The Ramblings of Jimbo on the Radio!

He can write too!

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 (8-22-17)

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 has come and gone,  Very quickly in Columbus Indiana, where we had a 92.6% eclipse.  When it became noticeably darker (about 2:15 PM EDT), everyone came outside to see what they could see, which wasn’t much considering we had no eclipse glasses. Don’t ask me why I’ve been talking about this eclipse for 10 years and wound up on the day of the event with no glasses… but necessity is the mother of invention as they say, and I found that by putting on 4 pairs of good sunglasses layered together with zip ties, I could view the sun and it didn’t seem to burn my retinas out or inflict noticeable brain damage.   We had periods of clouds and sunshine but there plenty of opportunities to check it out.  By 2:27 Columbus was at the darkest point of the eclipse and by 2:45 it was pretty much back to normal. I must say that it was worth the wait, but there was an air of sadness as I was constantly thinking about my brother Dale, who was the first person to mention to me that there would be a total eclipse in the USA in 2017 and for many years we talked about.  He really wanted to see it, but unfortunately he passed away in the fall of 2015.  After our eclipse was over I went inside and watched the network coverage and I must admit that they did a fabulous job… especially ABC… and WISH-TV in Indianapolis.  WISH-TV had a continuous stream online and the coverage from their stream was excellent!  While I was watching coverage on TV, I was in contact with my niece (Aimee) in Greenville South Carolina, which was also in the path of totality.  Aimee was sending me fantastic pix of the event.  It was almost impossible for me to get away to see it in Hopkinsville Kentucky as I planned, but between watching a 92.6% eclipse from my back yard, watching the television coverage and getting live updates and pictures from my niece, I’m pretty satisfied.  As I mentioned in other blogs, the next great eclipse for the USA will be on April 8, 2024.  And eve more importantly,  Columbus Indiana will be in the line for totality!
Eclipse 2024 Map

I must admit that I’m getting up there in the years and at this point, there are no guarantees of tomorrow,  let alone 7 years.  But if I can hang on that long, I’ll get to see what Aimee saw today, and as a bonus I’ll get free glasses compliments of Aimee.  She’s sending me theirs.  The only real problem with a total eclipse in Columbus Indiana on April 8th, 2024… The weather!  How many sunny days are there in early April ion Indiana?  Not very many and that’s not an exaggeration. After living through nearly 65 April 8ths, my guess is that 70% of them have been cloudy.  And I don’t mean cloudy like today (scattered cumulous clouds),  I mean “April showers bring may flowers” cloudy days.  At that time of the year we frequently go several days without seeing the sun. That means there’s not a good chance we will have clear skies to view the eclipse of 2024, but even if it is cloudy, that means we will be in darkness for nearly 4 minutes, beginning at 3:07 PM and the totality here will be nearly 4 minutes long, as opposed to the 2 minutes and 40 seconds at Hopkinsville, Kentucky today (which was one of the cities with the longest duration in the USA).  Click here for more info about the 2024 eclipse.
Today’s event was great, even if I didn’t make it to Hopkinsville, but in 7 years it’s going to be even better!

August 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Less than a month away! (7-30-17)

