Friday, November 16, 2012

Studio A: Profile of a Disc Jockey

This is fascinating...JRL in the 1970s.



John tells the origin of this video in the upcoming book on Eckhartz Press.

21 years

21 years ago today, I married my wonderful wife Bridget. The priest who married us was later accused of some sort of malfeasance, the church we were married in burned down a few years later, and my radio show ("Ebony & Ivory") was cancelled right when we got back from our honeymoon, but twenty one years later, our marriage is stronger than ever.

I'm a very lucky man.

Today's Best Tweets



Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...




Albert Brooks ‏@AlbertBrooks
To help promote Judd Apatow's This is 40, I have a date with Paula Broadwell tonight.

Jeff Greenfield ‏@greenfield64
How can Twinkies go out of business days after two states legalize weed? Worst. Business. Timing. Ever.

Matt Spiegel ‏@MattSpiegel670
Twinkies have a shelf life in the decades. They're not baked, they're chemically risen. They are not food. Let Hostess die.

The Daily Caller ‏@DailyCaller
TALIBAN: 'Petraeus should be shot by relatives from his mistress's family....He should be stoned' - http://bit.ly/TSPZAt

Meghan McCain ‏@McCainBlogette
Check out my new column @thedailybeast ' "Wake the Hell Up, Republicans!" - http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/16/meghan-mccain-on-why-the-republican-party-needs-to-wake-up.html …

John Arguello ‏@CubsDen
Rick Porcello a possible fit for the Cubs? | Cubs Den http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2012/11/rick-porcello-a-possible-fit-for-the-cubs/

Tom Teuber ‏@tteuber
Deer season in Cheesetopia. "You just stand there looking cute, and when something moves, you shoot!" YouTube http://bit.ly/RH5c7u

Amy Guth ‏@amyguth
Russian granny kills attacking wolf with axe and bare hands http://bit.ly/UIT0BM

@HuffPostSmBiz ‏@HuffPostSmBiz
Man who started Alabama's secession petition is angry about losing his topless car wash http://huff.to/ZH2ovq

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy
Back in the days when Paul Konrad wore a toupe and Robin Baumgarten walked like Lurch from "The Addam's Family." http://fb.me/1f3qTOQ4s

Saul Foos

Former Chicago radio super-agent Saul Foos has passed away. Robert Feder has the details.

I only met Saul one time, shortly after I started working for John Landecker. Saul had negotiated the contract for John, and had written a very healthy producer's salary into the contract. Without that clause, I would have never made the kind of money I did in radio.

On the other hand, Saul was stealing money from his clients, and eventually went to prison for it. Landecker has written extensively about Saul in his upcoming memoir "Records Truly is My Middle Name". He also wrote the following in the comments section of Feder's column...

"I am sorry to hear that Saul has passed away. He had been my agent since the early 70's. The money thing didn't happen for me until the early 90's. That is a long time to build up trust in someone. i think Saul did a couple of things to handle his guilt.. He hired some of the names mentioned in the article to work for him as agents and broadcast consultants. We didn't know it at the time but I guess we were being paid with our own money. I was hired by WJMK a few months before everything came to an end. Saul said he would not take a fee. His fee would have been more than I had given him to invest. After getting over the initial shock the hardest part was working at WJMK with Harvey Pearlman as GM. Every time he saw me it reminded him that Saul had done my deal and stolen his money. I forgave Saul a long time ago. Read about this and other delightful stories in the book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" set for publication at the end of March next year."

Joke for a Friday Morning

Thanks to "MS" for sending this one...

After a tiring day, a commuter settled down in her seat and closed her eyes as the train started to roll.

As the train began to pull out of the station, the guy sitting next to her pulled out his cell phone and started talking in a loud voice:
“Hi sweetheart. It’s Eric. I’m on the train. Yes, I know it’s the six thirty and not the four thirty, but I had a long meeting.

No, honey, not with that blonde from the accounts office. With the boss.

No sweetheart, you’re the only one in my life. Yes, I’m sure, cross my heart…”;

Fifteen minutes later, he was still talking loudly, when the young woman sitting next to him had had enough and leaned over and said into the phone, “Eric, turn that phone off and come back to bed.”

Eric doesn’t use his cell phone in public any longer

Jerry Blavat

From Tom Taylor's column this morning, a story about a Philadelphia rock radio legend...

Philadelphia’s Jerry Blavat was the object of threats by “reputed mob boss Joseph ‘Uncle Joe’ Ligambi," says the Philadelphia Inquirer. That was in 2009, after a Philadelphia Magazine piece about the mob angered Ligambi, and he suspected Philly jock Jerry Blavat of being complicit in the story. This kind of language doesn’t just happen in The Sopranos – the paper says Uncle Joe fumed, “I’m gonna kill this [expletive].” This three-year-old incident was recounted in a current trial involving Ligambi and six others. Blavat’s written about his history with Philadelphia mob figures – just social, he says – in an autobiography that he’s still advertising on local billboards. It’s called “You Only Rock Once.”

Jerry is also mentioned in John Records Landecker's upcoming book "Records Truly is My Middle Name", which comes out in March 2013. John worked in Philadelphia for several years in the late 60s/early 70s and has some great Philadelphia stories too.

Cubs 365, November 16

On this day in 1883, future Cub Rollie Zeider was born. He remains one of only two men to have played for three different teams in the same city (he played with the Cubs, the Sox, and the Federal League Whales).

His last three seasons in the big leagues were spent with the Cubs, serving as their utilityman. He played every position on the field except catcher, pitcher and centerfield. Rollie's time with the Cubs coincided with the first three years the team played at what is now known as Wrigley Field (1916-1918).

Once called "Hook" because of his beak-like nose, Zeider later became known as "Bunions" when he contracted blood-poisoning after a Ty Cobb spiking sliced into his bunion.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). They are being printed as you read this, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In Stage Five Acceptance, Stern describes the many advantages of being bald.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 19

The first thing you’ll notice when you finally come to grips with who you are is that you suddenly have more time and money than you ever imagined. Did you realize that you are actually a wealthy person who has been hiding inside a not-so-wealthy person’s body? Did you realize that you were the kind of husband/father/boyfriend/friend that could always be there for your loved ones?

Oh, my bald brothers, let me count the ways.

Time is on your side—Morning

How would you like to sleep an extra twenty minutes, thirty minutes, sixty minutes or more? Done. You have all the time in the world in the morning because you no longer have to waste your time doing things like…

• shampooing
• drying your hair
• swirling your hair into a combover
• checking the weather channel for wind patterns
• spraying hair spray to hold remaining strands in place
• applying gel or mousse
• looking in the mirror at your bald spot growing
• applying Rogaine
• picking the dead skin around your plugs
• making up fake illnesses so you can stay home
• combing your piece
• trimming your piece
• fluffing your piece
• kissing your piece

By eliminating these items from your morning prep-time, you are on your way to giving the world a gigantic boost in the arm.

Time is on your Side—Daytime

With up to an extra hour of sleep, you’ll find that you’ll tap into energy that you never realized you had. This will make you get your work done faster, more efficiently, and will turn the head of your boss. That means you’ll get promoted, and everybody knows what happens when you get promoted: It’s slack-off time, baby! Now you can make everyone else do all the work. That leaves you with up to six extra hours of time per day.

Throw in the extra time you’ll save by no longer doing the following…

• shopping for hats
• trying on hats
• washing and maintaining your hats
• reading hat catalogs
• ordering hats from catalogs
• awkward chit chat with hair stylists
• writing angry letters to makers of sham bald products
• conferring with your lawyer about restraining orders you’ve received from sham bald product manufacturers
• writing letters to attorneys of sham bald products
• testifying at Grand Jury hearings against sham bald products
• putting sugar in your bald-joke-loving brother-in-law’s gas tank
• putting lice in Warren Beatty’s hat
• hunting animals for their hair

With all of these activities off your schedule forever, you suddenly have more time than you ever realized. Look out world, here come the answers to your problems.

Time is on your side--Evenings

With your new-found confidence and stamina, the little woman in your life is going to find out just exactly how virile a bald man can be—and she probably won’t be able to keep that silly smile off her face. Trying to keep up with you, she will be forced to get into shape. That means she won’t be home much. She’ll be at the gym working out for that night’s session. That means you’ll have all sorts of extra time that you used to spend…

• refilling the dish washer to her ridiculous specifications
• digging through the garbage for things that should have been recycled
• talking to her
• listening to her
• begging her for a little…ahem…love

If you’re a father, this extra time will allow you to spend more time with your kids, which will help you form a healthier bond with the next generation of bald dynamos. When your wife sees how much you are helping the kids, she will get even more excited by you.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that you won’t have too much free time after she gets home from the gym…because she won’t let you leave that bedroom until she passes out with fatigue.

And you were upset about going bald?

Pre-order your copy of The Balding Handbook today!

Cats in the Cradle

Harry Chapin's son is 40 years old today. From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

November 15, 1972…Harry Chapin and his wife Sandy welcomed the arrival of their first child, Joshua Burke, an event that eventually inspired Harry to put his wife's poem, "Cat's In The Cradle," to music.

Today's Best Tweets



Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...



The Onion ‏@TheOnion
School 'Fine,' U.S. Teens Report http://onion.com/ZAcuhB

ColonelTribune ‏@ColonelTribune
Not a bad day, says @Skilling. I will happily take sunshine and 50ยบ in mid-November. Forecast: http://bit.ly/KHV6zC

David Corn ‏@DavidCornDC
You gotta see this: Top Georgia GOP lawmakers host briefing on Obama's secret mind-control plot: http://mojo.ly/T3z8gl [VIDEO]

The New Yorker ‏@NewYorker
Sex scandal cartoons through the ages: http://nyr.kr/U1AGY3 #Petraeus

Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger
When the flesh is weak. My new column on Petraeus-Broadwell-Kelley-Allen-Shirtless FBI Guy-gate. http://goo.gl/IKsSm

Judd Apatow ‏@JuddApatow
I love that Romney's donors force him to do a public call where he has to explain why he lost. And he blames poor people. Charming.

Matt K. Lewis ‏@mattklewis
I'd like to see Romney and his team go out gracefully. (Yes, that requires actually... going away.)

Jordan Weissmann ‏@JHWeissmann
Madeline Albright: "When people ask, do you think we'd be better off if the world were run by women, I say, 'Do you remember high school?'"

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Teacher told to "train her breast not to make milk" http://huff.to/Zv2JRH

Slate ‏@Slate
Guy Fieri suspects "another agenda" behind critical @nytimes review: http://ow.ly/fjBAv #conspiracies #DDDers

Meanest Restaurant Review Ever

It's in the New York Times, and it's a review of television star Guy Fieri's new Time Square restaurant. Here's a taste...

Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?

When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?

Ouch.

I could never do a review like that--I'm too nice. But I'm not too nice to read it and chuckle.

Luke Russert Booed at Nancy Pelosi Press Conference

I happened to catch this moment live on television yesterday. NBC's Luke Russert asked Nancy Pelosi: “Colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prevents the party from having a younger leadership and hurts the party in the long run.”

Everyone booed.

They said it was sexist and ageist. I thought it was a fair question, but what do I know?

F.C.C. To Relax Ownership Rules?

It certainly sounds that way, if you read this article in Bloomberg.

If you've read "$everance" you know I'm not in favor in this move. It seems to me that they are only doing it to rescue companies like the Tribune who bought television stations in markets they already owned newspapers even though they knew there were rules against it. Why rescue that?

I put it this way in a video the last time they tried to pull this off...

Cubs 365, November 15

On this day in 1982, Cubs infielder Steve Macko passed away. His story is one of the most tragic tales in Cubs history.

His father was a coach with the Cubs in 1964, and Steve was one of their hot young phenoms. He was a middle infielder, and made it to the majors in 1979. In August of 1980, he was injured in a collision at second base. During the physical examination after the injury, the doctors discovered that Macko had cancer.

He never played with the Cubs again. In his final season he hit .300 and had a 1.000 fielding percentage.

He died at the age of 27, on November 15, 1982.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). We'll be getting them from the printer on November 16th, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In Stage Four Depression, Stern shares some soothing words of comfort from some of the greatest poets of all-time. Turns out that many of them were also balding, including the immortal e.e. cummings.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 17...

E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

Famous balding poet E.E. Cummings was one of the most popular American poets of the 20th century. He was known for his bold approach; shunning rules and conventions. Cummings wasn’t bothered with rhymes, punctuation, syntax, or baldness. He was a poetic rebel and an intellectual giant.

My baldology colleague Michael Medina has been a Cummings-head for many years, and claims to have uncovered this previously unpublished Cummings poem. Yes, it was hand written, and yes, a few handwriting experts have confirmed that the handwriting was an exact match with Medina’s own handwriting, but whether or not this is the really work of Cummings himself or just a Cummings-head, it’s truly comforting. It’s entitled “Follicles”…

follicles needy, my petulant child, gimme gimme gimme,
gimme nutritents, gimme soap, gimme nutrients, gimme soap, gimme life then give me freedom
take your freedom, take it down the drain, tangle yourself there
a plumber charges seventy five dollars an hour, liquid plumber is cheap,
and I pour it on you, eating you up, sending you down in the sewer,
now you tangle on rats as you swim to the sea and you tangle on dung and you reek,
you have freedom, enjoy your new life, my bald head doesn’t miss you, my petulant child,
no more gimme, no more gimme, no more gimme.
I breathe now.
You rot in the sewer.

Pre-order your copy of "The Balding Handbook" today!

Today's Best Tweets



Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...




Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
A major, major loser in all this will be Jose Reyes, who goes from the tax haven of Florida to Canada, where tax is about half of income.

Mark A. Rayner ‏@markarayner
This just in: survey shows journalists are more trustworthy than prison snitches! http://fb.me/AgT19Xa9

Julie Hammerle ‏@JulieHammerle
PSA: When you promise to do the dishes and then leave a frying pan filled with water sitting in the sink, the dishes have not been "done."

People magazine ‏@peoplemag
"My first thought was, 'Y'all are messing with me.'" — @channingtatum, on being named this year's #SexiestManAlive http://ow.ly/fhn4H

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic
People now says Channing Tatum is the "Sexiest Man Alive". Apparently, when your year is up they kill you.

Fred Winston ‏@FredWinston
Stuffing = In the bird. Dressing = In a casserole, baked separately.

The Daily Caller ‏@DailyCaller
White House 'secede' petitions reach 675,000 signatures, 50-state participation - http://bit.ly/TFHjxa

Chuck Todd ‏@chucktodd
The only thing dumber than this secession story is giving it legit oxygen. Let's not go down that rabbit hole

Breaking News ‏@BreakingNews
Report: Former CIA Director David Petraeus will testify on Benghazi attacks before congressional committees - @FoxNews http://fxn.ws/UGtwoz

Dave Wischnowsky ‏@wischlist
My piece today for @ChicagoSide about the #Illini's efforts to win the Windy City: "Fighting for Chicago -- and Losing"


Baseball Notes

Some big news in the baseball world yesterday.

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired an all-star shortstop (Jose Reyes), an all-star starting pitcher (Josh Johnson), and an author of two no-hitters (Mark Buehrle) from the Marlins in exchange for a few prospects. (Read this scathing article ripping Miami's owner.)

If you think that's exciting, check this out: The Cubs signed pitcher Scott Baker...who is coming off Tommy John surgery.

Hmmm. Maybe one of those stories is a little less exciting than the other.

Local Author Night

It's local author night at the Book Cellar in Chicago (right next door to the Brauhaus), and one of the featured authors this month is Eckhartz Press' very own Randy Richardson ("Cheeseland"). I'm going to make a rare trek out of the basement to support him. (And it's not just because they serve beer there)

The other authors scheduled to be there include Bree Housley (We Hope You Like This Song: An Overly Honest Story about Friendship, Death, and Mix Tapes), and Samantha Hoffman (What More Could You Wish For).

Come on out and support your local Chicago authors!

For Free...Sirius-ly

From this morning's Tom Taylor newsletter...

SiriusXM turns on another free trial – for all those deactivated radios. As Motley Fool puts it, “there are more cars out there with inactive satellite radio receivers than active ones” – cars bought second-hand, or flivvers being driven by budget-crunched people who let their subscription lapse. This isn’t the first time SiriusXM has done the free turn-on thing (it’s good today through November 27). But Motley Fool says it comes at a particularly smart time for the satcaster – just as SiriusXM “is gearing up to take a page out of the Pandora playbook and begin offering streaming customers” its new “customized radio.” Mel Karmazin’s been teasing that for a year now, saying that if his customers want a Pandora-like product, they’ll offer it.

Sounds interesting.

Cubs 365, November 14

On this day in 1937, future Cubs pitcher Jim Brewer was born.

Jim Brewer was a rookie pitcher for an unbelievably bad Cubs team in 1960. He was a little bit wild, and was having trouble controlling his pitches, and on one very unfortunate August day (8/4/60), he threw a fastball behind Cincinnati Red infielder Billy Martin’s head (yes, that Billy Martin).

Martin didn’t do anything immediately. Instead he waited for the next pitch and “accidentally” lost control of his bat, which went sailing right at Brewer. Brewer stepped down from the mound and said: “You little dago son of a bitch.” That led Martin to charge the mound.

It wasn’t a lengthy fight, but Martin did get one good punch into Brewer’s face, shattering his cheekbone and putting him in the hospital for two weeks. Brewer later sued Martin for a million dollars. When Martin heard about the lawsuit, he laughed and said “Does he want a check or cash?”

Martin was suspended and fined, and the lawsuit went all the way to a jury trial. Jim Brewer was awarded $10,000. It took Billy Martin several years to pay it off. The Cubs traded Brewer in 1963 to the Dodgers (for Dick Scott), and he later pitched in three World Series for them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). We'll be getting them from the printer on November 16th, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

In Stage Three Bargaining, Stern helps the balding man prepare his inevitable offer to God. (If you give me my hair back, I'll...). There are gift suggestions that you'll simply not find anywhere else. There's even some sales training to help you if you somehow get direct access to the client.

For instance, the following is an excerpt from Chapter 13...

What If He Answers Me?

Good news, bad news. The good news is that He does grant face-to-face sales appointments on occasion. The bad news is that you’ve probably just been involved in some sort of fiery car crash.

This is the ultimate go-time. Have your closing argument on the tip of your (potentially severed and bleeding) tongue. It’s your only chance. Here are a few tried and true sales approaches that might work for you.

The Porcupine Close is a technique that uses leading questions to get desired results. For instance, if the Lord asks: “Have you accepted me as your personal savior?” You can respond with something like “Would you like my bushy new full head of hair and me to accept you as my personal savior?”

Mirroring could work too. That’s a technique that counts on mirroring speech and mannerisms of your potential client in an effort to build a rapport. It’s going to be tough to prepare because He hasn’t really spoken to anyone we know of for a while, but last we heard, He was doing the whole burning bush thing. A few prepared quips like “And I thought Boca was hot, you know what I’m saying?” could work wonders.

Bringing Up the Competition is another possibility. We live in competitive times, and the Almighty may not be immune to market forces himself. If it starts sounding like your request is about to be denied and all hope is lost, you may want to bring up the competition. For instance…

God: I appreciate your time on Earth and all, but we’re really looking at going in a different direction.

You: Satan said you’d say that.

God: You’ve called on Satan?

You: Oh yeah. He said that hair re-growth was definitely an option, and that I should go with him, because you couldn’t do it.

God: He said I couldn’t do it?

You: He also thinks you can’t restart my heart and make me avoid that fiery car crash.

God: Satan is a hack. Watch this.

The Balding Handbook is available for pre-order now!

Today's Best Tweets



Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...



Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger
Letterman: "James Bond beat Abraham Lincoln at the box office. Boy, it's really been a lousy week for Republicans."

Ray Long ‏@RayLong
Arizona woman runs down husband with car for not voting: police http://shar.es/GYWrR via @sharethis

Simon Dumenco ‏@simondumenco
Nymphographic: James Bond: 50 years, 22 films, 53 women, 75 implied sexual encounters http://j.mp/UAp7JA @TinyMaster

Ben Greenman ‏@bengreenman
This widening Petraeus affair is really threatening to blow the lid off human nature.

Anita S ‏@Chezhdchick
Guys always think they'll never get caught, even though they SHOULD realize that all women have to tell SOMEONE, or their heads will explode

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman
@phil_rosenthal: They exchanged 20,000 to 30,000 "potentially inappropriate" emails? I find they get suspicious around 40,000.

Chris Moody ‏@Chris_Moody
I'm surprised Hitler hasn't found out about the Petraeus affair yet on YouTube.

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein
Bobby Jindal: "We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.” http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=98F00774-4282-4951-9569-EC459F9223D5

Lizz Winstead ‏@lizzwinstead
Arizona elects a bisexual atheist to congress. Republicans still squawking if Romney was true conservative he would have won. #Beyond

Gawker ‏@Gawker
"Dump Donald Trump" petition gaining major traction http://gaw.kr/PvYqkU #DumpTrump

What Professions are the Best Lovers?

According to a Redbook survey of women, the answer is: Artists.

I wonder how they define "artists"? I know how I'll be defining it from now on, but I'm just curious what they meant by that.

Factory workers are the worst, by the way.

The Ponce Brothers

The two Chicago television reporters (and sons of WTTW's Phil) performed this song at Roe Conn's newsapalooza...



The lyrics are pretty good, but I'm more impressed by the piano playing.

