Friday, October 19, 2018

Happy Birthday Tommy Kaempfer!

23 years old today...

Tomorrow Afternoon in Hobart

Chet in Northfield

Chet returned to the town of his upbringing last night and met a bunch of fans. A good time was had by all...

A Meme Tricks People To Vote

I thought this was actually clever, although as usual, people are upset about it.

A tweet that included a meme about Kanye and Kim breaking up, was actually directing people to register to vote. (Don't worry--they haven't actually broken up). Another one saying that they had the explanation of why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson broke up also tricked people into clicking on a page urging them to register to vote.

Whatever it takes, people. Register to vote, for cryin' out loud. It's your duty as a citizen.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Double Booked!

We have two authors who have big events tonight. Donald G. Evans will be at Cliff Dwellers downtown, and Chet Coppock will be at Stormy's in Northfield. Dave will head to Cliff Dwellers, and I will head to Northfield...

Review of "An Off-White Christmas"

From Booklist...

An Off-White Christmas.
By Donald G. Evans
2018. 200p. illus. Eckhartz, paper, $20 (9781732349056)

While many Christmas-themed stories rely on warm-fuzzies, Evans’s debut collection evokes empathy
through his narrators’ flaws, ambitions, and heartaches. For some of them, the holidays offer time to reflect on relationships past. Planning to surprise his parents for Christmas, the gay narrator in “Almost” reconciles a recent breakup when his train is stalled five minutes from home. In “One Person’s Garbage,” a woman bids on Christmas knickknacks at an auction, recalling the childhood celebrations she hid from her liberal parents. Other characters use the holidays to consider their futures. In “Bah!” a hungover, onceaspiring actor forswears the stage, if only he can convince his director that this performance of A Christmas Carol is his last. And in the charming title story, Ma and her ne’er-do-well son, Willie, compete in finding the best deal on a Christmas tree, until the year Pa dies, when Willie has a new role to fill. Lovingly illustrated by Chicago artist Hannah Jennings, Evans’s 12 tales may not always be filled with cheer; but with light humor and tenderness, they do illuminate the human spirit.

— Jonathan Fullmer


This story about Jamal Khashoggi keeps getting worse and worse. This piece in the New York Times describes Khashoggi being dismembered while he was alive--his fingers cut off--and his body chopped into pieces. There's an audio tape, which is obvious by the quotes provided by people who were in the room while he was killed--the doctor who suggested putting on headphones, the 'diplomat' who begged them not to do it in his office, the thug who warned the diplomat he would be killed too if he didn't shut his trap.

When you read these details, and you see and hear the reactions of our president and secretary of state, it makes you sick to your stomach. We are helping Saudi Arabia cover this up.

A torture/murder of a Washington Post journalist who lived in America.

Doesn't get much worse than that.

A Minutia Men Review

This review isn't 100% positive, but then again, I think it's pretty fair. It comes from Podcast Reviewer Morgan Rector, who is a good twenty years younger than us. He gave it three stars (or three MMMs), and said the following...

I can’t say anything bad about this show. It reminds me of the kind of FM morning show co-hosted by two dudes that has proliferated since Howard Stern broke the new ground upon which they stand. Dave Stern (no relation to the aforementioned) and Rick Kaempfer are about as edgy as any guy who uses the word “penis” on FM radio. In other words, this is clean, relatively wholesome entertainment, the type you hear on terrestrial radio in between commercials for large box furniture stores and car dealerships.

I’m wondering if they’re pandering to some radio station they hope will hear this show and hire them as a duo for their morning drive show. They deserve it. They read offbeat news stories and get laughs largely by reporting to us what was reported to them. The world has gone crazy, and that brings comfort to people who have their act together out there in the suburbs and take great pride in that.

Now, again, I’m not putting them down. They both have strong broadcasting voices and can keep a dialogue going effectively with energy and colour.

It’s just that compared to some of the edgier podcasts out there in what is commonly known as the wild west of communications, this show come across as tame.

But then, if tame is your thing, you should listen to this show. The best part: because it’s a podcast you can listen to it on your schedule. It doesn’t take a lot of risks, but it’s a show you could listen to with your grandfather without worrying about him getting offended by coarse language and unconventional ideas.

