Thursday, February 16, 2017

That is a whup-jinny, and that's the true frickus, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

A report reveals 55,000 bridges in US have structural problems. The only bridge that did not have a problem was the one Chris Christie closed.

A woman in CA suing the makers of the Mike & Ike’s candy because they are only half full. Other people may join in the lawsuit and make it a no-class action suit.

This Russian spy scandal is serious. They asked new education sec., Betsy DeVos, what she thought about all of this covert espionage, she said she doesn’t speak French.

It looks like Trump counselor, Kellyanne Conway, is on her way out. She’ll have to go back to being the stressed-out, sick mom in the cold medicine commercials.

National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned after just 24 days. I’ve had hickeys that have lasted longer than 24 days. I mean, no I haven’t. 

This Russian spy scandal is serious. When asked how many people are connected in the Trump White House, an anonymous source said, “It casts a wide Nyet.”

Kim Jong Un had his half-brother killed by a poison rag. I’m afraid, of the things we want North Korea to stop, eating dogs is further down the list than we thought.

It was a year ago a man ate at all 46 London McDonalds in the same day. Not sure this is what Winston Churchill meant when he said, “Never, never, never give up.” 

The makers of “Monopoly” have dropped the 82-year-old thimble and are letting the Internet vote on its replacement. So far the leading candidates are a bong, a vibrator and a bong that looks like a vibrator.  

Because there is no better idea than letting the Internet name something. As the builders of the $200 mil. English polar research ship Boaty McBoatface learned all too well. 

Scents Who Masked:

Recommend “Becoming Warren Buffet” on HBO. 

Did not realize how much of a genius/savant/lovable nutty professor Buffett is. His attitude is so genuinely positive. He was so quick to give credit teachers and friends and family. But I suspect Warren would have ended up the way he did regardless. He was just wired that way. Like his fellow nutty genius pal, Bill Gates.

One of the interesting facts for me was when Buffett invested in Salomon Brothers and Salomon got greedy and illegally took too many treasury bonds at the auction. Yours truly went to high school with one of the two impossibly arrogant guys who caused that and were sued by the SEC.  His name is Tom Murphy.

At New Trier 76, Tom was an affable guy from a wealthy family who threw some great parties for the cool kids. (But he let me in anyway) We were friendly but not friends. Meaning I went to the parties and said hi to him in the hallways.

Tom graduated from Notre Dame and shot up the corporate ladder at Salomon as a treasury bond trader. It was not at all surprising that Tom would do well, he was smart and popular, but he was doing extremely well. 

When I worked on Wall Street, I briefly dated a woman who worked under Tom Murphy at Salomon. She had me call him to say hello hoping her dating a high school pal of her boss would help her status with the apparently now-imperious Murphy. 

The Tom Murphy I talked to on the phone was a typical Salomon-mold arrogant jerk. (Maybe he was having a bad day. Lord knows he would have a lot of them in a few years) Tom on the phone that day was nothing like the easy going, friendly guy in high school. 

But as a bond broker on Wall Street, I soon learned that was Salomon Brothers’ M.O. They took no prisoners and treated everyone like dirt. Why wouldn't they? The believed that anyone who was not working for Salomon had to be beneath them. And, boy, did it come back to bite them in the ass a few years later. 

It took someone as saintly as Warren Buffett to make up for Salomon's snottiness and dishonesty just to keep them from folding under the weight of their impossibly large egos.  

Short list of just a few of my New Trier classmates who became rich and famous:

Knew Charlie Trotter, famous chef. A year under me. Remember him as a nice guy, not the mercurial psycho who screamed at waiters and dish washers and who served dinners in old wooden cartons and frisbees. RIP.

Jack Ryan. Barely knew the successful banker and politician. Tall, dark and handsome kid a year younger. We shared the affection of a pretty, leggy pom-pom girl who shall go nameless under the “If you don’t have anything nice to say” rule. Apparently Jack is ungodly smart. Got rich at Goldman Sachs, quit to go into politics and withdrew from the 2004 Illinois Senate race against Barack Obama. Ex-wife, “Star Trek: Voyager” actress Jeri Ryan.

Did not know Rahm Emanuel, current mayor of Chicago, former  Chief of Staff for Obama. He went to our sister school, New Trier West, but he still counts. As does his brother, agent-to-the-gods, Ari.