I first wrote about this in April 2008,  and again in June 2012, and again in June 2015. My excitement increased each time I spoke of it, so you’d think I would be dancing on the ceiling, but I’m not.
It’s the great Total Solar Eclipse of 2017!
But it’s been in the media so much lately that it is no longer my little secret.  It all started over 10 years ago when my brother Dale said that he really wanted to be able to see it.  We made plans and talked about it for years.  And now, it’s almost here.
It’s coming to the Ohio Valley on Monday, August 21, 2017 at about 2:30 PM (EDT).  If you live in Columbus Indiana and want to see it, the closest place is probably Bowling Green, KY or perhaps Hopkinsville, KY, which is about 80 miles or 1 hour 15 minutes south of Evansville.  In Hopkinsville the eclipse will begin totality at 1:24:39 CDT and last for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.  If you want to want to see it, there are a couple of ways to get there, but the fastest and easiest is probably to go south on I65 to Elizabethtown, KY, then head west on the Western Kentucky Parkway (aka: US 62 which also has a few convenient toll booths to assist you on your journey) and follow that to Hopkinsville. Here is a map.  If you don’t want to go to Bowling Green or Hopkinsville, there are lots of other places with front row seats, including Nashville, TN but the closest place to Columbus Indiana is Hopkinsville or perhaps Bowling Green.
Total Eclipse NASA
There are several videos on YouTube that give a lot more details:
This is one of my favorites
And another
If you have your heart set on seeing the eclipse first-hand, it’s going to be a long day.  It takes about 3 1/2 hours to get to Hopkinsville, or 3 hours to get to Bowling Green Kentucky, assuming there’s not much traffic on I-65  (but my guess is that I-65 will be a parking lot from Louisville to Nashville). And then there’s always the possibility of rain… What if it’s raining at 1:30 PM (CDT) or even cloudy?  If a 3-plus hour drive isn’t your idea of a good time, or you are unwilling to bet a day of your life on the weather, you could take one of those airline junkets promising to keep you in the totality for several minutes with a spectacular view regardless of the weather.  The only drawback to the airline deal, they are only departing from Portland, Seattle and Denver.
And then there’s always the hotel problem.  I tried to make reservations 2 years ago and 1 year ago, and I tried again at Christmastime.  They all said they weren’t making reservations until January 2017.  So I tried again in January 2017 and the rooms were almost sold out, and the ones remaining were well over $500 a night.  The reputable hotels were over $1,000 a night.  OK, I guess Ill be dozing off in my car.
In fact, after 10 years of planning it looks like I’m not going to be able to get off work to attend.  And my brother will never get a chance to see the eclipse, he passed away in October of 2015.  But there are alternatives….

Coming on April 8, 2024 there will be another total eclipse in the US, and I can watch it from my own back yard!

Eclipse 2024 Map
A total eclipse right here in Columbus Indiana!  And for those lucky people in parts of the US (Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky), the path of this eclipse crosses the path of the prior total solar eclipse in 2017. Meaning that the people of Cape Girardeau, Carbondale and Paducah will experience two total solar eclipses within a span of seven years. Not bad considering most of the people in the United States have never had a chance to view one.  My dilemma: Try not to die within the next 7 years, or go to Kentucky next month.  I guess I’d better try to figure out how to get off work next month.

The Great American Eclipse of 2017
The eclipse came and went.  Very quickly in Columbus Indiana, where we had a 92.6% eclipse.  When it became noticeably darker (about 2:15 PM EDT), everyone came outside to see what they could see, which wasn’t much considering we had no eclipse glasses.  But necessity is the mother of invention, as they say and I found that by putting on 4 pairs of good sunglasses, I could view the sun and it didn’t seem to burn my retinas out or inflict noticeable brain damage.   We had periods of clouds and sunshine but there plenty of opportunities to check it out.  By 2:27 we were at the darkest point of the eclipse and by 2:45 it was pretty much back to normal. I must say that it was worth the wait, but there was an air of sadness as I was constantly thinking about my brother Dale, who was the first person to mention to me that there would be a total eclipse in the USA in 2017 and for many years we talked about.  He really wanted to see it, but unfortunately he passed away in the fall of 2015.  After our eclipse was over I went inside and watched the network coverage and I must admit that they did a fabulous job… especially ABC… and WISH-TV in Indianapolis had a continuous stream online and the coverage from their stream was excellent! While I was watching coverage on TV, I was also in contact with niece (Aimee) in Greenville South Carolina, which was also in the path of totality and she was also sending me fantastic pix of the event.  It was almost impossible for me to get away to see it in Hopkinsville Kentucky, butbetween watching a 92.

July 30, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More on Baseball (10-3-16)

It was about a year ago that I wrote about rejoining the baseball world after a 20 year sabbatical. I know that’s (calling  it a 20- year sabbatical) a contradiction of terms, but bare with me on this. Or is it bear with me on this? It’s bear.
Boy… My first blog in months and I’m already confused.
Anyway… If you think I abandoned baseball again since I haven’t been posting scores or “W Flags” on my Facebook page, no, I haven’t abandoned baseball.  In fact I’ve listened to or watched 90% of the Cub’s games this whole season. So I’ll make up for not posting “W Flags” on Facebook:
cubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-wincubs-win
Ok… there are 12 flags. But I would have to insert 91 more flags to show what the Cubs have done this year (103 winning games this season).
Yes, you heard me right.  The Cubs have won 103 games this season. The last time the Cubs won 100 games was in 1935.  In fact, until this year the Cubs have only won 100 games 5 times:
1906   116 wins
1907   107 wins
1909   104 wins
1010   104 wins
1935   100 wins
Even in general, winning 100 games doesn’t happen often.  It looks like it’s only happened 99 times in the last 125 seasons (from 1892 through 2016).  So even though the Cubs have joined a fairly elite group in winning 103 games, and are the best team in baseball as they have been all season long, I don’t even think about the Cubs winning the world series.
How about this: The Cubs have 3 players that could wind up as the National League Most Valuable Player: Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell.  So you’d think that would bolster my hopes that the Cubs will win the world series, right.  Nope.
How about pitching?  The Cubs have the best staff in baseball.   Last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrietta, this year’s potential Cy Young Award Winner Kyle Hendricks plus John Lester, John  Lackey and the most feared flamethrower in baseball, Aroldis Chapman. This guys throws 105 mile an hour fastballs. So with a great starting rotation, a solid core of middle relievers and Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman to close them out, am I now satisfied the Cubs will win the world series?  Not at all.
The bottom line is, although I believe the 2016 Cubs are the best Cubs team I’ve seen in my life, and I do believe they are the best team in baseball,  I felt better about last year’s team winning it all than I do this year.  It’s not that I am superstitious or anything or believe in that Billy Goat curse or any of that nonsense.
What I do believe in is numbers.  And history has shown me that the team with the best record in baseball rarely wins the world series.  One of the things that makes baseball so great is that on any given day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team in baseball.  Last week the Atlanta Braves (one of the worst teams in baseball) put the spanking on the New York Mets (one of the best teams in baseball fighting for a wild card slot), sweeping them at New York.
Remember what I said, “On any given day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team in baseball”.  Last year the Kansas City Royals won the world series and at the end of the regular season, they only had the 4th best record in baseball.
If you clicked the above hyperlink and read the article, you know that over the last 54 seasons, only 14 teams with the best record went on to win the Fall Classic
That’s why I don’t think the Cubs will win the world series this year.  Some of the best teams in the history of the sport have been eliminated before making it to the World Series.  Plus, one of the teams with the best win/loss record in the history of baseball was the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won a record 116 games… Any they got beat in the American League Championship Series.  They didn’t even make it to the World Series.
The 2001 Seattle Mariners share the record with the most regular season wins.  Guess who the other team is… The 1906 Chicago Cubs, and that team lost the 1906 World Series to their cross town rivals, the Chicago White Sox.  I’m not really saying the 1906 Cubs and the 2001 Mariners are the two best teams in the history of baseball, but I am saying they had the best records in the history of the game and neither won the World Series.
Last year the Cubs rolled into the post season with a bit of momentum, and a little bit of swagger but not a lot of attitude (except Arietta). This year they just rolled into the post season.  They really are the best team in baseball but on any given day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team in baseball.
Still, like last year it’s been a great year to be a Cubs fan and at this point, that’s good enough for me.  Any wins from now on will be a bonus.

October 3, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

That’s My Story… (12-11-16)

I’ve told this story several times over the years and after they announced that K C and the Sunshine Band would be playing Rock the Park this year (2016), a few people who’ve heard my story called to ask me my thoughts… so I decided I’d better get this story on paper (or at least on a blog) so here it is.
IN the summer of 1975 I lived and worked in Melbourne Florida, working at a radio station in Cocoa Beach. This was when AM radio still ruled but FM was out of the gate.
The station was WKKO (I know there’s a huge country station in Toledo with those call letters today but this was over 40 years ago). Studios were just off I-95 in Cocoa.

WKKO 1975
Studios just off I-95 at State Road 520

WKKO_control_room
The WKKO Control Room

I occasionally played records at a lounge called Big Daddy’s in Vero Beach. Actually Big Daddy’s was a chain with several locations in Florida, but I played records there on Saturday nights. Remember, disco was big in these days.
There was a little record company in Hialeah Florida (on the fringe of Miami) and in late spring or early summer 1975 a promotions guy from T K Records dropped off several copies of a record at WKKO’s studios. It was an unknown band made up of mostly studio musicians for TK Records. I found it laying on the counter and listened to it. I thought it was a great record and I told the program director (PD) he should add it to our playlist. He said it was a bit too ethnic (or a similar excuse) and it didn’t get added.
I nabbed a copy of it (this was in the days of 45 RPM vinyl records) and took it to Big Daddy’s the following Saturday. I played it and the people went nuts. I think I played it 4 or 5 times that first night.
On Monday I went back to WKKO and told the PD it was a really good record and told him the people at Big Daddy’s loved it too. He still didn’t add it and the next Saturday at Big Daddy’s it was the hottest song,  requested 4 or 5 times. On Monday I finally talked the PD into adding it, although in a very low rotation. I also called a friend at WDAT (1380 AM, now WELE-AM) in Daytona Beach and told him about it.
The first time we played it at WKKO the phones went nuts and within a week it became an A Current, meaning we played it every 90 minutes to 2 hours. It was the hottest record of the summer of 1975 and shortly after we added it, WDAT in Daytona beach added it, then the Orlando stations added it followed by WAPE (AM 690) in Jacksonville. WAPE was a 50,000 watt AM station heard all over Georgia and Florida and was a huge station in the southeast.
It soon became a Southeast Regional Breakout hit in Billboard magazine and it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 in late June 1975. On August 23, 1975 it hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shortly after that the guy from T K Records gave WKKO a gold record for breaking the single. That was 41 years ago and this band would go on to have a dozen Top 40 hit singles, 5 of which went all the way to number 1.
The name of the single was ”Get Down Tonight” by K C and the Sunshine Band.

K C and the Sunshine Band 1975
K C and the Sunshine Band in 1975

K C and the Sunshine Band Album
Their debut album

I’m not so arrogant to believe that K C and the Sunshine Band would have never been discovered without my help, they were a great band and most certainly would have had massive success, but I like to think I might have hastened things along.

In any event K C and the Sunshine Band will be performing at Rock the Park August 13th 2016 at Mill Race Park. [Added August 2017:  The band showed up and did a sound check and was set to go for the 9:00 show, then mother nature kicked in, providing us with a strong thunderstorm with very heavy rain, which ultimately cancelled the show.  Columbus missed out on a potentially great show, but I’m sure Wayne Casey and the band took the architectural tour].  I’m not sure how many original members of the band are still around, but Harry Wayne Casey is still the front man.  The number two man for the band, Richard Finch (an Indianapolis native) who co-wrote Get Down Tonight and most of the other hits for the band, was arrested in Newark, Ohio, on March 23, 2010 on charges of having sexual contact with a 17 year old male. Police stated that
during an interview, he admitted to having sexual contact with that teen, and other teens
aged 13 to 17. In December 2010, Finch pleaded ‘no contest’ and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. He served his sentence and was released on March 13, 2017.
But as for the Labor Day Weekend concert, it should be a great show, especially if you are over 40 and really liked disco (I am both).
{This blog was edited 8-27-17 to state that the concert was cancelled and updated on Richard Finch’s current status}

June 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top Box Office (1-4-16)

Over the Christmas holidays I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens… twice.  It was really good and I will be going back to see it for the third time before its original theatrical run ends.

Force Awakens
It really is a good movie.  And it looks like it’s going to break box-office records. But is it one of the best movies ever made?
Nope, it isn’t even close.
That’s what wrong with the headlines proclaiming Avatar to be the the biggest movie of all time, and Titanic and Jurassic World part of the top 10. In fact, based on domestic box-office, here are the top 10 domestic movies of all time:
#1  Avatar (2009 $760 million)
#2  Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015 $740 million thru 1-3-16)
#3  Titanic (1997 $658 million)
#4  Jurassic World (2015 $652 million)
#5  The Avengers (2012 $623 million)
#6  The Dark Knight (2008 $534 million)
#7 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999 $474 million)
#8 Star Wars (1977 $460 million)
#9  Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015 $459 million)
#10 The Dark Knight Rises (2012 $448 million)
Those are the current top 10 based on ticket sales in the US, current as of 1-3-16.  The problem with this list is that it doesn’t reflect the number of tickets actually sold, it reflects on box-office dollars, not-adjusted for inflation.  The actual number one movie of all time is 1939’s Gone With The Wind. The reason it doesn’t rank at #1 on this list is because the price of a movie ticket in 1939 was about a quarter.  The current cost of a movie ticket (nation wide average) is about 8 bucks. So for Gone With The Wind to do the same amount of box office as The Force Awakens, it would have had to sell 32 tickets at 25 cents each to equal one ticket at today’s price of 8 bucks.  You see where I’m going with this… I believe all lists of the most popular movies should be adjusted for inflation. Here is the list of the top 10 movies of all time, adjusted for inflation. And I really believe it better reflects the actual popularity of movies:
Gone With The Wind
#1  Gone With The Wind (1939 Adjusted domestic gross $1.7 billion)
Star-Wars-cdfdff98.jpg
#2  Star Wars (1977 Adjusted domestic gross $ 1.5 billion)
Sound of Music
#3  The Sound of Music (1965 Adjusted domestic gross $1.2 billion)
ET
#4 ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982 Adjusted domestic gross $1.2 billion)
Titanic.jpg
#5  Titanic (1997 Adjusted domestic gross $1.1 billion)
Ten Commandments
#6  The Ten Commandments (19566 Adjusted domestic gross $1.1 billion)
Jaws
#7  Jaws (1975 Adjusted domestic gross $1.1 billion)
Doctor Zhivago
#8 Doctor Zhivago (1965 Adjusted domestic gross $1.0 billion)
The Exorcist
#9 The Exorcist ( 1975 Adjusted domestic gross $952 million)
Snow White
#10 Snow White Seven Dwarfs (1937 Adjusted domestic gross $938 million)

