Our Journal: On Voting in Kentucky Thursday, Nov 6 2014 

We apologize for the short break – Luke and I are back to journaling:


11/5/2014 Wednesday. This is the day after elections so that’s all everyone wants to talk about. After an election of some kind people really like talking about politics in general. I am a fairly liberal person and people in my class are fairly well divided, with extremes on both sides. One guy is all the way to where he doesn’t think global warming is a thing, abortions are wrong, religion very important etc. and then you have some who are the exact opposite, which is one of the interesting things about public school is that you meet every type of person you can think of. On the actual elections I was pretty surprised about quite a lot of the results like Colorado, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to name a few. Woo boring politics!



my ballot

I voted first thing on Tuesday. I’m amazed at the way the Senate race turned out – not that McConnell won, but by the size of the margin. Though I voted for her, I think she blew any chance she had when she refused to answer the question about who she voted for in the 2012 presidential election. Her handlers were so fearful of backlash from Obama detractors that they wouldn’t let her speak the truth.

And that’s the most disappointing part of living in Kentucky — the hatred of Obama is palpable. Whenever someone derides about Obama around me, I ask them what exactly has he done as president that is so horrible, or what policies have hurt them personally. I keep reading about how well the economy is doing while I’m buying #$3/gallon gas. I know we’ve pulled out of Iraq and generally the world is safe, the stock market is doing well. A lot of people have health insurance that didn’t have it before, and I’m confident the President is taking steps to protect our planet and encourage people to live healthier lives.

But in a lot of groups it’s almost the “in” thing to do to criticize the President.  I’m not one of them.

I had a great time on Wednesday, interviewing Mario Muller and Matthew Landan for the Rusty Satellite Show.  The interviews took me away from politics, which was a good thing.


Day 15: Luke’s Moving Day and a Trip to Lexington Wednesday, Oct 29 2014 

Journal Day 15.


Today my mom left on a work trip til Sunday. What that means is since my parents are divorced means I stay at my Dad’s til Sunday instead of just this weekend. Another thing is Dad is renting his house to someone from airbnb so we get to stay at my Dad’s girlfriend’s house, which is new and interesting. Her house, by the way, is super cool and has some really comfy blankets and towels.


In Lexington, from the 28th floor

In Lexington, from the 28th floor

I went to Lexington today for work, and squeezed in a Rusty Satellite interview with Jonathan Miller, an attorney and former State Treasurer who has an office on the 28th floor of the city’s tallest building. I once lived here, and loved it, but visiting reminded me that I’m glad to live in Louisville. Miller was a great interview, and we talked about politics and his poker victories. In 2007, he was running for Lt. Governor while I was working on the campaign of Bruce Lunsford for Governor.

He had a photo of the Big Red Machine in his office. We talked about how nobody cares about the World Series, and he pointed to his favorite player of that time, Joe Morgan. Mine was Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle.

I ended up watching Game 7, and was glad to see the Giants win behind a great pitching performance from Madison Bumgarner, which I actually predicted on my podcast, which you can hear at RustySatelliteShow.com.

At the trade show I was working, I got to have a conversation with the Big O, Oscar Robertson, who has plenty of opinions about college sports.

Day 11: Political Chicken and Friday Night Fire Saturday, Oct 25 2014 


So I’m gonna use today to mainly talk about a discussion we had throughout the school day with my friends. So one of my friends got a job at Chick-Fil-a which sparked a discussion of whether or not it’s wrong to eat somewhere where you don’t agree with the beliefs of the owner/company. My friend Nico (who never goes to Chick-Fil-a because of the owner’s beliefs) argues that he doesn’t want to support the owner’s beliefs. However most of us, including me, said that their product is very good and what the owner thinks doesn’t matter to us. I specifically felt that when I spend my money there I’m helping the workers way more than the owner.