Unliking Mitt

OK, this is just being mean, people.

It appears that Mitt Romney's facebook page is being "unliked" by millions of his "friends". There's even a website that shows the numbers declining in real-time.

The Stones

You're going to be seeing a lot of the Rolling Stones in the coming days, and there's a good reason for that. From today's RAMP newsletter...

The Stones are celebrating their half-century anniversary with a ton of cool stuff -- like their new hits collection, GRRR! (in stores today!), an HBO documentary, Crossfire Hurricane which premieres this Thursday, and five upcoming live shows.

That documentary on HBO looks totally cool. Looking forward to it. In the meantime, here's my personal favorite Rolling Stones song...

A New Way of Combating Racism

These people showed up at a KKK rally dressed like clowns.

During a weekend Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi rally in Charlotte, NC, the speeches coming from the hateful side of the street were drowned out by "squeaky toys, whistles and noisemakers" from a big group of counter-protesters, and with every shout of "White Power," the spectators — many of them dressed like clowns — threw handfuls of white flour into the air (the deeper meaning of that is unclear, but hey). "The message from us is 'you look silly [for your racism]'," Lacey Williams of Charlotte's Latin American Coalition said. "We're dressed like clowns and you're the ones that look funny."

Somehow, it works, doesn't it?

Cubs 365, November 13

On this day in 1928, future Cub Steve Bilko was born. He arrived from the St. Louis Cardinals on April 30, 1954. Bilko looked like a ferocious slugger. He was 6’1 and weighed anywhere from 230 and 260 pounds, and most of it was solid muscle, but he didn’t do much for the Cubs in 1954. They gave him 92 at bats with the big club before sending him down to the minors.

At the time, the Cubs minor league team was in Los Angeles California, and that’s where Bilko became a cult hero. In three minor league seasons for the minor league LA Angels, Bilko hit .330 and slugged 148 home runs. He became a huge box office attraction, and got the attention of Hollywood.

One Hollywood star, Phil Silvers, even named a television sitcom character after him. The name Bilko is now most associated with that memorable character in the “Phil Silvers Show,” but to Cubs fans, Bilko was just another player who could do well at the minor league level, but never in the big leagues. They traded him to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1957 season.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Countdown to The Balding Handbook

Eckhartz Press is currently taking pre-orders for our next book, "The Balding Handbook" by David Stern. (And by the way, the orders have been coming in fast and furious). We'll be getting them from the printer on November 16th, and they'll be out in the mail the week of November 19th.

In the meantime, we'll bring you highlights, blurbs, and reasons to buy it.

The balding reader will probably most enjoy the second stage of grieving: Anger and Rage. In that section Stern provides healthy, fun and cathartic exercises for the angry balding man, while still helping him stay out of jail.

For instance, who or what is it OK to hate? The following is an excerpt from Chapter 8...
Hating the Generic

During Stage Two Anger and Rage, you might want to avoid hating specific people entirely. There are plenty of generic classifications of Fullheads that are easy to hate instead.

For instance; Anchormen. As a group, it’s hard to top anchormen. Television news directors obviously scour the country looking for genetic freaks that still have fabulous heads of hair well into distinguished old age. The list is endless. On a national level, over the years we’ve been treated to Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Peter Jennings, Scott Pelley, Brit Hume, Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity, Chris Matthews, Geraldo Rivera, etc. Local television news anchors are also hair freaks. Just hate them all, and you can’t go wrong.

Movie casting directors are another safe target. Why? Because the evil villains in movies are disproportionately bald. The James Bond series was particularly inflammatory in its portrayal of bald men. No less than three of its evil villains were bald. “Austin Powers” went so far as to call its bald villain, “Dr. Evil.” This is not a new trend. Since the beginning of the movie era, the bald character was more likely to be the murderer, the psychopath, and/or the bad guy. Was it really necessary to cast a balding man as Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life"? Surely Bela Lugosi was available.

The Broadway musical “Hair” is another great thing to hate, for obvious reasons, but instead of hating the specific people that perform in it, or the jerk who wrote it, if you hate it generically, you can’t get into trouble. It still plays all over the country, so there will be lots of opportunities to have it boil your blood. Just leave Treat Williams (one of the original stars) alone. He has suffered enough in his career. If you reserved a weekend to watch all of Treat’s award winning acting performances, you would still have time left over to clean the garage, run a marathon, cure cancer, write a novel, translate War & Peace into Gaelic, do a 34,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and balance the United States budget.

