Friday, March 13, 2015

Another Truffle Hunt Recipe

I'm hungry again.

Truffle Hunt is available at Eckhartz Press.

Advice for Friday the 13th

Thanks to "GS" for sending it...

President Obama Reads Mean Tweets

St. Patrick's Day & Joel Daly

It's his 47th year doing the broadcast...

Even in Spanish You Can't Say That

Univision fired talk show host Rodner Figueroa yesterday after he said that Michelle Obama looks like she was in the movie "Planet of the Apes".

I'll grant you that there is a one in a million chance he didn't understand it was offensive (for cultural reasons), but let's be honest here. He must have known. I've been on the air many times and said some things that were borderline, but even I know better than to step over the ape line.

That's a duh. Even in Spanish.

Full story is here.

Every Cub Ever (Q)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter Q. Everyone from Mike Quade to Luis Quinones–9 entries in all.

What will you find there? Two classic baseball cards, a manager, a broadcaster, a 1969 Cub, two players who were old enough to remember the Civil War, two classic audio clips, a player who broke up a Tom Seaver no-hitter in the 9th inning, a great mustache, and of course, Wimpy.

Check it out here.

The 47 Senators

I haven't weighed in on the letter the 47 Senators sent to the Ayatollah of Iran, mainly because it was such a clearly terrible idea, I didn't think I needed to add anything. (I will say this to my Democratic friends--using the term traitor is also a terrible idea. The sentence for treason is execution. You aren't seriously suggesting that, are you? That's a term I vowed I would never use after I was called one myself for defending the Dixie Chicks. Yes, I really was. That's how casually the term was tossed around a decade ago.)

But I'm commenting today, because I want to share this op-ed in the Washington Post. It's written by former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gershon. He presents the conservative case for being upset about the letter. It's thoughtful, well-reasoned, and not pro-Obama at all.

It's not a partisan response to be disturbed by 47 senators sending a letter like this.

It's just common sense.

Will Ferrell on the Cubs

I was following along with the Will Ferrell saga yesterday on Twitter. It looked pretty funny. Will played for ten different teams as part of an HBO special, including the Cubs (who acquired him for a couple of burritos from the Angels during their game). He played first base very briefly and also coached third base. Here are some of the tweets I saw...

It sounds like his third base coach stint was pretty funny. He had a "home run" sign that he flashed (and Jorge Soler hit one), but he also flashed actual signs. This is my favorite part, from the Sun Times article about the spectacle...

The best exchange between third-base coach Ferrell and a hitter might have been when he held up a card to Welington Castillo that said, “You are sooooo handsome.”

Castillo gave him a thumbs up, and Ferrell switched to another sign: “I’m not just saying it.”

“He’s nuts,” said Kris Bryant, who hit one of his two home runs over Ferrell’s head in center (while he was with the Angels). “It’s kind of cool, though. … It’s never going to happen again. We had fun.”

RIP Jimmy Greenspoon

He wasn't one of three most famous members of Three Dog Night (those were Chuck Negron, Danny Hutton, and Cory Wells), but he was in the band from the outset. Jimmy Greenspoon was their keyboardist. From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

Greenspoon's keyboard work with Three Dog Night can be heard on their many hits, including "One," "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)," "Eli's Coming," "Joy to the World," "Black and White" and "Shambala," among many others that propelled Three Dog Night to the top of the charts in the late '60s and early '70s when they sold more records and concert tickets than any other band in America. Greenspoon is survived by his wife, Susie, daughter Heather Miller and two granddaughters. Services are pending.

If you didn't live through the late 60s/early 70s you probably don't appreciate the impact of Three Dog Night. They were superstars at the time as they churned out hit after hit. (And yet, they aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for some reason). I chose the song below because of the keyboard opening by Greenspoon...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Johnny Kaempfer

If you were listening to the radio 17 years ago this morning, you may have heard a producer calling in to the John Records Landecker show (on WJMK Radio--104.3FM) to announce the birth of his son Johnny. That producer was me. (The entire phone conversation from the hospital is transcribed in my book "Father Knows Nothing") His hair still looks like this, by the way. Bald men angrily shake their heads as they walk by him.

By age 3, Johnny was contributing to the show. He did movie reviews. His review of "Mosters Inc" is at this website. Scroll down to the classic audio bits section. Just listened to it. Very cute. I miss that little guy.

Happy birthday Johnny! Hope you have a great day.

Every Cub Ever (P)

Today Just One Bad Century features EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter P. Everyone from Gene Packard to Shadow Pyle–100 entries in all.

What will you find there? 16 classic baseball cards, 11 videos, two celebrity fans, a manager and a coach, two classic audio clips, the most famous P.A. man in Chicago history, two sets of brothers, 5 Cubs named Patterson, a 1908 Cub and two 1945 Cubs, a classic no-hitter, a tongue twister, the catcher on the hottest day in Chicago history, plus Tot, Dode, Pinky and the Panamanian Flash.

Check it out here.

Justin Kaufmann

WGN made an "out-of-the-box" hire yesterday, naming WBEZ producer Justin Kaufmann as their new evening show host (7-11pm). I'm a big fan. I interviewed Justin a few years ago for Chicago Radio Spotlight. He's more than just a producer*, and I give WGN lots of credit for trying something new like this. I hope Justin takes the opportunity and runs with it.

*When I say "just a producer" remember that's coming from someone who also used to be thought of the same way. I mean no offense to other producers at all. I'm the guy who wrote The Radio Producer's Handbook, remember? Head producer cheerleader, here. There's a whole chapter about people like Justin who have used the position as a springboard for bigger and better things.

Truffle Hunt is on GoodReads

Our latest Eckhartz Press book "Truffle Hunt" is now on GoodReads. Rate it here.

By the way, Truffle Hunt was named one of the best foodie novels of all-time by The Gourmet Today. I wasn't kidding when I said it makes your mouth water while you're reading it.

You can order it here at Eckhartz Press.

The PR machine begins today. It's everywhere. Congrats to author Brent Petersen. Enjoy the ride, buddy!

Mitch Michaels

I don't pretend to know Mitch that well. I've spoken to him on the phone a handful of times (interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight), and met him in person a couple of times. He also provided a blurb for one of our books ("Cheeseland" by Randy Richardson). Each time I spoke to him, the subject of kids came up. He was very proud of his children.

When I saw this note on his facebook page yesterday, I knew something was terribly wrong: ".....I have lost part of my heart and part of my soul.....and I know I will never be the same again....."

I kept checking back all day to find out what happened, and it was even worse than I feared. His son Spencer, only 21 years old, passed away suddenly yesterday. That's about as gut-wrenching as it gets.

The family has set up a GoFundme page to help offset the funeral costs.

I contributed to it yesterday evening. If you can find it in your hearts to contribute as well, it might help a little bit.

This is one of those staggering things that is so unspeakably sad, it's hard to wrap your head around it. I just hope that Mitch and his family can find some peace and comfort.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Julie Andrews

Yes I love "The Sound of Music". Yes, I am a straight man. And I'll probably be watching the special about the 50th anniversary of "The Sound of Music" as well.

Julie Andrews talks to Time Magazine about it.

For a little insight into my own Sound Of Music story, click here (Julie Andrews), and here (Charmian Carr).

There's also a story in Father Knows Nothing that directly explains my connection to the movie.

The photo associated with that story (of my sister and I) is below...

Truffle Hunt now available as an e-book

Truffle Hunt cover

The latest Eckhartz press novel, Truffle Hunt, is now available as an e-book on amazon.

Buy it here.

Or, if you prefer the trade paperback, that's available right here at Eckhartz Press.

What is Truffle Hunt? According to Vesna Plakanis, Owner, A Walk in the Woods, Nature Guide Service: "Truffle Hunt serves up a five-star gourmet feast of murder, hidden historical gems, deep family pride, a dash of humor and romance, topped with delicate slices of heavenly, golden truffles and a glass of nectar from the deepest Eastern European wine cellars."

It's a novel that will make you hungry.

RIP: Windell Middlebrooks

He was known as the Miller High Life guy. He was only 36 years old.

Back to Back to Back Jacks

The Cubs may still be winless (cut it out, boys), but there was this yesterday during a spring training game against Cleveland. Back-to-Back-to-Back-Jacks. Soler, Baez and Bryant.

All three videos can be seen here. None of them were cheapies.

Every Cub Ever (O)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter O. Everyone from Mike O’Berry to Mickey Owen–34 entries in all.

What will you find there? A Hall of Famer, three classic baseball cards, a classic audio clip, a broadcaster, a manager, a song, Michael Jordan’s baseball teacher, plus a 1908 Cub, a 1945 Cub, and a 1969 Cub.

Check it out here.

The My Sweet Lord of this generation

I really didn't think they were going to lose this case, but they did. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

It's a verdict that could have long-reaching ramifications for future recording artists -- after digesting a week of testimony, a Los Angeles jury yesterday awarded the children of the late Marvin Gaye $7.3 million after determining Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied their father's music to create "Blurred Lines," the biggest song of 2013. As Variety reports, Gaye’s family had alleged that "Blurred Lines” copied their father’s 1977 song, "Got to Give Up," and sued Thicke, Williams and rapper T.I., all three of whom have repeatedly denied stealing Gaye's music. Gaye's children -- Nona, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III -- were present in the courtroom when the verdict was read. Since it was released in 2013, "Blurred Lines" has made nearly $16.5 million; the Gaye family had been seeking more than $25 million. Both Thicke and Williams appeared in court to defend their case, with much of the trial featuring comparisons to both songs. Listening to the juxtaposed bass lines of the two songs in question, Williams even admitted the similarities, saying, "It sounds like you're playing the same thing." Still, while testifying last week, Williams said the two songs share "feel -- not infringement." According to The Associated Press, an attorney for Thicke and Williams said a decision in favor of Gaye's heirs could have a chilling effect on musicians who try to emulate an era or another artist's sound.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bette Sings Kim

Breaking in a new mitt

My son Sean's baseball season is starting up soon and he is trying to break in a new mitt.

This dad suggests putting it in the dishwasher.

Does that really work? I've never heard that before. It seems counter-intuitive because leaving it out in the rain can ruin a mitt. (It happened to one of Sean's a few years ago.)

Every Cub Ever (N)

Today Just One Bad Century is featuring EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter N. Everyone from Chris Nabholz to Rich Nye–43 entries in all.

What will you find there? 7 classic baseball cards, six videos, a celebrity fan, a song, the Mad Russian, a batter who switched sides of the plate rather than switch helmets, a veterinarian, plus Bobo & Swish.

Check it out here.

What were musicians paid for Woodstock?

This is a fascinating glimpse into 1969. Check out what each act at Woodstock was paid.

At the time, Joan Baez was paid almost twice as much as The Who. Blood, Sweat & Tears was the second highest paid act there. Jimi Hendrix was #1.

Danny Mac and Pete

I've been listening to Dan & Pete this morning on the Drive. Their producer Scott Miller posted this video of their first break ever on the Drive...

He's Baaaaack

Robert Feder reported it yesterday.

The Loop has hired Mancow as their new morning man.

I hear he'll be working in the studio right next to Brandmeier (also with Cumulus--on WLS). Those two have a long seated dislike of each other, brought on by Mancow's constant ripping of Johnny when he arrived in town. What could go wrong?

Nice Job Samsung!

I know it's an ad for a product, but it's still a wonderful messsage...

Monday, March 09, 2015

A 5-Star Review for "Father Knows Nothing"

Holy cow...I was blown away by this 5 star review of "Father Knows Nothing" on amazon. Thanks so much to KP Lynne! This is a better review than I would give it myself. :)

Father Knows Nothing, proves beyond a doubt, that Father really does “know best.” In spite of being a writer myself, I have a confession to make – I don’t even read my own articles, blogs, scripts or books, in one sitting, from beginning to end, or cover to cover – but the moment I opened up Father Knows Nothing, by Rick Kaempfer (Eckhartz Press, 2014) and started to scan the uproariously funny, yet heartfelt radio transcripts, contained within the introduction, I knew instantly that I was not going to be able to put this book down! Never in my life has any book moved me to roll on the floor with uproarious laugher, while simultaneously tugging at the heart in profound, meaningful ways that required an entire box of Kleenex. This book is a sparkling diamond, whether or not you have children of your own, this literary gem is a must-read book. In his own inimitable style, the author spins a captivating, humorous, yet sensitively insightful web of hysterically funny, yet poignant anecdotes, capturing readers and holding them spellbound. From cover to cover, this book is jam packed with 250 unforgettable pages of real-life, sometimes wacky, other times tear-jerking situations that actually took place in the author’s suburban Chicago home, when he switched roles with his lovely and patient wife Bridget, and became a stay-at-home dad. Frankly, I would love to see this book brought to life on stage by Second City as a series of vignettes. Better yet, it would make a rock solid TV sit-com. The Brady Bunch and Father Knows Best can’t even come close to the humor, realism, and sensitivity presented in Father Knows Nothing. Get yourself a copy today, and get an extra copy for your Dad for Father’s Day, and while you are at it, buy a third copy for your Mom for Mother’s Day. It is really THAT good! All can relate to this realistic, yet hilariously entertaining, portrayal of family life in suburban America! The title might be Father Knows Nothing, but by the time you read the final sentences, you will realize that “Father Knows Something” after all.
- K.P. Lynne

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

My son Johnny is turning 17 years old this week and I asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He said: "Tickets to the Queen tribute show at the Rosemont Theater". He loves Queen--it's his favorite band.

On this day in 1980, 35 years ago, they had the #1 hit in the country...

Bill Cosby

The number of accusers is now over 25, and this African American accuser explains in the Washington Post why she didn't come forward for so many years. She didn't want her people to lose a role model.

Because of the statutes of limitations it's very likely Cosby will never be prosecuted, but his status as a role model is certainly gone forever.

Every Cub Ever (M)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter M. This is #1 letter for Cubs last names–everyone from John Mabry to Richie Myers–217 entries in all.

What will you find there? Three Hall of Famers, 36 classic baseball cards, 23 videos, eight celebrity fans, five executives, five managers, two broadcasters, two scribes, a song, a father/son team, three Cubs named Marshall, four named Martinez, five named Moore, five named Murray, seven named Martin, 8 named Miller, 40 that start with Mc, a Cub born in Germany, the last living 1945 Cub, Marilyn Monroe’s son, a genuine war hero, plus Polly, Bub, Boner, Citation, Moose, Hack, and Ox.

Check it out here.

What is your Star Wars name?

I'm Kaeri Ruchi...

Wifi password

Thanks for this one, BD. Made me laugh...

SNL Skewers Hillary

As someone who was a comedy writer during the Clinton years, let me just remind America that those were the golden days of political comedy. SNL re-enters Clinton-land with the greatest of ease...