Friday, December 10, 2010

Bye Bye Ron

We miss you already.

The 1960 World Series

This is pretty fascinating news from the MLB network this morning...

Once thought to be lost forever, the complete original television broadcast of the 1960 World Series Game 7 – regarded by many as the greatest baseball game ever played - will be telecast on MLB Network on December 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET, the first time it will be seen on television since it was originally played more than 50 years ago. The black-and-white kinescope of the game film was discovered earlier this year at the home of the late Bing Crosby, who was a part owner of the Pirates at the time.

I wish my cable provider offered the MLB network. I'd love to see that game.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

2010's first Christmas Joke

Contributed by "MS"...

Three good ole boys died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

'In honor of this holy season' Saint Peter said, 'You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven.'

The cowboy from Texas fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. 'It represents a candle', he said.

'You may pass through the pearly gates' Saint Peter said.

The logger from Minnesota reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, 'They're bells.'

Saint Peter said 'You may pass through the pearly gates'.

The old Kentucky farmer started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, 'And just what do those symbolize?'

The old Kentucky farmer replied, 'These are Carols.'

And So The Christmas Season Begins......

Reviews for $everance

I put the wraps on the third draft of novel #2 today (It will be called "The Living Wills"), so I did a quick check to see if anything else had been written about novel #1 lately ("$everance").

I was blown away by these reviews on "Good Reads," and not just because they are so positive, but because I don't even know these people. I want to thank every one of them...

Here are a few...

Robert rated it 5 stars, and said...
"The rare political novel that can walk the thin line between conservative and liberal partisans, enlighten both, and dissatisfy neither. Set against a backdrop of corporate downsizing and media-industry conglomeration, Kaempfer shines a bright light on the hidden snares and pitfalls of an unregulated fourth estate."

Afoue rated it 5 stars, and said...
"An excellent book about a man who wants nothing more than to be fired. Severance gives an inside look at the inner workings of the media, something I'd never considered before. It somehow manages to maintain bipartisanship without offending one side (conservatives vs. liberals) more than the other. Deepak has to be my favorite character; he's hilarious. A very entertaining read, I recommend this to everyone."

Sarah Gorr rated it 4 stars, and said...
"As a public over-saturated with exposure to the media and information being beamed to us from all directions, Rick Kaempfer’s latest book, $everence, provides a hilariously entertaining inside look at the world of politics, persona and media consolidation. Kaempfer doesn’t just ask the question, “What happens when it all goes too far?” but suggests the outcome and it is not pretty. One of $everance’s greatest advantages in delivering its message is its use of humor and avoidance of dry political and corporate jargon. While an inside term or two might pop-up, Kaempfer’s book doesn’t seem to be preaching to the choir; it’s an open invitation for even those with little or no knowledge of the media’s inner workings or its political wheelings and dealings to join the conversation. Whether you’re news junkie, undecided, uninformed or just plain apathetic, $everence is a clever and enjoyable read for anyone exposed to the media; and that’s everyone."

Tisbutehname rated it 4 stars, and said...
"Severance: an indictment of spurious journalism? Check! Severance: a Laodicean account of the annoying nature of political zealots? Check! Severance: a hilarious satire about the trials and tribulations that accompany…trying to get fired? Check!  By staying objective, Severance does not crumble under the weight of its observations on the degradation of journalism into a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ profession. It does not, like so many of its characters, become hypocritical or biased; on the other hand, it remains satisfyingly ambivalent, and genuine all the way to its final sentence. As good satire can, Severance will make you laugh, but just as quickly it can scare the pants off of you. Though some of the characters are absurd, the novel is not. Severance is an accurate appraisal of the ongoing mutations happening to a very crucial industry, and a highly recommended read." 

Brittany rated it 5 stars, and said...
"Richard Kaempfer’s $everance is a hilarious book that will make readers laugh, nod their heads in agreement and, especially in today’s climate, watch the news with even more skepticism. All Tom Zagorski wants is for his boss, Sherman Rose, to fire him so he can collect his severance check. He creates as much mayhem as he possibly can with the surprising result of landing him a job as COO for Sierra Megamedia Corporation, the company who owns his small Chicago radio station. With a brilliant mix of satire and truth, Kaempfer explores the world of media that most of us can only hypothesize about. Having worked in the business at a Chicago radio station, his account comes across as though he’s saying, “I couldn’t make this up if I tried.”

KC gave it 4 stars, and said...
"Richard Kaempfer's $everance is a deliciously fun read. Memorable characters with hilarious quirks lead you on a bizarre ride from small-scale media corruption to all-out corporate conglomeration. Rich characters infuse each chapter with absurdly entertaining vignettes. The novel's roller-coaster ride of shenanigans seems beyond fictional except for protagonist Tom Zagorski's unwavering moral compass. It points northeast. More importantly, it adds credibility to his continuously thwarted goal of getting fired and securing his severance check.  Kaempfer has crafted a satire that is interesting without being overbearing. His personal experience in radio strengthens the novel and the author's note reinforces the darker themes rendered ludicrous in fiction. This is a great jab at the painfully one-sided soapboxes masquerading as news providers as well as the often overlooked monopoly of mainstream media. Recommended for the socially conscious and/or anyone with a sense of humor."

Jeepers, everyone. Thanks so much.

It's still available, by the way. It's only $15 at ENC Press (retail is $19), and only $5 for the e-book.

Charlie Brown Christmas Special

45 years ago today, the Charlie Brown Christmas special aired for the very first time on CBS. I've been stealing these dance moves ever since...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Cubs sign Carlos Pena

The details are here, but this is all you need to know. It's a one-year $10 million deal for a guy that hit .196 last year.

That is so Cubs.

Q&A with Mike Quade

Bruce Levine talks with Cubs manager Mike Quade. I find myself liking this guy.

 By the way, how many times can you print a Q&A with someone that actually has a Q and an A in their name?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Crosby Stills and Nash

On this day in 1967, Graham Nash announced the formation of a new band, Crosby, Stills & Nash. A year and a half later they performed together at Woodstock...

Pearl Harbor Day

A day that will live in infamy...December 7, 1941

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Windy City

I'm not sure what city this is, but it's not a good city to live in if you're a duck...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent Magazine. This one is called "The Great Glasses Caper" and it's about the whereabouts of my son Johnny's glasses.

You can read it here.