New thoughts,
ready and waiting to explode.

Douglas Adams and Terry Jones: One of my favorite interviews, ever

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Swapping stories with my friend Mike Gold this afternoon, I told him one of my favorite interviews of all time put me in the same room with "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" creator Douglas Adams and Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones in 1997.

Mike said Neil Gaiman would appreciate hearing it, and I realized this particular interview didn't have much of a home on the Internet. So here it is.


Help wanted: Experienced PR professional

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
My friend and former WXRT News colleague Marj Halperin's looking for ...

" ... an experienced public relations professional to join our team as a consultant January through July 2015. ... Strong candidates must have proven experience in media pitching and story placement, and the ability to show recent (18 months or newer) examples of stories placed with local Chicago-area media on behalf of paid or non-paid clients."

Apply here.

Having a great photographer for a neighbor is a good thing

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Thanks to my longtime neighbor, Steve Ewert, I now have a raft of portraits that make me look pretty much like the guy I (think I) see in the mirror.

I rarely see that guy reflected in store windows I pass, or in photos taken by other photographers. So this is a big deal.

Check out to see more of Steve's work.

Explained: The appeal of Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You'

Monday, December 22, 2014
A little more than two years ago in this space, I confessed an almost irrational appreciation for Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff's now-classic song "All I Want for Christmas Is You." And I wondered just what about the song made it so darned appealing. I speculated that "it meets some abstract criteria for pleasing, energizing music composition" but asked: "Any music experts out there like to explain?"

For months, my curiosity went unabated. I challenged friends and listeners to suggest other songs that would hold up so well to repeated listening.

My family questioned my sanity and my friends questioned my taste. Until my wife discovered the answer in her Facebook feed.

At least one music expert's risen to the challenge -- even though he didn't know I'd issued it.

Fellow veteran radio newsman Adam Ragusea, journalist in residence at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and a self-described "recovering composer," has posted just such an analysis to Slate: "Why Mariah Carey’s immortal holiday classic sounds so darn Christmassy."

Go read it now.

Then listen to this interview Adam granted Rivet Radio.

Standard Time: A ridiculously detailed guide to falling back

Friday, October 31, 2014
Daylight Saving Time[As originally posted to the going-going-but-not-quite-gone and still not forgotten -- by me -- Daywatch blog Oct. 28, 2005.]

Standard time returns Sunday morning. The official Daywatch plan for dealing with what can be a confusing transition:

1. Saturday night, set your alarm clock for 2 a.m.
2. Go to bed.
3. Awaken at 2 a.m.
4. Set all your clocks back one hour.
5. Don't forget clocks on desktop computers, laptops, telephones, cell phones, beepers, pens, refrigerators, convection and microwave ovens, TVs, VCRs and other audiovisual equipment.
6. And the car dashboard.
7. Change batteries in smoke detectors.
8. Important: Reset alarm for your usual wakeup time or risk being trapped in an infinite loop.
9. Go back to sleep.