It’s also OK to hate children. Instead of lashing out at specific kids like the one in the elevator that says to her mommy “What happened to that man’s hair?”, if you hate all children equally you won’t feel the need to lash out specifically. Your own children may have a few rough years, but remember that Anger and rage won’t last forever, and think how much emotionally tougher they’ll be if they have to work a little harder to receive Daddy’s love.

High school reunions are another easy target of generic hate. There are really only two things that former classmates discuss at those horrible events; the girls that got fat, and the guys that went bald. Just so you know, the girls that got fat usually don’t attend. That leaves one target, and you look at him every day in the mirror. For the love of God, don’t ever attend one (unless your school mascot was the “Skin Heads” or "The Fighting Emus"--then school spirit may compel you), but feel free to generically hate them anyway.

And by all means, hate the hair care industry. These faceless generic people think nothing of charging $20 for a thirty-second haircut. They intentionally sell some of the ridiculous hair care remedies we mentioned in Stage One. But worst of all, they treat us as if they haven’t even noticed we aren’t Fullheads. Ordering workers to make small talk about mundane matters while pretending to cut non-existent hair is contemptible, and certainly worthy of your generic Stage Two hate.

The Balding Handbook is available for pre-order now!

Father Knows Nothing


This week's Father Knows Nothing column is entitled "The Little Brother Police"

You can read it here.

The New Star Wars Trilogy

Now that Disney owns Star Wars, the third and final trilogy will be produced. The first of the three movies is set to come out in 2015, and the writer of the screenplay has already been named.

Would you believe it's the writer of "Little Miss Sunshine"?

Today's Best Tweets



Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...




Marc Leepson ‏@MarcLeepson
To all of my fellow Vietnam veterans on Veterans Day: Welcome Home and thank you for your service.

ColonelTribune ‏@ColonelTribune
Much colder today with gusty winds. Slight chance of flurries. High 37°. http://bit.ly/XxCGde

Scott Simon ‏@nprscottsimon
So when you get to "This old man, he played twelve," what's the rhyme? Our daughters can only say "butt" and giggle.

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
Woman divorces husband because he wouldn't play 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in the bedroom http://nydn.us/Tua53K

Guardian World ‏@guardianworld
Much wetter in Venice than usual, for example you can swim in St Mark's Square http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/nov/11/venice-hit-floods-in-pictures …

Silvy ‏@WaddleandSilvy
There will not be a #JayCutlerShow today. Will have more info at 9am. If you were on youre way to Joes on Weed, we apologize. Things happen.

NBC News ‏@NBCNews
Phil Jackson out of picture, Mike D’Antoni signs to be Los Angeles Lakers new coach http://nbcnews.to/TVyG3B @basketballtalk

Gawker ‏@Gawker
Underage sex allegations force Elmo voice actor to leave Sesame Street http://gaw.kr/kndenF

Chicagoland Media ‏@ChiRadioMedia
The Dan Patrick Show Returns To Chicago Radio -- http://bit.ly/TuaAuB

New York Daily News ‏@nydailynews
REVEALED: FIRST PHOTO of the whistle-blowing beauty mom who exposed General Petraeus' career-ending affair http://nydn.us/SWKIsL

Smooth Jazz Returns


Rick O'Dell is re-launching his smooth jazz format...this time on the internet.

Details are here.

I interviewed Rick for Chicago Radio Spotlight several years ago. You can read that interview here.

Closing the Doors

On this day in 1970 the Doors played their final gig with Jim Morrison as their lead singer (in New Orleans). Eight months later Morrison was dead at the age of 27.

Another Familiar Voice at WLS

I was listening to the station over the weekend, and there's something comforting about those old WLS jingles. It sounds even better with those old familiar voices coming out of the jingles.

This past weekend they added another one: Jeff Davis. Until pretty recently he had been the voice of WLS. This time he's back as a jock. Jeff was one of my first interviewees at Chicago Radio Spotlight about five years ago.

Cubs 365, November 12

On this day in 1956, future Cubs catcher Jody Davis was born. He was an outstanding player for the Cubs during the 1980s, made famous by Harry Caray who used to sing the following to the tune of "Davy Crockett" every time Jody did something notable...

"Jody. Jody Davis. Catcher without a fear."

Jody was also part of the singing Cubs that came out with a country song in 1984. That song was called "Men in Blue"

Listen to it here.