Friday, May 13, 2022

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is Stevie Wonder's birthday. Stevie is prominently featured in John Landecker's book Records Truly Is My Middle Name. John was with Stevie (at WILV-Lansing) the moment they heard about Martin Luther King's assassination. (Photo: John in the WILV studio/1968)

*On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot. Roger Badesch was on the radio at the time, and shares that story in the pages of his book The Unplanned Life.

*May 13 is also Cubs catcher Willson Contreras' birthday. Cubsessions author Randy Richardson and I were lucky enough to meet Willson and give him a copy of Randy's book.. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022



On this day in 2010, Ivy Kaempfer joined our family. She died about a month ago, and we were shattered. In honor of Ivy's birthday (with us, anyway), I went back into the Father Knows Nothing archives to find the first column I wrote about her. Obviously things got better after this...

Other parents, whose kids were latched on to their legs–refusing to leave the comfort of mom or dad, used to ask me all the time. “What’s your secret?”

“Bad Parenting,” was my standard answer.

I was joking, of course. The real answer was that I had no idea. It’s pure luck as far as I can tell.

I wish I did know the real answer, because we’ve got a puppy with some serious separation anxiety issues. She doesn’t just whine when we leave the house. She whines when we leave the room. She whines when we take a shower. She whines when she can’t see us.

Not all of us, mind you. Just Bridget and me. In that order.

In the morning and evening when Bridget is home, Ivy (the puppy) is right by her side. I mean–she’s practically glued to her. During the day, when I’m the one home, I get the same treatment. The boys? Not so much. Leaving her with them is like leaving her alone. She whines the whole time.

When she isn’t whining, she’s a delight. She’s cute and cuddly and attentive and mild mannered. She protects us when we’re outside. She is totally comfortable in our house and obeys the barriers we’ve set up for her (other than an obsession with fuzzy slippers). She plays with us whenever we want to play. She’s (more or less) potty trained. She’ll even calmly (and without complaint) sit in her crate.

But all of that goes out the window when Bridget and I are not within eyesight. That’s when the separation anxiety kicks in. She gets so worked up, barking and whining and slamming the sides of the cage, that she literally bends the metal bars. She also pees and/or poops and/or vomits when we’re gone for more than an hour.

Then, as soon as we’re home it’s like nothing ever happened.

I’m trying to remember that she was an abandoned dog. I’m trying to remember that she’s just a puppy, and there will be growing pains, and it will take some time.

But I’m really at a loss for what to do. Bad parenting is not going to work this time. She’s got some real experience with bad parenting–her previous owner is in jail.

I have to find the real answer, and fast.

Ivy Kaempfer, 2010-2022

Eckhartz Everyday


*Big day in Cubs history. On this day in 1955, Sam Jones threw a no-hitter for the Cubs. On this day in 1970, Ernie Banks hit his 500th homer. Naturally, both players are featured prominently in the book EveryCubEver.

*Today is author Rosellen Brown's birthday. She is an enthusiastic endorser of Donald G. Evans' book An Off-White Christmas. Here's what she said: "Donald Evans has a great ear and a light touch and together they lead An Off-White Christmas in unpredictable directions. Underlying what’s funny in these stories are real families, friends and lovers colliding or coming together in what promises, but doesn’t always turn out to be, the season of good cheer."

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

For Cubs Fans

 Got this in my e-mail box today. I will be out of town on the shoot day, but maybe it's right for you...


Project Type Mini-Series

Project Name Cubs • Talkshow Content

Director Dave Merhar

Producer Jeff Snyder

Production Company Hammer Productions

Additional Details This is a mini-series that the Cubs are shooting to be shown on the jumbotron during the games, outside the stadium, on their socials, and new media. Each of the 12 selected fans will be asking current players, former stars, or celebrity fans interview questions.

Casting Director Sarah Cayce CSA

Casting Associate Eve Rosenthal

Casting Assistant Gabriela Medina 
Union Status Non-Union

Project Rate Varies by Usage

• $200 + Footage - If selected for final shoot on 5/27

• $25 + Footage - If audition is used in any edits

Submissions Due May 20th, 2022

Shoot Day May 27th, 2022

Location Chicago, IL 



  • Super Fans Principal / 18+ / Open Ethnicity / All Genders / Varies by Usage / Actual Cubs super fans with in-depth knowledge of the team who would be comfortable asking interview questions to current players, famous ex-Cub players, and celebrity fans. We're not looking for people to play fans, but people who ARE fans.
  • Kiddos Principal / 3-17 / Open Ethnicity / All Genders / Varies by Usage / Actual Cubs super fans who would be excited AND comfortable asking current players, famous ex-Cub players, and celebrity fans interview questions.


Submission Instructions

  • Please find all instructions here:
  • Note: This spot is for real fans who can be in the Wrigley Field Area on the shoot date. Please do not submit unless you are an actual Cubs fan with knowledge of the team.
  • Absolutely no phone calls.
  • Submissions that do not follow instructions will be disregarded. 

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--Rich King

The latest episode is out now. You can listen to it here.

Legendary Chicago radio and television sportscaster Rich King talks about his great new book “Ike and Me” and regales Rick and Dave with memorable stories about the likes of Michael Jordan and Walter Payton.  [Ep98]

Sure, it might have been artificially enhanced, but...

Eckhartz Everyday

 Our book Rantings of a Bitter Childless Woman came out on this day in 2016. So what can readers expect from this book by Jeanne Bellezzo? It's better to show than to tell. Here's an excerpt...

Remember when we took long car trips as kids and amused ourselves for hours on end by playing The Alphabet Game? You know, where you had to point out an object starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet before your bratty sister could? And if you both spotted the same object simultaneously, you fought about it, thus passing another 15 to 20 minutes of the trip until your dad finally warned you not to make him stop this car and turn around right now?

Life was so simple then.

Now, kids on long car trips (defined as 10 minutes or more) have a plethora of entertainment options we couldn’t even imagine. DVD players. Cell phones. Nintendo DS. Online shopping. Mobile investing. Personally, I think it would have been the coolest thing in the world to have movies in the back of our old Wrangler and then fight with my sister about what to watch.

But apparently, it isn’t enough for today’s short-attention-span generation. Barely an hour into an 8-hour family roadtrip to Arizona, my friend’s six-year-old son turned off the DVD player, tossed his DS impatiently into his pile of books, and announced, “I’m bored.”

A few months ago, my boyfriend and I volunteered to watch his twin niece and nephew while mom and dad went to a baseball game with friends from out of town. They dropped the kids off early on Sunday morning. (For us, any time before 8 a.m. on Sunday is early. Thank God for coffee.)

We spent the next few hours playing games with them (side note: if you’re ever having issues waking up, a few games of Jenga will resolve them immediately). We watched cartoons. They chased the cats around. We took them to lunch (the kids, not the cats). We took them to a movie, stopping first to get something to drink at the grocery store, and while we were there we bought them each a doughnut. Yes, they just had lunch, but as the fun aunt and uncle we are required by law to overdose them on sugar. And they’re both thin little Energizer bunnies, so we weren’t particularly concerned about childhood obesity.

As they wolfed down their fried sugary goodness, one mentioned that it was the second doughnut she’d had. I asked, “Today?” She replied, “No, ever. Mom doesn’t let us have doughnuts.” Awesome. This will be our little secret, right?

So after games, cartoons, lunch, clandestine doughnuts, and a movie, we returned home and made a beeline for the couch, exhausted. (Ok, the adults were exhausted. Seriously parents, how do you do it?)

At which point one of the twins asked, “Can we do something fun now?”

Yes. Go outside and play The Alphabet Game. Twice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

My Kind of People

I bet he would enjoy the song I wrote for Landecker and the Legends...

Felix Cavaliere

 New episode posts tomorrow. In the meantime, if you haven't listened to this one yet, it's a good one.

Eckhartz Everyday


This is an important day in balding history, as this excerpt from David Stern’s masterpiece (“The Balding Handbook: 5 Stages of Grieving for your Hair Loss“) reveals…

The official origins of the combover can be traced back to May 10, 1977. Frank Smith, an Orlando police officer, was issued United States Patent #4,022,227 for the creation recommended by his son Donald. Donald advised his father to grow his hair longer on one side, and comb it over his gigantic bald spot. Frank agreed, and became the first one to proudly put his name to the “Combover.”

Needless to say, he wasn’t the last.

Are you one of Frank’s followers? If so, you need to know something very important. All Stage One balding men in the midst of Denial face ridicule, but it’s hard to find one that is ridiculed more than you are.

No offense.

“But Dave,” you might say, “I definitely do not have a combover.”

Are you 100% sure about that? Combovers come in all shapes and sizes. Here are just a few different types, and it’s not even an all-inclusive list.

The original combover trademarked by Frank Smith is commonly referred to as The Flip at our balding conventions. (It’s also quite commonly used at another convention held every four years.) If you’re spending an hour after every shower flipping your hair from one side to the other, you may not be a Republican, but you’re most definitely sporting the Republican Party’s combover of choice ever since former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani “flipped” his way into the hearts of voters nationwide after 9/11.

The Frontal Tuft Fluff Up is probably the most sophisticated combover. A FTFU wearer takes the few remaining hairs on his frontal scalp, and teases them, or “fluffs them up” above the forehead to disguise the vast wasteland behind the tuft. The Frontal Tuft Fluff Up became the Democratic Party’s combover of choice when former Vice President Gore used a tiny little tuft of frontal hair to create the magical illusion of a full head of hair. Unlike most FTFUers, Gore managed to pull it off by never allowing photographs to be taken from behind, and employing round-the-clock hair magicians to make his trees look like a forest. Unless you’ve got the Secret Service protecting you from rogue photographers (which you don’t), invented the internet (which you didn’t), you’ve got millions to waste on hair magicians (which you don’t), or you’re planning on participating in thousands of police line ups, the only thing your FTFU will create is a maximum amount of snickering behind your back. After all, anyone looking at you from that angle can see how ridiculous you look.

The Taliban, also known as The Swirl and The Soft Serve Ice Cream, is one of the more creative combovers. The hair is grown especially long on one side, just like The Flip, but instead of simply flipping the hair, the Talibaner swirls his hair into a hair mat on top of his head. Former University of Illinois and New Mexico State basketball coach Lou Henson was probably the most famous devotee of this technique. He was also widely mocked. On the other hand, the Taliban has been around for hundreds of years in the Middle East. Some historians believe it was the original inspiration for the turban.

The Trump is probably the most recent combover innovation. Trumpers grow their hair really long in the back, flip it toward the front, and keep it in place with ozone-layer-killing industrial strength hairspray. There’s no need to see the certificate of the bozo that “birthed” this movement, but suffice it to say that baldologists everywhere get a certain glee when they tell their clients that this ridiculous combover must be told: “You’re fired.”


Monday, May 09, 2022

Minutia Men--Nantucket Limericks

 The latest episode is out. You can find it here.

Misconceptions of recent college graduates, Nantucket topless beaches, Kent State photographer, the dangers of being late for your wedding, another embarrassing death, and a brush with a 1970’s sitcom star are discussed by Rick and Dave. [Ep270]

(Photo: Rick, Tony Lossano, Dave)

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2016, Eckhartz Press author Pat Colander appeared on WGN Radio to discuss her book Hugh Hefner's First Funeral on Rick Kogan's show. I was there too, and Rick included me in the interview. You can hear that interview here.

*On this in 2017, author Bob Shannon drove in from his home in Minnesota to sign a book deal with Eckhartz Press. His book Turn it Up is still available in e-book form on amazon.