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2016 Free Summer Concerts Calendar

May 11, 2016

It’s that time of year again!

By popular demand I am once again publishing my annual Southland Chicago Summer Concerts Calendar!

The summer is approaching and one of my favorite summer activities is enjoying outdoor summer concerts.

Last year I enjoyed many of them.


This year, I want to enjoy even more of concerts.

And I want you to enjoy them too!

Toward that goal, I have compiled a calendar of free (and low cost) outdoor summer concerts around the Chicago Southland and nearby suburbs. The schedule includes band names, dates, times (where available), locations and links to more information.

Simply Click Here for the Calendar. Then print it for your reference all summer long.

When you’re looking for something to do some day this summer, you can check the calendar and head out to enjoy a free (or low cost) outdoor summer concert.

Maybe you’ll even see me there!

And please feel free to share a link to the calendar or this article with your own friends to maximize your own enjoyment of the concerts and make a party out of each outing.

May God bless you with a wonderful summer full of good music and good friends to share it with!


The Eddies – 2016

February 28, 2016

It’s that time of year for The Eddies again!

Yes, that long anticipated and celebrated night when Ed gives out awards to recognize excellence in everyday living to people in his life.

Here is Ed arriving on the red carpet with his beautiful newlywed wife, Leslie Novick, just before the awards show.


And here is Ed on stage greeting the audience as he opens the awards show.
And here are some of the award winners receiving their awards.
And The Eddie for Best Man goes to…Jimmy Lipinski! 


And The Eddie for Sweetest Daughter goes to …. Tess Novick!


And The Eddie for Best Boyfriend goes to….. Cesar Perez!


And The Eddie for Best Student goes to…. Canyon Novick!


And The Eddie for Best New Words-With-Friends Rival goes to… Chris Renn!

And The Eddie for Best Boy-Band Singer goes to… James Lane!


And The Eddie for Best Bride AND Best New Wife goes to… the new Mrs. Novick. — Leslie Novick!

Congratulations to all The Eddies award winners!

Thank you to all of you who demonstrate excellence in everyday living. Keep it up and you might win an Eddie of your own next year.  Make yourself a Bitstrips character, make Ed your Facebook friend, and do something excellent and you might win an Eddie.

Be Ed-cellent to one another!

For more about The Eddies go to:

For Ed Novick Comics go to:

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Your Best Chance

January 11, 2016

This week’s Powerball lottery jackpot is expected to climb to $1.4 BILLION.

This story will tell you how to find your best chance of really winning.

Your chance of winning the Powerball jackpot is estimated at 1 in 292,000,000.

Someone I work with sent me the following odds trivia, writing: ‘Here are a few things that are more likely to happen than winning the Powerball lottery‘.  (I didn’t verify the accuracy of the odds, but for the most part they make sense and are enlightening as to just how desperate we are to give up so much money for a remote chance to win.)

  • Having identical quadruplets. (1 in 15 million)
  • Becoming US president. (1 in 10 million)
  • Becoming a Movie Star. (1 in 1,505,000)
  • Becoming an astronaut. (1 in 12,100,000)
  • Becoming a pro athlete. (1 in 22,000)
  • Winning an Olympic gold medal. (1 in 662,000)
  • Winning an academy award. (1 in 11,500)
  • Finding out your child is a genius. (1 to 250)
  • Dating a millionaire. (1 to 215)
  • Getting a royal flush in a first hand of poker. (1 in 649,740)

They also shared some remotely possible occurrences that have worse odds than winning the lottery:

  •  Getting a perfect NCAA bracket (1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808)
  • Shuffling a deck of cards into perfect, sequential order (1 in 10^68)
  • Being hit by a meteor (1 in 182,138,880,000,000)


And lastly they shared one piece of odds trivia that proves that each of us are already big winners:


  • The odds of you existing are 1 in 10^2,685,000

Clearly, you are a miracle. Every one of us are.

I recently got married to the most wonderful woman.  If the chances of me existing are 1 in 10^2,685,000, and the chances of her existing are 1 in 10^2,685,000, then the chances of us finding each other and true love together are 1 in next to infinity (you do the math if you want to).   Clearly, it is a miracle to find true love. God must be so in love with me to have created such a beautiful woman and then arranged for us to meet … and to have her love me?…. simply miraculous.

Here is another sobering odd:  The odds that any one of us are going to get out of this life alive:  0

Given these last few odds, I’m convinced that the chances for God’s existence are clearly  1:1.   And that’s as close to a sure thing as you’re going to get.  And that’s why we need Him.

If you’re reading this, God loves you, and you’ve already won the jackpot: life.

Believe.   He IS.  And He loves you very much and has put you here for a reason.  Do something good with your life, and start today by believing and trusting in God, the Almighty Creator who loves you like his precious child, and following The Lord Jesus Christ and His ways in your life.  

If today is tough, as it was for me for a long time, keep fighting the good fight for another day…you never know what good God has in store for you.
What are the odds that anyone else is going to redeem you and make an eternal home for you?  Even less than your chances of winning at Powerball.

Share this story with a Powerball player in your life who really needs to know just how rich they already are.


How Many Kings?

December 11, 2015

Looking for a little inspiration today? … this holiday season?
Here is a song I heard on the radio today that gave me some, and I wanted to share it, with video, with you.
How many kings step down from their thrones because they’re so in love with you and me? Just one.

Oh, come! OH COME! Emannuel!

Average Joe for President in 2016

September 22, 2015

Average Joe for President.

And, Ed Novick for Vice President.

It could have been.

Read more about the story, and learn about an “Average Joe” running for U.S. President in 2016


Following September 11th, 2001, the world became a scarier place. There was much uncertainty. There was a need for good leadership.

George W. Bush was president. And I didn’t agree with the direction he was leading us in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gas prices soared from around $1.50 to $4.00 a gallon in no time as gas demand and taxes rose to power the war machine to send tens of thousands of troops to the middle east. Our national budget deficit grew rapidly, as did our national debt.

When the 2004 U.S. Presidential race was approaching, I was in a moral quandary. In good conscience, I couldn’t support the Republican leadership on many issues, nor as a Catholic could I support the Democratic party on the issue of abortion.

I began to research alternative options for my vote including 3rd party and Independent candidates. Surprisingly, there were more options than I thought.

I came across one candidate that captured my interest…and imagination – Joe Schriner. Joe, or “Average Joe” as he called himself, was a professed Catholic who claimed to base his platform on fundamentals keeping in line with those of the Catholic faith. His web site at had a lot of information about him, his family, his background, his campaign, and his platform.

And, with all the blue bloods running Washington, who wouldn’t be captivated by the idea of an average Joe for president?

Joe had run in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election…and (obviously) had lost.

When I found it, his web site was out of date, and it wasn’t clear whether he was campaigning in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.

So I emailed Joe to ask him if he was still running in 2004, and Joe quickly responded that he was.  He advised that his webmaster had vacated the job, and that he needed a new webmaster to update his website.

At the time, I was an amateur web developer, mostly working on personal projects, but understanding the basics enough to be constructive, so I volunteered to help Joe update his web site to be ready for the 2004 U.S. Presidential election and another run at the office. I worked diligently for months, updating the web site for Joe with new images, photos, information, campaign materials, position papers that Joe wrote on all his positions of his platform, and stories of his travels around the U.S. – Joe had a van that he and his family would travel in from town to town across the country campaigning for president.

Joe didn’t win the 2004 election either.

But that didn’t stop Joe.

Joe ran again in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. He continued to campaign across the country in his van.

I met Joe on a couple of occasions, once when he came through Illinois in his van with his family, and once when I was in Ohio. I found him to be a down to earth and intelligent man. His faith was evident through what he said and did. His wife (and campaign manager) and kids were very personable too and it was nice to meet them. I went to Sunday mass and prayed with Joe and his family.


The “Average Joe” Schriner van, and me (far left) with Joe Schriner (far right) with our families

In 2007 when Joe was gearing up for the 2008 U.S. Presidential race, he found himself without a Vice Presidential running mate. Joe surprised me by asking me if I would be his Vice Presidential candidate running mate. He appreciated my faith, values, education, intelligence and abilities. I was educated in business and had leadership experience. I had good campaign ideas and applied them practically in my work as the webmaster for his web site. Joe believed in me.

I was honored by Joe’s invitation, but I declined to be his Vice Presidential running mate.  I had other priorities at the time and didn’t want to subject my family to the stresses and scrutiny involved in such a campaign.

But how many people can say they were asked to run for Vice President of the United States of America?

Joe lost again in the 2008 election race.

I then stepped back from my involvement in Joe’s campaign and web site. I was dealing with some personal matters that were my priority.

Joe ran and lost again in 2012.

But that still hasn’t stopped Joe.

Joe recently let me know that he will once again be campaigning for U.S. President in the 2016 race.

You can learn more about Joe Schriner and follow his campaign at his web site at

Not much remains of the work I did on Joe’s original web site, as another webmaster has since overhauled the design and updated the content in recent years.  (Note: There is both a regular web site and a mobile version of the site.  The regular web site is better so if you check it out on your mobile phone, I suggest you later check it out from your computer too for richer depth of content.)

Check it out and let others know about U.S. Presidential candidate Joe Schriner too.  You might even “vote for Joe” next year yourself.



July 23, 2015

When I was in grade school I played on my grade school’s basketball team.  I played from 5th grade to 8th grade.  I wasn’t very tall then…nor very big…nor very good for that matter.  But I practiced regularly with the team, hustled, went to the games, and mostly sat at the end of the bench during those games.  Occasionally I would get a chance to play at the end of the games if we were ahead or behind by a bunch of points, but not very often.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t taller, or bigger, but I couldn’t change those things.

I was disappointed that I wasn’t better, but worked hard in practice to try to be better.

I was disappointed that my coaches didn’t give me more opportunities to play in the games, but I had little control over that either.

All I could do was hustle hard in practice, and hope the coaches cared enough about me to give me some chances to play.  So that’s what I did.

And while I didn’t get much playing time, I sense my coaches appreciated my positive attitude and how hard I tried.

At the end of one of the seasons, I think it was my 6th grade year, we had a basketball banquet where the players received recognition awards.

At the end of the awards presentations for our team, the MC announced that they had one last award to present: the NBA Award.  I imagined it was like an MVP Award and would go to one of the very good basketball players on our team. As the MC wrapped up the introduction for the NBA Award, he explained that the “NBA” stood for “Nice Boy Award” …. and then he called out my name!  The crowd applauded.   I was very surprised, and a bit embarrassed, as I was pressured to get up and go accept the award.  I did reluctantly.

When I got back to our table, and for the next couple days, I received jeers from my peers about being a “nice boy”.  It was a bit embarrassing to be so called by your 6th grade male peers.  6th grade boys can be cruel with their teasing.

I felt embarrassed and resentful about being presented with that award.

But I kept it and still have it today.  Here is a picture of it and the placard that it displays.




I imagine I  WAS a nice boy.

And I grew up to be a nice guy too.

The stigma of being a nice guy isn’t such a good one.  After all, nice guys finish last.

But I couldn’t change who I was…and wouldn’t want to.

For a long time I didn’t see much benefit in being the nice guy – except for the award that collected dust in a box in the basement.

At least until I met a nice girl – the nicest.  I mean if there was a Nice Girl Award, she would be the winner.

Now it all makes sense: Me -the nice boy; Her -the nice girl.

We were meant for one another.

Isn’t that nice?

Nice isn’t so bad after all.   It’s kinda … well … nice!


Major Cramps

July 20, 2015

Last year I introduced the world to my Private Parts.  (My comic strip, that is – what were you thinking?!?!).  It was a fun comics series where we followed the misadventures of Private Parts, a naive and incompetent army private, as he trained for an important military mission ordered by the president.  I hope to get back to making more comics in that series someday, but lately I have invested more energies into my Edventures With Ed comic strip, and recently True Love Is….

My newest comic strip series features one of the characters from the Private Parts series – Major Cramps – as she makes her monthly visit to stay with Leslie.


Leslie is as hospitable and tolerant of Major Cramps as she can be…but it ain’t easy!  Major Cramps is to Leslie what Major Setback is to Private Parts – a cruel, merciless, sadistic and subversive antagonist who will stop at nothing to stop our protagonist from living in peace.

Major Cramps is a funny series and innovative look at a woman and what she deals with in her monthly menstrual cycle, as personified in Major Cramps.

Ladies, I think you may appreciate this one — Major Cramps is going to be funny…period.


You can “Follow” Major Cramps, and all Ed Novick Comics, by clicking on the “Follow” button at   Then you will receive each comic by email each weekday and not miss a single one. 

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My blog is a satire for all with stories, adventures, and opinions based on facts with minimal evidence and maximum wit. In short, a chronicle of my life. I hope you enjoy perusing my random banter, hilarious adventures, short stories with imaginative characters and hidden meanings, my unique wit, interests in pop culture and oddball opinions.

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