Thursday, May 19, 2016

Minitua Men Episode 3

Rick and Dave discuss shows that they’ve already outlasted, German sex manuals, the number of people in the world younger than you, Jackie Robinson’s first game at Wrigley, and Rick’s brush with George Carlin.

Click on it here.

Beat Tom & Bill

I won't be blogging tomorrow because I'll be out at the Beat Tom & Bill golf outing at White Pines golf course in Bensenville. These wacky guys do a great event every year to raise funds for families dealing with cancer. I've heard about it for years because Tom worked with me on a few songs for Just One Bad Century and the Beachwood Reporter, and one of my childhood friends was one of the recipients last year.

This year, sadly, it hits even closer to home. My cousin's son Caleb is three years old and suffering through stage 4 Neuroblastoma. His family is one of this year's recipients. They hope to raise nearly $100,000.

If you'd like to donate, or you'd still like to come to the event, here's the link. There's not just the golf outing--they also have a dinner with a wacky raffle, a wheel of meat, and more. As a member of one of the benefitting families, let me just say that we greatly appreciate the way these guys keep it light and accentuate the positive. When you're navigating through rough seas, it's a breath of fresh air.

Around the Publishing World (May 19)

At Chicago Author Solutions (a division of Eckhartz Press), we stay on top of happenings/trends in the publishing world to help out busy writers who are spending their time doing what they should be doing: writing.

1. Ten Tips for the young budding writer
Roddy Doyle writes these tips in the Irish Times, and the Irish know a thing or two about writing.

2. Chicago Writer Awarded Free House in Detroit
The headline alone is worth clicking, isn't it? There's also a video report at this Chicagoist link.

3. Why Book Publishing is Like Waitressing
Stephanie Danler makes the comparison in Vogue. It seems like a bit of a stretch, but then again, I'm not a Vogue reader.

4. 74 Great Ways to Die in Fiction
Let author Derek Haines count the ways.

5. Five Free Ways to Promote Your Work
You probably already know all five of these tips presented by, but just in case you don't, they are pretty essential.

6. Ten Tips for Writing Paranormal Fiction
Krys Kingston is a British author of paranormal fiction. She should know how to do it.

7. Children's Author Shares Writing Tips
Of all the genres of writing, we get more inquiries from Children's authors than any other type. Gary Hogg is the writer of the Charlie Bacon series, and speaks to groups across the country. Worth checking out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

John Cleese Explains Extremism

Pretty much nails it...

Chicago 1956

Another Reason to Avoid Rockford

Thanks to Fox 32 for posting this...

America's Drunkest Cities

I have always felt a kinship with Wisconsin, but I figured it was the German thing. It may be something else. According to this piece, most of America's Drunkest Cities are in Wisconsin. 12 of the top 20.

1. Appleton
2. Oshkosh-Neenah
3. Green Bay
4. Madison
5. Fargo, North Dakota
6. La Crosse – Onalaska
7. Fond du Lac
8. Ames, Iowa
9. Eau Claire
10. Mankato-North Mankato, Minnesota
11. Wausau
12. Sheboygan
13. Missoula, Montana
14. Grand Forks, North Dakota
15. Racine
16. Janesville-Beloit
17. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
18. Lincoln, Nebraska
19. Iowa City, Iowa
20. Corvallis, Oregon

I think I should point out that all of them are cold-weather cities. We gotta do, what we gotta do.

Dear Abby

Funny is funny.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Twitter to Stop Counting Photos and Links in 140-Character Limit

I think this is a good compromise. Twitter was thinking of allowing no-limit tweets, but settled on refraining from counting pics and links in the 140 characters.

As someone who has to tweet links to my writing a lot, I'm all for this move.

Carlos May

Why do I always remember the birthday of former White Sox outfielder Carlos May? Because he chose his number so the back of his jersey said his birthday....May 17.

Happy birthday Carlos.

Best Heckle?

Cubs reliever Justin Grimm answered questions for fans on Twitter yesterday. This is my favorite one...

Q: What's the funniest thing you've heard being heckled while warming up at an opposing stadium? #askgrimm

JG: There's a lot of them but some random fan once screamed at me to "quit hooking up with his sister" while I was warming up. It made me turn around. I almost never do that while warming. It was hilarious and I was like "I don't know this kid or his sister" but he got my attention. It was funny after the fact because he screamed something crazy and random, plus you never know back in the day or whatever. So I looked.

Is Pandora in Trouble?

Let's put it this way, one of Pandora's biggest investors wants out. From this morning's Radio Ink...

Hedge fund Corvex Management, which is run by Keith Meister, a protégé of billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, disclosed it owns 9.9 percent of Pandora’s stock (22.7 million shares) and is pushing the online streamer to explore a sale instead of pursuing a “costly and uncertain business plan.”


Dane Placko was there on this day in 1979 and tells the tale...

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sinead O'Connor Missing

This is a very bizarre story. ABC 7 has the details.

To me the strangest part of the story is the place she went missing: Wilmette, Illinois.

LATE UPDATE: (From the RAMP newsletter) You can relax now -- Sinead O'Connor has been found safe, more than 24 hours after she was reported missing. Social media completely blew up yesterday after news broke that O'Connor had gone out on a bike ride at 6am Sunday morning and had not returned. What was even more baffling was finding out she had been hanging out in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, IL. Local police there issued a "check for well-being" on O'Connor yesterday, describing her mental state as "missing, suicidal." Sources told Chicago's WGN-TV that Wilmette police called off their search Monday afternoon after O'Connor was found safe at a nearby hotel and taken to a local hospital to be checked out. Police didn't offer any details about where O'Connor had been or how they located her.

Obama Commencement Speech

Great speech. I'm gonna miss this guy...

Pet Sounds is 50

How Does Trump Deal With Women in Private?

The New York Times interviewed 50 women to find out. Not a pretty picture.

Donald says it's a hit piece, but there are several women in the piece who also say nice things about him.

To me he sounds like a Mad Men kind of guy--who hasn't had anyone around him to point out that he can't say those sorts of things anymore.

Wrigley Field 1937

The year before the ivy was planted...

Old School Retribution

The Rangers have been stewing over Jose Bautista's bush league bat flip since the AL playoffs last year. When they got the chance to face him again this year, they plunked him.

Bautista responded by kneecapping the Rangers second baseman on a slide into second.

Odor, the second baseman, punched him in the face.

Then it got even uglier. has the story.

Jan Smithers

Ever wonder what happened to Jan Smithers? She played Baily Quarters in the great show WKRP in Cincinnati. Newsweek has a piece about her this week, following up on the 50th anniversary of her appearing on the cover of their magazine.

I also knew nothing about that. She was discovered on a beach in California on a day she was playing hooky from school, and Newsweek put her on the cover representing "teens in America".

There's a full video interview at the link too.