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One Degree Fahrenheit…

It’s the middle of the morning and I’m just getting started. So sorry. Not really. Here we are, again locked in the throes of a winter that just won’t cut us any slack. At this point, I’d be happy with a few days in the 20s. Yesterday, MBH ‘n’ me went out to do some shopping. It never hit 10-degrees but we found ourselves commenting on how “not bad” it felt. Guys, single-digit temps being referred to as “not bad”, even in ChiTown, is strange. Oh well.


The other day, one of our right-coasters, Whitney, commented, which was nice. All are invited to contribute. The reason for this was her reference to “Masstoosits”. I use that as a guest-lecturer I’d had in college was the first person I’d heard use that mispronunciation. Funny thing, he also happened to have been the President of the University.


Also, I had mentioned the 60th Anniversary of The Fender Stratocaster. Here’s a link for any FenderHeads…or anyone else for that matter…which features Marc Knopfler. You’ll note there are other imbedded links as well. Enjoy.


OK, let’s get started with a cartoon shall we…



Let’s begin with’s mentions of what’s happened on February 6th in…


1778,   The French recognized the United Sates and signed a treaty of aid in Paris. So, those Frenchies Russell Crowe was after in “Master and Commander”, were our allies, making he ad his crew our enemies.

1788,   Massatoosits became the 6th state to ratify the Constitution.

1895,   George Herman “Babe” Ruth, was born.

1899,   The Spanish American War ended.

1911,   Ronald Reagan was born.

1933,   Hitler’s Third Reich began censoring the Press. Move along, mein Herr. Nothing to see here.

1936,   Uncle Adolph opened the  4th Winter Olympics.

1945,   Reggae musician, Bob Marley was born. Probably the only time you will see any kind of positive connection between Ronald Reagan and he.


And on Feberwary 7th…


457,    Leo, a Thracian officer, is named Emperor by General Aspar after the death of Emperor Marcian. Hmmm, maybe he was Aspar’s favorite Martian.

1950,  In what would become a major mistake, the U.S. recognized Vietnam under Bao Dai’s leadership, not LBJ’s nemesis 15-years later, Ho Chi Minh. Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh!

1965,   U.S. warplanes attacked the Don Hoi guerrilla base in response to Viet Cong raids. For those unfamiliar, the leader of the North Vietnamese of which the Viet Cong were a part was…ta DA, Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh! Payback’s a bitch.




“City council OKs going $1.9 billion in debt.” The vote was 43-4. Recall when Richie privatized the parking meters to an outside firm. The same Council pissed and moaned that they only had a day or so to review the agreement. They keep saying that to cover their heinies. So, here’s another multi-billion dollar deal and, what do they do? Same effin’ thing!


“Life for killing cop with his gun.” No, this isn’t FEEL-GOOD. Well, maybe it is as the woman who killed an old high school buddy of mine, Rick Francis, will spend the rest of her life behind bars.


“Boeing chief: Defense business tough”. Apparently not enough international warfare going on to keep them happy. Reminds me of a day in ’68 when I came home from college and one of my Dad’s old WWII USAAF buddies was there. He worked for Olin-Matheson. He was telling my Dad how we, the US, couldn’t “end the war”…read that, Vietnam…as so many folks’ livelihoods relied on its continuing. The one and only time I ever spoke disrespectfully in front of my Dad was then. I tore that guy a new a-hole. Why? Hmmm, I was 20 and my ass was well in the crosshairs of my local draft board coulda been why.


“New coffee cups arriving at United”. This, of course will reduce to just about zero, delays and lost luggage on ChiTown’s hometown airline.


“GOP Conservatives on immigration: Wait till next year”. Hope those folks ain’t Cubs fans. Hell, ya can’t afford to piss off the base in an election year.


“No jail for ‘affluenza’ teen.” THIS makes the Koschman case seem plausibly understandable. Hope those who lost loved ones sue that basterd and his family for everything they have.


“Pope pressured to act on abuse”. This time it’s the UN, not a victim’s attorney making this demand. Hope? Maybe.


“Singing fish thwarts robbery”. You’ve seen them. The largemouth bass wall mount which when anyone passes close by, gyrates and “sings” “Take me to the River”. Well, apparently it scared or startled a would-be robber of a bait shop; causing he/she to leave without taking anything. Cool.


“Alderman backs ex-con Carothers”. Hey, after all this IS Chicago, right?



We’ll start with t’day’s cartoon. Hope you like it.



As many know, Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles and their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. It was not exactly the beginning of The British Invasion, as many Brit groups were being heard on the radio for quite awhile. However, that may have been D-Day, as shortly thereafter and with startling regularity, the likes of The Animals, The Kinks, The Stones, The Who, The Zombies, The Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, Chad and Jeremy, Gerry and the Pacemakers…no, they had nothing to do with cardio-surgery…The Hollies, Led Zepplein, Cream and, Ugh, Freddie and the Dreamers.


The other night, I watched a CNN special on this. It was OK. Unfortunately, much of the acts they showed had to be newsreel footage as fer sher, fer sher, the fees on these guys’ performances would be too much. Here’s a link.

