Showing posts from April, 2007

Friday YouTube Finds: Mavis Staples Skipping Chicago (for now)

Sad news via Greg Kots blog : Mavis Staples is performing to support her new record with folks including guitarist-producer Ry Cooder, drummer Jim Keltner and a few others, but she won't be making a stop in her hometown of Chicago. Too bad for us, eh? For a primer on Mavis, check her out with Pop in this cut from The Last Waltz . She's a gem and her voice is tops. (For you Band fans out there, you gotta love Rick Danko's gyrations, right? Or...check out the great dance moves on SoulTrain in the classic "I'll Take you There": Boy...I wish life was this easy. Wearing great threads. Shimmy-ing down the SoulTrain. Great tunes. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Confirmed: Michale Jordan’s Son to Play for the Fighting Illini

Congrats to Coach Bruce Weber and the entire staff. After this very challenging year - with the multiple arrests, injuries, and the Eric Gordon to IU saga - the Illini Nation could use the very good news. Jeffrey Jordan, the son of basketball legend Michael Jordan, said Friday that he plans to attend the University of Illinois next year and play basketball as a walk-on. The younger Jordan, a 6-2 guard at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., where he is a senior, said in a news release that he chose Illinois over Valparaiso University. "After I worked out at Illinois, (met) with the coaching staff and the players, and toured the campus with my mom, I just felt more comfortable with U of I," Jordan said in the release. The insiders are saying that this plays well for the future. Jeffrey's younger brother, who many consider to be a much better hoops player, will be heading off to play college ball in a few years. The recruitment and signing of his older brother will give th

The Shins and their Brian Wilson Influences…

Unfortunately, I rarely get to sit down and listen to an entire record all the way through these days. I have an expansive collection, but it's largely gathering dust because I just simply don't have the time. For my birthday, my buddy Matt gave me some iTunes bucks and I went trolling for some new tunes. I settled on The Shins new record: Wincing the Night Away . I only got about halfway through when something struck me: these guys have been listening to their Brian Wilson records, haven't they? I've since gone back and listened to the record a dozen or so times and that initial notion sticks for me. I'm by no means, a Shins Superfan, rather a casual listener, but to my ear, they've been heavily influenced by the Beach Boys and their once front man Brian Wilson- whether The Shins know it or not. As far as influences go, the Beach Boys are tops in my book, so it's not anything to be bashful about. I've put up a few videos here below. Go ahead.

First Impressions: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 for the Nintendo Wii

A few nights ago, Natalie and I took it all in at the Orland Park Costco. In addition to buying a HUGE jar of Giardinara, enough yogurt to feed a football team, and of course, a $1.50 polish sausage/Diet Coke combo, I also picked up Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007 for the Nintendo Wii. I've toyed with it in just about all of my free time the past few days. My first impressions: great extension of the core Wii Sports golf game. In playing all of the Wii Sports games, I found both bowling and golf the most fun games to play. That's largely due to the ability to go through the entire range of gameplay in both bowling and golf. Baseball would be great if you could run the bases, throw people out, and manage the game and boxing, well boxing is just too much work, frankly. Tiger Woods 2007 PGA Tour brings all of that (the good stuff) to golf. You can create a player (which I already did), get him his tour card, upgrade his skills, and go head-to-head with the PGA's best. My ar

Spinal Tap Reunion - For Real!

Madonna, The Police, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, and.....Spinal Tap?!? You read that right! They're getting the band back together! Spinal Tap, the fake band, is fake reuniting for a gig this summer to benefit environmental causes . The show, coincides with their "new" release: Warmer than Hell . The best part? Rob Reiner also directed a new short film that chronicles the band and their current whereabouts that's being screened tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival. That needs to be on YouTube soon. Back in 1990 or 1991, I caught This is Spinal Tap for the first time. My buddy Neil McAllister turned me on to it, probably through his older brothers. Immediately, it struck a chord with me. I ran back to the video store and rented the VHS a few times. Then for either Christmas or my birthday, someone bought me the tape. I just about wore it out. Then came "Break like the Wind" . Released when I was in 8th grade, I again, colle

What Happens in Vegas…

The body needs sleep. There's nothing you can do about it. You can't put any time in the bank before you go to Las Vegas. You just need to pay the piper when you get home. I learned that lesson on Sunday night and last night. This morning, I could barely crawl out of the rack. It took me a few days, but I'm finally fully functional after my first excursion to Las Vegas. I'll do my best to recap and highlight some of the weekend - one which I really enjoyed and can't wait to repeat. We left Thursday night and were delayed a few hours at O'Hare. That was time well spent in the Fox Sports SkyBox tavern out on the concourse. We had a small crew there at the airport because some folks arrived earlier, later, or on a different airline (Matt). I slept the entire way out there, thinking that I could bank the 2-3 hours for the long weekend I was in store for. We arrived and spent quite a bit of time gaming. I believe it's either called "Old Town&

Michael Jordan’s Son Close to Being an Illini

If for nothing but the press opportunities and having MJ attend some games, I sure hope that Coach Bruce Weber and the Fighting Illini can close the deal to bring Michael Jordan's boy onto the squad . Of the places he's looking at, the Illini program is clearly the best. Wilmette Loyola senior guard Jeff Jordan is seriously considering walking on the Illinois basketball team. Jordan made the trip to Champaign with his mother Tuesday and played with the Illini during a pickup game at the Ubben Basketball Complex. Jordan already has been accepted to the university, and the Illinois coaching staff talked with him about joining the team as a preferred walk-on. The 6-foot-2 Jordan is rated as a three-star recruit by If Jordan would choose Illinois, he likely would arrive for the start of the summer semester, when the five-man recruiting class will reach campus. Thus, a decision is needed soon. But imagine MJ sitting on the sidelines next to the Orange Krush to see his s

Gawker Properties Becoming Keyword Honeypots?

Anyone else notice lately that the Gawker sites are going a little crazy with the keyword linking? I read both Deadspin and Valleywag everyday and they have all these unnecessary links in their posts deep linking to category pages on their own sites. Take for instance this post on Deadspin. What's with linking ESPN to this page ? Same with Kobe Bryant and Paul Shirley. It's a wonder they didn't link the word "douche" to a tagged page. Same with Valleywag. Why link to an environment page on this post ? All this linking makes me not even click the links to the outside sources. I know that SEO is a very dark art that I don't come close to understanding, but is this an attempt to bring more search traffic in? Create these big lengthy verticle pages with post after post about a particular topic and hope/know your search rankings will rise on that word? Sounds like a SEO Honeypot to me, no? Who knows, it probably works. I need to talk about smelt a lot m

I’m Somewhat Ashamed: I Voted for Sanjaya

Can't say that I've watched even one minute of American Idol in my life, but like a little schoolgirl I voted last night for Sanjaya. Not just once, either. I voted like 15 times. I know...Weird, right? I couldn't help myself. Howard Stern made me do it . What's that you say? How did Howard make me do it? He made it soooo easy. When I was in my car, I had Howard 100 tuned in and guess what kept flashing across the screen? The words "Vote for Sanjaya" and the number to call. I called. And called. And called. I kept looking around at the stop lights wondering if the folks next to me knew what I was doing. Stern's crew have really figured out how to leverage the device to their benefit. There's a few million of those things around the country and more than a handful were probably tuned in to Howard. They knew that, and figured it was a great way to incent folks to act. I'm sure that this is just the first way in which they'll use

4 More Years

Today at polling places all across the Village of Frankfort, residents went to the polls and voted. I'm lucky enough that they placed their confidence in me by re-electing me to another 4 year term on the Village Board! Granted, I was running uncontested, I still was nervous all morning. Turnout was low, and I expected that, with not many contested races in Frankfort. When I voted at 8 am this morning, I was only the 7th voter in my precinct! I'm incredibly grateful for the support that both you guys (my friends) and the voters in Frankfort. I'm humbled by the confidence that you all have placed in me. I'm pleased with all that we've accomplished so far, but there's much more to be accomplished: downtown wi-fi, widening of Route 30, banning of all new banks, and dragging the Village of Frankfort into the 21st Century technology-wise. While I was unopposed this election, that's largely due to you. I've been successful in fundraising and for that

Smelt Fishing 2007

Continuing our annual tradition, Matt Pawlak rounded up our crew and others and we headed out to Montrose Harbor last Friday night for Smelt Fishing. We were right in the sweet spot of the smelting season, but, much like last year, our efforts didn't produce a heckuva lot of smelt. In fact, this year, we caught exactly ZERO smelt. Didn't matter that much as we were thinking ahead and brought a bunch of the suckers from Jewel! Libations were plentiful and the burn bucket kept us warm all night. Thanks to Tom Cactus Vlach for bringing the gear, Matt for much of the logistics, and Dan Fetterer for logging the most miles (NYC to Chicago!) to make it out to Montrose Harbor. Even though we came up largely empty on the fish front this year, make no mistake: we'll be back at it in April of 2008. Here's a few pictures: Matt Pawlak and Tom Cactus. The question of the night? Where's Rob? The Dauphinais Brothers and Mark Kwilosz stay warm by the burn bucket. Neil McAl

A Vegas Virgin, I am…

I'm heading to Las Vegas for the first time this Thursday for my good buddy Mark Dauphinais' bachelor party. We're set to be there through early Sunday morning and I'm sure that things will be debaucherous. As luck would have it, one of my favorite blogs, Dethroner , announced that his "theme" this week is Bachelor Parties . Some great posts already and I'm looking forward to even more this week. I've alerted my crew that's going to be trouncing around with me about the Theme, and I bet we'll get some pointers/tips that we can utilize this weekend. The party itself is actually an event that is being put on for 2 bachelors. Mark and one of his college buddies. Because of that, there appears to be in excess of 20 dudes heading out there. From the tone of some of the emails, most of the guys that I don't know (Mark's college buddies) are going to really turn one out. As a first timer in Las Vegas, I'll have to strike a nice b

Clearing the Slate: Dumping Links on You Guys

I'm either too cramped for time, or too lazy or both to write a full post, so instead, I have a bunch of stuff rattling around my brain and I'm dumping it here so I can move on to more important things like whether I'm going to get a meatball sandwich or the Italian Beef at Venice Cafe for lunch today. I hate it when people on the train wear a ton of purfume/cologne. I also hate it when people smell. Sure, we all have our off days, but my goal in life scent-wise is to leave no footprint - have no smell. Shouldn't that be everyone's? The best sports blog out there is Deadspin. Hands down. One of the best parts of the blog are the comments. My co-worker Matt and I were just chatting about them this morning. The best description I've ever read about the community there was written on CopyRanter : "If you have time, read the comments; his readers are both batshit insane and very entertaining. " I wonder if there's a Beer-O-the-Month-Club

Companies I Love: Patagonia

Some companies fascinate me (FedEx, Sirius Satellite Radio, Toyota, Google), some companies that I hate (sometimes FedEx, Kerasotes Movie Theaters, Clear Channel), and other companies I love. One of the companies that I love is Patagonia , the maker of gear and apparel. "There is no business to be done on a dead planet." - Sierra Club executive director David Brower On certain days, I'm decked out head-to-toe in clothing and gear from Patagonia. As Natalie would tell anyone, I'm not that fashion-conscious and I usually have a hard time dressing myself in the mornings. I don't have that much clothing from Patagonia, but I have a few "everyday items" like coats, shoes, and my computer bag. Toss in a few shirts, some pants, and a hat or two, and that rounds out my whole collection. I try to avoid clothes with lots of labels, while at the same time wearing clothes that are comfortable and wear nice. There's nothing worse then when I bring home a p

Richard Simmons Out in Front of Mandating Physical Education Classes in America

This morning on my radio program of choice (Howard Stern), I tuned in to find a guest that has appeared many times before. He's also a popular guest on programs like The Tonight Show and Late Night. That guest was Richard Simmons. Richard is a popular guest because he's usually enjoyable to listen to/watch as he hams it up for the host and the audience. It appears that he knows his niche and he's parlayed that to a pretty sizable empire. This morning, in addition to the "Which guy(s) are you dating?" jokes, Stern also chatted with Simmons about the "Strengthening Physical Education Act of 2007". Before Simmons scurried out after an insensitive joke, he spoke about how the "Leave No Child Behind" act is squeezing out physical education classes from America's schools. Much like there are standards for reading, writing, and arithmetic, Simmons bill would amend NCLB to provide a national guideline for minimum standards for health and fi

When The Devil Came, He Was Not Red, He was Gooey and Sweet

I believe that I may have had the best food item that I have ever tasted yesterday at my sister Vic's house. Most of my family headed over there for Easter brunch-ish. (10 am to noon) There were the usual suspects on the menu: bagels, quiche, ham, etc. Natalie and I brought a banana cream pie, courtesy of my "Two-Time Pie Eating Champion" winnings. I made my way through the spread without much delight. While, as most people know, I really enjoy a good spread, I'm not really into breakfast foods. Vic tipped me onto the Gorilla Bread , and I'm thrilled she did. While not the least bit healthy, (the recipe doesn't mention that Vic uses Martha's cream cheese frosting recipe to top this whole thing off!) it may be the best thing I've ever tasted - not to mention it's President Jimmy Carter's favorite food. When discussing my favorite foods, I tend to skew towards the italian beef/pizza area of the food pyramid, but this new Gorilla Bread e

An Open Letter to Illinois Legislators

Dear Illinois Legislators, More often than not, I know that more and new laws are not the answer to problems facing residents in Illinois. Many times, they aren't the solutions - they're the problems. That's why, it is with great trepidation that I am requesting your sponsorship of a bill that would modify the Illinois Vehicle Code. As any commuter, or for that matter - any driver in Illinois, can tell you, road construction is the source of many headaches. While we all understand that constuction and improvements are a necessary part of the roadway system, most drivers try to avoid the construction areas at all costs. Avoiding the construction zones is good practice, but sometimes it's unworkable. What makes travelling the construction zones worse is what, for lack of a better term, I'll call "Cheaters". These are the folks who run up the right lane, when 2 miles back there are merge left signage that indicates that the right lane is closing. Most

Ben Wallace Breaks out the Low Cost Sneakers - Bulls Make Playoffs

Although most, if not all of you didn't notice, our own Chicago Bulls have quietly secured a clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. I haven't watched a Bulls game in quiet some time. I catch the highlights every morning on SportsCenter and it appears that Luol Deng has matured into quite a player. Ben Gordon is somewhat of a "proven commodity" and Ben Wallace has been a great anchor in with the "trees". Wallace, who's been the source of some controversy this season because of his headbands (why not let him wear them, guys? He has them on in your billboards, promo materials and tickets, right?), but he's also gaining some press for something else he's wearing. Wallace has joined up with Knicks guard Stephon Marbury to roll out a sneaker that retails for $14.98 . You read that right: less than 15 bucks. Right now, he's wearing Marbury's shoes, but next season, he'll have his own line - The Big Ben. He's doing

Welcome to the *New* RhodesSchool

With the arrival of a new year in my life (29th!), I thought that it would be appropriate to move RhodesSchool over to a different blogging platform. I've been on a custom-made blogging platform that has served me very well since 2004 and I am not done with it. My Wedding Blog is still on the platform, as are a whole host of my other sites. With RhodesSchool, I wanted to bring it to a new platform because this is the type of issue that I deal with on a day-to-day basis at FeedBurner. We deal with publishers who have to modify their .htaccess file, install the Ordered List WordPress plugin, and embed various widgets and items into their sidebars. I wanted to roll up my sleeves, get a little dirty, and get better acquainted to this particular platform. Will I stay at WordPress forever? I doubt it. It's one of many blogging platforms that publishers are using. Rick Stratton is using and that looks to be a promising tool. I am planning on giving it a try next.