The fire pit at Paula's

The fire pit at Paula’s

With a full weekend of activities scheduled, Paula and I stayed in and sat around a fire pit. The predecessors at her place built a circular stone wall around a locust tree in her backyard. Against my recommendation, among Paula’s first acts as a homeowner here was to have the tree cut down.  It had grown to surpass the height of the two-story structure and provided needed shade at her bedroom window.  It left a 2-foot wide and 2-foot diameter stump inside the pit wall.

It was a good call. The pit that remained is perfect for fires. It goes down about 5 feet below ground level, and we figured out you could throw all kinds of debris in there and it would burn. The first time we did it, the fire we built didn’t go out for two days. Last night’s was a more modest version, yet ideal for the conditions on a cool clear evening. It was still smoldering in the morning.

Day 10: Terror in Canada; Jammin’ at Loui Loui’s Friday, Oct 24 2014 

Day 10


Today in U.S. History we talked about the incident in Canada where a soldier died from a gunman. The gunman then ran through the parliament! Crazy stuff, the article I read on it I remember a quote that was “Canada will not be intimidated” I thought this pretty cool since nothing ever happens to Canada and when it does they react much better than the US does. In class we talked about how Obama didn’t jump to how it was a terrorist attack which was weird since it was obvious an act to invoke terror. This lead to us talking on how people view terrorism as a Muslim thing which is incorrect any act to invoke terror is terrorism.Only important thing today unfortunately.


On stage at Loui Loui's

On stage at Loui Loui’s

Paula and I have stumbled onto something really cool, and it’s happening right down the street every Thursday night.

Loui Loui’s serves up “authentic Detroit-style pizza” in the former Ferd Grisanti’s structure on Taylorsville Road. That makes it a great attraction in itself. But owner Mike Spurlock, a Detroit-area native like Paula, is a musician. And somehow he’s filled his restaurant every Thursday night with fans of jammin’ rock and roll.

I might be wrong, but it feels like a weekly reunion of older folks who still know how to sing rock and roll tunes, play guitar, the sax, drums. The white hair on the stage belies the powerful sound of the voice doing “Whiter Shade of Pale.” There’s a new group of musicians up there for every song. We were sitting there enjoying our 4-square pizza when the guy on stage called David up to the stage. David happened to be sitting next to us, and moments later he was powering up his sax. The tall African-American to my right was eventually called up to do some Marvin Gaye.

At one point, the band, featuring someone who still plays with Nervous Melvin, did a Delbert McClinton song, “Every Time I Roll the Dice.” I may have been the only one in the room who knew the words to that one. And though it all seems to be impromptu, the performance is awesome, as if these guys had been rehearsing together for years.

Paula and I danced to the slow ones. And while several of us just appreciate the music, many in the crowd seem to be waiting their turn to get on stage, play some old tunes and re-live their youth. It’s a happy place.

Highs and Lows on Tuesday: Herbstreit, a Festival of Ideas and Meeting a Reptile Wednesday, Oct 1 2014 

Quite a week in my hometown. On Tuesday, ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit answered questions friend of Rusty John Asher at a charity luncheon for Catholic schools held in conjunction with the Trinity-St. X football game on Friday. Herbstreit said he’s a regular at the Derby, which Asher reminded us is only 214 days away.

It was the start of the Idea Festival, where Angie Fenton hosted a session called Thrivals targeting young adults. I stopped in and heard several high school students ask intelligent questions about what will be different in 2035. One young man named Thomas was from Fern Creek High School, and his concern was about light pollution and how we can’t see the stars at night in cities. As he was speaking, I got a text alert from a news station that his school was on lockdown after a shooting.

Later, at Louisville Collegiate School, the writer Carl Hiaasen spoke about his book, “Skink-No Surrender”. In conjunction with the appearance, Carmichaels Bookstore invited the Louisville Zoo to bring along some actual skinks. Now I don’t know much about lizards and skinks and reptiles of any sort, but I did get to see the slimy creature below up close. Hiaasen talked about his approach to writing, saying that he doesn’t do outlines and just lets the characters and stories go where his mind takes them. He credited the real life weirdness of Floridians for inspiring the strange actions his characters sometimes take, and took questions from a mix of the old and young among the several hundred book-lovers who showed up.

As Carl spun tales about the real-life criminal mind that inhabits the Sunshine State and inspires his novels, I couldn’t help but think about how, well, we’ve got enough goofballs around here who break the law in strange ways, plus corrupt politicians and even some people who manage to do the right thing,  that I ought to write a similar book featuring Kentuckians. I’ll put that on the list.

zooguybeRelevant Herbstreit

Murder the Devil, Larry Muhammad’s New Play, On Stage at Vault 1031 Tuesday, Sep 2 2014 

Former Rusty Satellite Show guest Larry Muhammad has a new play being performed this week. I’m going to try to go, you should to. Here are the details:

Add to upcoming 9/11 observances this year a new Larry Muhammad play at Vault 1031 examining the prospect of homegrown terrorism and how it links to ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

murderthedevilposterfinalTitled MURDER THE DEVIL, it was a finalist for the Kentucky Theatre Association New Play Award in 2010 and Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative did a stage reading in 2011 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati.

“What inspired me to write the play was the arrest of some black guys in an FBI sting operation in 2006 for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago,” said Muhammad, whose plays have been performed at Kentucky Center and Actors Theatre. “There was this FBI agent pretending to be an Arab terrorist and offering these guys money. And I thought: What if a real terrorist tried recruiting a real Chicago streetgang into the jihad? Now that would make an interesting piece of theatre.”

The script was further developed this year at New Play Slam, a workshop of Louisville theatre artists held monthly at Vault 1031, where it premieres Sept.  4, 5, 6, 7 and 11.

Set in Chicago, MURDER THE DEVIL involves an Al Qaeda reject who slips through Homeland Security on a bloodthirsty mission, recruits a treacherous  street gang but learns too late who is hustling who. Racial animosities surface and heated disputes over killing in the name of God as the fate of a hostage hangs in the balance.

“It’s raw and edgy,” Muhammad said, “with complex characters from the wannabe terrorist and his parents trying to keep him out of trouble, to the ballsy hostage and unexpectedly patriotic black gangsters. I think audiences are going to like it.”


Sept. 4, 5, 6, 7 & 11

7:30 pm each night

Vault 1031

1031 S. Sixth Street, Louisville

$10 cash at the door

Reservations: barbara.cullen117@gmail.com

Culture Rant: Assault on Personal Expression Tuesday, Jun 17 2014 

historyWhen considering whether to click on the link below or not, you are surely asking yourself, “What topic of major global import did c d kaplan discuss Saturday morning during his weekly radio gig?

“1) The Iran situation;

“2) The Syrian situation;

“3) The increasingly deleterious effects of global warming;

“4) The Tea Party’s war on American politcs; or

“5) None of the above.”

Of course, the answer is “None of the above.”

But what I did rant about last Saturday morning on FPK 91.9 with James just may change your life.

Audio MP3

The First 99 Most Interesting People in the ‘Ville Sunday, Jun 15 2014 

Well, the Rusty Satellite Show has almost made it to a major milestone. This week will mark the 52nd episode of the Rusty podcast.  The list below includes politicians, media professionals, lawyers, entrepreneurs, athletes, professors, public officials and a lot of good friends who agreed to help me build this little show.

On Father’s Day, it’s also worth mentioning my son, Nick Redding, now living in New Orleans, who came up with the Rusty Satellite moniker many years ago as a middle school student. It’s a great name.

I’m trying to make this little show a bit bigger, and one way to do so is to publish a book showcasing the special talents and people who have appeared on the show. Stay tuned for an update on that project in the near future.  For now, here’s the list, and stay tuned for Rusty’s 100th guest coming up this Thursday.

Allen, Tyler

Arnold, Joe

Asher, John

Ashton, John

Bell, Jill

Berry, Mike

Bisig, Larry

Boel, John

Boyd, Terry

Brown, John Y III

Budde, Neil

Buthod, Craig

Carter, Mark

Clark, Perry

Coffey, Claudia

Cogan, Shannon

Coomes, Mark

Coomes, Steve

Cosby, John

Crawford, Eric

Davenport, Scotty

Davis, J.P.

Domine, David

Esrock, Margue

Estopinal, Wayne

Faulkner, Karen

Fehder, Steve

Fenton, Angie

Fischer, Greg

Galliette, Greg

Gates, Belinda

Gaukel, Kirsty

Gentner, Kat

Gilderbloom, John

Gimmel, Emily

Green, Jackie

Griggs, Stacy

Haire, Darrell

Hart, Ed

Havens, Sara

Haygood, Glenn

Haynie, Hugh

Hebert, Mark

Hettinger, Wayne

Heuser, Chip

Holland, Gil

Holliday, Darrell

Inman, David

James, David

Jones, David Jr.

Kaelin, Brigid

Kandle, Kirk

Kaplan, C.D.

Kimel, Kris

Koons-MdGee, Tim

Laird, Tim

Lamas, Anthony

Lefkoe, Adam

Lubbers, Bernie

McCarthy, Brendan

McDonnell, Dan

McKnight, J.K.

Miller, Ashley

Miller, Corky

Miller, Jerry

Minnick, Fred

Muhammad, Larry

Nation, John

Paradis, Steve

Putney, Mose

Redman, Rick

Rhodes, Ben

Rogers, Darren

Schimmel, Shoni

Schmitt, Karl

Servo, Stacey

Sirchio, Kris

Smith, Ted

Sokoler, Bob

Tandy, Cyndy

Trusty, Taylor

Walczak, John

Walls, Kristen

Waters, Les

Weis, Nick

Wesslund, Debbie

White, Stephanie

Williams, Tom

Williamson, Diane

Wilson, Dick

Wiser, Steve

Witten, John

Yankeelov, Dawn

Yarmuth, Aaron

Yarmuth, John

Ye, Dr. Hong

Yunker, Mollie

Zickuhr, Marianne

Zirnheld, Craig


Highlighting a Pre-Pre Derby Week at Churchill, Library, Freedom Hall and a Racquetball Lesson Sunday, Apr 20 2014 

With a couple of days left still until the frenzy of Derby Week, I warmed up with an active schedule of interesting activities available only in Louisville, Kentucky.

First, you can listen to my conversation with Darren Rogers, the big man on campus (at least as far as 2,000 media members are concerned) at the new and improved Churchill Downs. Here’s a link to our show, which also includes Kentucky Derby Festival board member Jill Bell.

Listen to the Rusty Satellite Show here.

The biggest improvement is the massive new scoreboard you’ve probably heard about on the backside. Of course, the infield has changed a lot since I ended my eight-year stretch of consecutive Infield experiences in 1989. And I’m not a fan of most of the changes (all that concrete), but the new scoreboard is a big improvement no matter what your vantage point. Pull out all your synonyms for “big” to describe it. I can’t wait to see it in action.

And a new area of the track that Darren showed me, with an elevated view of the Derby starting gate, will be an awesome place to watch. It reminds me of the area above the South End Zone at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The new facade facing Central transforms the look of the place. It’s in a spot where Rogers told me Downs president and South End resident Kevin Flanery used to cut the fence and charge a reduced entry fee to his friends.

I think all my liberal progressive friends and Bill Maher fans showed up at the Library Wednesday to hear from journalist Matt Taibbi. He spoke for 90 minutes about injustices in the American justice system, specifically contrasting how white collar financial criminals manage to avoid jail time while committing crimes that affect millions versus the minor offenses that put the less-privileged behind bars. His book, The Divide, is high on my reading list.

On Firday, I took my son Luke out to a basketball game at Freedom Hall, where we marveled at how old and out-of-date the place seemed, having experienced the Yum! Center on a regular basis. The game was the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, and featured three U of L recruits. It’s the oldest of these all-star games in the country. The highlight may have been U of L recruit Jaylen Johnson taking a feed from his Mom in the Dunk Contest, but we were also impressed by Ballard recruit Quentin Snyder’s court presence.

For those of you who follow local media, I had two interesting stories at Insider Louisville. Check out my piece on the new political show on WHAS-TV, hosted by Joe Arnold.  And I had the only local story on the sudden departure of Claudia Coffey from the WHAS-TV anchor desk. Both have been guests on the Rusty Satellite Show.

So all in all it was a great week, not including playing golf with my girlfriend Paula on Saturday. And one more thing I never expected. I walked into the Westport LAC for my regular racquetball game Friday afternoon. I noticed the guy on the court, by himself, looked like he was pretty good, but I couldn’t see him clearly. So I got dressed in the locker room, thinking maybe I’d challenge this stranger.

But when I got over to the court I recognized that it was none other than Kane Waselenchuk. Now that may not mean much to you, but Kane is the best player in the world. See for yourself in this New York Times profile.

Kane Waselenchuk is the best in the world Journalist Matt Taibbi spoke at the downtown Library Jill Bell of the Kentucky Derby Festival Darren Rogers with the new scoreboard at Churchill Downs Joe Arnold has a new show on WHAS-TV Claudia Coffey has moved on from WHAS-TV

He hasn’t lost a professional match in four years, and has been #1 since 2009. He’s married to a Louisville girl, Kim Russell, a champion on the court herself. I used to play her Dad, Rick, in the 1980s at the YMCA. I compared it to Tiger Woods hitting balls at Seneca, or maybe LeBron James showing up unannounced at a U of L basketball practice to get some work in. But neither superstar dominates his sport the way Kane does.

There were only three of us by the courts, and Kane, who’s a really cool guy, agreed to play my friend Travis in a game that was as lopsided as you might expect. I asked Kim why they were here, and her answer tells you a lot about how someone can become a dominant force in any sport. They were in town to visit her family, and when she asked Kane what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to practice. And that’s how the #1 player in the world ended up hitting balls at my club.







No Fear, Fire Up The Thunder Thursday, Apr 10 2014 

OK. I’m a little bit worried.


Let’s hope the only fireworks are in the sky

I keep running into people, coming across social media posts, that indicates to me a lot of people are staying home for Thunder Saturday.  The message I’d like the community to send is that we’re not giving up our riverfront, Waterfront Park or downtown to criminals.

In the last few days, it’s become known that youth gangs were responsible for the March 22 violence, and that the culture that exists within that culture isn’t extinguished by putting more cops on the street or having meetings in the West End. This memo, written by an FBI agent, claims a gang known as YNO is behind the problem. Here’s the scariest part — as part of the group’s initiation, members may be “required to assault someone” and that assault may or may not be random in nature.

I think the only citizens who don’t have a little fear are the ones who haven’t read the memo. No one wants to risk running into a young gang member on a mission to hurt somebody. People are talking about it, and the media is quick to highlight citizen fear in news stories.  We’re used to fear tactics from the media related to weather, but this is something entirely different.

That all this is happening now is tragic for the city. There’s a perfect Thunder forecast for the 25th anniversary. It will/should be a perfect day to mark the opening of the Derby Festival. I’m hopeful it will be, but no one can be sure there won’t be problems.

So there’s the 25th anniversary of Thunder. I talked to Wayne Hettinger for this week’s Rusty Satellite Show, and it’s worth listening to, especially if you want to get a little fired up for the show. Wayne does not lack for enthusiasm, and I’m anxious just to hear the soundtrack of songs — one from each of the 24 previous Thunders.

My other guest is Tom Williams, who is the point man for another extremely positive movement in town — the one for compassion.  So download the show and let me know what you think.




Next Page »