Daisies. They're A' Bloomin' Now. I have several hundred of them.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Been on the Road

Monday, we took Illinois Highway 47 around Chicago. Gas prices were $4 to $4.10 mostly, with one even $4.20.

At Champaign, we took I-74 to Indianapolis where we picked up I-70 and spent the night at Richmond, Indiana.

The next day, it was I-70 through Columbus and we did take the old National Road from Zanesville to Cambridge, Ohio. I'd been on it earlier this spring and this is a great drive. Ate a great pork tenderloin sandwich at Mickey's in Zanesville, which has been there since 1940. Great Y-Bridge in Zanesville and two S-Bridges.

Took I-77 south to West Virginia and paid our $3.75 to drive the turnpike. Spent the night in Mt. Airy, NC, Andy Griffith's hometown.

Two Lanin' and Super Slabbin'. --RoadDog

Lake County, Ilinois, Ranks High

Farmer's Insurance just listed their top US metropolitan areas in regards to most secure.

The areas were divided into three categories: Large Metro with over 500,000, Midsize 150,000 to 500,000, and Small Towns under 150,000.

Lake County, Il/Kenosha County, Wi ranked #9 in the large metro. We lived in Vernon Hills and Round Lake Beach in Lake County from 1974 to 1992.

Criteria such as crime rate, extreme weather, risk of natural disaster, environmental hazards, terrorism threats, air quality, life expectancy, and job loss are taken into account.

#1 Large metro: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Ca.
#1 Mid-size: Olympia, Wa.
#1 Small Town: Corvalis, Or.

Don't We Feel Special. --RoadDog

On Da Beach

We're at Topsail Beach, NC, right now, on a sunny day. Took a walk out to the beach and saw two guys fishing off the walkway over the dunes. It's ebbing tide at 8:02 am and the waves are crashing right up to the base of the sand dunes which are partly washed away after two days of a nor'easter Wednesday and Thursday. Julian said the nor'easter did more damage than Hurricane Hannah a few weeks ago.

Hope to get out on the beach if there is more sand available for sitting. All we've seen is high tide so far.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jim Croce's Untimely Death

Bob Stroud saluted Jim Croce this morning on his Rock and Roll Roots Show on Chicago's Drive, 97.1 FM. Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the plane crash at Natchitoches, Louisiana, that claimed his life at age 30 on September 20, 1974.

He was just hitting it big and we'd heard him for about 14 months, then, it was all gone. Croce had a way with telling stories such as "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "You Don't Mess With Jim," "Time in a Bottle, " and my favorite of his, "Operator."

I even have his Greatest hits CD on my Ultimate Juke Box. You just have to wonder what could have been had his life not been cut so short.

That's Not the Way It Should Be. --RoadDog

Listening to Steve Hardy's Original Beach Party

While checking my e-mail and blogging, I'm listening to Steve Hardy's show on WNCT 107.9 FM out of eastern Carolina. I just found out WNCT was worldwide on the web. He actually seems to be playing more music than usual tonight.

Actually, at first I was looking for Big John's Sunday On the Beach Show on WWMY 102.9 FM, but he was already off the air.

Have both stations on my Favorites right now. I enjoy listening to both shows when I'm visiting kinfolk in NC, but now I can get them anytime I want.

Ain't the Web Somthin'? --RoadDog

Duh, Not Once, But Twice

Yesterday, buddy Trov came over and did a major bit of trimming on my trees which were much in need of it. Gone are the two nasty buckthorns and those menacing thorns of theirs. I mean, if I couldn't handle a little old thistle, what chance would I have against a two-inch long thorn?

He trims trees and cuts them down for a living when he is not volunteering time with the fire department in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, so really knows his stuff.

I have a "volunteer" tree growing on the west side of the house and asked Trov what kind it was. He said apple, judging from a couple apples hanging from it. Oh. Duh. I hadn't seen the apples (my excuse is I'm too busy avoiding the stinging critters who are in the yard in huge numbers. A few weeks back, I was stung four times in rapid succession when I blundered into a nest.).

Later, on the east side of the house, there was another question about another "volunteer" tree. This time, it was a crabapple judging from the crabapples hanging from it. Second Duh!!

I Can See Clearly Now. --RoadDog

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Music From August 3, 1968-- Stroud's Comments-- Part 4


TWO-BIT MANCHILD-- NEIL DIAMOND-- follow up to "Brooklyn Roads"

PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN-- STATUS QUO-- A band out of the UK. Huge top ten hit in Chicago.

I NEED LOVE-- THIRD BOOTH-- Local group out of Pekin, Illinois

IN-A GADD-Da-DA-VIDA-- IRON BUTTERFLY-- We didn't see this one coming. This album was about 2 weeks old at this time. It was their second album and the title track took up one complete side. You didn't see that too often back in those days. Seventeen minutes plus. Hands down one of the most significant riffs in all of rock and roll.

GRAZING IN THE GRASS-- HUGH MASAKELA-- featured a trumpet. Played on the BYRDs' "So You Want to Be A Rock and Roll Star."

HUSH-- DEEP PURPLE-- first taste of new UK band. We heard it the previous year by Billy Joe Royal.

THE HORSE-- CLIFF NOBLES AND CO.-- another instrumental

YOU KEEP ME HANGING ON-- VANILLA FUDGE-- Originally released Summer of '67. Minor hit. Rereleased 1968-- Top Ten.

HELLO, I LOVE YOU-- DOORS-- Had been written in 1966, 2 years earlier, but not on vinyl until "Waiting for the Sun."