I’ve seen all of the movies on both lists, several of them multiple times. I saw almost all of them in theaters (the exceptions being The Exorcist, Dr. Zhivago and The Ten Commandments, which I saw on Blu Ray or regular DVD).  In spite of all of the hype surrounding The Force Awakens, it’s nothing compared to all of the hype surrounding Star Wars (1977) or the hype leading up to and including the release of  Gone With The Wind in 1939 (according to what I’ve read and seen in documentaries) .What about Titanic?
Sure, Titanic was a good movie but was it really one of the top 5 in history?
I believe the multitudes of 13 year old girls swooning over Leonardo DiCaprio were the ones snapping up all of those movie tickets. But that was still enough to put Titanic at #5 on the top 10 after adjusting for ticket price and inflation, which still makes it impressive.
The Sound of Music certainly got a lot of hype when it was released and it seems like the music was coming out of speakers everywhere in 1965.
I played in band in Jr. High and High School and I believe at some point I’ve played every single song from the soundtrack.
The movie that I am least familiar with is Dr Zhivago. I’ve seen it a couple of times and I was aware of it’s popularity when the novel was published, and the movie was good but it was a very long movie about Russians, and a love affair taking place in the years leading up to and including the Bolshevik October Revolution in 1919 and I wasn’t quite in the “history phase” of my life yet. Not sure how this managed to make this list but I was a 13 year old male when the movie was released and I wasn’t exactly their target demographic. Otherwise this list seems pretty accurate.
Back to Star Wars: The Force Awakens… This is certainly the best Star Wars film I’ve seen since the original in 1977. I know there are many Star Wars fans who rank The Empire Strikes Back as the best of the series, but I had issues with it (that’s another blog), so even if Force Awakens passes Star Wars (1977) on the list of biggest box office ever, it will never pass Star Wars (1977) in adjusted gross.
Every time I see one of theses lists I want to correct them, and remind everyone that Gone With The Wind is really the biggest box office draw in history, and Star Wars (1977) is a close second! They will probably never be challenged.

 

January 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jimbo and Baseball (9-21-15)

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.
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.
Jack BrickhouseJack Brickhouse

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.
Harry Caray - YoungHarry Caray
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Anthony_Rizzo_2012Anthony Rizzo
Kris_Bryant_on_April_27,_2015Kris Bryant
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!
Kyle_Schwarber_on_July_8,_2015Kyle Schwarber
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.

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coming Soon! Well 2 Years But It’s Gonna Be Good! (6-3-15)

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).

Ecli[pse 2017

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

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!

Hopkinsville DQ (2)
Yea, that’s really the Hopkinsville DQ

June 3, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Northwest of Hopkinsville Kentucky on Monday August 21, 2017 (6-24-12)

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….

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It Was The Third of June another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day (6-24-12)

Just a quick note of nothingness, but interesting none 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”.  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???

Bobby Gentry Ode To Billy Joe

June 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s been a few days….. (2-10-12)

Flood Blog written a couple of years ago, pictures added 5-3-15

Hospital Flooding 2 6-7-0-8 Hospital Flooding 6-7-08
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)… Central and Southern Indiana got clobbered with water. Just north of Columbus, Southern Johnson County and Southern Shelby County got 14″ and 17″ of rain respectively, all of it Friday night and early Saturday morning.  There were others who got it much worse, and for that I am sorry, yet grateful it was Columbus..  I am also grateful for the outpouring of love and help from this community that came during the flood. I swear I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.
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.
Hawcreek Ave Floog 6-7-08
The above picture was taken 1and a half blocks 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.  When Columbus is in CRISIS, Jimbo On The Radio will be there, even if his own house is 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!

February 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment