Monday, December 30, 2019

One last post for 2019

I'll be back in 2020. Just one last thought before I go. RIP Neil Innis, former Rutles member, and a musical advisor to Monty Python. He was on the show the day Dave & I hosted at WLS. Great guy. Great stories. And in this video from our interview, he's playing guitar...

Monday, December 23, 2019

Minutia Men--Take it to the Banks

Rick and Dave discuss sketch artist hijinks, maximum efficiency toilets, Rick’s brush with Bob Newhart, and they interview sportswriter/blogger/podcaster/bon vivant, Paul Banks.

Listen to it here.

An early Christmas present

I update my website every single day, and though I see the number of people who read it remains pretty high, it sometimes feels like I'm doing it for no reason. This morning I got this comment in my e-mail box...

Robert C Skelly says:
12/23/2019 at 9:36 am
Rick, I read your TODAYS CUBS BIRTHDAY column daily. December 23rd’s edition moved me like no other date. Maybe it was the contrasting stories of tragedy, victory & what never was…or the prose of an inspired fan.
Whatever it was, I just voted it the Best Column of the Year!!!

Thanks Robert. I greatly appreciate that. That made my day.

Lossano & Friends

Our producer Tony Lossano gets a shout out in today's Robert Feder column...

Tony Lossano, host and producer of “Lossano and Friends” and “Nude Hippo: The Podcast,” will celebrate Christmas morning with a one-hour spectacular gathering a dozen hosts of shows produced by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network for Joining him at the Museum of Broadcast Communications will be: Steve Baskerville and Howard Sudberry of “Back 2 You”; Rick Kaempfer and Dave Stern of “Minutia Men/Minutia Men Celebrity Interview”; Marc Vernon of “The Car Guys Report”; Ed Silha of Radio Misfits Podcast Network; Tommy Mallie, Kimmy Spoons, Samuel Greenberg, Chris Cwiak and Michael Garay of “Lossano and Friends”; and Evie Olson of “Grape Insights.” Added Lossano: “I will be the Fahey Flynn holding the bow-tie shaped holiday cookies.”

Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire have a new sporting director. His name is Georg Heitz, and he comes from Switzerland with a pretty strong pedigree.

Maybe now that they are back in Soldier Field, and have a new director, the Fire can re-emerge. This past decade has been a complete waste.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Another Big Morning Change

WGN Radio announced that Steve Cochran is out as WGN Morning man, and will be replaced by Bob Sirott.

Details are here.

I have nothing against either Bob or Steve. I've interviewed both of them many times over the years.

Bob Sirott 2014

Steve Cochran 2017

The new WGN lineup is...

4-5am: Simulcast of WGN-TV “Early Morning News”
5-9am: Bob Sirott
9am-12pm: John Williams
12-1pm: Wintrust Business Lunch with Ji Suk Yi
1-3pm: Anna Davlantes
3-7pm: Roe Conn
7-11pm: Justin Kaufmann
11pm-4am: Nick Digilio

Christianity Today Urges Trump Impeachment

The magazine was founded by Billy Graham. They wrote the following...

the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.

It took some time for them to admit the immoral character, but I'm glad they did. I was starting to think that I was living in an alternative universe.

The full scathing editorial is here: Trump Should Be Removed From Office

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Free Kicks, Across the Pond Episode 2

Adam and Rick discuss the state of the Premier League table (top & bottom) as the league heads into the Christmas Fixtures, and the Champions League draw. Plus, episode 2 from across the pond–from Chelsea’s training facility in England. [Ep54]

Listen to it here.

WXRT moves Lin Brehmer to middays, lets Mary Dixon go

I'm hoping this is something Lin wanted. I know how much it sucks to live that morning show lifestyle. I did it for many years myself (although not nearly as long as Lin). They are moving Richard Milne to mornings, but are canceling news in the morning show, which means that Mary Dixon is out. I personally think it's a mistake to get rid of Mary, but even a bigger mistake to get rid of news in general. As we get older, and the WXRT audience is basically my age, we need news more than ever. That's just my two cents.

Read all about it in Robert Feder's column from last night.

Of course, in my role as media writer for Illinois Entertainer, I have interviewed both Lin and Mary. Here are the links...

Mary Dixon 2014

Lin Brehmer 2018

Response from Beyond

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Totally Realistic Clothing Ad

Courtesy of SNL...

