Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bye Jay Cutler

Great news for Bears fans. Cutler is no longer a Bear.

The Bears have had a rough go at the QB position since Sid Luckman. It's only 70 years or so.

This song by my pal Tom Latourette came out a few years ago but is still great...

My Interviews Were Like This For Years

At one point I put a sign on my home office door with a picture of a boy with broken legs to stop the boys from walking in on my interviews. It didn't work.

RIP Froggy

Former 1969 Cub Bill Hands passed away yesterday at the age of 76.

This is his entry in Just One Bad Century's Every Cub Ever...

~Bill Hands 1940 (Cubs 1966-1972)
Bill Hands was nicknamed “Froggy” because his style was reminiscent of Don Larsen, who was with the Cubs at the end of his illustrious career and the beginning of Hands career. Larsen was nicknamed Froggy, so Hands was given the nickname too. Hands became a 20-game winner in 1969 and helped the Cubs to a second-place finish behind the Mets. He won another 18 games for the Cubs in 1970, and on August 3, 1972, he had his best performance as a Cub, beating the Montreal Expos 3-0. With Hands one out away from a no-hitter, Ken Singleton hit a little ground ball toward second base, and Hands tried to catch it. It went off his glove and away from second baseman Paul Popovich, ending the no-hitter. The Cubs traded him after the 1972 season to the Minnesota Twins for Dave LaRoche. After pitching for two seasons with the Minnesota Twins, and one more with the Rangers, Hands retired after the 1975 seasons. Where did he go after his career? Well, according to Baseball Savvy: Where are they now (2006); “Drive two hours east of New York city, to the rural hamlet of Orient, Long Island. There, you’ll likely need to make a pit stop at the only gas station for miles. If you’re lucky, the tall, skinny man pumping your gas won’t be just any local. He’ll be former Chicago Cubs pitcher, William ‘Froggy’ Hands, Jr.”

Dobie Maxwell

Here's another place to see the Eckhartz Press author doing stand up comedy...

Another Representative Marie Antoinette

Republican Congressman Roger Marshall is from Kansas. He's a doctor, and he's working on the Obamacare replacement bill. From this morning's Washington Post...

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’ ” Marshall said in response to a question about Medicaid, which expanded under Obamacare to more than 30 states. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

He added that “morally, spiritually, socially,” the poor, including the homeless, “just don’t want health care.”

Okey doke, Congressman Marshall. You might want to check out what happened to Marie Antoinette when she expressed similar empathy back in 1789.

Spring Forward

My least favorite weekend of the year. We move the clocks ahead one hour on Sunday.

The good news is that means spring is right around the corner. Naturally, in Chicago, that also means it's time to get really cold again.


How bad is the financial situation at Cumulus broadcasting? From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Cumulus stock closes at 53 cents, though at least the volume was much less than normal. The clock is ticking on the NASDAQ’s $1-minimum closing-price rule, and that’s got to be a concern. “CMLS” stock closed yesterday at 52.5 cents, down 5.5% cents, or nearly 10%. At Thursday’s closing price, the Cumulus market cap is less than $15.4 million.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Tim Weigel and Scott Miller

Scott Miller is now a well-known radio producer in Chicago (Oprah, Pete McMurray). Back in the early 90s he was just a kid and a fan of WJMK, the station I worked at with John Landecker. Love this tweet from him this morning. I was there that day. It was the day Lou Christie grabbed my butt while we were getting our photos taken together. Tim Weigel, by the way, came on stage with Landecker & the Legends and performed "Wooly Bully" on the keyboards.

More Russian Smoke

Nigel Farange visits Julian Assange in UK.

Roger Stone tweeted about Wikileaks content BEFORE the e-mails came out.

Nothing to see here. Please disregard that billowing smoke.

Our GIF Ad

Running now on Kipper McGee's Brandwidth podcast...

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Minutia Men, Episode 42

EP42 – Rick and Dave discuss sex strikes, Sizzler, Polish Cubs, and Rick’s brush with Tony Curtis.

Listen to it here.

WGN Radio Adds to Business LIneup

From Radio Online this morning...

WGN/Chicago's business and innovation content expands to 12 hours each week, beginning March 13, with the addition of a new hour-long show "The Startup Showcase" on Saturdays from 1-2pm. Hosted by Technori CEO Scott Kitun, "The Startup Showcase" will be devoted to conversations with Chicago's innovators. Kitun will study the momentum surrounding technology and meet the cast of characters behind great ideas.

WGN Radio's business shows now include:

"The Opening Bell" hosted by Steve Grzanich, Monday-Friday, 5-6am
"The Wintrust Business Lunch" hosted by Steve Bertrand, Monday-Friday, Noon-1pm
"The Wintrust Business Lunch" hosted by Amy Guth, Saturdays, Noon-1pm
"The Startup Showcase" hosted by Scott Kitun, Saturdays, 1-2pm

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Revisiting Father Knows Nothing

I enjoyed this interview--reposted today by Dr. Marcie. I didn't remember my responses (the brain is going fast), so it was like watching someone else.

Gel Strong

Happy birthday to Eckhartz Press author Mark Gelinas! Each birthday has more meaning now to this cancer-survivor.

His book is an inspiration.

Safe Inside

Coming late summer at Eckhartz Press..."Safe Inside" by Lee Kingsmill.

We sent out the manuscript to a few authors for blurbs, and here's one that was in my e-mail box this morning. It should give you an idea of how good this memoir is...

“The best books expand our humanity by the vicarious experiences and opportunities for compassion they provide. Lee Kingsmill’s Safe Inside is just such a book. It’s rich and textured, filled with family dynamics, religion, sexuality, the refuge of the imagination, the sanctuary of movies, and most of all, the depth, truthfulness, and complexity of humanity.”

-- Michael Lister, New York Times Bestselling author of Blood Work

Trump is Good for Colbert

Don't look now, but the late night show that had been all but given up for dead, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, just completed it's fifth week in a row as the top rated late night show.

That just happens to coincide with the beginning of the new Trump regime in America, and Colbert's shift to a much more overtly politically oriented comedy show.

As a regular watcher now, I can tell you it does help calm the agita created after watching the news.

Representative Marie Antoinette

Sometimes I think Republicans don't hear how heartless their comments sound. Yesterday Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah said that if people thought insurance would now cost too much (after implementation of Republican Obamacare replace plan), "maybe they shouldn't buy that new iPhone and use that money for insurance instead."

In 1789 France, that sort of comment got Marie Antoinette beheaded. ("Let them eat cake!")

Feel free to ignore my advice, but it won't kill you to display a whiff of compassion toward your fellow man.


Sure it's just the U-20 team, but an American champion soccer team is an American champion. Right?

You May Want To Marry My Husband

This essay has become a viral sensation. It's written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a Chicago-based writer who used to work at WBEZ.

She's dying of ovarian cancer, and the essay offers up her husband. He sounds like a great guy. By the end of the essay I wanted to marry him.

Cubs Ring Bearer

This is so great...

Bobby Skafish at WCIU (Photos)

My IT guy got these off the camera for your viewing pleasure...

Bobby WCIU 9

Bobby WCIU 8

Bobby WCIU 7

Bobby WCIU 6

Bobby WCIU 5

Bobby WCIU 4

Bobby WCIU 3

Bobby WCIU 2

Bobby WCIU 1

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Got a Book in You?

Just Admit He Pulled it Out of His Keester and Apologize

I almost felt bad for Sean Spicer when this reporter pointed out the sheer idiocy of Trump's "wiretapping" claim.

We all know the reason you can't answer this like a human being. Your boss is completely off his rocker. Try this out for an appropriate response from your boss... "I should have looked into this wiretapping claim further before making a public accusation of a felony. It's not befitting a president, and I vow to never do it again."

Minutia Men Reviews

If you're a listener of Minutia Men and would be inclined to post a review, we sure would appreciate it. The reviews have really started to roll in via the various different platforms (including old fashioned e-mail), and we thank you for that. You can review the show on itunes, Stitcher, Tunein or even on the Radio Misfits website.

Here's one from this morning...

"Rick and Dave channel all things from the classic 90s sitcom as they discuss lots of tiny bits of nothing which somehow combine to be really something. Their chemistry is great and it's obvious they are good friends. Check them out!"
--The Countdown Pod

We're recording a new episode tomorrow morning, and it will be posted on Thursday.

Bobby Skafish on You & Me (WCIU-TV)

I was down there this morning with Bobby clicking a few pictures. I'll post those when my IT guy gets home from school. (Yes, it's my son. Got a problem with that? I'm an old man.)

Trump Meets FCC Chairman

From this morning's Tom Taylor NOW column...

What did Trump talk about with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai? Nothing regarding any “pending proceedings at the FCC,” a Commission spokesman tells Broadcasting & Cable. But the new President must know that Pai’s opposed to previous Chairman Tom Wheeler’s vision of “Net Neutrality” and is working to reverse it. And Trump may’ve been told about Pai’s colorful pledge to take a “weed-wacker” to “remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation and job creation” (December 8 NOW). Radio has high hopes for Pai, and one executive calls him “potentially the most radio-friendly Chairman in my lifetime.”

When a radio exec says "radio-friendly" they don't mean for you the listener or you the employee. They mean for themselves, the pocket liner. You will be collatoral damage. The product will suffer. No question about it. Same goes for the Net Neutrality dismantling. These people literally don't give a crap about you, or what is best for the consumers. They are simply padding already over-stocked pockets by using the public airwaves.

RIP Robert Osbourne

Very bummed to hear this news yesterday. I'm a big fan of TCM--watch it all the time.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Chicago Writers Association

Just got word that I was named to the board of directors at the CWA (Chicago Writers Association) last night. Looking forward to helping in whatever way I can.

Happy Pulaski Day

Today is Kasimir Pulaski day, which is a big deal to Chicago's large Polish population. There have been exactly five players in big league history who were born in Poland, and one of them played for the Cubs.

His EVERY CUB EVER entry is listed below...

Moe Drabowski 1961~Moe Drabowsky 1935 (Cubs 1956-1960)
Moe was born in Poland, and was a hot young gun pitcher for the Cubs in the late 50s. His best season with the Cubs was probably 1957, when he won 13 games as a 22-year-old for a very bad Cubs team. He never lived up to that in the proceeding years, so the Cubs eventually gave up on him. He later pitched for the Braves, Athletics, and Reds in the early 60s, but really found a home in Baltimore. Moe became a key part of the bullpen for two World Series champions Orioles teams in 1966 and 1970. He beat Don Drysdale to win Game 1 of the 1966 World Series. Moe ended up pitching 17 years in the big leagues. (Photo: Topps 1961 Baseball Card)

The other 4 Polish-born players were Elmo Valo (who played 20 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the A's), Nap Kloza who played for the Browns, and Henry Peploski and Johnny Reder, who both played one season in Boston.

This Would Certainly Help

I'm a fan of eliminating comments entirely, but this could be a way to keep them...

Bobby Skafish/WCIU

WCIU-TV is giving away copies of Bobby Skafish's book "We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters".

Enter for your chance to win here.

Tune in tomorrow morning because Bobby will be on the morning show with Jon Hansen. I'll tag along to take some pictures.


I was the MC for a soccer banquet this weekend for Green White Soccer Club. It was a fun event, and the food was great. The beer looked delicious too.

But I gave up beer for Lent.

Must think these things through a little more next year.

This is our president?

The crazy dial was turned all the way to 11 this weekend.

President Trump read a conspiracy theory on Breitbart--created out of thin air by conspiracy theory talk radio host Mark Levin. He posted a series of tweets accusing the former president of wiretapping Trump Tower. 34 minutes later he tweeted about The Apprentice.

Put that into perspective, if you will...

Then, the entire right wing media world goes with it. Spokespeople are sent out to defend it. Again, without any evidence at all--other than a crazy conspiracy theory article. By the end of the weekend, the head of the House Intelligence Committee says he will investigate this. (The same guy who has been saying the Russia story is nonsense--despite 17 intelligence agencies saying it is real).

Then the FBI Director says it's NOT TRUE. There was no wiretap.

And Trump says he doesn't believe it.

He believes the conspiracy theory. He doesn't believe the FBI. This is the president of the United States.

The Washington Post has 17 sources in this story this morning talking about what a white-hot-mess the White House is these days. 17 sources. The Breitbart article has one source--a conspiracy theory-peddling right wing radio talk show host.

I think Joe Scarborough summed it up best...