Steve Fitzgerald. Navy Seal. Pal through our beloved friend, Steve Lewis, RIP, and my best 7th grade friend, Mike Burke. A NTW guy. Fitzy was a great quarterback on a not-as-great team. When I went to the Seal Team One Changing Of the Guard ceremony in Point Loma for my buddy, commander, Jamie O'Connell, Steve - whom I had not seen since a year after high school - was his replacement. The summer after I graduated from high school, Steve, unknowingly stole a date of mine the night I took her to the Eagles concert during the day at the White Sox's Comiskey Park. The less said about her the better also under the "If you can't say something nice" rule. (Starting to see a pattern in the girls I dated in high school. Except for Betsy F. She was a doll) 

Clay Matthews II. Knew him and played football in practice against him. Or I should say he played against me.  He was two years older.  Clay did not say a lot to me or anyone else, but when he did it was to criticize my longish hair. One week, they brought me up as a sophomore to scrimmage against the varsity. Clay thought I was taking his spot at running back and proceeded to have his way with me. After Clay made me his bitch and beat me like a red-headed step child, I limped back to the sophomores. Two years later I was a Senior advisor to his younger brother, Bruce, who liked me more than Clay did. 

My friend John Murray. We became friends in a reading development class. (For advanced readers, not a special ed. class like it sounds) We also shared a driver's ed car and played football freshman year. Genuinely funny, great guy. Quite the accomplished comedian and thespian in his own right and a heck of an entrepreneur.  You might have also heard of his older brothers William and Brian-Doyle Murray. John used to read me the letters he got from Bill who was on the road doing improv at the time. 

Knew Adam Baldwin too well. Good actor. Not great. (Not of the Alec/Stephen Baldwin bros) "Independence Day," "The Patriot," "My Bodyguard" and my favorite, "Full Metal Jacket." He was four years younger than me, but was a little brat/pest in our neighborhood. I was sort-of friendly with his older brother, John, due to our mutual friend, Ricky Horchner. But his other way-older brother - forgot his name - was a full blown bully thug and Adam would use him to beat us up if we, Ricky Horchner, John and I, did not want him play with us which was always. This is when we were about 8 so he was only 4. In Adam's defense, all 4-year-old boys are brats.

Barely knew Johnny Castino.  Minnesota Twins, third base. Same class as Clay the Deuce. Same football team. Two years older than me. With Johnny, it was like having a rock star in your high school and I was a big fan. Women openly sighed when he walked down the hall. He was rookie-of-the-year for the Twins in '79. Bad back got him in 1985 but not before he signed for the big cash in '84. He was also a great football player and basketball player at NTE. Years later, I went up to make small talk at our Winnetka Congregational church after he had his baby christened. (Johnny was Catholic, but his wife's family went to our church) Johnny the C-note was not interested in making small talk. Yeah. Truth be told? He was kinda of a dick. But Johnny Castino was, like Johnny Depp and Keith Richards, one of those people born consummately cool. 

Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway. Did not know them, but they were friendly. Ann sang and wrote the theme for "The Nanny." Both were on Broadway. Ann also wrote songs for some hack named Barbra Streisand. Her sister Liz is also a touring solo act. Remember they were really nice. Two incredible opera/stage singers. (So is my pal, BK*)

My friend, Donovan Webster. Nice guy. Rich kid. Raspy voice. Good football player. Also a year under me. A Nobel Prize-winning journalist. Made one tragic mistake for which he is now atoning. If Webby can beat his demons - and I bet he can - look for more great writing from him to come. 

Several of my still-really-close friends - one I have known since I was four - from NTE have also become quite noteworthy and successful, but I will not embarrass them by naming them on my dumb blog. Just initials. 

Some of the credit to their success goes to the education at NTE, but most of it goes to the fact that they are truly awesome people. I have one great trait: I am an excellent judge of character when it comes to friends. My friends are amazing. 

In no specific order, JW, WV, RA, JL, JC, BP, BK*, DP, RD, SW. Ya’ll know who you are. Proud of all of you, you magnificent New Trier Indian bastards. 

(Eff the PC name Trevians in the Bee) 

Go Green and Grey. 

Not to go too deep on LGBT, but when two people love each other, what does not matter is what they have or do not have under the hood. What matters is the love. And if they like dogs. 

Wow is Donald Trump infuriating people. His own people. Trump just angered a "Fox News" reporter, Shepard Smith, so much Shep could barely contain his tears of emotional frustration over Trump's fake news accusations.

And after hurling insults at them, somebody high in the intelligence community was anonymously quoted as saying, "When we're through with him, that guy is going to die in prison."

Stay tuned. Same Bat Station. Same Bat Channel.