With the death last week of Apple icon, Steve Jobs, details of the previously private tech pioneer's life are coming to light. Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, in remembering his friend, revealed that before the two decided on naming their fledgling company Apple, they considered several other names, mostly fruit or vegetable-themed. "Steve was health-conscious, so he wanted the company to project a healthy image. I remember going to a local grocery store and we went to the fresh produce section. We spent about four hours there looking at the all the different fruits and vegetables, deciding what name would sound cool, and what might look good as a logo. We were very close to naming it 'Broccoli' because Steve thought the florets might be an interesting logo, and I recall 'Pear' also was a strong contender. I thought 'Carrot' might be fun, but we were afraid the Bugs Bunny people would sue us. Finally, as we were leaving the store, frustrated we weren't sufficiently inspired, Steve said, 'Wait, I want to get an apple.' And we both looked at each other and smiled. Steve took a bite out of it, and the rest is history."
White House Hijinks
When the 1986 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears finally made their decade's long-overdue visit to the White House last week to celebrate its decisive victory, at least one of the infamous "Super Bowl Shufflin'" Bears players did more than just pose for pictures with President Obama on the White House lawn. My D.C. scoopsters tell me former punky Q.B., Jim McMahon, took his own "private" tour of the presidential digs while the others attended an exclusive cocktail party in the East Room. I've "over-Snerd" that Secret Service agents heard loud noises coming from the hallowed Lincoln Bedroom, and when they opened the door, they found McMahon holding a beer in his hand and bouncing wildly on the bed, repeatedly yelling, "Four score and seven years ago!" When confronted, McMahon grabbed a pillow off the bed and challenged the agents to a pillow fight. The agents weren't able to calm McMahon down, but suddenly, McMahon's former coach, Mike Ditka, came into the room and sternly ordered, "Get off that bed, you goof." Jimmy Mac sheepishly stopped jumping, gave "Da Coach" his beer bottle, and quietly walked back to the party. "Sorry guys," Ditka said to the agents, "You can't take some people anywhere."
Robin's Lucky Lotto
Baseball insiders are still reeling from the out-of-left-field choice of Robin Ventura to become the new manager of the White Sox. I've "over-Snerd" from those close to Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, that Ventura literally won the lottery to get his new coveted gig. With several possible candidates for the job, team general manager, Kenny Williams, secretly asked WGN-TV Channel 9 if he could use its famous lottery ball machine. Apparently, Williams went to the WGN studios on Addison St. in Chicago and brought his own supply of ping pong balls with him -- each with the name of a managerial hopeful he was considering. He loaded in least seven balls and allowed the luck of the lotto machine to pick his new manager. Professional lottery ball girl, Linda Kollmeyer, was even brought in during the wee hours of the morning to do the honors, and when she read Ventura's name as the winner, Williams reportedly sighed, "Uh oh." One person's lotto victory could be another's loss, Kenny
How does actress Carrie Fisher get a table at a restaurant no matter how crowed it is? Here's how. In town for her one-woman show, "Wishful Drinking," Fisher walked into the popular eatery, The Paris Club, last week and asked for a table. When told the wait was an hour, the crusty Carrie reached into her purse, pulled out her trademark "Star Wars" braided bun wig, put it on, and asked, "You mean you're going to make Princess Leia wait an hour for a table? The embarrassed hostess apologized and immediately seated Fisher and her party. Later, the feisty Fisher related, "I learned that trick from James Earl Jones. He carries a Darth Vader mask with him whenever he goes out to eat. It never fails." The "food Force" is definitely with you, Carrie
After getting the disappointing news of its quick cancellation from the NBC schedule last week, cast members of the locally-filmed TV drama, "The Playboy Club" drowned their sorrows at Rockit Bar & Grill in River North, downing lots of beers and appetizers. As the night went on, all the actresses on the show who wore the famous Playboy bunny costumes on the show went back to their dressing rooms and retrieved their bunny tails and ears. They then taxied it to the Marilyn Monroe sculpture on Michigan Ave., and burned the ears and tails in a cathartic bonfire, to both celebrate their time together and offer a subtle protest for their abrupt canning. According to pals of "Playboy Club" co-star Eddie Cibrian, he defended the cast's "bunny burning." "Heck, Marilyn was a Playboy magazine icon, and, 'coincidently' the NBC station in Chicago is located right behind the Marilyn statue, so it was the best place to do it for several reasons, if you know what I mean."
Farina Cops Out
In Our Town for the Chicago Film Festival's showing of his new movie, "The Last Rites of Joey May," local actor made good and former Chicago policeman, Dennis Farina, proved once a cop, always a cop. When Farina's stretch limo pulled up to the Harris Theater in Millennium Park last week for the red carpet premiere, there was a car sitting in the spot where Farina's limo was supposed to park. After several pleas for the driver of car to move, Farina, who still carries an honorary Chicago policeman's badge with him for cases just like this, went into action. The intimidating and dapper Dennis emerged from the back of the limo, went to the parked car, tapped on the window, flashed his badge, and his barked, "Hey, dirt bag, move your car NOW, or I'm gonna get a tow truck here in about two minutes. Now MOVE it!" The shocked and petrified parker quickly started his car and darted out of the spot, disappearing into traffic. Farina, pleased with himself, joked as he stepped onto the red carpet, "Yea, I still got it."
Not celebrating a birthday anymore: Apple founder and technology icon, Steve Jobs, 56; groundbreaking and headline-making NFL owner, Al Davis, 82; breathless.
Until next time, keep venting!