2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited Road Test!

Our latest Video Road Test, the 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited, is now available on Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.

At a time when many consumers and automotive manufacturers are making the move to crossover and sport utility vehicles, how does Toyota’s redesign of their largest car stack up against the competition in 2019? Well, just click this link to take a drive with us and see for yourself.

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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Flower Power, Indeed!

This is the tale of one flower that may have saved the Monarch butterfly.

Oct. 10th, ’18 Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle of Florida with 150mph winds. In the aftermath of the storm hundred year old trees were downed, everywhere you looked trees were snapped in two or in many cases leaves and bark were stripped from the trunk.

Along with the tree debris every imaginable flowering plant was found uprooted and dead except for the camellia.

Camellias throughout Bay County, some 15 foot tall remained standing to bloom just in time for the migrating Monarch butterflies.

Why the camellias were able to withstand Hurricane Michael’s unprecedented winds no one knows but, it is truly a blessing to us and the butterflies.

#850 Strong #panhandlestrong

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See You This Saturday In Elmhurst?

This Saturday, (Jan. 12) at 2:30PM, we’ll be doing an appearance/book signing at the Elmhurst Public Library (125 S. Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126).

We’ll share some behind the scenes stories about the legendary Les Paul who we were privileged to know as a dear friend.  Of course, we’ll answer your questions about Les, WGN Radio or whatever happens to be on your mind … other than politics.:-)

And, yes, you’ll be able to get autographed copies of our book, “A Little More Les.”

To order “A Little More Les” go to http://www.alittlemoreles.com

If you’re going, please click on this link and register.  It just helps them plan for the amount of chairs they’ll have to put out.  At this point, it looks like a lot of people will be there. We hope you’ll be one of them.

If you can’t join us, you can get “A Little More Les” just by clicking on this link.

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Our WGN Radio New Year’s Eve “Game Plan”

24 years ago we rang in the New Year on the air with you on WGN Radio from the Michigan Ave. Showcase Studio for the very first time.  Well, this year it will be just like old times ringing in the new year with a six hour show, from 10:55PM-5AM.  We’ll be high in the sky from the brand new WGN Radio studios as we welcome in the new year with the 2018 into 2019 edition of “Steve  & Johnnie’s Cheap Date Life After Dark New Year’s Eve Extravaganza” looking down on the fireworks and creating some of our own.

Happy New Year!!

Helping us usher in 2019 will be a dear friend who just happens to be one of the world’s great blues harmonica players, a celebrated composer, blues pianist, singer, songwriter, band leader and author, the legendary Corky Siegel.

Corky Siegel

We’re happy to welcome back two of our favorite people, Josh Solomon and Erika Brett from The Empty Pockets.

Josh Solomon & Erika Brett

Because so many of you have e-mailed us asking for a return visit from one of our most popular guests, joining us, once again, for this special New Year’s show will be one of the featured artists on the PBS Soundstage Special “Cornerstones Of Rock,”  the man who sang lead on many of The New Colony Six’s hit records, Ronnie Rice.

And, also due to multiple requests after his past few New Year’s visits with us, making a return appearance is the world’s only Musical Mentalist, Sidney Friedman, who will have some predictions for the new year.

Sidney Friedman

We’ll also be introducing you to a couple of new “finds” that we’re really excited about.

Joining us for the first time for an in-studio performance will be the River Road Trio.

The River Road Trio

Also, joining us for the first time will be a talented bluegrass performer we saw for the first time at the GuitarWorks Christmas Show.  From Evanston H.S., Charlie Lowman and his group, the 3 C’s, will fill the studio with some very cool music.

Charlie Lowman

Consumer Guide Automotive‘s Publisher, Tom Appel, will recap some of the best and worst of 2018’s automotive scene and give us a preview of what to look for in 2019.

Tom Appel

We’ll be checking in with friends like Certified Guitar Player, Tommy Emmanuel, from various far flung points around the globe.

Steve & Johnnie with Tommy Emmanuel

We’ll have hourly countdowns from different time zones:

At 11PM, we’ll go live to New York’s Times Square for their ball drop.  At 12AM, we’ll usher in 2019 in Chicago with help from, Public Relations Coordinator, Lydia Jordan-Parnell who joins us for our countdown to Midnight live from Navy Pier.  At 1AM, we’ll go live to the Prescott Arizona Boot Drop for their New Year’s Eve countdown.  At 2AM, we’ll go to California and join our former Website Wednesday Night Cybersquad chief, Patrick Crispen along with thousands lined up at the site of the Rose Bowl Parade for their countdown.  At 3AM, we’ll go to Anchorage, Alaska for the “End Of The World Masquerade 2018 7.0” countdown from the historic Chilkoot Charlie’s.  At 4Am, we’ll travel to Hawaii to say “Aloha” to the new year.

We’ll be adding more details as we know them.

Remember, no cover charge and no dress code!!

This is gonna be fun!

We hope you’ll tune in to 720 AM or, if you’re not in the Chicago area, you can still listen and watch by clicking this link to WGN Radio’s live stream.

Posted in Events, Holidays, WGN | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

2018 Hyundai Accent Limited Video Road Test!

Our Video Road Test of the 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited is now available on Consumer Guide Automotive’s Daily Drive website.

To check out our review, just click on the link above and take a ride with us.

2018 Hyundai Accent Limited

And don’t forget, if you want to check some of our previous road tests and some of the other goodies we’ve been pouring into the Daily Drive tank, just point your browser right here.

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We’re “Home” for Thanksgiving on WGN!

After spending the past month on Florida’s Panhandle, we arrived back in Chicago on Tuesday just in time to take the turkeys out of the freezer for our Thanksgiving Day show and while we were at WGN radio preparing our birds, we got to catch up with Patti Vasquez.  That’s always a good thing.

Patti Vasquez and Steve & Johnnie at WGN radio.

For those of you who, for whatever reason, don’t feel the need to follow our every move, we should clarify that, once again, we’ll be playing the part of your friendly, local Thanksgiving turkeys as we jump back inside your radio speakers to gobble up the airwaves from Noon-3PM this Thanksgiving Day on WGN.

Here’s just some of the Thanksgiving Day treats we’re bringing along:

We’ll take a look at some of the best new tech stuff for your Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas gift shopping as we get suggestions from our former Website Wednesday Night Cybersquad chief, Patrick Crispen.  Patrick is now the Director of Educational Technology and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Education, Keck School of Medicine of USC.

For many years, one of our Thanksgiving traditions has been an in-studio performance from the world renowned guitarist and founder of the “All-Star Guitar Night,” Muriel Anderson and this year is no exception.


In the wake of the devastation caused by hurricane Michael, Tony Simmons (writer and editor with the Panama City News Herald) and Jason Hedden (Chair, Visual and Performing Arts at Gulf Coast State College) join us to talk about the SURVIVORS anthology and the ongoing recovery in Bay County, Florida.

We’ll talk with an old friend, Mike Himebaugh, of Hello Dave, about a rare reunion of the group for FarmRaiser2018.  This is a VERY cool event coming up at Joe’s on Weed St that will benefit The Farm Way.

We’ve got some more surprises planned, but you’ll just have to listen to find out what they are.

Don’t forget, if you’re not in the Chicago area, you can listen and WATCH the show.  Just click on this link to WGN Radio’s live stream.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Appearances, Events, Holidays, Hurricane Michael, WGN | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Panhandle Update

Since we arrived at our home in Panama City Beach, other than joining our friends at WKGC-FM for coverage of the midterm elections, we’ve been preoccupied with our own clean up. However, our problems with downed trees and some other debris were nothing compared to what we saw when we finally made our first trip east across the Hathaway Bridge into Panama City.

We thought we knew what to expect.

Not even close!!

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words.” so, rather than try to describe what we saw as we drove, we thought we’d just share some pictures.

The pictures below were taken one month after hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle.

Compared to many on the Panhandle, we’re doing fine.  Sadly, but not at all surprisingly, some of our friends, not so much.  Yes, things will get better but, obviously, this is going to take some time.

This was/is life-changing.

Every day is a struggle for many who are living alone … or … TRYING to live … without a place to call home.

As bad as this is, and it is REALLY bad, more and more we are struck by the spirit we see on the Panhandle.  This is more than lip-service about helping your friends in need.  This is DOING IT.  This is helping your friends when YOU are in need!

Yes, some have left.  Understandably!  But, among those who have stayed, there is this incredible feeling of rebuilding and creating something better than what was here before.  Local government entities are not just waiting for their federal counterparts to point the way.  Certainly, they are incorporating federal expertise and assistance but, locally, THEY are making the map for this recovery.  The local creative community (And it is a STRONG one!) has come together with multiple projects to help in rebuilding.

Yes, hurricane Michael was life-changing, but that life is far from over.

Please check back in our blog for updates.  We’ll do our best to share what we know, as we know it.

Also, even though it has become a cliche to some, we know many of our friends in the Panhandle would appreciate it if you’d keep them in your thoughts and prayers.


#850 Strong

Posted in Hurricane Michael, Partly Personal, WKGC | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments