I, Audio Dinosaur

I am an unapologetic audio dinosaur. I know my kids like to listen to what they want, when they want. Not me. Radio still tickles and tantalizes my audio antennae. It helps that I can easily listen to Chicago’s WXRT at 93.1FM, one of the great radio stations in the USA. Before you tune me out since you don’t live in Chicago, you can also listen to WXRT using the radio.com app on your PC, tablet, or phone. We can listen together!

Why do I prefer a live radio broadcast rather than using Spotify or another streaming app that allows me to listen to exactly what I want? I like to be surprised, and WXRT still surprises me. When I first started listening in the mid-70s, WXRT was an evening-only music station. During the daylight hours, the 93.1FM station featured Spanish language programming. But when darkness fell, the language changed to English with understated FM deejays spinning music on vinyl. And what music! They played progressive rock, jazz, blues, folk, and even classical.

Times have changed, and WXRT is now a slicker, corporately-owned music giant. Sure, they play some newer songs sometimes too much. But they play plenty of new music heard nowhere else and lots of old music, with always a surprise to lift my spirits. It may be rarities like The Polecats singing “Make a Circuit With Me” or “Belly of the Whale” by Burning Sensation. And I can’t help but smile if I happen to catch Perry Farrell’s dog kick off “Been Caught Stealing” by Jane’s Addiction on the radio when I’m in the car with the windows open on a warm, sunny day. I know I can play those songs anytime I want, but it always is a nice surprise and thoroughly gratifying when someone else who also appreciates those songs plays them for me. There’s a 3 or 4 minute bond that forms, as fleeting as it may be.

And then there are the WXRT special features like Sunday morning’s Breakfast with the Beatles, Saturday Morning Flashback, or new music on The Big Beat. I was moved to write this today as I listened to all-vinyl Friday. Vinyl album sides are being played in their entirety, taking me back in time to listen to some timeless music. I’ve already heard album sides from Bonnie Raitt, The Cars, CS&N, Billy Joel, Supertramp, and the Rolling Stones. I’m looking forward to hearing an upcoming album side from Chicago’s own John Prine who succumbed to Covid in 2020. To me, this is radio at its best, harkening back to the halcyon days of progressive rock radio when many a deejay may have put on a 20 minute long song by Yes so he or she could step outside for a couple smokes/tokes. And the hiss and pop from the vinyl is just so viscerally stimulating and satisfying for me to hear. I guess that not only makes me an audio dinosaur, but an analog audio dinosaur. I will gladly wear that title. Try and take that title from me at your own risk. I may hiss or pop at you.

Happy Belated Fake Holiday

I hate myself for missing another holiday, but I don’t blame myself. That’s right, I missed National Margarita Day. How can I be expected to remember a fake tropical drink holiday when there’s snow on the ground (not a euphemism)? I mean, there’s some effort required to prepare a margarita. It’s more work than me opening a beer and pouring it into a glass. Okay, just kidding about the glass. That doesn’t happen. If I’m going to the trouble to make a tropical drink to celebrate the holiday, I want to be able to make a BIG margarita.

Nice, but I’ve got my sights set on a REAL BIG margarita …

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The Race is On!

I hate to tell you this, but there’s another election just around the corner, and I’m partially to blame. I may have mentioned that I’m running in a local election in April for St. Charles Township Trustee. I will be a longshot to unseat deeply-entrenched incumbents. The League of Women Voters is giving me a chance to make an impact and state my case in mid-March at a candidate forum. I’m hoping refreshments are served.

But there has been a huge win for me already. Before I tell you what that is, take a look at this digital door hanger we designed featuring a new pic of me …

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Can’tcun for Cruz

Once again, the crack invetigative team at JimFlanigan.com has uncovered the REAL reason Ted Cruz cut short his Cancun vacation. No, it wasn’t his concern for his Texas constituents. And it wasn’t concern for the family dog they left behind in a cold house. Was it that his wife Heidi didn’t want to spend time with him?

Ouch. Maybe. But I’m sure he wanted to spend some quality time with his kids. Let’s take a look …

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Bully For Me

My bully is dead. Allow me to clarify. This was not my personal bully that carried out nefarious deeds at my behest. No, I’m going back quite a few years to my high school days. I was actually fortunate. I had 3 bullies to choose between to pick on me. And why not? I can’t really blame them. I was about 5’2″, barely over 100 lbs., and looked like about 10 years old as I entered 9th grade as a high school freshman. I was perfect bully bait. If I was bigger, I would have picked on myself.

I may overstate how much I got bullied. I never got beat up or seriously hurt, except maybe psychologically to the point where I have to work out my issues decades later through strange blog posts. But I do recall being called names, books knocked down, and a few uncomfortable headlocks.

By the time my 10 year high school reunion came around, I was a grown ass man almost a foot taller and many pounds heavier. Okay, I wasn’t heavily muscled, but I was in shape and carried myself well and confidently, especially after a couple beverages. I had my sights set for revenge on one of the bullies who was more of the name-caller and mental bully. I can’t recall how I knew he would be there, but I was gunning for him, without any guns, of course.

And then I saw him. He was not how I expected him to be. I almost immediately abandoned my plans to spill hot coffee on him. Here’s why …

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Things to do in the Dead of Winter

It was cold and snowy yesterday. We’ll be hovering around 0F/-18C for the next couple of days, and we received a couple more inches of snow yesterday in this bitter cold. So, I went looking for things to do after I got rid of a car full of diapers.

No, they were not for me … yet. They were for a food, diaper, and feminine hygiene products drive that I participated in today. I wish someone could tell me why there are never masculine hygiene products donated. Seems sexist, but what do I know? Don’t answer that. Anyway, here are some things I found to consider doing on cold and snowy days this weekend.

Find Your Cock

Get your mind out of the gutter. Maybe this will explain it a bit more …

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A Cataclysmic Failure

There were several powerful speeches given at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial that opened Tuesday. One of his attorneys, Bruce Castor, did not make one of those powerful speeches.

If I hire an attorney for any reason, there are 2 things I definitely don’t want that attorney to do:

  1. Praise the opposing attorney’s presentation.
  2. Suggest I be arrested and prosecuted.

If you don’t want to listen to all of Castor’s defense, this sums it up pretty well …

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Jim’s Poetry Corner for a Circular Room

It’s oppressively cold here for the next week or so. What genius decided that this planet was habitable? Anyway, here’s a bit of poetry for the bitter cold. Feel free to add your own lines to create an even longer and more painful poem to read.

Winter’s grip of ice and cold is more than I can bear

As I rend my clothes in deep despair.

Now I sit shivering in my underwear,

Glad to not be completely bare,

And wishing I had even more body hair.

So I sally forth completely aware

That frostbite may require medical care.

But fear not for my general welfare,

For I awake and find it was just a nightmare.

Wait, no it’s not. It’s the freakin’ Arctic out there.

Bonus Content Alert

If you’re feeling lucky and want to risk extending this post beyond the poem and delve into the depths of Omaha, Nebraska winter weather and one-hit music wonders, then click to read more …

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Guaranteed Super Bowl Winners

At the beginning of 2020, my home state of Illinois legalized online sports gambling. I thought nothing of that because within no time at all, there were no sports. Thanks, COVID. But then sports started to come back. I still thought nothing of it. I was too busy being poor, thanks again to COVID. But then my oldest son, who always has been a bad influence on me, suggested I start gambling on NFL football. I signed up.

Now here we are, wrapping up the NFL season tomorrow with the Super Bowl, and I will finish the season with winnings of right about $1400. I didn’t just bet football. I’ve also bet baseball, baseketball, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, and mma, all to a lesser degree. It doesn’t matter what sport I bet. I’m a terrible bettor. A former Chicago Bear football player named Doug Buffone used to say, “Those who gamble live in shambles.” That’s me. I could bet on a coin flip 100 times and get it right maybe 10 times. So, how did I win $1400 in 5 months? Well, I may be terrible at betting, but I’m great at math. Here’s the system …

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My Plan to Lose Weight by Gaining Weight is Working!

When we last left our plucky dieter (me!), my diet plan for January & February was for me to gain 2 pounds each month in order to lose weight. You can read and try and make sense of that logic in the complete post HERE, but the gist is that it is inevitable that I will gain weight in the winter, so I need to control my weight gain, unlike in years past when I have inflated like a balloon at a kid’s birthday party by the end of winter.

That is me after most winters. Oh, but not this one. I planned to limit my weight gain which would allow me to start Spring weighing less than a year ago. After only gaining a pound in December, I planned to add 2 pounds each month in January and February. Then I could start March at 9 pounds less than last year. I lost 17 pounds in 2020 before the cold weather hit, so if I could lose just 15 additional pounds this year, I would be very happy at being down 24 total pounds from my peak in early 2020. Whew, I did not realize there would be math required with this post.

So, what did I do to only gain 2 pounds in January? Well, I exercised less. Take a look …

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Rejected!

I had a different post planned for today, but this arrived …

My book has been rejected! Well, almost. I didn’t even get that far with Black Rose Writing. My submission to submit my book for consideration has been rejected. I’m confident that if I keep trying, I’ll eventually get a rejection of the manuscript itself. I can’t promise I’ll try, but I’ll try to try.

What’s that? You’re wondering what manuscript I’m talking about. Well, thanks for your interest. Here it is …

(Editor’s Note: For those of you familiar with this blog and Jim’s shameless book plugs, now is a good time to bail on this post. There will be better posts to read all the way through. On second thought, maybe not based on history. Anyway, your call. If you proceed, you’ve been warned.)

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A Tempting Viral Offer

They need to stop sending me these offers …

I understand that COVID-19 can be a killer. I mask-up. I sanitize my hands. I isolate myself as much as possible. That last one is especially appreciated by all who know me. But the temptation to get COVID so I can qualify for this study is almost too much for a money-grubbing lowlife like me. I sure could use $4875.

I have a safer solution …

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Affection for Rejection

The reviews for my book BEYOND: Tales of the Afterlife are dribbling in like an old man standing at a urinal. Here are some words I pulled from the reviews that have been used to describe the book:

  • Irreverent
  • Deeply Reverent (???)
  • Humorous
  • Well-written
  • Weird
  • Charming
  • Disturbing
  • Goofy
  • Thoughtful
  • Thought-provoking
  • Thoughtless (just kidding about this one)
  • Engaging
  • Dizzying Kaleidoscope of Perspectives and Styles

You can read the reviews yourself on Amazon. Because of those overwhelmingly positive reviews, I’ve made a decision …

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