They had a section on Dylan and his “going electric”, much to the chagrin of the folkies at the Newport Music Festival. That may have had more of an impact on music as rock was no longer a venue of “My baby don’t love me”; “My dad won’t let me go out with him”. Uh-uh. The substance of folk-music, which in many instances was “protest music”, suddenly found its way into rock ‘n’ roll.

One of The Stones first…and to that time, biggest…hits was “Satisfaction”. One of my kids said they didn’t know it was a protest song until they’d really listened to the lyrics. Uh-huh. And from that, to a few years later, “Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m a man of wealth and taste. Been around a long-long year. Sold many a man’s soul to waste.” Woo-woo!


Last thing. I recall a pic in my high school yearbook of a certain Twacker, who along with her friends had combed their hair Beatle-like.



-Oscar winning film, “From Here to Eternity” is on TCM at 7-Central. Youngsters may want to take a look, as Sinatra’s character, “Maggio”, is who they based the character of “Johnny Fontaine” on in “The Godfather”. Frankie backed by the mob? Say it ain’t so!


-Sunday night, CBS has a Beatles special, commemorating the aforementioned 50th anniversary of their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.


Also, for Game Of Thronesers, HBO has a 15-minute recap of the last 3-seasons as well as the upcoming 4th. Can’t wait for the Dragon Lady and/or the Wolves to wreak havoc on the Lannisters.


-The net 10 days we have The Olympics, the opening ceremonies for which are tonight.


Haftasay, I like the skiing, especially the Biathlon, which consists of a cross-country race, with a pause in the middle where the competitors have to stop; unshoulder a rifle and hit several targets…all while being nearly out of breath and being timed.

As far as ice-dancing’s concerned, there are those who like it. No biggie. I prefer hockey to any figure skating. That’s not a knock. It’s just not my brand of beer.



-George Clooney’s “Monuments Men”, opens this weekend. It looks like an amalgam of “Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13″; “The Dirty Dozen” and Burt Lancaster’s “The Train” from the ’60s, wherein a group of non-military-types are sent as GIs to the ETO to recover the art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis. Roeper gives it 3-stars and ‘GN’s Dean Richards gave it  “B”.


OK, here’s the thing. Clooney has Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Bob Balaban, among others in his cast.

That should be enough to get folks to go see it. Hopefully, the weather will break enough and we’ll get to sometime between now and next week’s FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY edition.


-”The Legend of Hercules”. Had seen an ad for this and wondered to myself, why take the greatest adventure-hero EVER, and comic-bookize him. Here’s the “One-Minute Movie Critic” synopsis: “A sword-and-sandal origin story only skims the details of our burly half-god, settling for slick action, bronze bodies and a video-game aesthetic. This is mythology lite, geared for kids who don’t have time for Wikipedia.”

This would seem to make the Kevin Sorbo TV-series seem right out of Bulfinch or Edith Hamilton!

-Saw an ad for the new “Mr. Peabody” movie. Again, why rewrite comic-genius? Oh well.


WXRT’S “Featured artist of the day” is the early-Beatles. ChiTowners, enjoy.






One FEEL-GOOD thing about this is the “Super Bowl” hangover has been brought to a fairly abrupt end, in that even advertisers are hawking their products based around the Olympics. I’m not the YUGEST fan of the Olympics but anything which lessens my having to see Richard Sherman, et al, is a good thing.



So, the Flubs signed Darwin Barney to a one-year, $2.3 million contract. This guy’s got one, helluva Golden Glove. Now, if he could find a way to it better than .208. I mean, that’s only .208 better’n me and I can’t see for scheiss and weigh just atd less than half a walrus.


Smarj is next. Heard something interestin on CSN/STL, last night. When the Rickettses took over, they knocked down his pay and haven’t exactly been overwhelmingly supportive of the guy they see as the bell-cow of their pitching staff. Take ‘em to town, Jeff.


Here’s the thing and yes, this is decidedly NOT, FEEL-GOOD. For the first time in my life, I don’t have any kind of good vibe about these guys. A year ago, I said I’d be like a patient-parent with them. Well, I still am as far as the players are concerned. But listening to how management doesn’t want to “start the clock” on eligibility for arbitration and/or free agency, anytime sooner than they must, is disheartening to say the least. Heard S-T Cubs guy, Gordon Wittemyer say we won’t see future-phenom, Kris Bryant until 2015 and not until after the season starts. Why? As they sang in “Cabaret”, “Money! Money! Money! Money!”


What I see the BOHICA boys doing is taking a huge gamble that a high-% of these kids are going to make it. Here’s the flip-side. If they don’t, they may be consigning their future to becoming an afterthought, as opposed to being the destination-activity they were.



Tonight’s their last game until the Olympics are finished. Not saying anything more as don’t want to jinx them tonight nor when they return.


OK, it’s getting late and have some stuff to do. As an old buddy used to say, “Don’t let your Tastee-Freeze”. And remember, any day we can look down at the ground instead of up at it, it’s a good one. (We’ll return to rosebushes another more appropriate time.)















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