Friday, December 04, 2015

A Facebook Post by George Takei

If you ever read the comments section after any article, you know how true this is...

The Last Nude Playboy

The final cover girl in the final nude issue of Playboy will be Pamela more time at age 48. I'm really curious to see what happens to the readership numbers when everyone who says "I read it for the articles" gets a chance to prove they are serious.

Mike and Mad Dog Reunite

This is a big deal in New York. When these two guys broke up, it was a huge story because they had been a sports radio team for twenty years. It's only a one-night reunion, but here's the scoop courtesy of Radio Ink...

The New York Daily News has the details about a one-night reunion at Madison Square Garden on March 30 to benefit the Garden's charity Garden of Dreams Foundation. Both WFAN and SiriusXM agreed to let the longtime partners reunite for this one night and will simulcast the show at the start of the 3 p.m. hour. They were together on WFAN for nearly two decades. The show will be two to two-and-a-half hours and include guests that have been on their show over the years as well as musical guests.

I wonder if Steve and Garry would agree to do something like that. One time. One night. To benefit a charity of some kind.

RIP Scott Weiland

Sadly, this isn't terribly surprising news. Weiland famously struggled with addiction. He was only 48 years old.

A message posted on Weiland's Facebook page reads, "Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott's family be respected."

Coldplay at the Super Bowl

From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

The NFL last night confirmed what multiple sources had earlier reported -- Coldplay (along with special guests TBA) will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show at Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The official announcement was made during last night's Packers/Lions game, and Chris Martin's announcement video is posted on YouTube. A message posted on Coldplay's website reads (in the Queen's English), "Chris is designing a show that will echo elements of the NFL's On the Fifty campaign -- honouring the past, recognising the present and looking ahead to the next 50 years." The boys will be following in some rather large footprints -- last year's halftime show, starring Katy Perry with special guests Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz was the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show ever, drawing 118.5 million viewers. The timing of this news couldn't have come at a more promotionally opportune time -- Coldplay's long awaited Atlantic album, A Head Full of Dreams comes out today.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

RIP Linda Moore

I attended Heidelberg High School in Germany for three of my four years of high school, and there were two teachers there that really had an impact on my life. Wanda McCollar and Linda Moore both really encouraged my creativity and writing, and gave me the confidence I needed to share my talent. I'm not sure they remember me (it was 35 years ago and they must have taught thousands of students), but I sure remember them. I'm thinking of them today because I just found out that Mrs. Moore died last week. I never got to thank her for all she did for me. I honestly don't think I would have become a professional writer without her contributions. RIP Mrs. Moore. You touched more lives than you ever knew.

IE Column

My December media column in the Illinois Entertainer is about four of the broadcasting greats we lost this year, Harry Volkman, Doug Buffone, Ty Wansley, and Steve Nelson. Thanks so much to Eddie Volkman, Chester W Coppock, Mitch Rosen, Jack Miller, Chris Base, Pete McMurray, and John Landecker for helping put the contributions of those four men into perspective.

You can read the article here.

As the Sumner Turns

The shareholders of Viacom and CBS may not actually care about Sumner Redstone personally (they don't), but they do care if his health affects their money. Yesterday Viacom's second biggest shareholder called for more disclosure about Redstone's health. The Hollywood Reporter has the story. The article also goes a little deeper into the claims Sumner's former "romantic interest" made in court last week. I'll warn you before you read the blurb can't unread this.

Among Herzer's claims is that Redstone is "fixated on sex" and "obsessed with eating steak." Also, he is so feeble that he "must be carried around the house, to and from the bathroom, and in and out of bed."

The alleged sex-starved steak-craving invalid mentioned above is in his 90s.

If you've ever wondered what people who spent their entire lives thinking only about three things (money, money, money) think about when their brains begin to go (allegedly) and they find themselves surrounded by employees because nobody loves them, now you know: "Get me a woman, a steak, and a diaper--pronto!"

Again, if you think I'm being too harsh, I encourage you to read Sumner's autobiography. You'll never encounter a more unlikable creature...and that's his sanitized version of himself...published by his own publishing company (Simon & Schuster). Imagine what the real guy is/was like.

Shooting Coverage

I watched several hours of the shooting coverage while it was unfolding yesterday, and I kept flipping back and forth among the all-news stations to get information. I'm always quick to criticize Fox News for obvious reasons, but I must say that yesterday Shep Smith did a very good job covering a difficult story with very little information. He didn't jump to conclusions, he made great observations, and even when President Obama spoke out against gun violence by saying "this doesn't happen on a regular basis anywhere else in the civilized world", Shep said, "that's a fact".

By the time Hannity came on, unfortunately, Fox was back to it's usual tricks, but for a few brief hours it was a legitimate news organization.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

How Big is Adele?

This big.

Trump Threatens Debate Boycott

Of course his ego won't allow this, but Donald Trump is vowing to boycott the next debate unless CNN pays him five million dollars...which he will donate to the Wounded Warriors fund. Details are here.

Almost sounds noble, doesn't it?

I wish someone would point out to "very very successful, super super rich" Donald that he could just donate that money himself without the needless grandstanding. He once said that he made his fortune from nothing--merely a "very small" million dollar loan from his dad. If you can't give five million, Donald. How about a "very small" million dollar donation?

Now What, Arianna?

The writers of the Huffington Post have unionized.

This is going to be a huge deal in the world of internet writing.

The Huffington Post is famous for not paying writers. Only a few of them are actually on the payroll. Most write only for the exposure. I know this because I was once asked to write for them. For free, of course.

I told them that if people want to read my free stuff, they can come to my blog.

German Holiday Commercial

Something very German about this ad, and it's not just the language...

Facebook's Zuckerberg to Give 99% of Stock Shares to Charity

This really is a nice story. There are billionaires who use their money to lobby congress so they can make billions more. There are billionaires who run for president because being a billionaire still isn't enough glory. There are billionaires who keep it all, or donate only to have something named after them, so that their names will live on forever.

And then, there are guys like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet who really truly want their overwhelming wealth to be used for society's betterment.

Not all billionaires are made alike.

Card Tricks with Willie

I've always been a sucker for a good card trick, and this one qualifies. Who knew that Willie Nelson had this hidden talent...

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Super Caleb Update

My 2-year-old nephew is going through cancer treatments, and yesterday was a big day in his recovery. It was the actual surgery to remove the tumors. His mother Stacy posted this update on Facebook last night...

So surgery went well they got the little bit that was there and said the rest would turn into regular nerves (it's conufusing I know) anyway I asked the doctor if she was proud of herself and she said she was proud of him and how well everything went anyway, he's in the picu which is icu for a few days just to watch however the doctors said it went perfect so yay for no more tumors! 1 more round of chemo than the big migb scan to see if the cancer is anywhere else and still in his bones before stem cell.. This boy is amazing and I am so so so so so grateful! Xoxo to all of team Caleb and thanks for keeping me on,my feet today!

It was Stacy's birthday...not the best way to spend a birthday, but the news of the successful (7-hour!) surgery must have felt like a birthday present. Way to go, Super Caleb...

(A reprise of my Super Caleb poem is below...)


Our hero Super Caleb, awakens in a haze,
Trapped on planet Mayo-naise,
Where the bad Sea monster stays,
And makes people sad all day

Super Caleb knows that he just has to get away,
Remove the tubes and tape,
So he can reach his super cape,
And make his brave escape

He is Super Caleb,
You should see our hero fly,
He turns the Mayo people’s, sad faces into smiles,
He is Super Caleb,
And he’ll show you in a while.

The bad sea monster doesn’t know, that Caleb has some friends,
Who can give him strength again,
And he better look out when,
Super Caleb flies again.

As Super Caleb sleeps, his friend in the white coat,
Sails through the sea monster’s moat,
In a very quiet boat,
And he’s bringing Caleb hope.

He is Super Caleb!
And he makes sad people smile,
The sea monster can’t keep the people sad when Caleb flies,
He is Super Caleb!
And he’ll be here in a while.

Super Caleb opens up his eyes after a rest,
Looks down upon his chest,
Tubes are gone and he is dressed,
He knows how to do the rest.