Cubsessions on a podcast

Randy Richardson and Becky Sarwate-Maxwell talk about their Eckhartz Press book "Cubsessions"

Listen to it here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What He Said...

If it can't be funny...

...make it awkward. That's what Steve & Garry used to tell me. This clip qualifies as awkward. It escalated very quickly at around the 8:30 mark...

Free Kicks Update

Hello Free Kicks listeners! Just letting you know that we haven't had a new episode the past few weeks because of unforseen circumstances.

Sadly, Adam's father passed away, and he has been in England attending to his family there. We obviously wish him the best, and extend our thoughts and prayers to the Howaths. Free Kicks will return when Adam is able. Thanks for your contiuned support!

Tomorrow Night!


When you look like this, should you really be calling a woman "horseface", Iguana-head? Seriously, Cheeto-face, do you or that swirling blonde badger on your head have any right to say something like that? Just asking on behalf of your feet, who haven't seen your face for years because of your big fat belly. Something to think about when you spend your four hours in the makeup chair every morning. That bronzer doesn't cover the rot on the inside. We can see it plain as day.

Canadian Weed

"Today's the day that weed becomes legal in Canada."
--Every reporter at every newspaper and television network, "reporting" from Canada.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Some GoodReads Love for "Cubsessions"

The Eckhartz Press book "Cubsessions" is getting great reviews on GoodReads. Talk about a perfect stocking stuffer for the Cub fan in your life. (Is it too soon to say that?) The authors will be appearing at El Jardin's on November 4th (2-4pm) to sign copies of the book. Before then, of course, it's available at Eckhartz Press.

Christine rated it it was amazing
This is essential reading for Cubs fans but also for anyone interested in a Chicago institution and in major league baseball - it's funny, moving, very well done. Becky Sarwate and Randy Richardson have created a highly readable and enjoyable encomium/series of interviews with some of the Cubs' most well known fans, with the focus on the team's 2016 World Series victory.

Evan rated it it was amazing
I received an advance reading copy of this book, for free, through Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for my honest review. While reading Cubsessions: Famous Fans of Chicago’s North Side Baseball Team & Their Stories of Pain, Loyalty, Hope, and (Finally) Joy by Becky Sarwate and Randy Richardson, I realized that my experience at the conclusion of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series closely mirrored the experiences of those interviewed for the book. While we all wanted to be with the Cubs in Cleveland, many were nowhere near Progressive Field that night (I was watching on TV on the West Coast). Many watched the game with their families (I watched with my parents). Many shed tears of joy (I did, and I still get choked up every time I watch a video of the final out). Many were inundated with congratulatory phone calls immediately following the game (Call after call. I heard from friends I hadn’t spoken with in years). It was interesting to read the 31 interviews in Cubsessions. They feature a diverse group of people, from various walks of life, experiencing a similar feeling at the same moment. Famous Cub fans: Bob Newhart (who is a national treasure), Tom Dreesen, Joe Mantegna, and Nick Offerman. Cub fans whom other Cub fans will recognize, but might not know by name: the guy who invented the Shawon-O-Meter, the Bleacher Preacher, the owner of Murphy’s Bleachers, and Ronnie Woo Woo. Cub fans famous enough to be interviewed, who I honestly never heard of, but Cub fans nonetheless. All remained loyal while suffering as our beloved team wandered for 108 years through the bottom half of the National League standings until finally reaching The Promised Land in 2016! Hallelujah! Holy Cow! Where’s the Tylenol? This book is a must read for any Cub fan. Reliving the night of Game 7, the greatest game ever played, will put a smile on your face. Also, 100 percent of the proceeds from book sales go to cancer and baseball charities. Go buy this book, and GO CUBS GO!

