Friday, December 01, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 75

EP75 – Rick and Dave discuss things to scream at Santa, Call of Doo-Dee, the Woof Tang Clan, a Cubs Hall of Famer, and Rick’s brush with local Chicago TV anchor, Mary Ann Childers.

You can listen to it here.

Book of the Year!

The Chicago Writer's Association just announced the winners of this year Book of the Year, and for the second year in a row, the winner is an Eckhartz Press book. (For Indie Fiction)

Congrats to M.L. Collins and her book "Out the Door!"

The other winners were Christine Sneed (traditional fiction), Mary Wisniewski (traditional non-fiction), and Nadine Kenney Johnstone (indie non-fiction)

Michael Flynn Guilty

He's pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI. It's a plea deal, in exchange for dropping the many other things he could have charged with. This means Flynn is cooperating with Mueller to get someone higher up on the foodchain. That could only mean two or three people, Sessions, Pence, and Trump, with a sidedish of Jared.

Wonder if Hillary will bring a crowd over to his sentencing hearing to cheer "Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!"

Fake News Trophy

Remember the other day when the president tweeted that the news organizations were all doing fake news, and they should do a poll to see which organization does the most fake news and give them a trophy? (Yes, the moron really tweeted that)

Rasmussen (a conservative polling organization) followed their leaders wishes. Guess who won the fake news trophy?

Fox News. By a landslide.

That made my day.

RIP Gomer

Jim Nabors passed away yesterday at the age of 87. Always loved Gomer. A lover, not a fighter...

More Creeps Revealed

Russell Simmons

Playwright Israel Horovitz

Al Franken (again) (He is toast now)

3 employees at Vice

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bruce Bohrer Tonight in Des Plaines!

To my fellow northwest suburban friends, your chance to meet Eckhartz Press author Bruce Bohrer ("Best Seat in the House: Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher") is tonight at 6:00pm! He's hosting a free talk at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines (Northwest Highway & Mt. Prospect Road). They are taking reservations here (, but the event is free (and you can show up without registering--they are just trying to get a handle on the potential crowd size). Hope to see you there! Bruce is a great story teller, and saw some truly memorable things during his time as an usher. Naturally his book will be available for purchase (and signing) at the event.

Lossano's Plea

Got this message from the executive producer of our podcast, Tony Lossano. For years Tony hosted the Nude Hippo show, and this note involves one of his crew members from that show...

In 1999, Florida Hicks (Orozco) started her career in production, by being one of the best crew members I could ask for. Please watch this video of a few times we captured Florida on tape, before and after our live broadcasts.

There are links on the YouTube page of recent video, and Florida's story.

This Friday night, I hope that you can join me. I, along with other current and past members, plan to attend the media event, to support Florida. If you can not attend, I hope that you can please join her group "Flo Fighters" and help a lifetime Hippo member. Please share.

Mark Your Calendar!

I'll be there on December 10th in Blue Island with Bobby Skafish. Here's a little more info...

I'll be coming there from Elmhurst, because another Eckhartz Press author has an event there that day, at the Disco Demolition exhibit...

The Croatian War Criminal

If you didn't see this story yesterday, it's understandable. There were a lot of very crazy stories happening in the news. On a normal day when a Croatian war criminal drank poison on the witness stand and died, it would have been a huge story.

Unfortunately for him, he did it on the day Matt Lauer was fired and President Trump re-tweeted bogus videos.

Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen did a nice write up about the story, if you want more info. It does eerily parallel a part of his great novel "Truffle Hunt".

While you're on Brent's site, check out the short story he wrote.

Shohei Ohtani

You might have heard the name Ohtani, but in case you haven't, he's the next big thing in big league baseball. In Japan he is being compared to Babe Ruth. Every team is after him, including the Cubs.

Here's a little primer for you from

By all accounts, Ohtani is the total package -- a true sports rarity. He's 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and as fast as they come while running from home plate to first, but there's so much more.

"He looks like a movie star," Whiting said. "And he's the modern-day version of Frank Merriwell, a fictional character from comics of the 1920s and '30s -- the guy who's the All-Star athlete, he's really clean-cut, helping neighbors, helping the old lady with her groceries, just being an all-around great guy to everybody."

And it's not an act. By all accounts, Ohtani has long been respectful with media, even though he's been swamped by coverage for the last five years, and his No. 11 jerseys and billboards featuring his face are seen all over Japan.

Ohtani lives in the Nippon-Ham dormitories so he can be closer to the training facilities -- he is diligent about exercise and a student of nutrition -- and more immersed in being all about baseball all the time. He doesn't go out on the town with teammates, hasn't shown a desire to put the dating scene above his athletic preparation, studies English and smiles a lot.

"He knows how it all works," Lefton said. "When you're trying to do something, but you haven't done it yet, instead of talking yourself up, you let the success come first."

He throws the ball 100 miles an hour as a pitcher, and he's a slugger/outfielder too. Where do we sign?

Chicago Radio Ratings

From Tom Taylor's NOW newsletter...

Chicago makes it two-in-a-row – and only its fourth #1 ever – for Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (5.2-5.8-6.3). Mix holds sway from 6am to 7pm, and is third on weekends. Chris Huff reports that this is Mix’s largest share since May 2013. Second overall again is iHeart’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ (6.5-5.6-5.9, and #1 at night with Keith Sweat and on weekends). Third for the week is still Entercom’s news WBBM/WCFS (4.7-5.0-5.0, and second mornings and weekends). Tied in fourth place are Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO (3.3-3.9-3.9) and Entercom’s country “US 99” WUSN (3.8-3.9-3.9). WOJO is third in mornings while US 99 is third in afternoons (but tenth in mornings). Sixth overall is Entercom’s sports/Cubs baseball “Score” WSCR (3.9-4.9-3.6, and off from first to second at night). Tied in seventh place are rhythmic “B96” WBBM-FM (Entercom, 3.4-3.3-3.4) and CHR “Kiss” WKSC (iHeart, 3.8-3.6-3.4). In the classic hits arena, there’s Cumulus WLS-FM (3.2-2.8-2.7). Easy oldies WRME-LP, a low power Channel 6 TV leased by Weigel (2.6-2.4-2.5, and tied for eighth-place middays). And Entercom’s WJMK (2.7-2.4-2.4) – which was converted, post-merger, to classic hip-hop/R&B “104.3 Jams.” It will appear with new calls of WBMX, which return to Chicago from Boston. Something’s up at Disney’s sports “ESPN 1000” WMVP (1.5-1.9-2.4, and up to seventh at night). iHeart’s AC WLIT (2.5-2.2-2.8) was counting the seconds until all-Christmas. While WUSN’s country rival “Big” WEBG slips (iHeart, 2.3-2.0-1.8). Rhythmic “B96” overtakes Kiss for the cume lead at nearly 1.87 million.

Cumulus Files for Bankruptcy

The details are nicely explained and synthesized by Robert Feder in his column this morning...

Cumulus Media, which operates four radio stations in Chicago, filed to reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday in an effort to reduce its $2.4 billion debt by more than $1 billion. The Atlanta-based company earlier this month defaulted on a $24 million debt payment, and its stock was delisted at NASDAQ. “We will use this restructuring process to relieve the financial constraints on our continued progress, allowing us to focus our resources on investing in our business and people to strengthen our competitiveness and ultimately drive growth,” Mary Berner, president and CEO of Cumulus, said in a statement. Among the company’s 446 stations nationwide are news/talk WLS AM 890, classic hits WLS FM 94.7, classic rock WLUP FM 97.9 and alternative rock WKQX FM 101.1.

Two More Creeps Revealed

Would you believe Garrison Keillor? Me neither. And to be honest, reading his story, it does sound like this could be a misunderstanding or mistake...
“I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” he told the Star Tribune by e-mail minutes after MPR’s statement. “I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called. “It’s astonishing that 50 years of hard work can be trashed in a morning by an accusation,” he said in a Facebook post Wednesday evening. “I always believed in hard work and now it feels sort of meaningless. Only a friend can hurt you this badly. I think I have to leave the country in order to walk around in public and not feel accusing glances.”

The other case seems a bit more traditional. CNN producer Teddy Davis...

State of the Union senior producer Teddy Davis was fired by the network today for his behavior in the workplace. No accusations of physical assault have been made against Davis, but an internal investigation concluded that his behavior was making multiple colleagues feel uncomfortable, enough for the network to sever ties with the producer. Said a CNN spokesperson: “A comprehensive investigation was conducted as soon as this matter was brought to our attention. The behavior attributed to Mr. Davis does not align with the standards and values of CNN and Mr. Davis is no longer with the company.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Favorite Horse

Roy Moore

The alleged child molester is back on top in the polls, but in his first live appearance in ten days (yesterday), he may have gone too far. He flat out called the woman who accused him a liar.

She responded forcefully with this letter, and you can bet she will now be appearing in ads against him.

Alabama, wake up. Roy Moore, shut up.

Matt Lauer Fired

How do you know when it's a huge media story? When your mother calls you first thing in the morning with the news.

Matt Lauer was fired today for inappropriate sexual behavior. They announced it on the show. It was the first official complaint against him, but it must have been a doozy.

The Washington Post has the details that are known at this time.

Variety has the story. It's pretty bad. By the way, I had a boss once that also had the door closing button under his desk. Never considered this possible use for it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Meet Bill Paige

Meet Bill Paige! Eckhartz Press author Bill Paige (Everything I Know I Learned from Rock Stars) will be in town on December 10th and will be signing and selling his books at one of his favorite places--The Old Town School of Folk Music. Register for the free session here: (scroll down to the bottom).

Here's the description of the event on their webpage:
Music fans spanning generations are invited to discover favorite artists anew in former Old Town School student, Bill Paige’s Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars, on Eckhartz Press. Join Paige for this special book signing and discussion!

Mark Suppelsa

Robert Feder did a mini exit-interview with Mark Suppelsa in his column today.

Mark is signing off soon as the anchor of the Channel 9 News. He is one of the good guys. I got to know him a bit through mutual friends (and interviewed him a few times too, including here). He'll be missed in the Chicago media community.

Grammy Nominations

From this morning's RAMP newsletter, this year's Grammy Nominations have just been announced.

Record Of The Year: "Redbone" -- Childish Gambino • "Despacito" -- Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber • "The Story Of O.J." -- JAY-Z • "HUMBLE." -- Kendrick Lamar • "24K Magic" -- Bruno Mars

Song Of The Year: "Despacito" -- Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters, "4:44" -- Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters, "Issues" -- Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters, "1-800-273-8255" -- Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson, songwriters, "That's What I Like" -- Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters

Album Of The Year: Awaken, My Love! -- Childish Gambino • 4:44 -- JAY-Z • DAMN. -- Kendrick Lamar • Melodrama -- Lorde • 24K Magic -- Bruno Mars

The complete list of nominees in all 84 categories is now posted online at,

Project Veritas

Project Veritas, he activist group led by James O'Keefe, has been doing dirty tricks for years. They fake news and try to get it reported as real. Or they clandestinely record people at organizations they hate, and deceptively edit what people there say.

How unethical is this group of conservative dirty tricksters? They just got caught faking a sexual assault victim of Roy Moore and trying to pass her off on the Washington Post. It didn't work. The Washington Post didn't fall for it.


I know that the mainstream press isn't trusted these days. The president spends his time calling real news outlets "Fake News" while promoting news outlets like Fox News and InfoWars.

But even if you're conservative, and you think the mainstream press has a liberal lean, you must admit that there's no comparison between the two types of news.

One side's "journalists" (yes the Veritas scumbags call themselves that) are openly, actively faking news. They are hailed as heroes by the conservative press. That same conservative press reports conspiracy theories as news (Obama born in Kenya, Seth Rich is the real hacker, Hillary is running a child sex ring out of a pizza joint), while downplaying actual news that doesn't reflect well on their side--like I don't know, over 50 contacts with the Russians during the campaign.

Bret Baier, one of the only respected journalists at Fox News, reported that Hillary was about to be indicted by the FBI in the days before the election (Complete fantasy). If a reporter for a legitimate news organization did that (like Dan Rather who got fired by CBS for an incorrect report about Bush, or the CNN team who got a report wrong this year and were immediately fired), his career would be over. At Fox News, he gets awards for reporting.

Tell me again which one is fake news?

By the way, I like this framing of the story...

Jeremy Piven's Show Canceled

Jeremy Piven has been accused of inappropriate behavior by five women, so CBS has made the decision to cancel his show "Wisdom of the Crowd" despite having already ordered another nine shows.

Hollywood appears to be taking this sexual harassment thing seriously. Let's see if Washington follows their lead.

Harvey Weinstein

I think it's still possible that Harvey Weinstein ends up in jail. There are now over 80 (!) women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault or abuse. Two lawsuits were filed yesterday, and one of them took place just a few years ago. From Deadline Hollywood...

Europe looks to be the new legal battlefront for the much accused Harvey Weinstein today. First a civil suit was filed Monday in the UK alleging sexual assault by the disgraced producer. Now a complaint filed in federal court on this side of the Atlantic today by actress Kadian Noble claims Weinstein sexually assaulted her at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and TWC covered it up for another ‘Friend of Harvey.’ Actions that could constitute violations of federal sex trafficking statutes, according to the jury seeking filing.

“Harvey Weinstein was able to force or coerce Kadian into sexual activity in his hotel room because of his promise to her of a film role and use of his influence on her behalf,” the unspecified damages seeking 11-page complaint that names Weinstein, along with his brother Bob Weinstein and the struggling Weinstein Company states (read it here). “Harvey Weinstein traveled in foreign commerce, knowingly recruiting or enticing Kadian offering her something of value, knowing that he would use this offer as a means to defraud, force or coerce her into a sexual encounter, the complaint adds. “Harvey Weinstein ultimately forced Kadian into sexual acts.”

Monday, November 27, 2017

Meet Bruce Bohrer

To my fellow northwest suburban friends, your chance to meet Eckhartz Press author Bruce Bohrer ("Best Seat in the House: Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher") is coming this Thursday night at 6:00pm. He's hosting a free talk at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines (Northwest Highway & Mt. Prospect Road). They are taking reservations here (, but the event is free. Hope to see you there! Bruce is a great story teller, and saw some truly memorable things during his time as an usher. Naturally his book will be available for purchase (and signing) at the event.

Big Ten Power Rankings

This is how uninterested I've become in college football and basketball since the Illini began tanking several seasons ago. I just glanced at this article to see where the football team ranked in the Big 10, expecting them to be in 10th.

Nope. 14th.

I didn't even realize there were now 14 teams in the Big 10.

The NBA has been dead to me for years (since 1998, when Jordan retired). The NFL and college athletics are also dead to me. All I have left is baseball, hockey, and soccer.

Con Man

I mean, really?

Call of DooDee

Let's hear it for one of Illinois' very own for taking on the big boys. From Yahoo! News...
Call of Duty is far and away one of, if not the biggest and most well known video game franchises to ever exist. It has a global reach with millions of players, a marketing budget akin to that of a major summer blockbuster, and it usually packs some star power with recognizable celebrities starring in the game's campaign and zombies mode.

With that said, it should come as no surprise that Call of Duty publisher Activision is less than happy that a dog poop cleaning service is somewhat mocking their flagship series. Over the summer, an Illinois citizen filed a trademark for their new dog waste removal service known as "Call of DooDee".
The Call of Duty people are still fighting it, so for now, we don't know if the Call of DooDee people will get to keep that name. I know who I'm rooting for.

Koch Brothers Buy Time Inc.

Look for Time Magazine to become a very conservative publication. Over the weekend it was purchased (along with the other magazines in the Time Inc. portfolio like Sports Illustrated) by the Koch Brothers.

Details are here.

Net Neutrality

While the all-news channels continue to focus on Trumps tweets and sexual harassment, the internet has been exploding about the possibility that Net Neutrality's demise is a very real possibility.

It was the top trending hashtag on Twitter all weekend.

News came out that the FCC's public comment section about this subject, which is supposedly taken into consideration by the FCC when making a decision like this, was heavily compromised by bots.

Democrats in Congress are finally taking note of these developments and are making some noise. Maybe it's not too late to stop it after all...

It's still a long-shot, but its definitely worth doing, if for no other reason than to shame them and expose them for this nakedly corrupt move.

It should matter that nobody wants this.


Good to see the Michigan Kaempfers for Thanksgiving this year. It was a fun weekend.

Dead to Me

Looks like I will have three extra hours of productive time available every Sunday for the rest of the year.