Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catch Up

We celebrated my son's ninth birthday last Friday. Mom delivered breakfast in bed. He spilled his milk but we cut him some slack since this was his first breakfast in bed morning. He went to school and we surprised him at lunch with a meal catered from the golden arches. That night we jumped in the minivan and drove across town to see the Royals play the Blue Jays. It was the coldest Royals game I've ever seen in person with a game time temp around 39 degrees with a strong wind. The Royals blew the lead in the 8th and I wanted to give up, but the gang talked me into staying. They scored six runs in the bottom of the 8th and won the game. The boy also got his birthday mug plastered on the HD jumbotron during a pitching change. We went home happy.

The next day the fun continued with the official birthday party and present opening. His favorite gift was an Ipod nano from my cousin Anne. We staged the party at a nearby kids pizza and video game emporium and my parents stopped by to witness the mayhem.

Sunday my sinuses went on strike and I've been coping with a cold or allergies or both ever since. My energy level is low, low, low, and so to bed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

This Party Needs Frauleins

Replace Your Replacements

Four albums by The Replacements have been remastered and re-released this week, along with new bonus outtakes and b-sides. I've included the Amazon.com links here, but they're already sold out at the moment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Top Gunn

Read this excellent interview with Professor James Gunn by Jon Niccum. I took Gunn's Sci-Fi literature course back in the 80s as I detailed here on this very blog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I have corrected the link to the demolition photos from the Lawrence Journal World. It took you to an online copy of my great-great-grandmother's will before I corrected it. Now you know what I was looking at before I wrote The Crossing blurb. You can have that link too in case you find it more interesting.

No More Crossing

Here are Pictures of the Crossing / Yello Sub demolition, from the Lawrence Journal World web site. This photo, from Google Earth, shows the scene as it existed in August 2007. In case you're not familiar, that's The Crossing bar, front and center, located at a busy cross street atop Mt. Oread for campus foot traffic at 12th and Oread Avenue. There was a little shop down the alley there, called Rudy's Pizza for a time, and to the left was one of the locations of the Yello Sub sandwich shop, arguably their most successful, after they moved off of 23rd street in the mid 1980s, (though they did return with a second location on 23rd street later that same decade). The Glass Onion, a coffee house, opened in the 2nd floor space above the Yello Sub, circa 1986. The best thing about The Crossing was the location and the beer porch. The combination made for great people watching on Friday afternoons. The two most popular freshman girls' dorms, G.S.P. and Corbin, were a block down around the corner, and the cuties passed by to and from their campus destinations. My last beer at The Crossing was January 29th, 2005, as detailed here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Patti Smith - Triple Threat

Nice article about Patti Smith by Jeffrey T. Iverson from Time Magazine.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More Pedaljets linkage

More Pedaljets pub, from Tim Finn's Rockville blog.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feelin' Good About The Feelies

Sasha Frere-Jones buries the lead in this excellent blog installment from The New Yorker. He wrote about how tough it is to be famous when you're in a rock outfit, switches gears to mention the New Trier gal who once had street cred, lost it, and is trying to get it back, Liz Phair, and ends up writing about the best news of all about The Feelies! Go read it and get excited, then come back.

And you're back. It turns out the idea to re-release the Feelies' "Crazy Rhythms" album wasn't sanctioned by the band, but keep your fingers crossed. Bar/None Records is working on a sanctioned re-issue, perhaps later this year, according to the comments in Jones' blog.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taxes and Trivia

I finished our taxes this weekend and listened to the annual world's largest trivia contest unfold on 90FM, Steven's Point, Wisconsin, via an Internet feed. The guy I sat next to on stage at the Millionaire show back in 2000, Mike Gliniecki, has participated with friends each of the past 15 years. The contest ran 54 straight hours with a new question given over the air every 6 minutes. About 400 teams participated this year.

Points are awarded based on how many different teams come up with the correct answer. Internet lookups are allowed but the questions are designed to take that into account. Mike and his trivia team, Larry & Vince's Driving Academy, finished 68th, an all-time best for them. Congratulations. Now get some sleep!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In the Soup

Working on Taxes. See you soon.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Story of Everest

One of my personal favorite sketches from HBO's Mr. Show

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This is What I Wanted to Read

I don't think Bill Self will leave Kansas. Those bozos at Oklahoma State botched the Sean Sutton termination. Why did they think it was a good idea to broach that during the tournament? Hey, Bill Self. It's the Oklahoma State athletic department. Say, we know you're busy winning a national championship but we'd like to talk to you. What's that? You're busy? Well, we're idiots and we couldn't wait.

Who wants to work for an organization like that? We slammed the door on Eddie Sutton's kid, but it will be different with you, Bill. Bill? Hello?

Here's what I think will happen, as written by Mike DeCourcy at the Sporting News.

As Seen on the Internet

Future JayhawksHere's what others wrote about today's national champion Kansas Jayhawks. From KUSports.com

It Was A Big Shot

History was made, history will be remembered, and Joe Posnanski did a great job getting his arms around it in this story from the Kansas City Star. (The link broke and I removed it).

Tuesday Morning

My eight year-old son went to bed at halftime last night. Both kids slept through cheers and yells that eminated from the living room during KU's near defeat and heroic comeback. We taped the game on the DVR for him and we watched the second half together before he went to school. He was shocked and elated like his old man. He'll be 28 years old the next time KU wins the big one if history holds true. That puts it in perspective, jeeze. It's been awhile hasn't it? I'm taking the day off. You should too. Enjoy this day, this beautiful rainy Kansas day.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Housekeeping Note

Suddenly my VHS tape of the 1988 Jayhawk championship game seems less precious. Oh, I'll hang onto it, but much like the imaginary venom for Roy Williams, I'll put it perspective now. You know what, I've got a better idea. I'll send it Roy Williams as a big plastic token of my appreciation.

Diary Entry: 20 Years Later - KU Wins the Championship

I've been waiting for this moment for 20 years. I didn't know it would take this long and be this elusive. The Jayhawks won the NCAA basketball championship. 20 years after they won it when I was a fifth year senior, a night for the ages, and this game, I don't know. Its too early to process all the key moments, but I'm stunned and elated.

I sit here with a can of beer in my home office, while fireworks dot the suburban horizon like its the 4th of July. You should have seen me with the Hawks down by nine with two minutes left. I pulled the hood up over my head by the drawstrings, ignored my dog's nudges to be pet, and watched what I thought was another close but no cigar finish for the Jayhawks. Then we made a free throw, stole the in-bounds play, got lucky when Memphis missed critical free throws, and ultimately with less than 10 seconds, and the game on the line, I told the wife, "Give it to Mario!" He sank the shot and sent the game into overtime. Of course, this was after earlier quotes of "We can't win this way" and "Collins? No! Idiot!". But 20 years from now, I'll choose to remember the Mario quote.

I love the NCAA tournament. 64 teams (okay, technically 65 teams) begin, and all but one of them end their season with a loss. One team rides a six game winning streak to the national championship, and tonight our team won it all in dramatic fashion. Yes, it's all about me. Thank me very much and if the unthinkable happens, if Bill Self chooses to return to Oklahoma State, then I'm available to coach the Jayhawks, for the next 20 years if need be, until we claim our next title, and tonight its easy to say it won't be our last.

Speaking of April Rain

It's raining in Overland Park, KS where I'm watching tonight's national championship basketball game with the family. I tried to scare up some cronies for a night out but all my friends are family guys in their 40's for the most part. Its Jayhawks by five at halftime. Let the baskets rain down on Memphis in the 2nd half. Go Kansas!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April Rain Song

The cinematographer back in 1986 A former college roommate and KJHK cohort, Alex Rappoport, shot this short film that appears on HBO's Classical Baby (I’m Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show series this month. Words by Langston Hughes.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Mass Street Madness

Massachusetts Street as seen from the local news looks like campus did the night we won it all in '88. Wall to wall people. It's madness like I haven't seen in 20 years. What a night!


Jackie gets a treat! And regularly scheduled laundry service continues. The Jayhawks play Monday for the National Championship. The Giants win the Pennant. I don't believe what I just saw. Kleinman scores 20! I'm losing my mind. Good night from Overland Park, KS

Beware of the Phog Dog

I countered my wife's jinx with a little canine mojo. I rousted my dog Jackie from her lazy slumber and begged her for help as we attempted to urge the Jayhawks to victory. She's a charm. The lead is back up to 12 with less than four minutes left. Lucky Jackie. C'mon. Good girl, Jackie.

Can We Hang On?

Another commercial break. Can we maintain our margin. I think it's eight points with less than six minutes left. I need a brown paper bag.


I'm starting to think we're going to lose this game now after leading by 28. It's down to five points. All the mojo has swung to North Carolina. What a nightmare. Eight minutes left.

The Other Shoe Drops

Our lead is under eight and KU looks like Carolina did in the first 10 minutes of the game. Happy time is officially over.

Final Half - NC Closing

You knew they weren't going away. Its now a 14 point KU lead. Anything can happen, but I like the Jayhalks. Yes, I'm still rooting for the Jayhawks. I'm sticking with them. Kaun picked up his third foul. Still Jayhawks.

At Half Time - Happy Time

KU by 17 points. Case played, as predicted here! But North Carolina came back late in the half. The Hawks looked spent out there, missing shots, fouling, not using the clock to their advantage. Still, KU by 17. A sweet Moses miracle, and then with five seconds left, a foul on Hansbrough and Collins shoots it in as the buzzer sounds.

Too Many Fouls

My wife mentioned KU playing in the championship game on Monday and North Carolina went on a run. It's 40-19. Don't jinx the hawks with your super powers, Mrs. Jones.

An 18 to 0 run

Am I dreaming. Is this real? What is the score? 38-14? KU has some foul trouble but everybody Self puts on the court is smoking hot including Cole Aldrich. Would it be bad to play a half court game now? Rock Chalk!

Final Four - KU shooting 71%

The game keeps getting better. KU is up 23-10 and playing great defense. How long can this last?

Final Four - KU Game Underway

I'm watching the game at home with the boy and we're up 11-6 at the first TV timeout. A good game so far. Kaun missed a tough layup underneath the basket but KU looks like they're going to try the high-low post play tonight.

Friday, April 04, 2008

No Pressure, Only Opportunity

It's been Final Four week here at the Jones house. My first alma mater is in the semi-finals and no matter what happens tomorrow night, its been fun having a few days to enjoy it. Win or lose its been a great season and as far as Roy Williams goes, I'm over it. I was disappointed when he left town but Bill Self is a great coach and I don't miss Roy. I don't want him back. I don't miss Al Bohl either but he unwittingly started us down this path where we find ourselves, with a top-notch football program, coach, and athletic director, not to mention the basketball excellence I expected.

A lot of eerie reminders of the 1988 championship season appeared this week like the job opening at Oklahoma State. Questions dogged Williams about N.C. in 2003, the last time we made it to the finals, and there were different questions in '88 when Brown nearly bolted for UCLA. The Kansas City Star website posted a photo of Bill Self and Larry Brown walking out to the court with the KU team today. Magic mojo, I hear you calling! Manning is back, as a coach this time, and late this afternoon, Roderick Stewart broke his kneecap in practice - shades of Archie Marshall. (Though Marshall was more important to the lineup than Stewart). Enter the last Williams recruit - Jeremy Case. Karma prediction: if the box score includes 10 points from Case, a long shot, but if it does, then KU wins. That's how these things work. A role player steps up, plays the game of his life. It might as well be Case off the bench. If Kleinman goes for 20 - forget about it babe. Cut down the nets. Its over.

I'll take the Final Four any year and if Self's squad wins tomorrow, I'll take a vacation day on Tuesday. I don't want to jinx anything but I'm so old now, I have to make contingency plans regardless of what happens. If the 'Hawks lose tomorrow, Tuesday is still the Royals home opener. So I'm off work either way. It's a hopeful time, a happy time for KU, and a championship is within their grasp.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

KJHK Lore - Retro Production #1

I produced a public affairs program at KJHK in the spring of 1984. It was my first assignment for the station. I booked the guests, screened the callers, and produced the promos. I found a collection of ancient radio production records inside a locked cabinet inside the production studio that was upstairs in those days. It was full of 50s and 60s era commercial radio production beds, donuts, shouts, and other vintage elements. Craig WestHoff's critique of my first promo - "cheesy". I knew I was onto something. A couple of years later we bought an updated set of production records, but I never got tired of the retro collection. Here's a bossanova number that we used during the alternative auction when we needed a break to collect ourselves.

Annoying Bookstore People

One thing I like about this essay is that the comments are as funny as the article, by Rod Lott.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pivotal Games in Baseball

Conventional baseball wisdom suggests that all teams win 60 games and lose 60 games in
an average campaign. That leaves 42 games that will make or break your season in a 162
game schedule. I came up with my own pivotal game criteria. Games are pivotal when:
  • The outcome is determined in extra innings.
  • The outcome of a nine inning game is decided by one run.
  • The outcome of a nine inning game is decided by a lead change in the last three innings.
  • A pivotal game is always pivotal for both teams involved. A pivotal win for one club generates a pivotal loss for the opponent.
This concept ignores external factors including:
  • effects on the division standings
  • effects on external fluctuations like breaking a losing/winning streak or dealing a
    loss to a previously undefeated pitcher.
  • effects caused by a break in game continuity. The original criteria apply even if
    there's rain delay, suspension of play, ejection, or protest.
Kansas City's opening day victory 5-4 in eleven innings over Detroit was pivotal. Today's 4-0 win was not. That doesn't mean it wasn't important or historic, but not pivotal by my definition. If baseball wisdom is correct then the number of pivotal games (pivotal wins + pivotal losses) for all teams should average 42 a season.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008