Friday, November 11, 2011

The Eckhartz Press Roster

Meet our first four authors...

Brendan Sullivan

Rick Kaempfer

Kim Strickland


David Stern

Eckhartz Press Update

My publishing company Eckhartz Press is making big strides behind the scenes. Our website is almost finished, and it when it is, you'll be able to pre-order our first book (more on that below). Our Facebook page is up and running already. If you're on Facebook, click "like" on our page and you'll get all the updates about our exciting new venture as they happen. Or if you prefer, you can follow the Eckhartz Press blog, which I founded yesterday. All the Eckhartz Press authors will be featured there. Click here if you'd like to know who the first four Eckhartz Press authors are.

Now, here are the details about the first book. It's called "The Living Wills" and it's a co-written novel by Brendan Sullivan and Rick Kaempfer. We created the story line of this book in a very unusual way. Using improvisation, brainstorming mind-mapping and other ideation techniques, we came up with three interweaving story lines. From there, we retreated to our cubicles and wrote individual chapters by ourselves, and then edited and improved those chapters together. The result is something you don't see every day...a truly collaborative novel.

Hints about the plot will coming over the next days. The book is currently being formatted for publication, and will go to press by December 1st, in time for Christmas publication. We'll be doing limited traditional media before the end of the year, but starting in January you'll be seeing us all over the place. We'll also be holding several release parties in December and January, look for details here and the Facebook page and blog.

As for this cool cover? It was designed by Chicago artist Jon Langford. We're honored to have such a distinguished artist as part of this project. Also, we have blurbs on the back cover from Chicago Tribune writer Rick Kogan, famous TV/film/stage actor William Petersen (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), and author Kim Strickland.

I promise you I won't be shy giving you more details as they arise.

It all starts today; 11/11/11.

Rick Perry's Top 10 Excuses

Gotta give him credit for showing up on Letterman last night and doing this...

Veterans Day

It started as Armistice day in 1919 on the one-year anniversary of the World War I's end, and didn't become an officially recognized holiday until 1938 (a few weeks after the Cubs lost the World Series to the Yankees), and it didn't become known as "Veteran's Day" until 1954 after the end of the Korean War.

But the thought remains the same. On November 11th, we drop whatever we're doing and we honor those that fought for this country.

The Cubs Farm System

Now that he's had a little time to evaluate the Cubs, Theo was asked about our farm system. He responded: “We have work to do. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I think there’s a pretty significant gap between where we are right now between impact and depth and where we want to be."

At least he's being honest.

More details from his conference call are here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


On this day in 1975, Frida released the song "Fernando" as a solo hit. It was released the following year by ABBA and became their biggest hit. I lived in Germany when this song came out, and it was EVERYWHERE. Is it just me, or is this not even a very good song?

The Latest Candidate

Greg Maddux's big brother Mike.

Here's how it went.

I like what he said about Zambrano: "First thing you got to do is get to meet him. I heard he's a big teddy bear," Maddux said. "I might pick him up and just burp him."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

German Practical Jokes

I just posted this week's Suburban Dad contribution to the City Mom blog at ChicagoNow. This week I empty my closet of German gags because my mother got her first computer yesterday, and will now be reading my stuff.

You can read it here.


Friday is 11/11/11.

I'm not sure what you're doing to celebrate, but I'll be watching this.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Hildegard is 70

My mother, Hildegard Kaempfer, is a very young 70 years old today. She was very young when she was was married (20), very young when she had me (21), my sister (22), and my brother (28), very young when she became a widow (47), very young when she became a mother-in-law (50), and very young when she became a grandmother (54).

And she's still very young.

Happy birthday, Mom!

Led Zeppelin IV

From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

"Today is a very special anniversary of yet another momentous day in rock history -- it's the 40th anniversary of the release of Led Zeppelin IV... or Zoso... or some weird glyphs... but whatever you want to call it, it's one of the most critically acclaimed albums ever, having been named to countless "Greatest Rock Albums of All Time" lists and bestowed with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Despite the fact that the record is bursting with incredible songs, one has clearly stood out over the years -- "Stairway to Heaven," which has received equal acclaim and also been included on a ton of "Best Songs Ever" and "Songs that Changed the World" compilations."

Stairway to Heaven is nice and all, but for me, this song is the one that I always looked forward to playing on the radio...

Joe Bohringer

I'm trying to control my excitement here, but I fear it's not working. The Cubs made another great hire this week, when they hired Joe Bohringer as their new director of pro scouting.

Details are here.

I love the way this new staff is emphasizing scouting and player development. I'm a student of Cubs history, and this is literally the first time they have made that their number one priority. Let's hope they keep their eye on the ball and don't get tempted to take shortcuts (like all the others that came before them).

Dale Sveum

Meet the latest Cubs managerial prospect.

During his playing days he was one of the five or six best players with a "V" in their last name.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Pee Wee

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac this morning...

"November 7, 1991…Actor Paul Reubens, who performs as "Pee Wee Herman," pled no contest to charges of indecent exposure. Reubens had been arrested for exposing himself in a Sarasota, Florida theater."

Twenty years later Pee Wee still hasn't fully recovered his career. That doesn't seem right to me. There are sitting Congressmen and United States Senators who have done worse, and have been re-elected.

Sunday, November 06, 2011