Musings, observations, and written works from the publisher of Eckhartz Press, the media critic for the Illinois Entertainer, co-host of Minutia Men, Minutia Men Celebrity Interview and Free Kicks, and the author of "Back in the D.D.R", "EveryCubEver", "The Living Wills", "$everance," "Father Knows Nothing," "The Radio Producer's Handbook," "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", and "Gruen Weiss Vor".
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Minutia Men, Episode 29
EP29 – Rick and Dave discuss ways to change the subject away from politics at Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Minutia, a Russian boo-boo, a player that was traded for himself, and Rick’s brush with an 80’s band you’ve never heard of.
You can listen to it here.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Who is Mark Gelinas?
I've known Mark since 1980. That's the year I moved to Mt. Prospect (from Germany), and Mark was one of my classmates at Prospect High School. We went our seperate ways in college (I went to Illinois, he went to Illinois State), but we remained friends. After we both graduated, we were even roommates for a year in the Depaul area of Chicago. (He has lived in Atlanta for many years now)
But this book didn't get published because Mark and I are old friends. This book got published because it's a hell of a story, and Mark has chronicled every moment of it.
A few years ago Mark was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Everyone close to him realized what that meant. We all knew the odds, and they weren't good. Pancreatic cancer is the single most deadly cancer you can have.
But something incredible happened when Mark shared this news via facebook. A community emerged. A community of friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers. A community of people all rooting for him, all providing their voices, their words, and their prayers.
This community was known as "Gel Strong", because that's Mark's nickname. Friends created a logo, and began to sell shirts and other items with Mark's mug on it. This facebook group grew nearly 1000 strong in a just a few months, and Mark used that communal strength to help him through the horrible process of chemotherapy and surgery.
As a form of therapy, Mark chronicled what was happening to him in real time. He shared some of it with the Gel Strong group, but some of the grittier details were spared.
Earlier this year he contacted me about turning what he had written into a book. Of course I had been following along on the Gel Strong page myself, but it wasn't until I read his dramatic words that I began to realize everything he had been through. He wrote it from the heart, and he wrote it with unflinching honesty.
But he also wrote it with such a joyous and positive spirit that I absolutely had to share it with the world. This book is one of the most inspiring things you'll ever read. It's a testament to the power of community. It's a tribute to the power of postivity. But it's also about a man who handled the worst situation imaginable with dignity and grace.
Gel Strong is available right now on our Eckhartz Press site, but Mark will be in town this coming weekend to host a book launch/signing event as well. (Details in the flyer below).
Hope to see you there!
Both Mark and Eckhartz Press are donating a portion of the proceeds to Winship Cancer Institute of Emory Healthcare in Atlanta. GA, to support their ongoing research in an effort to win the battle over cancer, specifically pancreatic cancer.
For the first time in four years, Chicago radio vet Eddie Volkman will soon be back on the radio fulltime -- he's the new morning host at Matrix Broadcasting's suburban Chicago Classic Rock WFXF (103.9 The Fox), starting Monday, Nov. 28. Volkman (left) is best known for his nearly 30 years in mornings on B96/Chicago as half of the Eddie & Jobo show. Volkman and ex-partner Joe Bohannon most recently did mornings on CBS Radio Classic Hits WJMK (104.3 K-Hits) until they were benched in Dec. 2012. On Monday, Volkman appeared on Pat Capone's afternoon show to re-introduce himself to The Fox audience. Volkman said, "It's great to be here. I'm excited! It's not the confines of corporate radio and it's like family and people seem to like each other... the music selection here is so much broader and unafraid compared to what the corporate people have done to radio. You can listen for three hours and really enjoy it."
I've interviewed Eddie a few times over the years. He's a great guy. One time he even had me on his show (below)...
Life Imitates Art
You can watch the whole ceremony here, if you are so inclined. Not sure why, but I found the whole event oddly emotional. Some of my favoirtes were honored (like Michael Jordan and Bruce Springsteen), but it was the Ellen DeGeneres moment that really caused me to choke up. I'm getting soft in my old age.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
How To Avoid Sharing Fake News
The article has great tips, like...
