First off, if you are a Cub fan you might want to check out the hyper-links in this blog. Lots of great video embedded.
I’ve spent most of my idle time this summer watching baseball, but it’s been a long ride back.
As a youngster, my sister lived in Chicago and I spent some summer months visiting and watching the Chicago Cubs on WGN. This was before WGN became a cable superstation, and I became a Chicago Cubs fan and have remained that way. I was a young Cub fan in 1969 (well, I was a sophomore in high school) when the Cubs had a huge lead late in the season. In fact they led the division from the start of the season for 105 straight games going into August. They had a seemingly insurmountable lead of 8 ½ games over the Mets… But it was not to be. You know the story: The “Miracle Mets” went on a terror and won the division by 8 games over the 2nd place Cubs. Cub Skipper Leo Durocher made plenty of mistakes which resulted in the September swoon, and that was my first real shot at being heartbroken by the Cubs.
The agony of defeat!
I was working in Florida when WGN became a superstation and finally I was able to watch 150+ games a year.
I watched the Cubs thru the 70’s and early 80’s on WGN whenever I could, but they were the lovable losers. “Wait ‘till next year” became my favorite saying.
In the early 80’s the Wrigley family sold the Cubs to the Chicago Tribune and the ledgendary Jack Brickhouse (“back, back, back, HEY HEY, a home run!”) retired and Harry Caray moved from the White Sox to the Cubs.
I saw Harry on TV (White Sox broadcasts) when I was in Chicago… the Sox were on a Chicago UHF station station, WSNS ch 44, and were not available anywhere but Chicago, I remember not particularly liking him. He seemed like he was more of a hard drinking fan than a play-by-play guy. I remember when he was doing White Sox games he was drinking and promoting Schlitz beer. Later on I would learn that it was because of a bad relationship with the Bush family when he was fired by the Cardinals. Caray admitted in 1984 to Milo Hamilton that he’d in fact had an affair with the daughter-in-law of the longtime Cardinals owner Gussie Bush – which has long been rumored to be the reason for his firing by the Cardinals in 1969. Harry was not going to promote Bush’s beer any more! Before and after the White Sox years Harry was a “Bud Man”. Harry was with the Sox during the infamous “disco Demolition Night” promotion on July 12, 1979. If you are in the radio biz, or were a Sox fan, you what that means. It was the beginning of the end of the disco era.
The significant thing to me about being a baseball fan during the 80’s was the baseball strike of 1982. My daughter, Jennifer was in the hospital in very critical condition and had just had open-heart surgery. I desperately needed a diversion and baseball was it. But the players and owners could not get together and the strike of 1981 was enevitable. The strike began on June 12 and forced the cancellation of 713 games resulting in the infamous split-season playoffs. All I remember about that was that the Cincinnati Reds had the best record in baseball and they didn’t make the post season playoffs.
When the middle of the season was cancelled it broke my heart and really changed my view of baseball players and owners.
The agony of defeat.
I nearly gave up baseball but I was Cub fan and the future was looking good.
My family went to Tucson during spring training 1984 and watched the Cubs play the Indians at Hi Corbit Field in Tucson (before it was the spring training site for the Rockies the Indians played there). We also went to Phoenix and visited Sun City and Mesa to watch the Cubs. It was at Hohokam Park that I got a chance to talk to Dallas Green, the GM of the Cubs (he sat a row in front of me). I remembered him from his Philly days plus his first season as the Cub GM. I obtained his autograph. I also talked to Jim Fry, the new skipper, plus Jody Davis, Ryne Sandberg and almost the entire roster.
I also met and talked to Harry Caray and Milo Hamilton. They were so approachable in spring training and it was so much fun to be a fan. Dallas Green had made some significant trades and the Cubs looked good this season.
I remember watching the “Sandberg Game” in June. Check it out on YouTube if you get a chance. I knew then that Cubs would go all the way!
The Cubs won the division in 1984, and for the first time in a zillion years they were going to play in the post-season! I came very close to buying tickets to the game in Pittsburgh, knowing the Cubs would clinch the division title there, but I didn’t want to watch baseball at Three Rivers Stadium in front of 5,000 hapless fans (the Pirates really sucked during this time). In any event the Cubs won the division and would be playing the Padres in the NLCS. I will spare Leon Durham (whom I met and got his autograph at spring training) and not go into details of the NLCS. Suffice it to say that the Cubs lost in a heartbreaking game 5 of the series against the Padres.
The agony of defeat.
In 1989 the Cubs again won the division and would play the Giants in the NLCS. Of course the Giants beat the Cubs in game 5 with Mike Beilecki pitching for the Cubs and former Cub Rick Reuschel pitching for the Giants. This was the year the Giants played the Oakland Athletics in the World Series and they had that earthquake!
The agony of defeat.
I continued watching the Cubs thru the early 90’s but by 1994 the owners and players were at it again. On August 12th the strike began. It was the fourth in-season work stoppage in 22 years and resulted in the remainder of that season being cancelled, including the postseason and, for the first time since 1904, the World Series. The strike was suspended on April 2, 1995 after 232 days, making it the longest such stoppage in MLB history, breaking the record set by the 1981 strike.
948 games were cancelled in all, and MLB became the first major professional sports league to lose an entire postseason due to labor struggles. Due to the strike, both the 1994 and 1995 seasons were not played to a complete 162 games; the strike was called after most teams had played at least 113 games in 1994 and each team played 144 games in 1995.
The agony of defeat.
I had had enough! I swore I would never watch a baseball game on TV or visit and major league ball park for the rest of my life.
As a result I missed out on the Sammy Sosa years plus the Cubs playing in the post season in 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2008. I will admit I did watch one of the games during the playoffs in 2003. That was when the Cubs played the Braves. I didn’t watch the entire game but I did see the fan interfere with Moises Alou’s catch and it reminded me that Cubs were still haunted by the curse of that stupid goat.
But I basically lived mostly true to my original statement. I did go to a couple of games in Cincinnati, one at Riverfront Stadium and one at Great American Ballpark. But let me make it clear, I got those tickets free from the radio station where I was working and it only cost me the gas.
While I was away they expanded the league, adding teams in Miami, Tampa, Denver and Phoenix. The Astros left the National League while the Brewers left the American league. The Expos moved to Washington and became the Nationals. The National League teams were playing the American League teams during the regular season… Interleague Play was here. Lots of changes, most of which I knew nothing about until this spring.
During Spring training this year I looked at the roster and started paying a little more attention to the Cubs. I guess after 20 years, I could give baseball another chance.
I started the season watching the Cubs on Comcast Sports Net Chicago and WISH/WNDY. They had these young guys, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, plus Starlin Castro and a bunch of other good players. Plus, they were wining.
I pony’ed up for the MLB package on Dish Network so I could keep up with the Pirates and Cardinals and to be honest, I have watched a lot of baseball this season. A LOT OF BASEBALL!
The Cubs also brought up Kyle Schwarber in late June and he has been a delight to watch. Most of all the Cubs were winning. They’ve been the 3rd best team in the Major Leagues most of the year, but since they were playing in the toughest division, they were behind the Cardinals and Pirates.
As I write this we have about a week left in the season and the Cubs are in pretty good shape to make the wild card game. I am more excited about the Cubs this season than I have ever been. I have been wearing my Ryne Sandberg #23 Cubs jersey,
I don’t know if the Cubs will win in the post season, but they certainly have a shot with these guys.
No humor in this blog, but I did get to tell my baseball story, and re-live a lot of memories. I would have posted pictures from all of our trips to Arizona during spring training but the great flood of 2008 claimed them, along with my autographs and memorabilia.
But I have forgiven baseball and am enjoying the game again. I guess it’s about time.
Again, it’s been a while since I posted here, so I thought I’d remind you to remember this date and write it down!
Monday, August 21, 2017
The place: Hopkinsville, KY
On this date there will be a total solar eclipse in North America and the closest and best place for us to see it is Hopkinsville Kentucky (see.. there is a reasonable excuse for visiting Kentucky after all).
If you live close to this line, book your flight, make your reservations because this is a once in a… well, forever, experience!
There is a small problem…. As of 5-3-15 I can’t fine a single Hotel in Hopkinsville that is taking reservations. The best I could do is the Best Western, who took my name/number and said they would call me after Christmas 2015. That’s when they will start taking reservations for 2017, but I digress.
There is a website called “elipse2017.org” with a plethora of info, but here is what it says about Kentucky:
Kentucky also boasts wonderful viewing areas, with totality at Paducah (1:22pm) lasting 2m20s of totality. The Land Between the Lakes is a wonderful spot to view the eclipse from, and the farther north you are here, the better! Eddyville gets 2m39s at 1:23pm. After that, Hopkinsville lies right on the centerline, and enjoys 2m40s of totality at 1:24:41pm. This, together with the preparations that the folks at Hopkinsville Community College are making, makes it a great place to consider watching the eclipse from.
Franklin (2m26s at 1:26:48pm) and Russellville (2m29s at 1:26pm) are other good spots from which to see the shadow. Bowling Green lies in the path, but it is on the northern edge, and folks here are advised to head to Hopkinsville, or down I-65 into Tennessee.
Mammoth Cave and Murray are not in the path, and neither are Louisville and Lexington. In these locations, the eclipse will never be total for you, and you will need to use eye protection for the entire eclipse! This show belongs to the far southwestern part of the Commonwealth, and you are urged to get there and be a part of it all!
My brother first tipped me off about this 10+ years ago and we’ve been counting down the time. My brother (Dale) is battling cancer, but if he is not around in 2 years, I’ll be there in Hopkinsville with my Polaroid and Brownie cameras, ready to bring you all the sights. I might even shoot some video on my phone (who would have thought I could do that 10+ years ago?).
In any event, remember the date and I’ll see you at the Dairy Queen in Hopkinsville Kentucky!
Again I remind you to write this date down and make every effort to visit Hopkinsville, KY on Monday, August 21, 2017.
You still have slightly over 5 years to plan for it so DO IT. Make hotel arragmements and make sure you have scheduled the time off because this is literally a once in a lifetime experience. More will be revealed soon….
Just a quick note of nothingness, but interesting non the less.
It was 46 years and 21 days ago today (Friday June 3, 1966) that Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge (today’s date is Sunday June 24, 2012).
Assuming that it happened on the, “3rd of June, another sleepy dusty delta day”. And later in the song Bobby Gentry sings, “a year has come and gone since we heard the news about Billy Joe”. So we must assume that the song was written the next year. The song was written and copywrited in 1967 and first hit #1 on the Hot 100 on August 26th and it stayed there for 4 weeks. So this song is about a slice of Americana from June of 1966, except for the fact that it never happened (this was a work of fiction). Still, all in all in was a great tune. Disregarding the cheesy movie, what do you suppose Billy Joe was really throwing off the Tallahatchie Bridge???
Flood Blog written a couple of years ago, pictures added 5-3-15
It just dawned on me that it’s been a few days since I posted anything here. Actually, 1,392 days. My last post was in the spring of 2008.
One thing, I live across the street from Lincoln Park and the Hospital, and we all know what happened on June 7,2008 (06-07-08)… We got clobbered with water. There were others who got it much worse, and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful for the outpouring of love and help from this community that came during the flood.
Total strangers were walking down my street with giant boxes of Wendy’s Cheeseburgers. Others had containers of bottled water, soda and one evening a good Samaritan strolled through the ‘hood with a cooler of Budweiser (I declined). I have dozens of stories I could share about all of the people God sent to help at this time but there’s just no room. Besides, it’s been almost 4 years and it’s time for me to move on… but I will never, ever forget all of the wonderful people who did wonderful things during a terrible time in my life. I was a cynical person up until that time but my faith in humanity was restored as I watched people all over Columbus come forward and perform acts of bravery, humility, hard work and personal sacrifice.
The above picture was taken 1 block north of my house, looking south. The flood waters stopped at 21st and Hawcreek Ave. My house was/is in the 1900 block. Groundwater at my house reach 4 1/2 ‘ above turf, and I have a full finished basement. Down there the water reached 7″ (the FEMA Watermark is prominently displayed on the wall in the den.
If you want to see some cool video, go to youtube.com and search for Columbus Indiana Flood.
You will see incredible scenes of devastation, and you listen closely to those with car radios on, you will hear me on the air while my house was under water.
It was not my intention to go off on a tangent about the Great Flood of 2008, but once I got started…. well, you know.
I have found that posting here on WordPress is so much more personal than Facebook and Twitter, which seem to be somewhat shallow.
Next time I post (in August of 2016 at the rate I’m going) I’ll fill you in on something I mentioned briefly in an earlier post. Something historically big is going to happen here… well, just northwest of Hopkinsville Kentucky on Monday August 21, 2017. I’m gonna be there. Want to go? Here comes what we call in the radio biz the “hook”:
Keep listening for more details!
Yesterday morning (Friday 8-18-08) at 5:30 I was still in bed (obvious since I rarely get out of bed until 9AM).
At about 5:30 my neighbor’s dog started barking which woke me up. Then my dog started barking and things started rattling, like my closet door, which rattled on its hinges. The water in my waterbed started sloshing around a bit (yea, I’m still stuck in the 70’s… been sleeping in a waterbed for 30 years). I considered the possibility of an earthquake, but I had more important matters on my mind… getting back to sleep.
When I finally got up at 9 AM, I checked the headlines online and found out it really was an earthquake.
Earthquakes somewhat rare in the Ohio Valley, and certainly nothing like the west coast, Alaska, Japan or other parts of the pacific ‘rim of fire’. But we do have minor earthquakes with some regularity. The Friday quake registered 5.2 on the Dewey decimal system, with a 4.5 aftershock at 11:10 or so.
This was not the “Big One” they have been predicting for the New Madrid fault for years… In fact is wasn’t even the New Madrid fault this time. History buffs may know that the New Madrid fault produced four of the largest North American earthquakes in recorded history, with magnitudes estimated to be greater than 7.0 on the Richter scale, all occurring within a 3 month period between 1811 and 1812. The Mississippi river course changed by 5 miles and it actually flowed northward/backward for a time. Accurate measurements of earthquakes were impossible in the early 19th century, but the Feb 17, 1812 quake would most like be rated above an 8.0 (some scientists say it could have been near 9.0). If this quake occurred in modern times, Evansville, Paducah, Memphis, Cape Girardeau, and even St Louis would sustain catastrophic damage, and Indianapolis would have major damage and loss of life.
However, studies indicate this unstable mass only results in earthquakes every 300-500 years, and the last “major” activity was in 1812, so we aren’t due until 2111 or so, except we all know mother nature doesn’t follow patterns.
When I got to the radio station at 9AM on Friday, I was talking to Chris Fox, Sara Beth and Brittany Gray. They were actually on the air at 5:30 AM, with the microphones on, chatting away. The countertops, which hold the control board and computer monitors, keyboards and CD players isn’t secured to well and I believe they all thought someone was bouncing it around. Eventually they knew something weird was going on. Even though they hadn’t considered an earthquake in the early seconds, you might say you heard it “live” on QMIX as they tried to figure out what was going on. Nikki G took a few days off, and Sara Beth filled in. I was thinking that wherever Nikki G is, she has to feel bad that she missed an historic event, and the chance to do an entire morning show with virtually no prep (research into what kind of things they are going to talk about). The entire morning show itinerary was set by 5:30AM, and the phones rang off the hook.
I wonder how many times radio stations played Carol King’s “I Feel The Earth Move, Under My Feet”?
Speaking of the Ohio Valley being a hotbed for mother nature’s offing’s… remember this date and write it down:
Monday – August 21, 2017.
Just over 9 years from now a once in a lifetime event will occur in the Ohio Valley, more specifically just northwest of Hopkinsville Kentucky. I already have my reservation, but I’m going to save that for another blog. In other words, “keep listening for details”.
Well, Gizmo jumped into a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken at 2AM, then got wet and you guessed the rest, it morphed into and started releasing those miserable creatures, the “Gremlins” into the world.
In the movie, all of the Gremlins get torched in the end, but I’m here to tell you that someone at Amblin Entertainment and Warner Brothers didn’t burn ’em all.
This one found it’s way to 9th and Washington!
Last week Sara Fischer called to say that she’s been losing emails. She hit the ‘send’ button but the message never showed up on the recipient’s PC, and she didn’t receive a ‘delivery failure” notice.
I did some research and found nothing. It must have been those Gremlins!
Then, yesterday I was hooking up a new telephone interface in the KORN studio, and no matter what I did, it wouldn’t work (still doesn’t).
I brought the telephone, the interface and the module from the control board into the QMIX studio and it worked fine. I checked all the wiring for continuity, everything checks out perfectly. But in the KORN studio, the exact same equipment won’t work.
Keith Maddox and Bobbie Sue will be giving away $100 bills starting Thursday on KORN Country 100.3 (shamelessly trying to buy more listeners) and Mike King (my boss’s boss’s boss) said the phone interface MUST be ready for the Cash Cow Contest on Thursday or there will be.. well, you know.
I’ll eventually figure it out (hopefully by Thursday morning), but for now I’ve thrown up my hands and blamed the Gremlins.
I have made 13 trips to our 3 main transmitter sites in the last month. Well, except the QMIX transmitter site east of Columbus on 46…. there are snakes in there so any invading Gremlin would last about as long as a mouse in a snake pit… plus I don’t go in there without someone else going in ahead of me with a shovel (I’ll leave those details out).
Anyway, by the time I get to the transmitter site, everything is fine. I can’t figure it out. More Gremlins.
These aren’t recent happenings, they have been going on for a long time. Since it could not possibly be my inability to troubleshoot these problems or a lack of knowledge to fix them, it must be Gremlins. And since all of this weirdness started sometime in the mid 80’s (Gremlins was released in theatres in 1984… coincidence.. I don’t think so), it must be those creatures who escaped from Hollywood. Kind of like Brittany and Lindsay, you might say.
Now… before I quit bloggin’ and go back to work, I need to tell you that Sara Beth just walked by and saw my picture of the Gremlin and said the movie Gremlins scared her (she needs to watch Poltergeist, another of Speilberg’s mid 80’s flicks if she wants to see scary), so just to even out the graphics with this blog, I include this to calm down the 7 year olds (and Sara Beth) reading this:
I know, Gizmo is cute and cuddly, but just feed him KFC and get him wet and look out!
I’m not kidding.
Finally, with all due respect to American Motors Corp (RIP), I must insert a disclaimer that the Gremlins refered to in this Blog have nothing to do with the AMC Gremlin, a terriffic car manufactured in the 70’s.
And… Yes I did have a 1976 Gremlin and it was one of the best cars I ever owned.
Meanwhile I gotta try to get that phone thingy fixed.
I was in the yard Easter Sunday, looking for Easter Eggs and all at once it started snowing.
For a few minutes it was nearly a white-out.
It didn’t last long but we managed to have periods of flurries pretty-much all day Sunday.
While it was snowing I started to think that Easter Sunday sure came early this year.
So I did a little research (that means I spent 5 minutes at Wikipedia).
Until now I had no idea how they set the date for Easter. Perhaps the Pope set the date, or the US Congress, or Henry Kissinger.
Wrong Wrong Wrong
Easter Sunday was/is based on the Jewish Passover, and it officially happens “the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox” (the vernal equinox is the first day of spring).
Whew… Who thought that up?
In any event, Easter Sunday can NEVER happen earlier than March 22nd, nor later than April 25th.
This year Easter was on March 23rd, which is about as early as it can get.
The last time Easter occurred on March 23rd was 95 years ago in 1913. The next time Easter happens on March 23rd will be in 2160, or 152 years from now.
Just in case you have a need to know when Easter Sunday will happen, and don’t have a lunar calendar, here are the dates for Easter Sunday for the next few years:
2009 April 12th
2010 April 4th
2011 April 24th
2012 April 8th
2013 March 31st
2014 April 20th
2015 April 5th
2016 March 27th
2017 April 16th
2018 April 1st
That means that in 2018 Easter Sunday will be on April’s Fools Day.
Imagine the possibilities.
If you get the warm-fuzzies because Easter was so early THIS year, imagine how they felt in 1918 when Easter was on March 22nd (the absolute earliest Easter can possibly occur). The next time Easter will be on March 22nd will be in 2285, 277 years from now.