He is Super Caleb!
And it’s time to watch him fly,
When they see him all sad people, cannot help but smile,
He is Super Caleb!
And he’s gonna win this time.

Advice I Give My Kids

They don't listen, but I tell them these things every single day. Thanks to "DB" for this....

Best Seat in the House

Another great Xmas idea from Eckhartz Press. Perfect for the Cubs fan in your family...

As the Sumner Turns

There was a ruling yesterday in the case of Sumner Redstone's mental capacity. The judge is Clifford L. Klein. The woman suing to reclaim end of life decisions, is his former "romantic interest" Manuela Herzer. From Variety...

Declining to dismiss the case immediately, Klein instead set a Jan. 27 hearing for additional arguments on whether Herzer should be allowed to continue with her attempt to re-establish herself as Redstone’s primary health care agent in the event that he is deemed incapacitated. Klein said there was no evidence of an urgent need for intervention for four reasons: Redstone is seen by his personal physician twice a week; he does not appear to face any immediate critical health-care needs; he has around-the-clock in-home care and he designated a new emergency health care agent as of mid-October — Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.

That's for real, by the way. Not a single member of his family is willing (or allowed to) make medical decisions, and his "romantic interest" was banished, which leaves only the CEO of his make end-of-life medical decisions. How sad is that? A lifetime of business success, yet Sumner is spending his dying days completely alone. I have a truckload of empathy for just about everybody in the world (it's probably one of my shortcomings--I'm a sucker), but after I read his autobiography, I predicted this is how he would end up. I can't find it in me to feel sorry for him. It would be like feeling sorry for Mr. Potter.

Amy Landecker

Amy Landecker was on the Late Late show with James Corden last night. I just happened to catch it, and found out that she and her dad were given a tour of the White House recently by Amy's boyfriend, Bradley Whitford of West Wing. I need to check in with the elder Landecker today and get the scoop behind that one.

Watch the episode here, if you're interested.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Twelve Days of Teen Christmas

Three teenagers in the house this Christmas season...


Adele is the biggest pop star in the world right now, and the numbers back that up. From today's RAMP Newsletter...

Adele's new album, 25 (XL/Columbia) cracked the three-million sales barrier, and, according to our friends at Billboard and Nielsen Music, went on to sell an astounding 3.38 million copies, the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen began tracking point-of-sale music purchases back in 1991. Here are a few more fun facts about 25: 1) That figure of 3.38 million units sold handily eclipses the previous first-week mark of 2.42 million albums, a record set 15 years ago by *NSYNC's No Strings Attached; 2) 25 is the first album to sell more than three million copies in a week in Nielsen history; and 3) Billboard reports 25 is already the biggest selling album of 2015.

Da Bears

How many people watched the Bears (finally) beat the Packers on Thanksgiving night?

An all-time Thanksgiving record.

As the Sumner Turns

When you spend your life ruthlessly trying to squeeze every dollar out of the world (even at the expense of your happiness and those around you), you're bound to find yourself in a situation like this at the end of your life. From this morning's New York Times...

A former companion of the ailing media mogul Sumner M. Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom and CBS, challenged his mental competence on Wednesday in a detailed filing with the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Manuela Herzer said Mr. Redstone, who is 92, for weeks has been unable to “communicate reliably or competently manage his own health care” in a petition with the court’s probate division. The petition specifically asks the court to determine whether Ms. Herzer, who once had a romantic relationship with Mr. Redstone, was improperly removed on Oct. 16 from control of an advance health care directive that gave her authority over his health decisions.

Would it be unkind of me to suggest that quotation marks be used around the term "romantic relationship"?

The Future of Tribune Publishing

On Friday afternoon Rupert Murdoch tweeted that the sale of Tribune publishing was imminent, although he wasn't going to be involved in it. This article in Politico discusses what that would mean for the future of the Tribune. Chicago is not mentioned in the piece, but it does appear likely the Chicago Tribune will no longer be connected to the LA Times.

Darn kids

Thanks for this one, "DK"...

Beginning of the Christmas Season

What a good idea from Eckhartz Press for this cyber monday...