*Determine whether the article is from a legitimate website
*Check the ‘contact us’ page (if there's none listed, it's fake)
*Examine the byline of the reporter and see whether it makes sense (fake news reporters have very fake sounding bios)
*Read the article closely (especially the quotes, if there are any)
*Scrutinize the sources (a tweet is not a source)
*Look at the ads (Naughty Walmart pictures?)
*Use search engines to double-check (Google will usually show you a story is nonsense in the few links)
I would add these two rules...
If it sounds to good to be true, it is. If it sounds like it's written by someone who is telling you exactly what you want to hear, it is.
Trump Meets With the Media
“It was like a f−−−ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.
A second source confirmed the fireworks.
“The meeting took place in a big boardroom and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks,” the other source said.
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.’
Then Kellyanne Conway came out to talk to the press and described the meeting this way, according to TV Newser...
“Thanks for sharing your bosses with us,” Conway said to the assembled press who are staking out the lobby for transition news.
When asked if the meeting was about mending fences, Conway said, “There’s no need to mend fences. It was an off-the-record meeting. It was very cordial. Very productive. Congenial. But it was also very candid and honest.”
Trump wants adulation without criticism from the press, and their main job is to question him and hold him accountable. He's not dealing with the gossip pages anymore, and the sooner he comes to grip with it, the better. And by the way, getting the election wrong is not the same as lying, Mr. Thin-Skin Elect. Your pollsters got it wrong too.
Cubs Bring Incredible Ratings to the Score
My Illinois Entertainer column next week will be an interview with one of the men who covered them all season, Josh Liss from WBBM-AM.
Klinsman is out
BREAKING: Jurgen Klinsmann has been fired as USMNT coach and Technical Director for U.S. Soccer. pic.twitter.com/1Z1zfzOCBC— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 21, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
Congratulations to @MaryLDixon on 25 years at XRT! https://t.co/IBKgfrMtYR— WXRT Chicago (@93XRT) November 21, 2016
Texas Hold 'Em
I ended up in 7th place. Not bad considering I've never played it before.
Bobby Skafish in Indiana
A $112 Million Truffle
The whole Truffle-world is really fascinating. I went on a Truffle hunt when I was in Italy in 2011.
That's a picture of me (left) with famed truffle dog Cicca. Good dog. Good girl. She is considered the best in Italy. Her trainer actually took us out and demonstrated her skills. Very impressive.
After the hunt we had a meal with fresh truffles. I guess I don't quite have the palate to properly appreciate them.
Tasted a bit earthy to me.
Truffles, of course, are also the subject of a great novel we released last year. It's called, appropriately enough, "Truffle Hunt". Author Brent Petersen did a tremendous job of making the whole Truffle world come alive. I highly recommend it.
Check it out here.
Chicago Town Hall
Good to see that radio can still make an impact.
2 guys in an apartment
Two guys in an apartment.
I'm constantly hearing that you can't trust the mainstream media because they are so slanted and biased. And I hear it from people who believe stuff written by two guys in an apartment who are literally making stuff up.
Trump Whine, Part 2
The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2016
Want to hear the "very rude" comments?
Tonight, VP-Elect Mike Pence attended #HamiltonBway. After the show, @BrandonVDixon delivered the following statement on behalf of the show. pic.twitter.com/Jsg9Q1pMZs— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) November 19, 2016
Why, I declare, my dear, I think I'm getting the vapors.
A man that has never apologized in his life, believes that the statement above deserves an apology. If you think this is bad, Mr. President-to-be, just wait. The three quarters of the country that didn't vote for you promises to treat you exactly as respectfully as you have treated our current president.
He tweeted this...
I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show - nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
First of all, on it's merits, it was a pretty damn funny bit. Secondly, there was an equal time bit right after this--about liberals who are still living in their little bubbles. And finally, our enemies have to be licking their chops about how easy it is to get this guy worked up. Most sensitive, thin-skinned man on the planet.