Boy, These Sure Bring Back the Memories. --RoadDog

Friday, September 19, 2008

Out on the Boat Four Times This Week

After the rainy weekend, and I do mean RAINY, we've had four straight days of absolutely perfect weather. As such, we have been out in the boat four straight days, Tuesday to today.

We're trying to save gas as much as possible, so this year mostly go out to the middle of Fox Lake or Mineola Bay, turn the engine off and float. Liz works crossword puzzles and I catch up on my magazines while listening to the Drive play that great classic music.

Boat radios are generally pretty worthless and the one that came with our Bayliner sets the standard. Last year the cassette player conched out (just TRY to find a cassette player any more) and the Drive is the only station we can get any reception on.

We do a lot of drifting, so every so often we get up close and personal with some good folks on shore, so we have to turn the boat on and putt back out to the middle.

We've now been out 29 times, not bad considering the flooding in the spring and THE THUMB.

Boatin' and Floatin', Aye, There's the Rub. --RoadDog

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Music from August 3, 1968-- Stroud's Comments-- Part 3

Always enjoy Bob Stroud's comments on his Rock and Roll Roots shows.

LEGEND OF A MIND-- MOODY BLUES-- From the new album by them called "In Search of the Lost Chord." This is a Ray Thomas tune. Interesting enough, a single release from the album before this "Days of Future Past" is just about to hit the radio. It would be "Tuesday Afternoon" which is going to be a big hit for them in the late summer of '68.

PIECE OF MY HEART-- BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY-- From "Cheap Thrills."Aretha Franklin's younger sister, Irma Franklin had done it the year before in 1967.

STONE SOULED PICNIC-- FIFTH DIMENSION-- No hiding what this tune's all about, just gettin' ripped from the pen of Laura Nyro and vocal prowess of the Fifth Dimension.

QUESTIONS-- BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD-- To some of you, this song sounds so familiar, but you just can't quite put your finger on it. It is from their third and last album "Last Time Around."It had just been released. On side two is a Stephen Stills song called "Questions" and then, a couple years later it would be reworked with CSNY and would be the lea doff selection of their album "Deja Vu" and its new title was "Carry On."

YOU AIN"T GOING NOWHERE-- BYRDS-- Square one of country rock from their new album, "Sweethearts of the Rodeo." A Bob Dylan tune.

ALICE LONG (YOU'RE STILL MY FAVORITE GIRLFRIEND)-- BOYCE AND HART-- Songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart who had written so many hits for the Monkees had their third hit on the radio.


SHAPES OF THINGS-- JEFF BECK-- Guitarist's debut album here in the States titled "Truth" and does a song he originally did with the Yardbirds and a song they recorded right here in Chicago at Chess Recording Studios. Beck employs a vocalist on the album who we were getting our first taste of, a guy named Rod Stewart.

CLASSICAL GAS-- MASON WILLIAMS-- Another guitarist in our radio with a slightly different style than Jeff Beck. An instrumental hit.

Keep the Music Going. --RoadDog

Beachin' Down in Myrtle Beach, SC

The SOS (Shaggin' on the Strand) Fall Migration is underway with lots of dancing and partying. Hope to get to it some day. I'm retired, but have a problem with the gas prices these days.

The Surf, 94.7 FM is having lots of parties and live broadcasts. Yesterday, they were at Judy's House of Oldies and had lots of Beach Music's finest entertainers on hand. Also yesterday Billy Smith had a great group on his show, William Dell and the Wee Jams. If you won't some great 50's Doo Wop music, this is your group.

Recently, the Surf pulled the Mike Harvey Oldies Show from the evening hours and put it in the wee hours because of complaints from Beach Music aficionados. They received lots and lots of complaints. The Surf had wanted to expand their listener ship and perhaps open Beach Music to Grand Strand visitors who were unfamiliar with it.

I listen to the Surf a lot while on the computer. If I want to hear an oldies show, I can get it around here. When I want my Beach Music, I Want My Beach Music.

Keep it Beach!! --RoadDog

Most Affordable Places in US to Retire

Forbes Magazine recently had a list of most affordable places in the US to retire based on reasonable housing, inflation rate, and amenities.

Their Top Ten:

10. Nashville-- if you like country music
9. Atlanta
8. St. Louis
7. Denver
6. Indianapolis
5. Salt Lake City
4. Houston-- unless a hurricane comes a-callin'
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul-- careful driving over the bridges, though
2. Dallas

and #1
Columbus, Ohio-- Ohio State games

Nothing About Chicago, or Spring Grove, Illinois, as I pay $8000 in Property Taxes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monetery Meltdown

This whole thing is a result of GREED on a level never before known. We have way too many Americans day trading, commodity and stock traders taking advantage for personal profit, and the worst group of CEOs and upper management ever assembled.

It would appear that many of these CEOs are nothing short of crooks and without moral compass. They will gut companies and make unbelievably poor judgement calls, all to make themselves and stockholders richer.

This IS the big issue in this election.

Personally, I will vote for whoever comes up with a way to punish and control Big Oil as well as Big Business.

At least, neither candidate is from a Big Business/Big Oil background (such as the current White House resident), other than McCain's wife. This should help.

Madder Than Can Be Imagined. --RoadDog

Music From August 3, 1968-- Stroud's Comments-- Part 2

Continuing with the Rock and Roll Roots Show.

SLIP AWAY-- CLARENCE CARTER-- Great R&B artist. Greg Allman Band would cover it in the 80s on their "I'm No Angel" album.

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM-- MAMAS AND PAPAS-- Old standard with Mama Cass on lead vocals.

INDIAN LAKE-- COWSILLS-- Perfect summer fare from the family Cowsill.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF YOUR MIND-- AMBOY DUKES-- Band out of Detroit released this single from the upcoming album of the same title.

DOWN ON ME-- BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY-- This tune had been released as a single in 1967 the first time around without much success. Now that Big Brother and vocalist Janis Joplin had played at Monterrey Pop Festival, there was all this buzz about the awesome new vocalist and they had just released a brand new album for Columbia, "Cheap Thrill." Their old label, Mainstream, sensing that this was going to be huge, decided to re release "Down on Me" at the same time. This new album would feature the big hit "Piece of My Heart."

And the Music Goes On. -- RoadDog

Every Bloomin' Thing-- Mid-September

A few late-blooming hostas are brilliant right now. Lots of mums in bloom right now. Would have been more except I wasn't able to cut the blooms back in early July.

The goldenrod are in bloom with their mass of gold, plus lots and lots and lots stinging varmints. I have to be careful when I'm out there, especially during Japanese beetle sweeps. Those rotten insects are numbering fewer and fewer; about time.

The biggest blast of color comes from blue perennial flower. Plus, another miniature daisy-like perennial is coming into bloom. These 2-3 foot plants are covered with little blooms. Even some of my black-eyed susans are still yellow, but most are spent.

I was cutting the grass every two weeks, but after this rainy weekend, I cut it yesterday, after cutting it this past Thursday. It sure needed it. The grass was pretty brown from the mini-drought, but now, quite green.

Here a Flower, There a Flower. --RoadDog

JSS: Boating-- Fewer Beetles-- A-Walkin' I Will Go-- Gas Gouge-- Cubs-Sox

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. BOATING-- Having perfect weather the last two days and out both, for a total of 27 times for the season. Water's a little higher because of this weekend's rain. Plan to go out the next two-three days. Got to get them in as fast as possible as the season is fast-approaching the end.

2. FEWER BEETLES-- Continuing my Japanese beetle sweeps and am happy to report that each day, there are fewer. Let's export them back to Japan.

3. A WALKIN' I WILL GO-- About every other day I have been taking a walk around the neighborhood. Usually, it's around the two blocks. About one and a half miles.

4. GAS GOUGE-- Continues here, even though gas dropped to BELOW $4.10 today. Most stations at $4.08, even with the price of oil seemingly in free-fall (about time). Big Oil has that great Hurricane Ike excuse.

5. CUBS-SOX-- Here we are over half way through the month of September and both teams are STILL IN FIRST PLACE!!! Can you believe that. Yesterday and today, I watched both games in Margaritaville (my downstairs bar). Yesterday was great, with both winning. Today, not so great. Sox lost 5-1 to the dastardly Yankees, and the Cubs are losing to Milwaukee 6-1. Cubs magic number is 4 and Sox 10.

The big series will be the three games in Minnesota next week.

I watch the game on Comcast on the TV in the corner of the bar. The last two nights, the other game has been on Channel 26, WCIU, which does not come with out cable setup. But, I have a 13-inch TV on antenna rabbit ears. After February I won't be able to use it unless we get a converter. Guess I'll have to.



Monday, September 15, 2008

JSS: Gas Gouge-- DVD/VCR Hooked Up-- Happy !00th GM-- Sun!!!

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. GAS GOUGE-- I had to laugh, but President Bush says the consumers will not be gouged at the pump with Hurricane Ike causing Big Oil to close refineries in Texas. Then, AP was even better and said that Ike will push gas prices to near $4. Hey, we're already at $4.16 here in northeastern Illinois and the unfriendly Philips 66 on US-12 in Fox Lake even gouged to $4.26 yesterday, but are back to $4.16 today.

2. DVD/VCR HOOKED UP-- I've been putting this off since BEFORE THE THUMB, but Saturday, I got the new DVD/VCR up and running on the corner TV in Margaritaville. I hate doing new technology, that means reading instructions and learnuing new stuff. I'm happy to continue using what I have as long as I can. But sometimes you have no choice, likelightning putting the old VCR out of commission.

I was hoping that the hookup would be the same and was very careful to keep the wires straight. And, when I turned it on, it didn't work. A little wire jiggling later, and I was back on line. It's good to have cable and recording back again.

And, who knows, maybe I will even get around to using the DVD, but right now I am happy with my video cassettes.

3. HAPPY 100TH GM-- General Motors turns 100 tyears old tomorrow. Will Durant's experiment to see if people wanted more choice in their vehicles hits the century mark even though these are definitely not the best of times. I've always been a GM guy. All but four of my vehicles over the years have been GM: one Camaro, two Firebirds, two Malibus, and two Grand Ams. I use my GM Card in exclusion to all others. Have to run it up.

4. SUN!!!-- Finally got some today after three straight days of rain and lots of flooding which is much worse south of here. Saturday's Civil War Re-enactment in Lake Villa turned into a real quagmire of a mud march. See http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot.com

Time to Go Boating. --RoadDog

Favorite College Teams in Top 25

Looking at Sunday's Top 25 College football teams, my favorites are:

2. Georgia-- Went there for one year
3. Oklahoma
6. Missouri
7. LSU
10. Wisconsin-- Live by Cheesehead Land
12. Texas Tech
13. Kansas
14. EAST CAROLINA--Dad would be SO PROUD
17. Penn State-- You Gotta Love Papa Joe
20. Wake Forest-- How'd they get so good?
21. Fresno State-- A Little Guy
22. Utah
24. Illinois
25. West Virginia

Hey, Where's NIU? --RoadDog

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Music From August 3, 1968-- Stroud's Comments

I've already lsited the songs Bob Stroud played back on August 3rd and gave my comments. here are Bob's always inciteful comments on those songs and introductions. This was the third of four installments.

Welcome back to a very explosive summer, both socially and musically. Since we last visited (in July), France had performed a nuclear test at Morro Island. The Yardbirds had disbanded. The 39th All-Star game ahd beenplayed and the National League had beaten the American League 11-0 in the Astrodome in Houston. The MVP was Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants.

Into the Time Warp:

SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE-- CREAM-- Originally charted seven months earlier in Jan. '68, but didn't do too much

SWLABR-- CREAM-- "B" Side-- Both of these from their second album "Disraeli Gears" which was out in December '67. The new Cream album "Wheels of Fire" had just been released.

LIGHT MY FIRE-- JOSE FELICIANO-- a tune that had been on the radio the year previous, the Summer of Love, 1967. Only this time by a new artist. His Bossa Nova take on the Doors.

SPANISH CARAVAN-- DOORS-- From the brand new Doors album "Waiting for the Sun." Side 2 opener.

PEOPLE GOT TO BE FREE-- RASCALS-- on its way to #1

I'M A MIDNIGHT MOVER-- WILSON PICKETT-- They don't make R&B like that anymore. So when you wantthe authentic "thang" you've got to reach back 40 years to get it. The late, great Wilson Pickett.

DO IT AGAIN-- BEACH BOYS-- There is a new Beach Boys album and single, but the single is not included on the album. The album is "Friends."

FRIENDS-- BEACH BOYS-- Title track

SKY PILOT-- ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS-- When we heard it on AM radio, we only got the "A" side iof this single, which would fade out, then, you'd flip the single over and the "B" side would fade up. This was from the album.

More to Come... --RoadDog

JSS: A Good Day Yesterday-- Beetles Waning-- Boating Today-- Retro Night Planned-- Gas Gouge

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. A GOOD DAY YESTERDAY-- McDonald's for that great new chicken biscuit and paper reading after thumb therapy. Boating/floating in the afternoon. Then Tommy's in Spring Grove for $1 domestic bottles of beer and split a $4.99 four piece broasted chicken dinner. Then, a Fire on the Strand. That would be a bonfire on the lower patio by the gazebo.


2. BEETLES WANING-- the numbers of those rotten Japanese beetles are dropping every day. Hopefully, they will be gone soon. I really hate those bugs.

3. BOATING TODAY-- Planning on getting out on the Chain of Lakes again today for the 25th time. Captain's Quarters is having 25 cent wings and potato skins. Great deal in these days of inflation and GRBs.

4. RETRO NIGHT PLANNED-- Tonight, I plan to have a Coney Dog meal at the local Dog N Suds with car hop service and that great mugged root beer. Then on to the McHenry Outdoor Theater for some oldies: "Back to the Future" and "Wayne's World."

5. GAS GOUGE-- Yesterday morning, I saw that gas prices in Fox Lake had jumped from $3.84 Tuesday to $3.98!!! That's a 14 cent GOUGE!!! In the afternoon, it had dropped all the way to $3.94. All the while, the price of a barrel of oil continues to drop. WHAT GIVES HERE??? An additional problem is that it will take weeks to get back to $3.84 WHICH IS STILL A RIP-OFF!!! I guess the BIG OIL GRBs want to get richer.

It's Tough to Be Retired, But I'm Managing to Cope. --RoadDog

Seventh Anniversary

A day that surely shook us to the bone.

That beautiful blue fall sky with the horrible black smoke coming off the top of those buildings. Not a scene I will ever forget.

I always feel sorry for people born on that day.

Listening on the web to 94.9 FM the Surf out of North Myrtle Beach right now. They had an article on their site about it. A group in Myrtle Beach is on the roadside holding flags right now, and do that for two hours, the time it took for the buildings to come down. They've been doing it ever since.

Billy Smith also played a religious thing on it and then segued into a perfect song to deal with the absolute horrific day, "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. Good choice.


I was teaching at Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois, that day. I did not find out about it until after first hour at 8:45 when Mrs. Curran came down the hall and whispered it to me. My classes spent the rest of the day listening on the radio as I couldn't get the TV to pick up reception. I located the sites and Israel and the Middle East as well and discussed how this came to pass.

We'd just gotten computers in the rooms, but I couldn't get any sites because of demand.

Watched the event in Mrs. Zumbrook's room then went to Freddie's in Fox Lake where I finally got to watch it on TV. Very subdued and very angry people.

A Day Etched in Memory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It Was Fun While It Lasted-- The Drive's A to Z

Well, it was fun while it lasted, but as the Stones said, "It's All Over Now." The Drive's week long A to Z effort end with some 2000 songs being played. They went into their huge record library, that's right, you 20-30 somethings, records, but probably CDs or whatever stations are playing these days.

That list of songs is something else. It ended sometime this morning. I know they were in the "You"s when I went to sleep at 11:15 pm.

The "Wilds":

Wild Horses-- Rolling Stones
Wild Mountain Honey-- Steve Miller
Wild Night-- Van Morrison
Wild Thing-- Troggs
Wild World-- Cat Stevens

The "You'res":

You're All I Got Tonight-- Cars
You're My Best Friend-- Queen
You're No Good-- Linda Ronstadt
You're So Vain-- Carly Simon

There were only two songs begiining with the letter "Z": "Zanzivar" by Billy Joel and "Ziggy Starduts" by David Bowie.

Go to the website www. wdrv.com to see one impressive list of somgs.

Do you know what albums and 45s are?

This Was a Mighty Good Time. --RoadDog

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This Really Burns Me

Big headlines in yesterday's Tribune about the $200 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

And WHO PAYS FOR IT, YOU MAY ASK? Well, that'd be us "rich" folks in what is left of the middle class. This will be good for people seeking mortgages who will find lower interest rates, ie, CD rates will be lower as well.


Well, these mismanagement wizards are going to leave with what very well could be BIG MONEY. Daniel Mudd of Fannie Mae stands to collect $9.3 million in severance pay and deferred compensation if his dismissal is deemed to be without cause. I'd bet he will be trying to go for that.

Richard Syron of Freddie Mac could get an exit packafge of $14.1 million.

And then there is how much these guys have earned since taking over the companies.

Without a Doubt, I Need to Put in for a CEO Job, the Only Place You Can Royally Screw Up and Walk Away With Loaded Pockets. --RoadDog

Drive's A to Z

Sad to say, but the good times are fast approaching an end as the drive nears the letter Z. Bob Stroud is on the letter "W' right now. So it will probably be all over soon.

Earlier this morning:

Tumbling Dice-- Rolling Stones
Tunnel of Love-- Bruce Springsteen
Tupelo Honey-- Van Morrison
Turn it On Again-- Genesis
Turn me Loose-- Lover Boy
Turn the Page-- Bob Seger
Turn to Stone-- ELO
Turn to Stone-- Joe Walsh

More recently:

Walk This Way-- Aerosmith
Walking in Memphis-- Marc Cohn
Walking on the Moon-- Police
The Wall-- Pink Floyd
Wanted: Dead or Alive-- Bon Jovi
War-- Edwin Starr
Warm Ways-- Fleetwood Mac
The WASP (Texas Radio)-- Doors
Wasted on the Way-- CSN
Wasted Time-- Eagles-- That's where it stands now at 12:40.

All of the "V" offerings:

Valerie-- Steve Winwood
Vehicle-- Ides of March
Ventura Highway-- America
Venus-- Shocking Blue
Venus and Mars Rock Show-- Wings
Victim of Love-- Eagles
Victoria-- Kinks
Volcano-- Jimmy Buffett
Voo Doo Chile (Slight Return)-- Jimi Hendrix

Sure Gonna Miss This Run. --RoadDog

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Really Good Labor Day Weekend-- Part 3

AUGUST 31st-- continued

Went back to Donovan's and had many national rankings on NTN, and at 4 pm, Vaughan put an absolutely delicious cornedd beef and cabbage dinner out, and even better, it was ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! Sundays at Donovan's, the kitchen is closed and there are either free Vienna beef hot dogs with Chicago-style fixins or a cut of meat, often roast pork, also for free.

Liz and I had a corned beef brisket in the freezer and weren't going to make it, so we donated it. Vaughan bought another brisket, carrots,and cabbage (which he steamed in water and olive oil) and we feasted.

Who needs to wait until St. Patrick's Day to have corned beef and cabbage?

SEPTEMBER 1st-- MONDAY-- Went out for a boat ride in the morning, before it got crowded outon the Chain. Afterwards, drove into McHenry and had an very tasty steakburger, fries, salad, and milk shake dinner at Steak and Shake and did some shopping.

All in All, Not a Bad Weekend, Even If I DIDN'T HAVE TO GO BACK TO WORK ON TUESDAY!!! --RoadDog

The Drive's A to Z

At 1:22 pm and Bob Stroud is playing "South City Midnight Lady" by the Doobie Brothers.

The Drive has been playing A to Z for almost six straight days now, as they started on this past Tuesday. You can go to the home site and see ALL the songs played so far www.wdrv.com.

There were only four "Q"s:

Quadropehenia-- Who
Queen of Spades-- Styx
Questions-- Moody Blues
Questions 67 and 68-- Chicago

The Rockin' Songs:

Rocking at Midnight-- Honeydrippers
Rockin' Down the Highway-- Doobie Brothers-- a great RoadDog song
Rockin' in the Free World-- Neil Young-- my favorite Young song
Rockin' Into the Night-- .38 Special-- another great RoadDog song

However, I did not agree with having "Smooth" by Santana on the list as it is too new, even if Carlos is classic.

Still Lisnin' --RoadDog

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Really Good Labor Day Weekend-- Part2

Saturday-- August 30th continued

Next we went to the Korner Kitchen and had ribeye dinners for $9.95, definitely a hard deal to beat.

Completely full, we meandered over to Donovan's reef, named after the Lee Marvin/John Wayne movie, and got our room. Played NTN from 8:30 to 2 am with a lot of top twenties and even some #1 rankings. We thoroughly enjoyed the band Affects which specializes in 50s-60s music. They even have a sax player and a guy who can do a pretty good job on Roy Orbison. You have to be very confidant to try Roy Orbison.

SUNDAY-- AUGUST 31st-- Up way too early at 7 am, but I just had to hear Bob Stroud do his last Roots Salute to the Summer of 1968 for three hours. He told us about news and played the songs that were on our radios forty years earlier.

Afterwards, I walked along the lakeshore to Main Street and had some of Ray's ultimate bloody marys while talking with Cruz and Pinky who said that the Korner Kitchen will be torn down shortly to make way for a new WALGREENS. Sad to hear that.

Met Liz on the way back to Donovan's, and we went to the Triangle on the north side of town where we talked with the former village president of Twin Lakes. He said that Korner Kitchen would move across the street to Rumpoles if the Walgreens deal goes through. Rumpoles dates back to the 1920s when it was a amjor dance room and featured all the great Big Bands during that era like Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.

I'd never been to the Triange nor the next place we went, the Basset Hound, in Basset, Wisconsin. That's a good name for a bar in that town.

Still to be Continued.... --RoadDog

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Drive's A to Z

They're into the letter "M" right now at 6:55 pm with "My Best Friend's Girlfriend" by the Cars. I'm enjoying this so much that I recorded "M"s from "Moonlight Drive" by the Doors to "Must Have Got Lost" by the J. Geils Band.

Sure enjoying this massive effort, whuch started Tuesday and is still going strong. For how long, no one, not even them, knows.

The Drive's "Long songs:

The Long and Winding Road-- Beatles
Long Cool Woman-- Hollies
Long Distance Runaround-- Yes
Long Live Rock-- Who
Long Long Way from Home-- Foreigner
Long May You Run-- Stills-Young Band
The Long Run-- Eagles
Long Train Running-- Doobie Brothers
Long Twin Silver Line-- Bob Seger

It's the Variety, Man!!! --RoadDog

The Dastardly Attack of the Bees

It's beginning to look like the yard is definitely out to get me. Several years ago it was my left eye, and in June it was the thumb. Friday, I was stung at least four times by a band of rogue bees, simply because I dusturbed their nest while pulling weeds out by the arboretum.

Earlier, I had dusturbed a smaller one, but fortunately, had gotten out of line of sting before it was too late. This time, the first indication I had were two stabs of pain in my leg. I immediately retreated, but was stung again on the arm.

That was enough pain for me, so I moved all the way to the house, where I heard buzzing near my head and then pain in my neck. One of the little varmints had followed me. Then, it had the gall to chase after me. Whereupon I beat a hasty retreat inside. Already, I have to watch out for bees, yellow jaclets, bumble bees, and wasps on the rose of sharons, goldenrod, and sedum. Now this.

During the 15 years we've lived out here in Spring Grove, Illinois, I have only been stung four times!!!

Like They Say, You Bees, Payback's a ______. --RoadDog

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Really Good Labor Day Weekend-- Part 1

Sure enjoyed myself this past Labor Day weekend. Even got out on the boat three times, something we usually don't do because of the masses of boats descending upon the Chain of Lakes on this, the unofficial end-of-the-season.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29th-- Did some floating in the boat in the morning and then had thumb therapy. Afterwards, went back out on the boat and went over to Baja Benny's where we met up with some friends and had beverages and a nice talk out on the deck overlooking Fox Lake.

Then, boated over to the Mineola for their fish fry, always a favorite. Costs $7.95 and is all-you-can-eat cod, fries and it comes with a salad bar. The Mineola dates back to the 1890s and is like a mini Grand Hotel from Mackinac Island. It has a long veranda upstairs for a perfect view of Fox Lake.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30th-- Boated over to McDonald's for breakfast and ate our in the boat. Not too many places around where you can boat to a McDonald's.

Had to break down and cut the weeds and some grass after a two-week stoppage because of the drought. Ran out of gas part way through it.

Then drove to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin and watched the last show the season of the Aquanauts who put on quite a show on the water. We especially liked the pyramids which would be hard enough on dry land, but really difficult on skis in rolling water.

More to Come. --RoadDog

"For Better or For Worse" Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about this great comic strip that ended Sunday with a wrap up, but we are really happy to know that it will go back to the beginning in 1979 and run the strips.

Yesterday, the Tribune ran a viewpoint article by Pam Becker titled "Cartoonist makes best of the worst."

"On Sunday, a journey that started on newspaper comics pages nearly thirty years ago ended as it began--with its maverick creator, Lyn Johnston, bucking comic strip tradition."

She has been promising to end it for several years now and she wrapped up a lot of loose ends. And then Monday, it started over again and will also have new ones with further observation done up in her drawing style of the time. I just hope that they will indicate when the strip is a new one.

Liz and I didn't start following it until the Chicago Tribune picked it up and we think that was sometime in the mid 1980s.


Lyn Johnston has had a rocky life and, after her first marriage failed, found herself as a single mom raising a child. Then, she married dentist Rod Johnston in 1975 and things got better.

The strip debuted September 9, 1979, and was based on her life together as John and Elly Patterson. It is one of the most-popular comic strips ever with a distribution in around 2,000 newspapers worldwide.

She would write down the little stories of day-to-day life and that became the basis of her work.

Unfortunately, Rod left her in April 2006, but that did not come into play in the final episodes.

Looking forward to catching up on the "lost" episodes.

Sure Glad We Didn't Lose "For Better or For Worse." --RoadDog

Drive's A to Z-- Letter "I" -- Part 3

Playing "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce right this moment at 7:29 am.

Last several songs in order:

I Got a Line on You-- Spirit
I Get Around-- Beach Boys-- Great Cruisin' song
I Fought the Law-- Bobby Fuller 4
I Feel the Earth Move-- Carole King
I Feel Free-- Cream
I Feel Fine-- Beatles
I Drink Alone-- George Thorogood-- Well, not actually. He drinks with old Grandad, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker and others

Deejay Steve Downs just made the remark that one thing great about playing these alphabetically is the great variety of music styles you get. Hey, they just went from "I Got a Name" to "I Feel Good" by James Brown. Now, there's contrast. Now playing "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" by Elton John, a great Beach Music tune. You're not likely to hear these played together at a party very often.

On the subject of "EVIL."

The Drives's four songs beginning with the word evil:

Evil Ways-- Santana
Evil Wind-- Bad Company-- never heard of it
Evil Woman-- Crow-- a classic
Evil Woman-- ELO

Hey, wow, right now "Too Much to Dream Last Night" by the Electric Prunes. What a name for a group. Did they say I had too much to drink?

By the way, go to the website and see the entire list of songs playedso far. Guaranteed to bring back memories and I must admit there are a "few" that I've never heard of before.

Great Trip with the Classics. --RoadDog

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"For Better or For Worse" Over, But Not Over

We've known it was coming and sure weren't looking forward to it, but this past Saturday was the last new strip of Liz and my favorite comic strip, For Better or For Worse. It ended with just-married Elizabeth and Anthony (something we were all pulling for) visiting Grandpa Jim and wife Iris in the hos[ital, with the very last words being "For Better or For Worse."

The following day, in the Sunday strip, we got to see a look into the future of all the main characters. It ended with us being told that the strip will enter a new era. What could that mean?

This past Monday, we saw that the strip was going to run again from its beginning, ala "Peanuts." Now, that is good news.

Long Live For Better or For Worse!!! --RoadDog

Drive's A to Z on the Letter "F"--- Part 2

About 6:45, The Drive got to letter "F."

The last four letter "E" songs were

Excitable Boy-- Warren Zevon
Eye of the Tiger-- Survivor
Eyes of Silver-- Doobie Brothers
Eyes Without a Face-- Billy Idol

The first "F" was "Face the Face" by Pete Townshend.


In case you were wondering about the Drive's "Dirty" songs:

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap-- AC/DC
Dirty Laundry-- Don Henley
Dirty Water-- Standells
Dirty Work-- Steely Dan
This is a pretty good lineup.

A station commercial says, "We opened up the Drive's vault and discovered a lot of music in there. What's the best way to play it, A to Z."

Cruising their website, they have a Rock Chronicles section, listing things that happened today, September 4th:

1968-- "Street Fighting Man" by the Rolling Stones was banned in several US cities for fear of causing public disorder. There sure were a lot of "disorders" going on during that summer.

1970-- George Harrison released "My Sweet Lord." Take that you girl group.

Oh yes, the reason they played "Ride My See-Saw" in the "D"s last night was because it technically is called "Departure: Ride My See-Saw." I was just wondering.

Keep Da Music Playing. --RoadDog

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

JSS: We Need Rain-- Lake Geneva-- Alcatel-Lucent, What a Waste-- Darn Beetles

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. WE NEED RAIN-- Today was another day of threatening storms, but nothing ever materialized. This happens at least twice a week. A perfectly good day of boating blown because of the threat of rain. AND, WE REALLY DO NEED SOME RAIN.

Things are quite dry. Besides watering the trees, bushes and flowers, I've even been watering the septic field. I found out the hard way that the grass doesn't come back easily after an extended drought. It was just now recovering from the dry spell three years ago.

Last night, I fell asleep with the sprinkler on and had to get out at 4 am. That really made my night.

2. LAKE GENEVA-- We drove up to Lake Geneva today and ate at Popeye's (not the cLouisiana chicken place). I had one of their specialties, chicken 'cued on the outside grill. What a great view of the Riviera and Geneva Lake. Gage Marine runs boat tours from the Riviera Docks and use vintage 1900 vessels. It's quite a show.

3. ALCATEL-LUCENT, WHAT A WASTE-- An article in today's Tribune about teh anming of Ben Verwaayen as new CEO after six straight quarters of losses. This guy cut almost 5,000 jobs at his former place and will receive AS MUCH AS $5.2 million a year.

Smells like your standard CEO these days. Wreck people's lives and take an obscene salary and benefits. This is NOT LEADERSHIP.

The two former heads of the company, who managed to lose $7 billion, Patricia Russo and Serge Tchuruk, are leaving and no mention was made of their departure package, but I have to believe it was high.

This really burns me as Lucent was the only stock I ever bought on my own and did I ever blow that one. I put a lot of money into this and lost a lot. But the CEOs made their millions.

DARN BEETLES-- Everyday I continue my campaign against those lousy Japanese beetles with a bucket of soapy water. Everyday, it's a clean sweep with many casualties, but the next day, the varmints are back.

I understand the Japanese are upset about a fish from American waters that is causing problems in their country. I say that paybackis good. If we have to battle their beetles, they should have to fight our fish.

I Really Hate Those Beetles and I'm Not Too Fond of CEOS, Either. --RoadDog

The Drive Continues A to Z-- Part 1

If you're not tuned in, you're missing some mighty good music.

They are in the letter "D" right now and are playing--OOPS, a mistake, "Ride My See-Saw" by the Moody Blues. Nothing "D" about that.
The last several songs were

Deja Vu-- CSN&Y
December-- Collective Soul
Dear Prudence-- Beatles
Dear Mr. Fantasy-- Traffic
Deacon Blues-- Steely Dan
De Da Da Da, De De De De-- Police (probably one of the silliest song titles ever!!)
Dazed and Confused-- Led Zeppelin
Daydream Believer-- Monkees (probably Liz's favorite song ever)

Earlier, the Drive played "Dance Songs." They were

Dance Little Sister-- Rolling Stones
Dance Sister Dance-- Santana
Dance the Night Away-- Van Halen
Dance to the Music-- Sly & the Family Stone-- (Reminds me of the dear old Delta Sig parties at NIU).
Dance With Me-- Orleans
Dancing Days-- Led Zeppelin
Dancing in the Dark-- Bruce Springsteen
Dancing in the Moonlight-- King Harvest
Dancing in the Street-- Van Halen
Dancing With Mr. D-- Rolling Stones
Dancing With Myself-- Billy Idol

I doubt anyone can think of another "Dance" Song.


Listening Until My Bedtime. --RoadDog

Bob Stroud's Intro

Bob Stroud starts every show with the samebit which combines words and song snippets.

It starts of with the words, "In the beginning, there was nothing but rock."

Song snippet, "Rock this joint."

Words: "Then somebody invented the wheel."

Song snippet "Spinning wheel, got to be real" by BS&T.

Words: "And things just began to roll."

Song: "Rock, Roll, Rock, Roll" from the Showmen's "It Will Stand." Then "Rock and Roll Music" by Chuck Berry, the Beatles, and Beach Boys.

"I Can Hear Music" by the Beach Boys.
"Played by the dj on the radio" by Sam Cooke
"Lifeis Rock but the radio told me" David Essex
"Everybody Rock and Roll" "It Will Stand" by the Showmen.

This is one great introduction to one great show.

Let's Hear Some Good Music. --RoadDog

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

WDRV, the Drive A to Z

The Drive started a massive A to Z playlist at 3 pm this afternoon. They will continue playing for a week to a week and a half and probably play close to 2000 songs. Well worth listening to. Right now, they are still in the As.

Give it a listen at www.wdrv.com.

Considering my love of old roads, the Drive is a perfect name.

Classic Rock, A to Z, Mighty Fine. --RoadDog

A-Boatin' I Will Go

I was out on Fox Lake today, marking the 22nd time of the season. And, that's not a bad number considering most of June was ruined by high water and the Chain's resulting closing for a couple weeks.

Then, I ended up in the hospital and then was recovering most of July. I did make it out about 4 times that month.

In August, I started catching up. I even went out twice over the Labor Day weekend, something we don't usually do because of the huge number of boaters, or, as we call them, weekend warriors. Saturday and yesterday, however, we were only out for a short time and in the morning.

So far this year, I've only used 15 gallons of gas, which I buy at stations since it is about a dollar more on the water. Most of the time, we just float. listen to the Drive, 96.9 FM, Classic Rock, and read. Actually, I read and Liz works crosswords.

A boat is a big waste of money, but an enjoyable waste. But, you need to get out and use it. You've heard of it as a big hole in the water down which people throw money.

Shooting for 30 Outings. --RoadDog

Monday, September 1, 2008

JSS: Gazebo-- Labor Day Weekend 1968-- Cassette Tape-- Hurricane Gustav-- Drought Here

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. GAZEBO-- I'm sitting in the gazebo right now and two-fingered-typing away. Hot day, but not bad out here with the breezes. Plus, in the shade I can see the screen.

2. LABOR DAY WEEKEND 1968-- Yesterday, I recorded Bob Stroud's final installment of his Rock and Roll Roots Time Warp back to the Summer of 1968 in the Donovan's motel room. He was playing what we were listening to on our Chicago radio (that would be WLS and WCFL, both AM stations) 40 years ago.

"Do It Again" by the Beach Boys just started and the last song was "Back in Love Again" by the Buckinghams. Go ahead, take me back.

He also played my favorite Band song, "The Weight." Gads!! Right now it is "Hey Jude" by the Beatles. Man, they played that song to death and if one has ever qualified for the Song That Wouldn't End Award, this would be one. Come on now, everybody sing, "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Hey Jude forever and ever and ever. And, let's hear Sir Paul bump into and step on things and make animal noises.

Sitting in the gazebo and thinking back to the days of a 17 year-old.

3. CASSETTE TAPE-- I recorded the show on my cassette recorder. That's right, cassette recorder. I still use and PREFER cassette tapes, but know it won't be too long before I won't be able to buy cassettes any more. I was one of the first to get cassette recorder and player, come to think of it, about, I got it about 40 years ago. Either that or in 1969.

4. HURRICANE GUSTAV-- Sad to see it going ashore earlier today. This is just what the Gulf Coast doesn't need as they are still recovering from Katrina, about three years ago to the date. We were on the Mississippi Coast this past February, and there is still a lot of rebuilding.

Called our friends Gail and Jim (Cajun) who are from Houma, Louisiana, where the storm went inland. They said their family members had all managed to go elsewhere.

5. DROUGHT HERE-- We sure need some rain. We have several threatening days, but nothing much came of it. I'm watering the flower beds and trees, but the grass has to take care of itself. Except, that is, the grass above the septic field. It has just now come back after the big drought we had three years ago.

Just Some Things Going On. --RoadDog

Two First Place Baseball Teams

Well, here it is the beginning of September, the last month of the season, and Chicago has a clear rarity, two FIRST PLACE MLB teams: the Sox and the Cubs.

I am a Cub fan UNLESS they play the SOX. Of the two, I'd have to say the Cubs are the better team and personally I doubt that the Sox will get to the World Series to play the Cubs (that is, if the curse doesn't kick in). After watching Tampa Bay and the Boston these past two weekends, they are easily better than the Sox.

BUT, We Can Hope, Anyway. Go Sox, Go Cubs. --RoadDog

Almost a Perfect Start to College Football

I'm a big fan of college football, and this past Saturday was a good start to the new season with lots of upsets.

Sadly, though, the debut of the Jerry Kill era at my alma mater, Northern Illinois, came up 22 seconds short versus Minnesota. The Huskies had come from behind to lead most of the 4th quarter, until the Gophers scored with 22 seconds remaining.

The Big Ten Network commentators were making a real big deal about how gutsy Minnesota was for going for a 4th and 1 on the three yard line while they were down 4points. Hey fellas, a field goal wouldn't help in this situation. They had to go for it. The next play, Minnesota went up and ended up winning the game. Too bad.

Then, Illinois was pretty bad in their loss to Missouri. Sadly, Arkansas scored with under 2 minutes left to beat Western Illinois by 4.

High points, however, were Utah's upset of Michigan, East carolina's upset of Virginia Tech, Northwestern's defeat of Syracuse, Bowling Green's upset of Pittsburgh.

I was very happy to get to see the last quarter of the Northern game at Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. I didn't know that they had the Big ten Network. We don't have it on our cable system which is too bad because I am a big fan of the Big Ten and now miss most of the games.

Here's Hoping for an Improvement on Last year's 2-10 Huskie Record. --RoadDog