I don’t think it’s that unusual for us to have snow flurries on Easter Sunday…. It is Indiana, you know, but celebrating Easter in March is a rarity. Of course Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is probably working on legislation to put Indiana on Easter Savings Time, so that when it’s March in Indiana it’s April in Ohio. Or maybe he will sell the name, “Easter Sunday” to an investor in the Federated States of Micronesia, who will rename it “Federates States of Micronesian Easter”.
But… That’s another blog for another day.
In any event, we were told to get new pictures taken for the All New, Redesigned from the Ground-up QMIX dot COM.
Sara Beth brought out the digital camera and snapped my picture.
This is the result:
I realize this isn’t me. The original picture seems to have been deliberately deleted.. Probably by Gremlins.
The, to add insult to injury, I went to Greensburg last week to set up a streaming audio PC for 1330 WTRE (1330wtre.com).
When I finished I flipped the switch to start the audio stream, Sandy Biddinger (station mgr) told someone to grab the camera to document the occasion. After sitting there with a stupid smile on my face for 2 minutes I relaxed waiting for the camera to get ready and that was when shutter clicked. This is the result:
In this one I looked like should have been ice fishing in Minnesota with Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau.
If I was grumpy when she snapped the picture, it was because I was tired of sitting with a smile on my face for 2 minutes.
My driver’s license picture is the most hideous of all.
My point is…. Sure I’ve gained a few pounds in the past 10 years, and aged 20 years in the past 10 years (mostly from the sins of my youth), but I know I don’t look that bad.
It must be these digital cameras. They have anamorphicisly convexly concaved lenses that distort the images.
I’m gonna jump on eBay and try to find a Kodak Brownie Automatic or a Polaroid Swinger and try to get a decent picture.
Then again, I might just go back to this 10 year-old picture.
Ahhhh That’s better.
Death to digital cameras…..
First I admit that I have a friend who is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Indianapolis (who listens to QMIX regularly-thnx Chad!), but that in no way influences my opinion.
As much as I love radio, weather has always been a close second as an interest in my life. I guess it started back on Palm Sunday 1965 when I was just a youngster:
Hey… I was out with my camcorder lookin’ for tornadoes years before the Bill Paxton/Helen Hunt movie (I’ve only bagged two in my entire life and one was in Dallas). Plus, I watched the weather channel 24/7 from the day they signed on until it became the Jim Cantore and commercial channel… but I digress.
My point is.. the National Weather Service has had a rough time of it this winter. They have missed the boat on nearly every major winter storm since Christmas (issuing Winter Storm Warnings with nothing of significance developing). But yesterday, our Ops Mrg, Dave Wineland walked into the studio at 2:05 PM and said, “you gotta hand it to the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast. They said we would get sprinkles by 2PM and at exactly 2PM we started getting sprinkles”.
Dave was right on the money… as is the NWS forecast most of the time.
For a long time, our competition got their forecast from the Weather Channel, while QMIX and KORN always used the NWS forecast. As a matter of pride, I compared the NWS forecast with the forecast issued by the Weather Channel, and when they significantly differed, the NWS forecast was more accurate 99.999999% of the time (actually it was 100%). Every time for over two years. That’s incredible!
Forecasting in the winter has always been difficult, everybody wants to know when the snow will start, when it will stop and how much will fall. Not to mention that just 2 or 3 degrees can make a huge difference between rain, freezing rain or snow. In the summer time, all it takes is, “a chance for afternoon thundershowers” to satisfy everyone. Nobody wants to know exactly how much rain will fall.
For the record… the Weather Channel didn’t do any better this winter. Nor did AccuWeather or anyone else.
It looks like winter may be sliding away, and now it’s raining. And it started at exactly 2PM Monday.
- Jimbo and Baseball
- Coming Soon! Well 2 Years But It’s Gonna Be Good!
- Northwest of Hopkinsville Kentucky on Monday August 21, 2017
- It Was The Third of June another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day
- It’s been a few days…..
- It’s Gremlins
- Easter Sunday
- Digital Cameras Have Convex Lenses!
- Weather Forecasts
- My First Blog