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview

This week's guest is appropriate for the time of the Zach Ward. He played the bully Scut Farkus in the movie Christmas Story. I actually call him a dick in this interview--the only time I've ever done that to anyone on a broadcast or podcast.

But a fun interview. Really.

Listen to it here.

Happy Holidays from U of I

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Congrats to Media Tracks

Congrats to my friend Reed Pence and his partner Shel Lustig for this milestone. Via Robert Feder's column this morning...

Congratulations to Chicago radio veterans Shel Lustig and Reed Pence on the 30th anniversary of Des Plaines-based MediaTracks Communications, the leading producer of nationally syndicated public affairs radio programming. The two co-founded the company in 1989 from a makeshift studio in Pence’s basement. Today its flagship broadcast, “Radio Health Journal,” reaches 3 million listeners a week on more than 600 radio stations. “Reliable, high-quality, syndicated public affairs programming is a must in today’s competitive radio landscape,” Lustig said in a statement. “The key to our success and longevity has always been our ability to adapt with the times and meet our affiliates’ changing needs.”

Here's a picture of Reed with Eckhartz Press author Janet Sutherland, who appeared on his Radio Health Journal...

Monday, December 16, 2019


Minutia Men--Dave Censors Dave

Rick and Dave discuss Penguin prostitution, the perils of mutual fit-bits, Rick’s brush with Cubs Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, and they interview rock and roll songwriting icon Jim Peterik. Jim and Rick jam together, and Jim tells a great story about visiting Led Zeppelin's hotel suite. [EP160]

Listen to it here.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Perfect Picture

Paris and the Beatles

You know who's life I'd like to be living right now? Brent Petersen's. The man travels and eats for a living.

I could do that. But not as well as he does it in his podcast Destination Eat Drink.

This week's episode is about Paris, but it involves some great info about the Beatles.

Highly recommended.

Listen to it here.

Teenage Hero Trolls Trump

Trump tweeted that climate activist Greta Thunberg should not have been named Time Magazine's person of the year. He said she had an anger management problem (project much?) and needs to chill. Greta responded by changing her Twitter profile...

Free Kicks

Our first "Across the Pond" special. We talk about that exciting trip to Chelsea.

Listen to it here.

Last Minute Gifts (for South Siders)

To my friends on the south side who have been asking me about my Cubs book (yes, there have been a few), here's a chance for you to come out and get them before Christmas. I'll be there for a few hours selling and signing EveryCubEver (and so will fellow Eckhartz Press authors Randy Richardson & Becky Sarwate with their book Cubsessions). Great last minute holiday gift...

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview

Have I mentioned that the Radio Misfits and Oppih Productions have created a new show based on our celebrity interviews? It's true. Every week they post a new one. The first three are below...

Field of Dreams actor Dwier Brown (he played Ray's dad)

Rico Suave himself, Gerardo

Shark Tank star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

Tomorrow we'll be interviewing Jim Peterik. He'll be next week's guest.

Indiana Cubs

On December 11, 1816, Indiana was admitted into the union. Many Cubs (all featured in Every Cub Ever: have ties to the state. These three attended Indiana University; Mickey Morandini, Kevin Orie, and Kyle Schwarber.

Hawk is in the Hall

No offense, but are you serious? I don't want to be unkind, but he was unlistenable to me. And Pat Hughes still isn't in there? Not sure I understand this one...

Monday, December 09, 2019

December Nein

On December Nein (German pun there, sorry), we take a moment to recognize the Cubs who were born in Germany. Would you believe there were 12? Heinz Becker, Ed Eiteljorge, Marty Krug, and Fritz Mollwitz were German immigrants to this country. The other eight were born on military bases in Germany. All are featured in EveryCubEver. This year, give the gift of Germans for the holidays.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Minutia Men--Back in the Saddle

In this week's episode we catch up with our old pal Spike Manton--who calls in from his new mountain home.

Listen to it here.

Friday, December 06, 2019

St. Nick's

Happy St. Nick's Day! Would you believe only two out of the more than 2200 players who have played for the Cubs were named Nick? Nicholas Dumovich (1923) and Nicholas Castellanos (2019). Both, of course, are featured in everycubever (Buy it here!)

Da Bears?

I'm not sure what team I was watching last night, but they sure looked good.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Here We Go

It's Officially a Conspiracy Theory

We live in a world where up is down and black is white. I read the Mueller report. In no way does it exonerate Trump, despite what the president and his supporters constantly say.

The counter to Mueller was the "investigation of the investigators". Remember that? It was supposed to be the *real* scandal. Trump's hand-picked AG hand-picked another US Attorney to look into it. The Inspector General looked into it too. There's nothing there. Nothing. Here's the headline in the Washington Post today: Barr’s handpicked prosecutor tells inspector general he can’t back right-wing theory that Russia case was U.S. intelligence setup.

Of course it's not true. It was always a ridiculous theory.

I feel my wallet tingling

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Apple Corps, Ltd. and The Thread Shop, the merchandising division of Sony Music Entertainment, announced a broad partnership to develop new merchandise, licensing, retail and ecommerce opportunities for The Beatles in North America. The Thread Shop will work closely with Apple Corps "to expand The Beatles' brand presence in the U.S. and throughout the region by creating unique apparel, products and collaborations that celebrate the band's indelible cultural and musical legacy and further the reach and impact of its iconography with fans." New Beatles merchandise will be made available across The Thread Shop's network of major retail chains and leading independent retailers. The Thread Shop will also operate The Beatles North America direct-to-consumer commerce site,

The Thread Shop will introduce its first wave of The Beatles merchandise collection with a Beatles holiday pop-up store in New York City from December 11 through December 22 -- perfectly timed for holiday shopping. The pop-up will showcase new apparel designs as well an assortment of licensed Beatles clothing, toys, and other branded products including turntables, a pinball machine, and other cool stuff.
In connection with the agreement between Apple Corps and Sony Music, Joe Marziotto has joined the Thread Shop Team as VP, Licensing & Marketing to continue active Beatles licensing relationships and develop new opportunities for the band in partnership with Apple Corps.

Good Biden Ad

I'm not even a Biden guy, but I tip my hat on this ad. Very well done.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019


The new edition of EveryCubEver has a few big surprises. For instance, did you know that John Glenn played for the Cubs?

OK, maybe not that John Glenn. But there was a John Glenn who played for the Cubs in 1876-1877. He was not a nice man. Glenn was killed by police at the age of 38 during an attempted lynching. He looked like this...

Chet & Pat

The December issue of Illinois Entertainer is out, and features my year-end column paying tribute to the Chicago media figures we lost this year. I concentrated on two friends I still miss; Chet Coppock and Pat Colander.

The Whole World is Laughing at Us

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

An Off-White Christmas

Eckhartz Press author Donald G. Evans's short story collection, An Off-White Christmas, is now available in audio and e-book formats. Two chances, both in Oak Park, to get your signed book before the holidays.

Wednesdays Are for Writers
Wednesdays Are For Writers
7-9 p.m.
Eastgate Cafe
102 Harrison Street
Oak Park, IL 60304

Don and Hannah Jennings will talk about the story collection at this monthly reading series. Admission is free, but everybody who comes is encouraged to spend $10, on food, drink, or some combination.

Nineteenth Century Club’s Enrichment Series
Monday, Dec. 16, 2019
11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
19th Century Club
178 Forest Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60301

The Nineteenth Century Club hosts a staged reading of the story "Bah!", An Off-White Christmas. Some actors who did the exceptional, just-released audio recording of the story collection, including Kevin Theis, Savanna Rae, and Bryan Wakefield, will perform

Reservations are required for the lunch, which precedes the performance. Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, as a co-sponsoring nonprofit organization, is able to offer our audience the member rate of $20 (as compared to the non-member rate of $25) that includes social time (starting at 11:30 a.m.), lunch (noon), program (1 p.m.) and tea (2:15 p.m.). Reservations should be made before Dec. 10. Two options for making making reservations: 1. call the 19th Century Club directly (708.386.2729) and let them know you are taking advantage of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's $20 membership rate, 2. email CLHOF or call (773.414.2603) and we'll add you to our list of attendees. For those who can't make the luncheon, there is a suggested program donation of $15. Books will be available for sale.


On December 3, remember EveryCubEver who wore the number 3 is in the book "EveryCubEver". It is the perfect Christmas gift for the Cub fan in your family. ( Here are a few examples of famous Cub #3s...Kiki Cuyler (HOF), Rip Collins, Phil Cavarretta, Frankie Frisch (HOF), Jim Bolger, Gene Clines, and David Ross

Exploring London

While we were in London, of course, we had a chance to explore the sights. Here are a few of them...