Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Wrigley's Past

 Wrigley used to be accessible by not only the L train. There was a streetcar that went right by the front door (as you can see in this picture). I think this is from the 1940s.

By the way, during the 1918 Pandemic they took out all the streetcar windows so that people could travel with fresh air. Hard to believe that we still don't have a better handle on that more than one hundred years later.

Review of "Righteous Might" by Keith Conrad

 Windy City Reviews on Keith Conrad's Righteous Might. The full review is here, but this is an excerpt...

Righteous MightKeith Conrad. Eckhartz Press, June 22, 2020, Trade Paperback and E-book, 260 pages.

Reviewed by Andrew Reynolds.

Have you ever had one of those ideas that, when you looked back at it, you wish you'd kept to yourself? If you have, then you probably have a good idea of how Rebecca Lasky feels as the events in Righteous Might unfold.

Rebecca is the protagonist among an ensemble of characters the reader meets as the story progresses. She has an idea for a way to make an object the size of an aircraft carrier invisible to radar. The fact that she works for DARPA, the Defense Department’s in-house research arm, means she’s in a position to try her idea out in real life. 

That’s how Rebecca, her boss, and a team of technicians end up on the Gerald R. Ford as it and its battle group steam out of Pearl Harbor. The equipment that she hopes will make her idea a reality has been installed on the Ford, but her task has expanded: it is now hoped that her experiment can hide the entire battle group from radar.

As far as the crew of the Ford is concerned, the test is nothing but an annoyance. They're on their way to the continental U.S. and their home port after a long deployment, and all the tests are little more than a delay to them. What none of them know is that their delay is going to be much longer than they thought.

The experiment works, but as the equipment is being shut down, things go terribly wrong. Everyone is rendered unconscious, but once they wake up, they find things have gotten much stranger. None of their satellite-based systems, from GPS to communications, is working. Even their normal communications channels are silent. It’s only when they dispatch a reconnaissance flight to Pearl Harbor that the magnitude of how much trouble they’re in becomes clear: Battleship Row is no longer an empty memorial—it’s filled with the ships that will be sunk on December 7, 1941.

Righteous Might delves into one of the most fundamental problems such a situation would present to its protagonists: What do you do when you can literally rewrite the future you know? Do you try to change history, or do you stand back and let the timeline develop as you remember it? Keith Conrad spins a good yarn, examining that problem through the eyes of his characters. He makes his main characters come alive, and it’s a story that’s easy to get lost in. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

And John Oliver is wearing a Liverpool hoodie

Yes, THAT Monica

Amazon Finally Wore Us Down

Replacing RBG

I have an outside the box idea to cool off the impending firestorm about the Supreme Court opening. Assuming they can't find four Republican senators to be consistent with their previous position of four years ago (the best-case solution), this might work...

1. Democrats should agree to support a compromise candidate, preferably a woman that is 65 or over (as Obama tried to do with Garland pick--he was an older compromise candidate).  Getting a huge vote--90 or more, would immediately calm the furor.

2. When they regain control of the Senate, Democrats should pass a law limiting a Supreme Court term to a maximum of 30 years. That's a very reasonable amount of time (maybe even too reasonable), but it would mean the next president would replace...Clarence Thomas (1991) and Steven Breyer (1994). The court would remain conservative, but it would be a 5-4 court, with an institutionalist 5th vote (Roberts) to reign in the crazy.

3. It also means the 2024 election would take place without an obvious Supreme Court opening, and thereby reduce the level of animosity there.

Why should both sides agree to this?

The Democrats won't get a better deal. They are not going to be able to stop McConnell, despite his bald and obvious hypocrisy. The Republicans would guarantee they at least keep a conservative majority, while avoiding the inevitable nuclear Democratic reaction (stacking the court). Don't deceive yourself. That nuclear reaction IS inevitable if the Republicans go full-asshole here.

Not that I think anyone will listen to this idea. But it would work in bringing down the temperature, which otherwise has the potential of breaking the new record just set in Death Valley.

Just a thought.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

I officially don't have kids anymore...


Only adults. My youngest son Sean (photo above) turns 18 today. That means all of my boys are now officially adults (Tommy is 24, Johnny is 22, and Sean is 18)

When he was born, I was still the executive producer of the John Records Landecker show on WJMK Radio. Like we did with the birth of my two other sons (Tommy and Johnny), the John Landecker show followed the pregnancy on the air. I even recorded the actual birth on digital audio tape as it was happening, and then called into the radio program with a full report live from the hospital.

His brothers were both born early in the morning (Tommy at 4 AM, Johnny at 2 AM), but Bridget was in labor DURING the show for Sean. I called into the show every hour and gave updates, some of which are referenced in the transcript below. Sean was born less than hour after the show ended that day.

This is the transcript of the call the following morning, September 20, 2002. The show members at that time were John Landecker, Leslie Keiling, and Bonnie Greene.

John: Magic 104.3, 8:14, John Records Landecker along with Leslie Keiling, that's Sister Sledge "We are Family". Rick, our producer, are you there?

Rick: I'm here.

John: You're a brand new dad.

Rick: Yes I am.

John: Bridget are you there?

Bridget: Hello. I'm here.

John: Do you have a radio at the hospital?

Bridget: No. We had one down at labor and delivery, and we were listening. The anesthesiologist thought you were really funny.

Leslie: Oh great.

John: You mean when he called him "Shakes"?

Rick: And a heroin addict, I believe.

John: Ha! So, how long do they let you stay in the hospital these days after delivery?

Bridget: 48 hours, and I'm taking every last second of it.

John: Well you sound good.

Rick: She looks good too.

John: Do you feel good too?

Bridget: Yeah. And we got a little trooper here too.

Leslie: Is the trooper in there with you?

John: No hold on a second, we're not giving anything away here. OK, so Rick. So far you have Tommy...

Rick: He'll be seven next month.

John: And Johnny...

Rick: He's 4 1/2.

John: Now people want to know. Hit it, Vinnie.

(Music: Theme song from "My Three Sons")

John: It would be my three...

Rick: Sons.

John: How big was our boy?

Bridget: 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

John: How long was labor?

Bridget: I'm not exactly sure because when we got here I was already in labor.

Leslie: That's the best way isn't it?

Rick: It really wasn't that long. I think she only had to push about ten times.

Leslie: And then went to the prom.

(Everyone laughs)

John: Let's get to the tape. Now Rick, you taped this yourself?

Rick: I did.

John: Any problems?

Rick: None at all this time. I had the surgical gloves on, and was helping the doctor. I had a leg in one hand, and..

John: Now wait a second here. What leg were you hanging on to?

Rick: I was hanging on to one of Bridget's legs.

John: Oh. So let me get this straight. You're hanging on to Bridget's leg with one hand, and the microphone in the other hand?

Rick: No, I set the microphone down on the table.

John: Oh geez. I had an image in my head here...

Rick: I'm very talented.

(Everyone laughs)

Rick: I did test levels.

(Everyone laughs)

John: The first time you didn't even know the microphone was on, the third time you're testing levels.

Rick: Exactly.

John: OK, roll the tape.

Dr. Sabbagha: Hi, hi, there it is. Can you push a little more?

Bridget: Ugh

Dr. Sabbagha: Hi there. Push push.

Nurse: Hi pumpkin.

Dr. Sabbagha: God, you're beautiful. Say something, precious.

Rick: It's a purple baby. That's Johnny's favorite color.

Baby cries.

Dr. Sabbagha: There he goes.

Rick: It's a boy!

Bridget: It's a boy?!

Rick: My three sons. Good work!

John: Rick. Guess whose crying in the studio? Oh, look, I got two of 'em crying.

Leslie: That's so beautiful.

Rick: It was soooo cool. I really got to enjoy it this time.

John: (sarcastically) Oh, and I know how hard the whole birthing process is for you.

Bridget: I actually thought he was funny this time. He made me laugh.

Bonnie: Because you hated him the other two times, right?

Rick: She kicked me in the knutchkies the first time she was so mad at me.

Bridget: I did not.

 You did too.

 Oh come on now, you two. You just had a baby.

Rick: I'm actually really proud of her. You should see her. You'd never believe she just had a baby.

Leslie: How are the boys. Are they excited?

Rick: (long pause) Uh...no.

(Everyone laughs)

Bridget: Tommy was so excited for about ten seconds. He came running into the room, held the baby, and then...hey what's in this cabinet?

Rick: And Johnny didn't even want to hold the baby.

John: Oooooooh.

Bonnie: Johnny's the middle child now.

Rick: Yup. My mom asked Johnny yesterday how his day went, and he said...Um, let's see...I went to school...I played in the park...um...She asked, 'Did anything special happen?' and he answered..."No."

John: Oh well, that will be an on-going story.

Rick: We're going to all go to a White Sox game tonight and beat up a coach. (This was the day after the William Ligue story)

John: You were gloating all morning, weren't you?

Rick: Yes I was.

John: I told you! Cubs fans are gloating all over the city. So...the name of the child is...

 Sean Harrison Kaempfer

(Baby noises in the background)

John: Is that him?

Bridget: Yup. I'll put the phone up to him.

(More baby noises)

Bonnie: He sounds like a puppy.

John: OK, Sean. That's Irish for John, right?

Bridget: Yes, technically it is. S-E-A-N.

John: Harrison, I've got to guess, is...

Rick: Let's just say it's not for Harrison Ford.

John: It's for George Harrison, isn't it?

Rick: Yes it is.

John: I knew it!

Rick: But I didn't pick Sean. That was Tommy's idea.

John: And Johnny wanted to name it...

Rick: Johnny abstained.

(Everyone laughs)

John: Johnny threw his headphones down and walked out of the Security Council meeting!

Rick: That's right.

John: Well congratulations everybody. We now have Sean's first on-air performance on tape too.

Bonnie: Are his eyes open yet?

Leslie: He's not a kitten for Pete's sake.

Rick: Blue eyes.

Bridget: He's kind of dozing right now.

 Poke him. Wake him up.

Leslie: Isn't it good that Bonnie doesn't have children? Have you taken him out for a walk yet?

Rick: We've got newspaper all over the floor...

 Bonnie, it's a baby.

Bonnie: Sorry...

John: Well thanks for procreating.

Rick: My pleasure.

John: I'll bet it was. And now we have the vasectomy next.

 Yes we do.

Leslie: And then we'll hear Rick making baby noises.

(everyone laughs)

 Sean Harrison Kaempfer. That's a cool name. You'll have to change your answering machine message you know.

Rick: I'll do that today.

John: Cause it says, Rick, Bridget, Tommy & Johnny can't come to the phone. Well thanks guys, and congratulations.

Rick: Bye.

Bridget: Bye.

Bonnie: Of course, it will be awhile before Sean can come to the phone.

Leslie: Whoa.

John: The next time we do anything with children, you don't talk.

Bonnie laughs.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Sometimes you just need puppies and laughing babies

Seth Meyers

A well-written smackdown to President "Blame the Blue States"...

Free Kicks--Peacock Plunder

This week's episode is a fun one...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Not setting a record

Jon Lester's Last Wrigley Field Start

Last night Jon Lester might have pitched at Wrigley Field the last time. The playoffs will be at a neutral location, so it looks like it was his last home start as a Cub. His six year contract runs out after this season.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fact Checking Last Night's Town Hall

Daniel Dale is a national treasure. Unfortunately for us, he's Canadian...

New Song by Fee Waybill

 The former lead singer of the Tubes has still got it. This song rocks...

Gone in 2020

 I've started working on updating this year's edition of Every Cub Ever. So far we've lost 10 Cubs in 2020...Glenn Beckert, Jim Bolger, Lou Brock, Angel Echevarria, Ben Johnson, Matt Keough, Don Larsen, Salty Saltwell, Dick Scott & Tony Taylor...RIP.


 The man could sing...

The Score Fires Dan McNeil

Robert Feder has all the details.

Danny tweeted a sexist joke about an ESPN reporter. The reporter responded. She was clearly offended by it. The management took swift action. Here's what management's statement said (from Feder's column):

Rachel Williamson, senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago, announced that McNeil was no longer employed by The Score in an email to staff.

“For each one of us our words have power. For our brands and on-air personalities that is amplified and brings increased responsibility in how we chose to use our voices. Last night’s tweet, and its degrading and humiliating tone to a fellow female broadcaster, was unacceptable,” Williamson wrote.

“We have the best teams in Chicago, and we must hold ourselves to high expectations to continue to be leaders in our organization, our industry and our community. We apologize to all who were offended by Dan’s words, especially Maria.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

On the side of science