovin' happened so fast. It won't happen again.")

#20: The Star Wars soundtrack
("Use the force, honey. Please, use the force.")

Next time you're in the mood, put on one of those soundtracks and raise your eyebrows at your significant other. See if it's more likely to garner a returned raised eyebrow or a snorting laugh.

The Richest Person in Each State

ABC News has a story on their website about the richest person in each state. Care to guess who the richest person in Illinois is?

Hint: He used to own the Chicago Tribune.

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...

Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger
I don't want to be too judgmental, but Donald Trump couldn't be dumber if you cut his head off.

Jeff Greenfield ‏@greenfield64
That DirecTV ad with bickering spouses in bathroom--ran endlessly during MLB playlets--may be the most sexually hostile ad ever.

Matt Spiegel ‏@MattSpiegel670
Jimmie Walker deserves more than 207 followers. I mean, what sitcoms have you been on? What catchphrases have you rocked? @DynomiteJJHere

Amy Guth ‏@amyguth
Today's forecast: sunny with a high near 80. Yes, 80.

Rich Samuels ‏@rsamuels
"'God's will"? Indiana Senate candidate criticized over rape, pregnancy comments,0,2063075.story

Steve Bertrand ‏@SteveBertrand
You're kidding. RT @PublishersWkly: Santa's pipe put out in new edition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas | Guardian

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980
Bruce Jenner was in "Can't Stop the Music." Hard to believe that's not the least dignified thing he's ever done.

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy
Study Shows: People with a large nose are more likely to have a one night stand. #MIXMindBender

Carole Radziwill ‏@CaroleRadziwill
I miss *69. I used to catch bf's in all sorts of lies. It was amazing. Why doesn't *69 work on cell phones?

Josh Gerstein ‏@joshgerstein
Both Mitt's 5-point plan and Obama's 20-page plan too superficial for me. Anyway, back to writing my 5-things-to-watch in the election story

The President on MTV

This is the venue that brought us the famous "boxers or briefs" question for President Clinton, but when you're going for the youth vote, you still need to make an appearance. Obama discovered in 2008 just how non-threatening this venue is.

MTV is taking questions for the president on Facebook, and will interview him on Friday. Romney has been invited too, but declined--just as he declined to be interviewed for Nickelodeon. McCain also declined in 2008.

I think it's safe to say that the Republicans are writing off the youth vote.

Mel is outta here

The most anticipated departure in the media is finally happening.

"SiriusXM Radio CEO Mel Karmazin has informed the satcaster's board of directors that he will be leaving the company on February 1, 2013, following the expiration of his current deal and a transition period. Karmazin will also leave the board of directors, which has formed a search committee, chaired by Greg Maffei, to consider both internal and external candidates for the company's next CEO."

And Mel will leave millions and millions and millions of dollars in his pocket. I seriously doubt he'll retire. He lives for making money, and when that's what you live for, you can never ever have enough.

Cubs 365, October 24

On this day in 1857, Ned Williamson was born. He was Chicago's star shortstop/third baseman during the 1880s. He thrilled the fans with his home runs, and was arguably the game's first home run hero. In 1884 he hit 27 in one 112 game season. That was the record for 35 years. It wasn't broken until 1919 by a little known slugger/pitcher named Babe Ruth.

Of course, Ned's record came with an asterisk. During the 19th century the ground rules were made by each home team. Ned's manager Cap Anson declared that balls hit over a certain part of his field were to be declared homers. That just happened to be where Ned hit 25 of his 27 homers that season. The next season the team moved to West Side Grounds and Ned's power suddenly disappeared.

On the other hand, Ned was no fluke. He also set the record for doubles with 49 in 1883, and was a key member of the Chicago team that won five championships that decade.

His baseball career was still going strong until Albert Spalding organized a world tour to promote the game in 1889. While the team played in Paris, Ned injured his knee. He was never the same after that.

Just four years after his playing career ended, Williamson contracted tuberculosis and died at age 36. He is buried in an unmarked grave in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Germans & Beer

For a German, I apparently don't drink much beer. Not too long ago, it wasn't unusual for Germans to drink 50 beers a day.

Saving this article for my intervention.

Lou Rawls

I didn't even realize that I witnessed Lou Rawls' final performance (on this day seven years ago). From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

October 23, 2005…At U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Lou Rawls gave his last public performance when he sang the U.S. national anthem before Game 2 of the 2005 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox. The Sox won the game, 7-6, and went on to take the Series, 4 games to none. Rawls died of lung and brain cancer 2½ months later.

I was at that (painful) game, wearing a Kerry Wood Cubs jersey under about seven layers of clothes. It was a miserable night--cold, wet, and Soxy. It would have been a little more bearable if Lou did this song...

The World Series

It's going to be the Giants vs. the Tigers.

Both teams have been around for over a hundred years, and both teams have been in the World Series many times, but incredibly, they've never played against each other in the World Series before.

If it had been the Tigers-Cardinals, that would have been a rematch of 1934 and 1968.

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...

The Balding Handbook ‏@BaldingHandbook
He should have bought The Balding Handbook instead...Propecia turned me into a woman, … via

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
British housewife claims she was raised by monkeys in Colombian jungle

Good Morning America ‏@GMA
Most tweeted moment of last night's debate? When Obama said "we have fewer horses and bayonets"

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
Not sure how asking Republican and Democratic party reps their take on the debates represents analysis. You already know what they'll say.

Andy Borowitz ‏@BorowitzReport
BREAKING: Romney Foreign Policy Endorsed By Colonial Williamsburg

Conn Carroll ‏@conncarroll
Armstrong gets to keep his victory over cancer right?

Joe Campagna ‏@chifoodsnob
Lance's 7 Tour titles can't be given to anyone else because 20 of 21 top 3 finishers have all doped. #justoneoftheguys #fb

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman
Hey, "DonkeyKong Suh"... Your cheap shot didn't work, @ChicagoBears win, and you're still in last place. @nfl

Adam Oestmann ‏@adamspeaks
After his performance on #MNF, Jay Cutler now has 10,618 career passing yards for the Chicago #Bears, 4th most in franchise history.

Jennifer Jarke ‏@JJarke
@WaddleandSilvy dropping off my daughter this 4th grade boy says "Bears suck" i almost said "your mom sucks" then i remembered Im the adult.

Enough about the candidates...

How did the moderator do?

TV Newser says: "Light Hand lets candidates go at it as much as possible"

I think that's about right, although I admit I didn't see the whole thing because I was also watching the Bears game.

Langmyer is out

This is a shocker. WGN Radio's General Manager was forced out yesterday. He's being replaced (on an interim basis) by a former colleague of mine, WGN's director of sales Jeff Hill.

Not sure exactly what happened there. According to Feder, this is the message he left his staff...

“I can't tell you how much I have appreciated the privilege of working with you,” he wrote in an email to his staff. “WGN is a very special place, and I’m very lucky to have spent nearly eight years as part of it! . . . Looking forward to new challenges ahead!”

Does this mean that big changes are in store for the station? I'm going to say yes. The biggest potential change, of course, is a change in ownership. Now that the Tribune has emerged from bankruptcy, anything can go. Even one of radio's crown jewels.

Cubs 365, October 23

On this day in 1886, the Cubs finished up the World Series. The 1886 National League team from Chicago was known as the White Stockings--it would be another fifteen years before the Cubs name emerged. But they were a powerhouse team; the defending champions.

Led by their first baseman/manager Cap Anson (photo), and their colorful utility man King Kelly (who played every day, but all over the field--every position except pitcher), Chicago was one of the biggest draws in the league. Anson led the league in runs batted in, Kelly led the league in batting average, on-base percentage and runs, and lead off man George Gore was walked more often than any other player.

Chicago was a wide open town in 1886; not to mention the epicenter of the increasingly violent labor movement. On May 4, the Haymarket Riot took place, which took the lives of eleven Chicagoans including seven police officers.

But while Chicago was a violent, scary, and decadent city, it had also fallen in love with it's baseball team.

When they played Detroit with first place at stake, 12,000+ fans came out to see the game (a HUGE crowd in those days). Both teams arrived in spectacular fashion--with a police and fire escort in their horse-drawn carriages. Chicago won the game and moved into first place.

The White Stockings sure loved the spotlight, and they may have loved the nightlife even more. King Kelly in particular was a notorious drunk, and he liked to drag his teammates into the gutter with him. Chicago had one of the most notorious red-light districts in the world at the time (it was the Las Vegas of the 19th century), and that certainly didn't help. One night on the town, a backup outfielder named Billy Sunday could take the debauchery no more, and found the Lord. It got so bad that Chicago owner Albert Spalding hired detectives to follow the players around and began fining them for their drinking. Seven different players were fined $25 each.

But despite their partying ways, Chicago was still the best team in baseball. The regular season came down to the final day. When Chicago beat Boston 12-3, they won the pennant.

They did play in the World Series against the St. Louis Browns after the regular season, but the World Series was really just an exhibition in those days. Nevertheless, it was a high stakes exhibition. It was winner-take-all with the winner getting $14,000.

Because of their powerful offense, and the fact that they had two 30 game winners (John Clarkson and Jim McCormick) and another rookie ace (Jocko Flynn--who won 23--including 14 in a row), Chicago was the clear favorite. They were probably spending their money before the series even began.

In true Cubs fashion, they choked when it counted. With Future Hall of Famer John Clarkson on the mound, and future Hall of Famer King Kelly behind the plate, the winning run was scored by the Browns in Game 6...when a player stole home.

The White Stockings got exactly zero dollars for their effort.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cleavon Little

He died twenty years ago today, but he'll live on forever in "Blazing Saddles"...

Most Expensive Show for Advertisers?

It used to be "American Idol".

Now it's Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Another German translation

Below I pointed out that "schief" means "crooked or slanted" in German. One of my twitter followers pointed out another famous German translation moment...

Worst Job Ever: Debate Moderator

Tonight's victim is Bob Schieffer.

Am I the only German speaking person to point out that "schief" means "crooked or slanted" in German? I'm on to you, Bob Schieffer.

Let the conspiracy talk begin.

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...

Chris Rock ‏@chrisrockoz
Guys communicate by insulting each other, but don't really mean it. Girls communicate by complimenting each other, but don't really mean it.

The New Yorker ‏@NewYorker
The magazine’s endorsement of Barack Obama describes his first-term achievements and vision for America’s future:

Josh Liss ‏@JoshLissSports
All the @cbschicago "experts" are picking Bears over the Lions, but I'm the only one thinking low scoring game. …

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman
My wife tried my #DrPepper10 and didn't like it. Umm, didn't their marketing department sufficiently warn you?

Jim Gaffigan ‏@JimGaffigan
This is getting ridiculous. At what point does a newborn learn to change their own diaper?

Judd Apatow ‏@JuddApatow
Do you ever wake up and it feels like the night before when you went to sleep you were ten years old?

Sports Illustrated ‏@SInow
"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling.'' - ICU President Pat McQuaid

Andy Borowitz ‏@BorowitzReport
By far, Lance Armstrong's darkest legacy will be that he convinced millions of men it was okay to wear bike shorts.

karl ravech ‏@karlravechespn
Cards won 6 straight winner take all games, giants have won 5 elimination games this post's a horror movie, monsters won't die

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm
TPM Electoral Scoreboard moves to Obama: 271, Romney: 199 as Ohio moves from Toss Up to Lean Obama …

Television Choices Tonight

I'm not an undecided voter. I won't be watching the debate.

Not with Bears-Lions on Monday Night Football.

Not with Game 7 of the NLCS on Fox.

I'm predicting record-low debate ratings in Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Not that any of them are in swing states anyway.

Cubs 365, October 22

On this day in 1974, Pat Pieper passed away. He was the PA announcer for the Cubs, known for his trademark opener..."Tention! Attention Please! Get your pencils and scorecards ready and I will give you the correct lineups for today's game."

He got the job in 1916 when the Cubs first started playing in what is now known as Wrigley Field, and he kept the job until his death--an incredible streak of 59 years.

When he first began, he had to do his job with a gigantic megaphone (this was before a public address system had been invented.) He said the starting lineups to the crowd from third base, and then did the same thing on the other side of the field from first base.

In 1932, the Cubs finally installed a public address system. Pieper sat next to the wall separating the field from the stands, between home plate and third base. He was responsible for picking up the straw hats that fans threw onto the field, but he was also there to shake the hands of Cubs players as they crossed home plate. He was sitting in that seat when Babe Ruth came up to bat in 1932, and Pieper is one of the few people who swore that Babe actually did call the shot.

"Don't let anybody tell you differently. Babe definitely pointed," he told Tribune columnist David Condon in 1966. Condon told the story in his column. "Pat remembers sitting on the third base side and hearing [Cubs' pitcher] Guy Bush chide Ruth, who had taken two strikes. According to Pat, Ruth told Bush: 'That's strike two, all right. But watch this.' 'Then Ruth pointed to center field, and hit his homer."

Pieper was the PA for 6 World Series, but he also handled those chores for the twenty consecutive seasons the Cubs finished in the bottom half of the league (1946-1966). When he died shortly after the 1974 season (October 22nd), the Cubs had just finished their most successful stretch since their World Series days.

He was inducted into the Chicago Cubs Walk of Fame in 1996, and a banner with his name still hangs in the Wrigley Field concourse.