Brian Walsh rated it it was amazing
It's been said before, and perhaps better, but the beauty of Cubsessions: Famous Fans of Chicago’s North Side Baseball Team & Their Stories of Pain, Loyalty, Hope, and (Finally) Joy isn't just that it celebrates the 2016 World Series win. Behind the unique experiences that shape each interview's memories of fandom and celebration, there's the undeniable sense of community, even as a solo spectator. As a reluctant entrant into the world of sports culture, I found myself reading chapters drawn by celebrities I've always enjoyed (Ike Barinholtz, Nick Offerman) but returning to interviews I wasn't expecting to resonate as deeply, like Stephanie Izard and Bob Newhart. Cubsessions captures stories, yes, but more than that, it gives voice to a diverse community many Chicagoans and Illinoisans, fans and non-fans alike, have always been a part of, sometimes unknowingly. A necessary read for any Cubs fan, Chicagoan, Illinoisan, or anyone with ties to the area.

Samantha Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Cubsessions is a must-read, even if you're not a Cubs fan (you will be when you're finished). Here are the real stories of passion from some of the most famous diehard Cubs fans, stories told with heart and warmth, people like Scott Turow, Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna and many more. And no, they didn't leave out the ever-annoying but enthusiastic Ronnie Woo Woo. This book is a heartwarming celebration of baseball's greatest team. Buy it for all the Cubs fans on your gift list. 100 percent of the proceeds from book sales goes to three charities: Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, Scoreboard Charities, and the Chicago Baseball Museum.

Mark Trost rated it it was amazing
It's not just the Cubs. It's the echoes. The longing for belonging as kids. The communion of the like-minded. I thought this book was about baseball. Well it is. But it's not. It's sitting around the kitchen table and hearing your aunts and uncles talk about then. It's sitting in a bar and bantering over beers about who was the best and who was so damn overrated. It's sitting in a barber shop and listening to the old timers talk about all the things you wanted to talk about when you were old enough to have a voice. This is a book about hopes and dreams and wanting something you couldn't control but celebrating the maybes. I loved this book - and I'm not a big baseball fan. But I love reading someone's remembers. This is a wonderfully written book about being an us.

David W. Berner rated it it was amazing
I am not a born and bred Cubs fan, having grown up in Pittsburgh. But after many years in Chicago, one cannot ignore their story, their woes, and their triumphs. They are America's team. And this wonderful little book celebrates it all, along with all the interesting people, characters, and crazy fans who live and die in Cubbie blue. All you have to do is love baseball and it's mystical tug at your heart to enjoy this collection of stories from some of the Cubs' most extraordinary fans.

Liz rated it it was amazing

My husband is an avid Chicago Cubs fan and this book was the perfect gift for him. He really enjoyed it!

Sheila rated it it was amazing
So excited when I won this as a good reads giveaway! You don't have to be a die hard Cubs fan to enjoy the book but it certainly adds to the enjoyment if you are. Go Cubs GO!

Monday, October 15, 2018

OK, NOW this is getting serious

Skip Bayless on Chet Coppock

From Chet's Linked in Page...

I have to admit Skip is a friend. Never the less, I was truly taken back when he sent me a note containing his review of Chet Coppock in Pursuit of Chet Coppock.

Skip:"I bought a copy of your book and I read it...and it's sensational. Great stories and off-camera, off-mike insights. You truly are a legend."

Damn right I'm flattered that one of America's A-list sports journalists would offer such warm praise for my book.

Kipper McGee

Happy birthday to Eckhartz Press author Kipper McGee! Celebrate his birthday by buying a copy of his great book "Brandwidth"

Available here!

Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson

The two lovebirds got engaged over the summer.

Pete made some jokes about their engagement on the first few episodes of SNL this season.

They are no longer engaged.

Not exactly the gold medal for longevity. I've had disposable razors that lasted longer.

Don't worry, it's only 29 million of us

Facebook initially thought that 50 million accounts were breached. Now they think it was only 29 million.

14 million users. 15 million of their friends. And another million were vulnerable but hadn't yet been attacked.

Pfew. I thought it was a serious security breach.

Eckhartz Press on the Radio

Scheduling note: Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis will be on WGN Radio tonight talking about Cameo😉 with Patti Vasquez and Andrea Darlas. Please tune-in. 10pm.

Conference Champs

Congrats to my son's Prospect High School soccer team for winning their Conference Championship this weekend!