Friday, November 18, 2016

Bobby Skafish at Lone Star BBQ

Some photos from last night's Bobby Skafish book signing. The mood lighting was cool for the atmosphere, but a little less so for the photographs. Had a great time. Thanks so much to the Lone Star for having us out there last night.

Big Changes Coming to the FCC

This used to be a pet project of mine, but I'm not sure I still have the will to fight it. With a new Republican FCC Chairman coming in, the FCC will undoubtedly relax media ownership rules again--which means that media will be soon be in the hands of even fewer people soon. That will put the final nail in the media coffin.

From Bloomberg...

Industry analysts who track the FCC expect Republicans to relax rules once they assume control of the agency in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. That would include loosening restrictions on how many broadcast properties one company can own in any given market and lifting the ban on media companies owning newspapers and broadcast TV stations in the same market, a practice known as cross-ownership.

Electoral College

Not saying we need to change the system, but it is an odd one. The smaller (in population) states already get the same number of senators. Two Wyoming senators and two California senators. The House is decided by population so that it's more of a traditional democracy, although the whole gerrymandering thing certainly wasn't anticipated. To me, it looks like the electoral college splits the two concepts, weighting it somewhat toward population, but not all the way. I'd love to know the mathematical formula.

Best High Schools

I know we just got lucky when we moved to our town twenty years ago, but so thankful that we just happened to move into the district that features one of the top 20 high schools in Illinois (#15). Two graduates from that high school (three if you include me) live in my house.

The full list is here.

Had A Chat With The Boys This Morning

A little pep talk after the Trump win...

Halle's Underwear

Saw this in the N'DIGO newsletter. Christmas gift idea...

She's been called one of the "sexiest women alive." And, Now you can wear the exact same underwear set (and hopefully gain the exact same self-assurance) as Halle Berry when re-launch’s Scandale, an 80-year-old luxury lingerie label that will now be available for affordable prices at Target. The ten-piece collection prices will range from $7 to $18.

Halle stated “I understand that women want to feel sexy and beautiful and they want to have undergarments that are very functional, but to still feel beautiful when we take our clothes off. 'I decided for my own evolution as a woman and an entrepreneur, it’s time for me to step out and really be part owner of something that I believed in and not just lend my name to a brand,' she said. Just in time for Christmas. Dazzle him.

That's one of those gifts that you buy for your wife or girlfriend, but it's really for you, and she knows it as soon as she opens the present. You can tell by the eye rolling.

"But honey, this is for your self assurance and evolution as a woman!"

"Uh huh. Right."

Eric & Kathy in the Hall of Fame

You have to give props to Eric and Kathy. Twenty years at the top of the ratings in Chicago, and now members of the Radio Hall of Fame! Congratulations!


College player of the year 2013, Minor League player of the year 2014, National League Rookie of the year 2015, and now National League MVP 2016. Incredible. First Cubs MVP since Sammy Sosa in 1998...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bobby Skafish in Indiana

Nice piece in today's about Bobby Skafish and his new book. Thanks so much to Tom Lounges for this review of Bobby's book "We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters"...

Veteran Chicagoland air personality Bobby Skafish, who spent four high-profile decades on the radio dial in Chicago (WXRT, WLUP, WKQX, WDRV), has released his first book -- "We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters" (Eckhartz Press) -- and is doing a book signing from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Griffith's Wildrose Brewing (1104 E. Main St.).

Some terrific interviews and behind-the scenes stories are included in his 312-page collection of famous chats with stars like David Bowie, Sting, Robert Plant, Donald Fagen, Rod Stewart and others.

Some Times readers may not know of Skafish's strong Region roots. He grew up in Hammond and began his radio journey at Crown Point's WFLM-104fm where he helped launch the original "Night Rock" radio program this columnist ultimately took over years later. He is also a cousin to East Chicago punk rock icon, Jim Skafish.

Bobby Skafish is a top shelf interviewer and radio host whose deep knowledge and passion for popular music is second to none. More:

Minutia Men, Episode 28

EP28 – Rick and Dave discuss Election minutia, the bright side of the Trump win, the 1908 election, and Rick’s brush with former Vice President Dan Quayle.

Listen to it here.

Remember, it doesn't cost anything to subscribe to the podcast. You can do it right on the Minutia Men page, and it will automatically deliver all new episodes. Choose your own delivery vehicle.

Get Over It

Thanks to "EB" for this one. It sums the current state of affairs up nicely...

Bob Dylan Won't Attend Nobel Ceremony to Accept Literature Prize

What's his reason?

Other commitments.

You gotta give Bob credit. He is consistent.

Cartoon Trump a very scary way.

This guy is our president now

Listen to Megyn Kelly, a Fox News and Conservative darling tell this story about Trump and his lead legal counsel Michael Cohen. They both sound like sweethearts.

Hot off the presses

For those of you who pre-ordered this new Eckhartz Press book, it's going in the mail today. Two big events coming up to promote it as well. A portion of the proceeds will go to help Pancreatic Cancer research. That's what this book is all about...

Biden/Obama Conversation Memes

These are pretty damn funny. Check them all out if you want a good laugh. This one is my favorite...

Bobby Skafish Appearance Tonight!

Tonight on the NW Side of Chicago. Stop by and meet Eckhartz Press author (and rock radio legend) Bobby Skafish. Details below..

John's Bitter Letter to Paul

People Magazine has an article about the bitter letter John Lennon wrote to Paul McCartney after the Beatles broke up. Sounds like it's a response to a letter from Linda, and whoo boy, if you thought Paul didn't like Yoko, wait until you read how John felt about Linda.

Read it here.

RIP Mose Allison

Another musical great is gone. Mose was 89.

A Glass Case of Emotion

This is really well done...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

25 years!

Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. We were just kids when we walked down the aisle at St. Michael's church in Wheaton, but we're still going strong today. Asking Bridget to marry me is the best decision I ever made. Nothing else comes close. I look back fondly at every stage of the marriage, but those first few years (before kids) were the most fun. We saw the world together. Got a little taste of that last week in New Orleans. Couldn't ask for a better traveling companion.

Book of the Year!

Congratulations to Eckhartz Press' very own Pat Colander! Her book is the winner of the Chicago Writers Association "Book of the Year"!

Well deserved.

The Pope is a Cubs fan

I'm not kidding.

Click on this link and you'll see him with a Cubs hat.

There's always room on the bandwagon for the Pontiff.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bob Stroud & the Cubs

Great piece by Fred Jacobs about the way Chicago radio handled the Cubs story.

It includes a three minute audio clip from the one and only Bob Stroud.

Check it out here.

Sean Hannity is a Hack

He is now proposing that mainstream news outlets not be given White House press credentials because they favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Among those outlets he says should not be allowed to cover the White House: The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and anyone else revealed to have communicated with the Clinton campaign by Wikileaks.

He says this in all seriousness. Without irony. Without awareness. A member of the media suggesting we revoke the freedom of the press because reporters were contacting a campaign--which is their job.

I read those e-mails. That's your smoking gun? Other than Donna Brazile providing a debate question (And she was fired for that, by the way), there was NOTHING there. If you saw the e-mails going to Trump (which you didn't--because the Russians only hacked one side), you would have found the exact same thing. This is how reporters do their jobs. They ask for comment, they develop relationships, they cultivate sources. This is how the public finds out information.

Sean Hannity, who once edited in bigger crowds at Tea Party rallies to make it look like they were more popular than they actually were, is claiming bias. Sean Hannity, who works for a "news" network that had a CEO openly ADVISING Trump, is claiming bias. Sean Hannity, who leans so far to the right his right shoulder actually scrapes the ground when he walks, is claiming bias.

That hacky piece of crap is suggesting we subvert the First Amendment because actual journalists were doing their actual jobs instead of blowing Donald Trump like he did.


I'm so happy I'm out of the satire business. A hack like Hannity is impossible to satirize. You couldn't create a more bald-faced political hack if you tried.

RIP Gwen Ifill

2016 has not been a good year for beloved institutions in America. Gwen Ifill was one of those--a journalist that was above reproach--even in the age of Donald Trump's attacks on the media.

She was only 61 years old.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Bobby Skafish Book Signing

This is where I'll be on Thursday night...

RIP Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell

Cohen was 82. Russell was 74. Both passed away this week. Both made incredibly important contributions to music.

Welcome Back Dave Chappelle

Truly great monologue on SNL this weekend...

Did you hear that Trump won?

Yes I did hear. I was in New Orleans (photos below), not Kenya. But thanks for the many e-mails and texts.

Obviously, if you're a reader of this blog, you know my feelings about the guy. I didn't vote for him. I think he has the potential to be a very bad (historically bad) president. But in January, he'll be sworn in as president, and I will have to accept that.

My facebook feed is full of Trump fans telling the majority of the country who didn't vote for him to stop whining and support the president immediately. When I suggested to one facebook friend that if the situation were reversed and Trump had won the popular vote, but not the presidency, it would have been a nationwide free-for-all, he told me that they would not be protesting at all.

Uh huh. Whatever you say. There have already been more than 200 documented racial attacks since he won. And that's after he WON. Imagine what would be taking place if he lost.

I've decided to look on the bright side. For one thing, we (probably) won't have to go through four more years of Hillary investigations. The Republicans were already promising to destroy her. I don't think I could have handled another four years of that. Also, I'm hoping the gravity of the office forces Trump to rethink a few of his positions. I know that's a long shot, but stranger things have happened. He has to actually govern now. The first signs aren't terribly encouraging, but who knows?

I'll never forget the horrible things he has said, but I also won't hold it against my friends who voted for him. I know most of them are absolutely not racists, and have perfectly legitimate reasons for supporting Trump.

On the other hand, I'll also know that racism is not a deal breaker for them.

That's something they are going to have to live with, not me. I'm sure they have rationalized it in their minds in some way. These are not bad people.

But I do have one piece of advice for my Trump friends. Don't try to debate with me about whether or not you think Trump is a racist. That's a pointless debate. He is one. If someone says the things he has said over the past few years and isn't a racist, there is no such thing as racism.

I'm not going to debate with you whether or not racism exists.

Rick and Bridget in NOLA

I found a ridiculous low airfare to New Orleans ($70 roundtrip!) and took the wife there last week to celebrate our 25th anniversary. What a fun city. It's probably my favorite place in the country other than my beloved Chicago. This is our fifth or sixth time there since we got married. Bridget has family there, and it was fun to see everyone. It was also great to see live music every night. Absolutely loved it.

Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame

On Saturday night I was on hand to witness the induction of 18 players into the Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame. Four of them were connected in some way to the club my father co-founded, Green White Soccer Club. These four gentlemen all played for Green White at one time...

(left to right, Mike Duffy, Adam Kaempf, Stefan Laxgang, and Rudi Mayer)

Mr. Laxgang was actually my first ever soccer coach. He was the trainer of my Green White midget team back in the late 60s and early 70s, but he was also the star of the Green White team that debuted sixty years ago...

We had a good showing of people there to support our guys. Rudi Mayer (center of the picture below, the other guy in the green jacket) was probably the greatest player to ever wear the Green White uniform. When I was a kid, in the days before professional soccer existed in this country, Rudi was the guy I idolized...

I was thrilled to play a small part in his induction. When I wrote the book "Gruen Weiss Vor", I researched who was in the Hall of Fame and who wasn't. I couldn't believe Rudi wasn't in there, so I tracked down the paperwork and officially nominated him as a representative of the club. Rudi not only played for Green White for nearly 30 years, he was part of a national championship team at Michigan State University, played for the US Olympic Team in 1972, and played professionally for the Chicago Sting in their early years (1975-1976).

Super proud of the guy. Totally deserving of the honor.