Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Goodbye NTN as We Knew and Loved It

Liz and I are getting ready to go to Donovan's to play NTN one last time. That would be the NTN as we have always played and loved it. The NTN powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, are changing the basic format of the game to accomodate the twenty-something crowd, to make it more appealling to them.

AND, a LOT of us OLD-Timers are not happy at all about this.

The traditional Countdown games, our favorite, are to be gutted from 30 minutes to 15and from 15 questions to ten. Instead of giving clues to incorrect answers, they will now be eliminating wrong answers like they do in Wipe Out, which is not a favorite of ours.

I had stopped by Hello Folks in Fox Lake Saturday, and had no idea what was going on (first I'd heard about it). I was not impressed.

I figure I will play this new NTN for awhile to see if I like it. If I don't, and they won't change. that it will be it for me as far as playing it. At least i will have time to do other things.

Hopefully Not an End to NTN. --RoadDog

Har-old, Har-old, Har-old

My all-time favorite White Sox player, Harold Baines, recently had a statue of himself unveiled at Comiskey Park (I won't call it by that other name) on July 20th.

This is none class act, and you never would catch him complaining or bemoaning things. I almost turned in my White Sox Fan card when they traded him to Texas in 1989, and, among others, received the pre-steroid Sammy Sosa.

Baines was with the Sox three different times during his playing career with the best being 1980-1989. He is back again today as a coach with Ozzie Guillen.

BELONGS IN THE HALL OF FAME

Along with Ron Santo of the Cubs, Baines really deserves a spot in Cooperstown. Besides his demeanor which rivals that of Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, and Minnie Minoso. he definitely has the stats.

7th in majors in all-time grand slams with 7
4th in 3 home run games with 3
tied for 7th with walk-off home runs with 10.

Then there were the 8 seasons batting over .300 and six times an all-star.

ALSO a SOX Favorite-- From the 1960s, Tommy Agee.

Come On Committee, Let's Get it Right. --RoadDog

Good Year for Chicago Baseball...So Far

Figured I'd better write this now as I believe the White Sox will be out of first place after tonight. For some reason, the Twins sure have our number, much like the horrible Yankees of yore.

Right now, 8:43 am, Chicago has TWO FIRST PLACE TEAMS. The other being that group that plays up on the north side. But, hey, I pull for them, IF THEY'RE NOT PLAYING THE SOX!!!!!

People keep thinking Subway Series!!! Now, that would be more than excellent.

So, Go Sox!! and Go That Other Team!! --RoadDog

Monday, July 28, 2008

JSS: --Thumb-- Back-to-School-- Weeds-- Boating

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. THUMB-- Glad to report that the big 'ol hole in the thumb is really starting to fill in. Although, it is hurting quite a bit. Let's hop this is the last week with the pek in my right arm to get ivs. Between the right hand being messed up with the thumb and the left arm incapacitated by the pek, I'm a bit hopeless.


2. BACK-TO-SCHOOL-- Always used to hate to see all the Back-to-School sales that used to start in August. But, NOW, they start in June. Of Course, I DON'T MUCH CARE ANYMORE as I am retired.

However, yesterday, I did go to Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Staples, and Office Max and bought school supplies, ie "office supplies." Hard to beat a 25 cent stapler, penny rulers, 50 cent pen ten-packs, 10 cent spirals,and 5 cent highlighters.


3. WEEDS-- Another problem with this thumb is that the weeds are having a field day. I sure look forward to getting at 'em. Just wait, you weeds!!! I'm getting some GLOVES and chomping at the bit.


4. BOATING-- We got out on the boat twice last week to bvring the total of outings to six. Hoping for four times this week. We do not go out on the weekends as there are too many weekend warriors, We enjoy "our" Chain during the week.


Fun With a Sore Thumb. --RoadDog

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Thumb and NTN

This past Tuesday it was a trip to NIMC in McHenry for hydrotherapy and then to Crystal Lake for a doctor's appointment with the woman who operated on the thumb.

We had some time to kill, so went by Finn McCool's in the downtown, but they don't open until 4 pm. So, we went to a great Greek place called Around the Clock on US-14.

The doctor is happy about the thumb and says it appears that I won't lose it. I didn't know I was in that much danger of losing it, but am happy that I'll be keeping it.

Drove Il-176 to Side Outs in Island Lake, which now has NTN back, and has 10 cent wings on Thursdays from 4 to 6. We'll have to get there for that some time.

Then drove 176 to Docks in Wauconda. It is on a bluff overlooking Bang's Lake with quite a view. Played NTN and again didn't do well. These were some VERY hard questions today.

While there, we got a call from Kelly, who said she and Kevin were going to go to Pug Mahone's in Fox Lake to play some NTN, so we drove there. We had two top twenties while working together. We used to play a lot of NTN at Pug's, but not much anymore as they changed their hours and food and drink specials.

Enjoying the Summer, Finally

Last week, we went over to the Taste of Antioch on both Thursday and Friday. Lots of great food and entertainment all four days.

Thursday, we saw an old favorite, Mr. Myers, who we've been following since their earliest days at back in the 70s playing at Andy's in Dekalb. Their music can best be described as Caribbean/Jimmy Buffett music, complete with bongos, steel drums, and a flute. We met Steve, who owned Captain's Quarters for 20 years before selling it last winter. He said 20 years was enough. Also met Madeline, who used to own Whitetail. She works for a cleaning service now and husband Tony is in security at the Pottowatamie Indian Casino in Milwaukee.

Friday, it was a two piece acoustic band called Bar Stool Soldiers and then a horn band called World Class Noise which played their own material as well as Earth, Wind and Fire type stuff.

Thumb and All. --RoadDog

Lousy Japanese Beetles

This has to be the worst summer on record for Japanese beetles. I have never seen so many and this year, they have really targeted trees. My two birches, two mountain ashes, and two crab apples are looking very badly with leaves stripped of green and on the ground along with brown leaves remaining.

They are also after quite a few of my bushes and some flowers. They are a real bane and especially a problem this year since I can't get out to kill them either by hand or chemicals.
I should mention that they are attacking trees all over the subdivision and area. They are worse than last year's 17 year cicadas.

I shook some limbs and lots of beetles fell out and those on the concrete got smashed.

They will be continuing the onslaught for another month. Hope the trees and bushes survive.

I REALLY HATE Those Bugs. --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cars and Gas

Gas around here has actually dropped to $4.10 a gallon for regular. Big Oil has me trained well, as THIS OUTRAGEOUS PRICE actually looks good. Who'd ever have thought that I would consider $4 plus a good price. The GRBs!!!

Of course, using quite a bit with the hydrotherapy visits (about 22 miles round trip a day) and doctors. Crystal Lake adds another 15 miles to the 22.

Yesterday, I spent the most I've ever spent for gas when I filled up the '85 Firebird's tank with premium at $4.27. However, this is the first fill up for it since last fall, when gas was at under $3!!!

Usually, Fox Lake is the least expensive gas in the area, but yesterday, they were at $4.16 for regular, which meant $4.36 for premium. The Mobil station in Johnsburg is always the most expensive in the area, but the past few days, they've been at $4.10, as has the Citgo at Rock Corner at the intersection of Wilmot Road and Illinois Route 173, near the Wisconsin border.

The truck is getting about 15 miles per gallon around town.

All of Spring Grove Road, out to the west of the subdivision, and a major route to the hospital for hydrotherapy, is being repaved and is quite a traffic tie up.

Four Dollar GAS!!! Who'd a Thought??? --RoadDog

Thumb's a Real Hassle

One of the things I like about being retired is the ability to get up each morning and say to myself, "Self, what am I going to do today?"

Now, that is a great luxury and something to look forward to. But, NOT No MORE.

Now, it is "What do we have to do with the thumb today."

For example, today, Liz had to take the antibiotics out of the refrigerator at 6:30 am, and right now, at 10:05 am, I have it tube hooked up to my left arm and receiving the meds. The meds are refrigerated and have to be taken out three hours before use.

At 11 am, I have an appointment to go to the hospital for hydrotherapy and then at 1:30, we go to Crystal Lake to see the hand doctor who operated on the thumb.

Any Way You Look at IT, This is a Pretty-Well Planned Out Day. And to Think, I Could Have Been at Topsail Beach Enjoying the Water, Sand, and Sun. --RoadDog

It's Officially Summer

Two weekends ago, Liz and I went out to Captain's Quarters off Grasslake Road in Antioch, for our first Chain of Lakes band of the summer. We'd been there in June for a favorite 50s-60s band, Rockin' Fenderskirts, but they had cancelled because of the rain and storms passing through the area. This was right before the flooding that closed the Chain down.

Every summer, Captain's has bands outside on Sunday afternoons and this is always a treat. We consider that the summer officially starts when we see a band there. A new one, the Gypsy Winds, was playing and put on a good show with lots of favorites. Unfortunately, a bottle of beer is now $3.25 during the show.

This Sunday, Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 will be playing; another favorite. We've seen them at Blarney Island and almost saw them this past winter at Flor-abama, right on the Florida-Alabama line along the Gulf of Mexico. They are an actual Florida Keys band and mostly play their own music, ala Jimmy Buffett.

Out on the Chain and Feeling No Pain. --RoadDog

Friday, July 18, 2008

Every Bloomin' Thing-- July

Because of the thumb, I am not able to work in the yard, and that is hard on me. The weeds are having a field day and there are lots of bushes that need trimming. Plus, the clover needs to be stopped and I was planning on cutting lots of tree lims.

All of that is on holdwhile waiting to get through with the thumb problems.

Right now the Asiatic lillies and day lillies are all in bloom, as are the low, midrise and tall daisies and wild daisies, so there is lots of color.

Unfortunately, the Japanese beetles are also having a field day. This is the worst I've ever seen them, and I can't do my daily killing expeditions or even spray the Sevin concoction on them.

Rotten Japanese Beetles. --RoadDog

Update on Da THUMB

After two trips to the er/clinic, I finally found out that I had cellulitis, something I've never heard of before. This is when bacteria gets under your skin and it is a fairly serious condition which could have led to a loss of the thumb or even arm if left to run its course.

Went to the emergency room at the Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry and the doctor immediately admitted me and set up an operation for the following day. A hand specialist was called in and after a two hour operation, I was out. They believe they got it all out, let's hope.

This has really put a crimp on my summer fun. I can't do much of anything now, with daily trips to the hospital for hydrotherapy and dressing of the right thumb. Plus, Liz is getting quite good at giving me the home iv. All this goes on for another two weeks at a minimum.

My Recommendation to You is to Wear Gloves When Working in the Yard. --RoadDog

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Them Fireworks

We're still able to see the fireworks from the house, even though our trees and those of the neighbors are getting much taller. Imagine that one of these days, that will no longer be possible, but until thwn, we can "ooh and awe" all we want from the front yard and back deck.


Friday, July 4th, Independence Day in more ways than one, we saw a very good display from our hometown of Spring Grove from the front yard. For a town with just under 5,000, we do a good job.


Then, Saturday, we were able to see both the displays from Fox Lake and Johnsburg from the back deck. The Fox Lake one was the first in about thirty years that did not take place over Mineola Bay in Fox Lake.

Enjoyin' Them While We Can. --RoadDog

Monday, July 7, 2008

JSS: --Mama Robin-- They're Back-- Chain's Open, Finally-- Dadburn Gas

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. MAMA ROBIN-- While we were gone, a mama robin built a nest on the top of the backporch deck light by the main sliding door we use to go out and come in. That means, here comes all the squawking and fluttering every time we walk by. Looks like they'd figure out that if we know they're there and do nothing, we're not a threat, but not so with robins. Mama Duck would just remain very still if we were nearby.


2. THEY'RE BACK-- Always hate to see those rotten Japanese beetles emerge this time of the year. Well, yesterday, they made thir first appearance of the season and will be happily munching and procreating for the next two months. I really hate these varmints!!!!


3. CHAIN's OPEN-- It's completely open and full speed ahead as of this past Thursday, just in time for the Fourth of July weekend. Local businesses have really been hurting as its been closed essentially for the past three weeks.


4. DADBURN GAS-- I was sure gas prices would be down by now, but, I was wrong. They're climbing. Around here it is anywhere from $4.20 to $4.30. Even $3.70 would look good now. Come on Big Oil and Specs, Give Us a Break.


Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog