Tuesday, March 31, 2009

JSS: Didn't Do It-- Really Fine Continentals-- Da Beach Dis Morning

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. DIDN'T DO IT-- Hey, that button on the in-room coffee-maker fell off on its own. It wasn't my fault. At least they had coffee in the lobby, but that was all. Unfortunately, when a hotel has an in-house restaurant, you get no free continental breakfasts.


2. REALLY FINE CONTINENTALS-- The best continental breakfasts I have found to be at the Hilton in Springfield, Illinois, and, after this last weekend, those at Holiday Inn Express. Saturday morning, it was biscuits and gravy, sausage, and cheese omelets. Sunday, it was b & g, scrambled eggs, and bacon.

The Comfort Inn yesterday had hard boiled eggs, b&g, and waffles. Not bad either.


3. DA BEACH DIS MORNING-- Great sunrise framing the Folly Beach Pier. Guy out surfing, but small waves. Ocean fairly calm. Birds a-squawking, especially the gulls. Folks walking their dogs. One dog was missing a leg, but didn't slow him down much. Great listening to the waves from the room.

Not a Bad Way to Wake Up, Even With No Coffee in the Room. --RoadDog

Beach Music in South Carolina

Sitting here overlooking the Atlantic Ocean this morning. The Folly Beach Pier just off to the left of us here at the Holiday Inn resort.


Folly Beach, South Carolina

BEACH STATIONS-- Cruising up and down both the FM and AM dials on this trip (and for any trip for that matter), I came across two stations playing that Good 'Ol Beach Music. Both evidently have just switched to the format, which bodes well for Beach Music.

JOHN FM

One was 104.9 FM down by Hilton Head/Bluffton, SC. Managed to keep that tuned in until we got to Charleston, where we lost the signal, unfortunately. This station has deejays at least some of the time.


1340 AM-- THE BOARDWALK

Now, this is a great name for a Beach Music station!! This one is based out of the Charleston area. After we lost the other one, I went through the FM stations and then AM, and found this gem. They also play an occasional Jimmy Buffett song which they just finished and now are playing "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" by the originator of the "Twist" song, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters.

Good Stuff Maynard. --RoadDog

Monday, March 30, 2009

JSS: Didn't See It-- Gettin' Lost-- No Kidding!-- No Hurry--

JSS-- Just Some Stuff as I do the two-finger typing from a motel room in North Charleston, SC.

1. DIDN'T SEE IT-- All that big to-do about turning off lights this past weekend was beyond me. We were way out of civilization at a wedding reception for my nephew and in the midst of a torrent of a storm and it was so dark, I wouldn't have noticed anyway.


2. GETTIN' LOST-- We were out at a place called Palmetto Bluff near Bluffton, SC, for both rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception. This is a gated community for rich folk, and w-a-y out in the sticks. Beautiful place, but poorly marked. We got lost both nights upon leaving. Looks like rich folks would be better able to pay for directional signage.

3. NO KIDDING-- I see a Chicago Tribune report that families are taking more and more to the road for the old fashioned family vacations that I remember so well. A big part of this is because of the expense of airfare and all the hassle that goes along with flying these days.

Other than a June trip overseas, I have essentially quit flying as well. I'll return when prices come down, two pieces of free luggage, and, when I start getting some respect.

4. NO HURRY-- We're not in any hurry to get back home since it snowed about six inches over the weekend. And, the high today is forecast at 40 degrees. It's sunny and about 70 here in Charleston. I vote for the warm.

Thinking We Just Might Stay for Awhile. --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Doing the NTN/Buzztime Thing

When Liz and I are on the road, we always try to go to as many NTN sites as we can, especially those we've never been to before. As such, we make heavy use of the sitefinder for the website.

Since Friday, we have gone to twenty new places: 14 in Missouri, 2 in Kentucky, 1 in NC, and 3 in SC.

That brings the total of new NTN/Buzztime sites since the beginning of the year to 43.

Too Old to Go Clubbin'. Too Young to Play Bingo. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Did Our Route 66 Thing-- Part 2

More on our 66 trip through Illinois

SPRINGFIELD-- Went to one of our favorite 66 eating places, the Cozy Dog. This is where corn dogs were invented and they only cook 'em up when you order. Not sure if I like the fresh made fries or corn dog better. My PROPER way to eat a Cozy Dog is with mustard and raw onions. Liz eats them plain.

Right down the road, they have built a Golden Corral, so we will be conflicted next visit.

I-55-- Superslabbed it to Litchfield. Not a whole lot of old 66 between Springfield and Litchfield. And those that are still there can be seen from 55.

LITCHFIELD-- Checked into the America's Best Value Inn which was a Best Western on Rt 66 where Liz and her parents stayed on their trips to KC.

Last summer, while attending the Route 66 Festival in Litchfield, we met up with a lot of fellow fanatics at Shaw's Bar and returned. It dates from the 1920s and the owners weren't into 66 until they were "discovered."

They now have a Route 66 sign out front and have been "bitten" by the bug. They have had some big groups of foreigners come by. Talked with the owner for quite awhile, who said she knew about 66 and the nearby Ariston Restaurant, but didn't think much about it until last summer.

I go into a lot more detail at http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot.com.

On the Road to the Chain of Rocks. --RoadDog

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Did Our Route 66 Thing

Thursday, we drove Route 66 through Illinois from Dwight to Litchfield. Took us about thirty minutes longer to get from home to Dwight because of all the stoplights. If there was a stoplight, that we didn't catch red, I'd like to know where it was. (Well, there were a very few green ones, but not many.)

Glad to see signage in Pontiac for all the different alignments. Also, there is a new Lincoln statue at that beautiful court house. Our favorite place to stay in Pontiac, the Downtowner Motel, right by the square, unfortunately, is still closed.

Stopped at Funk's Grove Sirip (correct spelling) for some maple candy, but they were all out. They will get more and just finished gathering sap a few days ago.

Tall Paul is still standing there with the hot dog in his hand in Atlanta. I peeked into the window at the Palm Cafe and it appears they are about ready to open again. This used to be the hot spot back in the 1930s-1950s and it's reopening after being gone for many years.

Visited with the Old Coot on 66 and his young bride, Ernie and Fran Edwards at the site of the old Pig Hip in Broadwell. They survived the winter and are doing well. Ernie, who is 92 is getting around with just a cane these days.

Listened to a fun CD of those old great sixties songs by a band we're definitely going to see in the near future, The Class of 1968. Thanks, Joyce. Rocking down the road with some really rocking music. This is one bunch of white guys who can really sing soul.

Got Our Sights Set on the Cozy Dog. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 21, 2009

JSS: NCAA Tournament-- Favorite Season-- Great Smells

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. NCAA TOURNAMENT- Only missed picking four games Thursday, but not talking about the disaster yesterday. Suffice to say, I still can't pick the tournament games. Could there have been two better games than the overtimes to end last light. Little Sienna beat Ohio State, one of the big guys, in double overtime and Wisconsin beat Florida Stae in single overtime. I picked the other team to win, but, regardless, that was some great b-ball.

As the USA Today said yesterday, the NCAA Tournament is 63 games, a "64 team smorgasbord that is fair, fast-paced and entertaining." It is a chance for little guys from little-known conferences to play the big guys. College football might take some ideas from this.


2. FAVORITE SEASON-- Friday's USA Today also had a survey in its Snapshots of people's favorite seasons. Results:

Spring-- 38%
Fall -- 28%
Summer-- 27%
Winter-- 6%

My own favorite is fall, followed by spring/summer. and, of course, college basketball season.

Fall, you know winter is around the bend so you've got to enjoy while you can. In spring, all those bulbs come up and plants/trees bloom. What can I say about summer?


3. GREAT SMELLS-- My favorite smells in the spring are daffodils and hyacinths. Then, in fall, it's burning leaves.

Another great smell is fresh cut grass and the air after rain.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Them, Not Me: Dear Old AIG-- Dear Old NCAA Tournament

Things That Really Burn My Butt.

1. DEAR OLD AIG-- These $165 million in bonuses to AIG execs for doing an incredibly bad job has got my ire, and evidently the Senate. The complete arrogance of these people is unfathomable.

There is, however, the one Senator who allowed wordage in the bailout that would allow them to do it. BUT, someone should have caught on to that proviso. Is an investigation in order?

Let's hope the bill passes to levy the up to 90% tax on these BONUS BABIES.

Like I said, the arrogance and greed of these guys knows no limit. And to think they think they should be rewarded for mismanagement. It just doesn't matter that there is a contract in effect before hand. It's time to do the RIGHT thing.


2. DEAR OLD NCAA TOURNAMENT-- Once again, I get to see how LITTLE I know about college b-ball. I have to be the worst CHOOSER anywhere, and that, even though I watch a lot of college basketball. This is what gets me through the winter doldrums.

Now, we have what I consider the best sporting event of all. THE TOURNAMENT.

I see President Obama picked Louisville, UNC, Memphis, and Pittsburgh in the Final Four. The Old Dog picked UConn, UNC, Villanova, and Kansas. I have UNC vs. UConn in the Final, with the Huskies winning.

Hopefully, my picking won't result in the mess I had during the college bowl games, when nearly everyone I wanted to win, LOST.

Regardless, I look forward to the upsets and great games.

Don't Look Back, They May Be Gaining. --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Were You Doing March 8, 1972? --Part 2

Play it for me, Bob.

EVERYTHING I OWN-- BREAD-- (Gag!)
CLEAN UP WOMAN-- BETTY WRIGHT-- batting cleanup, her one and only hit

NEVER BEEN TO SPAIN-- THREE DOG NIGHT--
BANG A GONG (GET IT ON)-- T. REX-- English glam rockers finally invading US with Marc Bolan

SON OF MY FATHER-- GEORGIO-- the spacey synthesisers of Georgio Euro Rock. A group called Chicory also had it out.
HEART OF GOLD-- NEIL YOUNG-- Bringing us back down to earth after Georgio.

CRAZY MAMA-- J. J. CALE-- Shall we get laid back?
I GOTCHA-- JOE TEX-- Back when soul music was soul music, the late great Joe Tex.

AMERICAN PIE-- DON McLEAN-- not the #1 song, but from the #1 album


And, the Number 1 song:

WITHOUT YOU-- NILSSON-- written by Peter Hum and Tom Evans of Badfinger

Had Enough of 1972? --RoadDog

What Were You Doing March 8, 1972

When Stroud does a Time Warp, he skips ahead five years for the last hour and a half.

In March 1972, I was a junior at the University of Georgia and living in a dorm with Jeff Carter, the governor's son. My parents, brother, and sister were living in Dunwoody, Georgia.

DOCTOR MY EYES-- JACKSON BROWNE-- The first of two Jackson Browne songs being played. (My favorite JB song.)
ROCK ME ON THE WATER-- LINDA RONSTADT-- The second Jackson Browne song. (Man, o'Linda. Be still my heart.)

BLACK DOG-- LED ZEPPELIN-- From IV. Kind of a mixed bag on your radio.
MERCEDES BENZ-- GOOSECREEK SYMPHONY-- They were from down south as if you couldn't tell. It was a moderate hit here in Chicago, the old Joplin classic done up non-acapella. (I have several of their albums. They did a great job on this.)

A HORSE WITH NO NAME-- AMERICA-- brand new and made everyone sit up and take notice. (This song and "Heart of Gold" sum up the year for me.)
SWEET SEASONS-- CAROLE KING-- from her album "Music"

ROUNDABOUT-- YES-- one of their last hits from their great new album "Fragile." (The song that wouldn't end.)
GLORY BOUND-- GRASS ROOTS-- one of the last hits by them. (Still a very under rated group.)

MOTHER AND CHILD REUNION-- PAUL SIMON-- the first hit for him solo.

Another Ten to Go. --RoadDog

More Top Songs from March of 1967

I'm looking at Dave McAleer's "Book of Hit Singles" right now. He lists Billboards top twenty songs for both the US and UK for every month from 1954 to 2001.

Here are some other US hits not on Bob Stroud's show.

BABY I NEED YOUR LOVING-- JOHNNY RIVERS-- Got a song you want covered?
RUBY TUESDAY-- ROLLING STONES
THEN YOU CAN TELL ME GOODBYE-- CASINOS-- Well, actually Bob did this as an intro to one of the sets.
MY CUP RUNNETH OVER-- ED AMES-- Oh, he's S-O-O-O Happy.

KIND OF A DRAG-- BUCKINGHAMS
THERE'S A KIND OF A HUSH-- HERMAN'S HERMITS
GIMME SOME LOVIN'-- SPENCER DAVIS GROUP--
THE BEAT GOES ON-- SONNY AND CHER--

MERCY, MERCY, MERCY-- CANNONBALL ADDERLY--
GEORGY GIRL-- SEEKERS-- Don't we all just feel good right now.
I'M A BELIEVER-- MONKEES--


BRITISH CHARTS

Some additional songs from the UK

RELEASE ME-- ENGELBERT HUMPERDINK-- Gotta Love the name.
EDELWEISS-- VINCE HILL
HERE COMES MY BABY-- TREMELOES--
ON A CAROUSEL-- HOLLIES

SNOOPY VS. THE RED BARON-- ROYAL GUARDSMEN--
DETROIT CITY-- TOM JONES--
GIVE IT TO ME-- TROGGS
LET'S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER-- ROLLING STONES

Here are two that are too good to pass up:

Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear-- Alan Price Set
I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman-- Whistling Jack Smith

Have You Had Enough of 1967? Hold On, We're Skipping Ahead Five Years. --RoadDog

What Were You Doing March 8, 1967? --Part 3

One thing about those short songs from the 60s, you can pack a lot of them into an hour and a half.

PENNY LANE-- BEATLES-- The "A" side 42 years ago
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER-- BEATLES-- the "B" side

UPS AND DOWNS-- PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS-- the current 45 (One of my favorites by one of my favorite "uniform" bands. Remember New Colony Six and Gary Puckett & the Union Gap.)
SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK 'N ROLL STAR-- BYRDS-- (Twang Those Guitars. I have to look them up anytime I try to spell their name. Was it BR or BY birds?)

BERNADETTE-- FOUR TOPS-- brand new on your radio. (The late-great Levi Stubbs.)
THE DIS - ADVANTAGES OF YOU-- BRASS RING-- a hit single, but most of you remember it as the Benson & Hedges cigarette song. (And the Winston guy just recently died of.... Personally, I don't remember it.)

HAPPY TOGETHER-- TURTLES-- wasn't number one yet, but on its way. (I am a BIG Flo and Eddie fan.)
THE HUNTER GETS CAPTURED BY THE GAME-- MARVELETTES-- One of Smokey Robinson's most creative compositions both lyrically and musically. (Definitely a different sound.)

And, the Number 1 Song:

I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW-- TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS-- their fourth consecutive hit and one of their biggest. (Never could figure what they were going to do when they were alone.)

I Remember, I Remember. --RoadDog

What Were You Doing March 8, 1967? --Part 2

Back to the Time Warp.

LOVE IS HERE AND NOW YOU'RE GONE-- SUPREMES-- their latest (I don't know if I liked their music or moves better.)
WALK TALL (LIKE A MAN)-- 2 OF CLUBS-- from Cincinnati, the Girl Group Thing was still happening. on Rock and Roll Roots CD Vol. 3

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH-- BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD-- we were just being introduced to this group. (I always thought it was about an anti-war thing, not a riot outside a bar.)
NO MILK TODAY-- HERMAN'S HERMITS-- "B" side of "There's a Kind of a Hush." (Definitely not your typical Peter Noone song. Probably my favorite Herman song.)


DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE-- MAMAS AND PAPAS-- Brand new with an old Shirelles hit.
GO WHERE YOU WANNA GO-- FIFTH DIMENSION-- how we were introduced to them doing an old Mamas and Papas hit.

PRETTY BALLERINA-- LEFT BANKE-- two-hit wonder, follow-up to "Walk Away Renee." (What is a Bankey anyway? Or, are they just trying to be fancy?)
WESTERN UNION-- FIVE AMERICANS-- new one by them. (Very underrated group to my way of thinking.)

More Memories to Come. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Got My Green On

Well, I definitely got my St. Patrick's Day Celebration in.

Saturday, I deejayed after the St. Patrick's Day parade in Lake Villa, Illinois, at George's Cedar Inn. This is about the 13th year in a row I've done this. Good times, lots of Irish music, and loads of corned beef and cabbage.

I then went to Donovan's Reef in Twin lakes, Wisconsin and had another corned beef and cabbage meal for $5 apiece (except I won a free meal with a shamrock under the plate, I can live with that). We then saw a great local band, String Town, play a wide variety of music from Fleetwood Mac to Bob Dylan and played NTN/Buzztime.

We got a room for the night at the motel.

The next morning, I walked over to Main Street and had a couple Bloody Marys (ok, not green) and played NTN again.

Yesterday, we had great weather and worked in the yard.

Today, I did yard work, caught some rays on deck and then played NTN at Donovan's again and had corned beef and cabbage.

Returned home and had some Bushmills at Margaritaville.

It's a Green Thing, You Wouldn't Understand. --RoadDog

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Can Relate to Peggy Hill

Recorded "King of the Hill" last night and watched it tonight.

Can I ever relate to the plight of Peggy Hill who went to a record store and asked about a Michael Bublet? album. The clerk got her a CD and she then asked for it on a cassette. This drew a puzzled look from the clerk.

She then realized she was not "plugged in" anymore.

She went home and was listening to a cassette on a cassette recorder, and, after looking at the cassette's date, realized she had lost track 13 years ago.

Can I ever relate to that.

I am so far out of the loop, catching up is going to be difficult, if even possible.

Here I Go, Being Dragged Kicking and Screaming into the 21st Century. --RoadDog

Mighty Fine Day

I just love those rare March days when temps get to the upper fifties, sun's out, and birds a'singing. That is just what we had today.

I fully enjoyed the deck, catching some rays, eating lunch reading a magazine, and rerecording some cassette tapes-- that's right, I DID say cassette tapes. That is still my preferred way of recording stuff, having never burned a CD or downloaded anything. I don't even have an IPOD or MP3 nor would I have any idea how to use one.

Worked in the yard off and on, trimming branches and twigs and knocking down dead plants.

Once it started getting a little chilly, I went to Hello Folks and played NTN while enjoying the $2.99 Italian beef and fries special they have on Mondays. Now, that's a good deal.

Also went to Menard's and bought thirty stones for work on the driveway culvert flower beds.

Has Spring Really Sprung?


I'll Take a Day Like This Anytime. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Doing the Town Green

Just a short time from now, I'll be driving over to Lake Villa, Illinois, for their annual St. Patrick's Day Parade and party. This has been going on for at least ten years and I have deejayed at George's Cedar Inn downtown for all but the first time.

I have to get set up in advance of the noon parade as the street is blocked and I start right afterward. I generally play nothing but Irish music for a couple hours, then in intersperse oldies and what-have-you the next three hours.

This is where the parade began, when George and another guy set it up with the idea that people then wouldn't have to go all the way to Chicago or Milwaukee to celebrate.

George also serves some really great all-you-can eat corned beef and cabbage. Last year it was $7.

AN IRISH TOAST

My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing and able.

Now let's get to drinking!
All glasses off the table!

Make Mine Green. --RoadDog

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Were You Doing March 8, 1967?

This past Sunday, Bob Stroud did one of his great Time Warps back to that date in 1967 and 1972.

March 8, 1967, I was getting near the end of my sophomore year at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois. The year before, I had gone to Fremd High School, also in Palatine. Freshman and sophomores went there while juniors and seniors went to Palatine. The Village of Palatine was growing fast and the new schools were needed.

We were living in a huge subdivision called Winston Park, right across from St. Thomas Catholic Church and school. This was the longest we'd lived anywhere since I was born, 4 years. We'd moved at the end of 6th grade to a new house.

These were the songs playing in your radio (which would be WLS and WCFL, both AM) on this date. I MISSED THE FIRST SIX SONGS BECAUSE OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME. I woke up at what was 6:30, but was now 7:30.

Bob's comments after the song. Mine in parentheses().

PUSHING TOO HARD-- SEEDS-- (Great psychadelic rock)
EPISTLE TO DIPPY-- DONOVAN-- (Dippity-Doo was some sort of hair product for girls, wasn't it? Dumb name for a song.)
THE 59TH STREET BRIDGE SONG (FEELIN' GROOVY)-- HARPER'S BIZARRE-- (Real bizarre music)
I'VE BEEN LONELY TOO LONG-- YOUNG RASCALS--

YOU GOT TO ME-- NEIL DIAMOND-- (I really liked the early Diamond stuff.)
SOCK IT TO ME BABY-- MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS-- (Laugh-In, Anybody?)
DARLING BE HOME SOON-- LOVIN' SPOONFUL-- most current release. (probably my favorite Spoonful song. Let's put on our wire rims, right John?)
LAWDY MISS CLAWDY-- BUCKINGHAMS-- Brand new on the USA label. Chicago's Buckinghams.

More Tunes to Come. --RoadDog

On the Moving Trail

I read where the average American moves almost a dozen times in their lifetime and got to wondering how many times I have moved.

I wrote about it in my RoadDog's Roadlog Blog http://roadogsraodlog.blogspot.com.

See March 9th and 10th.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

I moved a lot as a youngster as Dad was transferred in his rise with Quaker Oats. After birth, I lived in two places, but from age 5 to 11, moved 5 times from Goldsboro to Raleigh NC, then to Jacksonville, Fl, and back to Greenville, NC.

Dad was transferred to the home office in Chicago, so I went to 6th grade in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and then lived the longest in one place while growing up, Palatine from 7th to freshman year in college.

Then, he was transferred to Atlanta and the family moved there.

COLLEGE DAYS

I went my first two years of college in Dekalb at Northern Illinois University where I lived in a dorm and a fraternity house. Junior year, I transferred to the University of Georgia in Athens. There I lived in two different dorms and a mobile home.

Senior year, I transferred back to NIU and lived in an apartment and for part of the last quarter at Liz's parents' house in Palatine while student teaching.

Just Love That Moving. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: On the Road Again-- Food prices Up!-- Gas Going Up!!

Things that REALLY Burn My Butt.


1. ON THE ROAD AGAIN-- Reuters reports that Americans are hitting the road again. NO KIDDING!! Gas prices are coming down and I've heard that some motels are lowering prices.

I know Liz and I seriously curtailed our road trips this last year because of Big Oil's greed. That is, until gas prices came down. We've been on two road trips this year and have another planned soon.


2. FOOD PRICES UP-- The Chicago Tribune reports food prices at the grocery store are going up. And all the while, food production costs are going down. Some of the Big oil Execs must have gone over to the food sector. Is it possible GRBs have infiltrated the food industry?

Anytime I go into our local Jewel or Dominick's grocery stores, I suffer from sticker shock.


3. GAS GOING UP-- Again!! And just in time for the summer driving season. With all the economic problems, the lower gas prices were one little ray of hope in the gray. Gas was up to $2 here in Fox Lake, before dropping a little bit. Shouldn't be too long before Big Oil gets those prices back up to where they'll be happy.

Didn't they make enough profit the last three years to cut us a little slack?

Don't Look Back, They may Be Gaining. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Small Town America-- Fox Lake Business Expo

This last Saturday, I went to the Fox Lake, Illinois, Business Expo at Grant High School. It was free and quite a few local businesses were represented. This is one great aspect of small town America. A day where local businesses get to show you what they're about and plenty of freebies.

I was impressed with the great job done on the Roxanna, an old resort hotel and one of the few ones left in the Chain of Lakes. It is now a bed and breakfast on Mineola Bay on Fox Lake.

The local small town newspapers have been rolled into the Lake County Journal and struggling to survive in these bad, bad days for the newspaper industry. A friend of mine who used to work part time at the Puppet Bar when i deejayed there back in the 80s, Sherry has been with them for over 30 years, back when it was Lakeland Press.

At the Grant Township government booth, I found out that Marty, a good friend had died. I knew he was in bad shape, but no one told me. I wasn't too happy about that.

The gymnasium had four local restaurants offering their wares, including one of the few remaining Dog 'N Suds restaurants. I got the El Puerto Mexican restaurant's $5 buffet. Now that was good. Ate at a table with the Dancing Grannies and saw a group of young girls from a dance studio go through their routines as proud family members watched on.

To me, this is a life you can't get in a big city like Chicago.

I Always Wondered Why the Former Illinois Governor Would Want to Continue Living in Chicago When He Had a Perfectly Nice Governor's Mansion to Live in Down in Springfield. OK, It Has 100,000 People, But Still Has That Small Town Feel. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: Lighthouse-- Real Life "Cheers"-- TCF CEO

Things That Really Burn My Butt.


1. LIGHTHOUSE-- The Chicago Harbor Lighthouse is to be transferred from the Coast Guard to the city. It was built in 1893, just in time for the Columbian Exposition. No doubt, Da Mayor will find a way to tax it, lease it, or sell the naming rights. How about the Light of Blago?


2. REAL LIFE "CHEERS"-- Boston's real life "Cheers" bartender, Eddie Doyle,66, of the Bull & Finch has become one of the latest victims of the economy's downturn thanks to all those wonderful GRBs. He worked there for 35 years. After the show's success in 1982, as many as 5,000 customers would visit a day. What would Norm and Cliff say?


3. TCF-CEO-- The TCF bank has returned the $361 million it received in bail out from the government saying it didn't really need it and don't want the additional rules and regulations that accompany it.

Their CEO, Bill Cooper said, "We never engaged in any shady things" referring to other banks. They never did any sub-prime lending either. He said he doesn't take a salary or bonuses.

Could this be a CEO we can respect?

Don't Look Back, They May Be Gaining. --RoadDog

JSS: TNW-- Ouch!!-- Cassettes-- Good Buddies

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. TNW-- Typical Nasty Weather-- After that great Friday we had (and even the two days before it), the weather has been pretty rotten around here. It rained hard all weekend, causing some pretty serious flooding. I even saw water rushing along the neighborhood ditches, a rare instance around here.

Then Monday was sunny, but in the low 40s. Then, it was rain and mighty thick fog Tuesday. Yesterday and today, the temp was in the 20s with a wind that just bit through you. OK, spring, enough teasing. Let's get on with it.


2. OUCH!!!-- This hurt, but yesterday, I learned that the deejay job I have had for the last ten years with the German Club annual dinner-dance is gone. The club has been getting a lot of young members and they decided they wanted to go with a young deejay as well. Mighty crummy thing to find out a week and a half before the event. Just one more example of how deejaying has passed me by. Oh well, I can head down to the south and warmth sooner now.


3. CASSETTES-- It's getting harder and harder to find cassette and cassette players. Saturday, there wasn't even one cassette recorder at the Salvation Army Thrift store. Yesterday, Wal Mart did not have any cassettes for sale. I did buy a cassette recorder at K Mart. Have to start stocking up as soon there will be none for sale.


4. GOOD BUDDIES-- Yesterday, I also got together with T. and Kip for breakfast in Grayslake. We all taught together in Round Lake. Did a lot of reminiscing.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Just What the Economy Needed

Still on the subject of Circuit City's demise.

Just in time for these doldrums (or is it DEPRESSION), there is now 18 million square feet of retail space available in this failing real estate market.

More than 34,000 employed people back in January are now unemployed.

Seven hundred vendors are owed $625 million by Circuit City and NOT likely to get any of it.

I just have to wonder how much Circuit City's upper management (CEOs and their ilk) left with in their possession.

You Know How Many of OUR CEOs Are. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Salt Gouge Hits Close to Home-- Real Close

The last several times I've gone to Val's grocery store in Johnsburg, Illinois, I have found them to be out of solar salt. I have to use it in my water softener. They were selling the 40 pound bags for $4.60.

I had found that other places selling solar salt, in those familiar blue bags, were at $5.25 and higher. I didn't think much of the price difference, figuring they were just more expensive.

Not so. Val's got a big supply of solar salt, but it now costs $5.20 as well.

I've read plenty of towns around here who are unable to get enough road salt at the prices now being charged by the salt companies, but, now here it is at my doorstep, er, in my wallet.

Thanks a Lot Salt Companies. You Should Get Together with Big Oil. --RoadDog

Monday, March 9, 2009

Goodbye Circuit City

This past Saturday, I paid a last visit to an old friend, the Circuit City store in McHenry. I have been here many times and spent a lot of money over the years, but no more. Either Saturday or Sunday was the last day it was to be open.

I was expecting to see hundreds of people, but there weren't too many at all, perhaps thirty or forty when I was there around 2 PM. Probably because there was hardly anything left to buy. There were only three of four depleted rows of items, mostly CDs and DVDs. They had accomplished just what they had set out to do.

And most of these were rather obscure and not something I would pay full price for. But, at 10%, it was worth taking a chance. I ended buying 14 CDs for $13.36.

Only a couple of the people were wearing the uniform red polo shirts. What was management going to do, fire them for inappropriate attire. To their credit, the employees were friendly and helpful both here and at the Circuit City in Gurnee Mills that I visited a couple weeks ago.

Sure Will Miss the Good Old Red C.C.. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 7, 2009

One Really Fine Day

Yesterday was one of those great days we occasionally get around here to remind us that summer is on its way, winter is about gone.

Temps got up to the lower 60s and we had lots of sun. Even better, Thursday's howling winds had abated significantly.

I had originally planned to go some places, but early on decided to stay home to enjoy it. Especially after I saw the 40s and rain forecast for today. And they were 100% correct. Rain, overcast and chillier.

I caught a lot of rays out OD (On Deck), did yard work of pruning and pulling up dead perennials and trimmed twigs off the branches Trov cut down last fall. I also got to meet the neighbor's behind us newest addition, a hyper beagle/pug mix puppy. Sad to hear that the economic woes are hitting them hard. He has lost his construction job. Sure hope he finds new work.

He did fight the county assessor to get his taxes reduced...and won!! That's a break for him.

I decided to burn some of the twigs and limbs out on the Grand Strand, what I call the larger of the three patios out by the gazebo. I had a great bonfire going, when the township assessor walked over and asked me about the neighbors to the east of us. Just the guy every one wants to see.

Nice guy and he said he wouldn't say anything about the fire. Burning yard waste is not allowed except for April, May, October, and November. But, I was burning it in my portable fire pit and just burning wood, something that is allowed. I've got plenty of yard waste to burn once its legal.

I had a nice smokey smell when I came in. Yard work, a bonfire and ice cold beer on the first really decent day of the year. Now, that's a great way to spend a day.

Hoping for More of These Days, and SOON. --RoadDog

Friday, March 6, 2009

JSS: Dadburn Movie Questions-- Goodbye Record Club-- Stayin' Home-- 1967 and 1972

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. DADBURN MOVIE QUESTIONS-- Yesterday, we had the championship round for NTN-Buzztime at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. First round it was Geoluv vs. me. I was leading by a lot until the second five questions and we started getting movie questions. I had a small lead, then the last question was the male star in "Rosemary's Baby." I didn't know and Geoluv did. I lost.

I hate movie questions.


2. GOODBYE RECORD CLUB-- Yesterday, I went through my Greatest Hits CDs before ordering from BMG Music for the last time. I try not to order duplicates, but have so many, I can't remember. Well that and I don't remember very well anyway. Good thing because about half of what I was considering to order, I already had. Sure will miss going through those pages with all the offerings.


3. STAYIN' HOME-- Stayed home Wednesday and today to enjoy the excellent weather we've been having this week. I was planning on going to some stores today, but not with the sun and 60 degree temps.


4. 1967 and 1972-- This Sunday, Bob Stroud is doing a time warp back to the songs playing on your radio in Chicago back on March 8, 1967, and the same date in 1972. Definitely a show to tune in from 7 to 10 AM on the Drive 97.1 FM. It will be streaming live at www.wdrv.com.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Number One Songs This Date

My wife sent me a great site awhile back, where you can find out the number one songs on any date from a long ways back. The site is run by Josh Hosler at
http://joshhosler.com.

Being a 60s person myself, these are the number ones this date for the entire decade:

1969-- EVERYDAY PEOPLE-- Sly & the Family Stone
1968-- LOVE IS BLUE-- Pauliat
1967-- LOVE Is HERE AND NOW YOU'RE GONE-- Supremes
1966-- BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS-- S. Sgt. Barry Sandler
1965-- MY GIRL-- Temptations
1964-- I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND-- Beatles
1963-- WALK LIKE A MAN-- Four Seasons
1962-- HEY BABY-- Bruce Channel
1961-- PONY TIME-- Chubby Checker
1960-- THEME FROM A SUMMER PLACE-- Percy Faith

1979 I Will Survive-- Gloria Gaynor
1959 Venus-- Frankie Avalon
1989 Lost in Your Eyes-- Debbie Gibson
1999 Angel of Mine-- Monica
2009 Right Round-- Flo Rida
1949 Cruisin' Down the River-- Blue Barrou

I sure don't remember 1999 or 2009. But then again, I'm pretty old. Favorite songs: Everyday People, My Girl, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Walk Like a Man, and Hey Baby.

Play That Song for Me. --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Them, Not Me: CDs-- Kids in the Mills-- Where'd the People Come From-- Is NTN Kidding?

Stuff That Burns My Butt.


1. CDS-- Well, one thing I'm NOT going to miss about the demise of CDs is the process of opening one. I didn't mind the cellophane wrapping. I really used to hate taking it off the old LPs as the cardboard covers often, really often, gave me under-the-fingernail cuts, and THOSE REALLY HURT.

What I really hate is that tape at the top with the CD name on it. That is just about impossible to take off in one piece or even twenty pieces. Then sometimes it is attached with a paste that simply will not come off.


2. KIDS IN THE MILLS-- A few weeks ago, I went to Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, Illinois. This is a huge so-called bargain mall (but not-so-bargain if you ask me). I was amazed by how many school-age kids I saw walking around with their parents. Aren't they supposed to be in school? They can't all be home-schooled, or, are they?

If they are home-schooled, I want to sign up for that. I'd just love to go on field trips to the mall or shopping instead of taking those rotten old spelling tests on Fridays.


3. WHERE'D THE PEOPLE COME FROM??-- While in Gurnee Mills, I went to one of my favorite old places, Circuit City, which is closing its doors. For years I noticed Best Buys were packed and Circuit City practically desolate (kind of like K Marts vs. Wal Marts). The line at the check out counters was about to the other side of the store. Where were all these people when Circuit City was trying to survive over Christmas?


4. IS NTN KIDDING?-- Back on the subject of NTN-Buzztime. I see in the San Diego Business Journal that the new leadership is hoping to turn fortunes around. However, the new CEO looks to be doing the CEO Leapfrog, going from one place to another in rapid succession, never a good sign.

Yesterday, shares of NTN were going for 17 CENTS!!! This past year it was at a high of 65 cents and low of 9 cents a share. You can really get more bang for your buck here.

What NTN needs to do is take care of the places they have already subscribing to their services and, take care of the folks who already play the addictive games (like me). That means better field representation.

One great idea would be to not only have national, but local or state competition stats. Make an effort to talk to regulars about what they like and don't like.

Don't look Back, They Might Be Gaining. --RoadDog

JSS: Yardwork Again-- Entertainment Book-- 60 DEGREES!!!

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. YARDWORK AGAIN-- Boy, did it ever feel good to get back out and work in the yard yesterday, despite temps just in the 30s. I started clearing up flower beds of dead plants and debris and cutting twigs off the many branches Jimmy Trov cut off the trees and bushes last fall. I'll have some nice bonfires this spring and summer.

EVEN saw some daffodils pushing their way up!! Can spring be far away?


2. ENTERTAINMENT BOOK-- I broke down and bought one of those Entertainment Books a few weeks ago. It was marked down to $15 from $25. I didn't get one last year--AND SURVIVED. I don't use most of the coupons in the local area anyway, but maybe this year I will. Hard to beat a two-for-one deal, though.


3. 60 DEGRESS!!!--- Unbelievable, but I just heard that will be the temperature here in the Chicagoland area by Friday. All this Global Warming we had this last winter is surely getting to me. The old Panama City tan is starting to fade out anyway. Good time to get some serious OD (On Deck) time.

As It Goes. --RoadDog

The Surf's Top Ten Beach Songs Feb. 28th

Most mornings I listen to Billy Smith in the morning doing his show from the Surf, 94.9 FM in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Being able to listen to distant stations is a great plus for the internet.

Their latest Top Ten Beach Songs:

1. EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE-- Gold Rush
2. HOW CAN I TELL YOU-- David Terry
3. HEAVY LOVE-- Fantastic Shakers
4. RED SHAGGIN' SHOES-- Fabulous Jellyrolls
5. I'VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE-- Magnificents
6. LIFE IS A BEACH-- 58 West
7. HEY CUTIE-- High Tide
8. BACKSEAT BLUES-- Clint Horton
9. GIRL, I NEED YOU-- Paul Craver
10. YOUNG HEARTS-- Janet Sullivan

They do the top 40 every Saturday from 9-noon EST.

Of interest, these are quite different from the other major beach countdown by Fessa Hook. I had the top ten for that one back on February 21st.

Diggin' That Beach Sound. --RoadDog

As We Continue the Demise of My Places and Stuff

I am preparing to send in my last card to BMG Music, the sole remaining of the old mail-order music clubs. I'll miss them tremendously.

I always looked forward to the arrival of that magazine just packed with recordings. I probably joined back in high school, but really became a member back in the 70s when I was order LPs. That introductory offer of 12 or more LPs for $1.99 was just too much to resist. Even the mandatory purchases requirement was acceptable. Of course, I still and always have hated the high postage and handling charges, where they actually make their money.

Probably the biggest problem was having to send the card back in time, OR, receive that month's selection automatically. I received lots of unwanted LPs and later CDs, many of which were returned. Many times, I would go through a pile of old letters and find one or more of the cards.


LAST DAYS

There was RCA Records and Columbia House. Just a few years ago, Columbia House was bought by BMG. Now BMG is on the way of cassette tapes and VCRs. They have been pushing ever since they acquired Columbia House to get me to go "Green," (their savings on printing and postage, and, oh, yes, my stamps). I have resisted, and that is why I got the LAST MAILING last week.

How many of you have ever belonged to a record club? Any memories? How many selections did you get by forgetting to return the card?

Might as well start looking at the catalog and filling in those little squares. I'm not sure I will continue with the new thing replacing it. Plus, CDs are on their way out as well.

I'll Miss It, But What Else is New. They're Taking All My Stuff From Me. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mighty Good Time for All-- Chicago Rock-- Part 3

Continuing with Bob Stroud's record release party at the Border's in Schaumburg, Illinois.Jim Peterik said this about his 1970 hit "Vehicle" which was written about a former girlfriend who wanted him to take her every where. He said to her all he was just her vehicle.

Jom Sahms, former leader of the Shadows of Knight, got up and sang their classic "Gloria." He said that he sometimes gets a question in his head and can call Bob Stroud anytime for the answer. The depth of Stroud's 60s-70s knowledge has probably never been tapped.

Then, the Cryan' Shames closed out the show. Bob Stroud took the lead vocals as he did that for several years.

I Want to Meet You
First train to California
Up On the Roof
Sugar and Spice

We were definitely enjoying these songs along with all the memories they were bringing back.

Afterwards, they had an autographing party where you got to talk to the old guys. I told Bob Stroud that I liked his show, but was having a hard time getting up at 7 AM. He said, "You're having a hard time?"

We'll Definitely Be Back Next Year. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: Blago's Latest-- NTN Strikes Again-- Stupid, Stupid Stock Market

Things That Burn My Butt.


1. BLAGO'S LATEST-- Just got word that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a six-figure deal for a book. Yes, he gave it to the highest bidder. Who would want to read this book?

Our state representative from the area, Jack Franks, has a bill that makes any Illinois official convicted of wrong-doing to forfeit all profits from books, movies, TV, radio, and internet projects. Franks said he and his staff have been working on it since the Gov was arrested in December. How did he know the Gov would write?


2. NTN STRIKES AGAIN-- One of my favorite past times, NTN-Buzztime, just announced that they have a new CEO. It didn't say how much he'd be earning and other goodies or signing bonus. This last year, NTN has laid off 17% of its staff and, in my opinion, taken a very nasty turn away its core players, oldsters like me. They're going after the younger folks, who have other things on the mind while at a bar.

Plus, I would be concerned with why so many places drop it, even those not going out of business.


3. STUPID, STUPID STOCK MARKET-- Big drop yesterday. Don't the stock brokers get it? If you don't sell, it WON'T DROP!!! Hey, even try buying for a change. It's like the little kid who keeps putting his hand in the fire. Stop putting it in the fire and you'll stop burning yourself.

Don't Look Back, They May Be Gaining. --RoadDog

Monday, March 2, 2009

As We Continue With the Demise of My Places and Stuff

Sadly, I just don't much fit into the new stuff these days.

Saturday night, we were playing the hour long NTN-Buzztime game at 8 PM, and, I sure didn't know much of the current stuff.

Hell, I still use cassette tapes when I deejay, although I do have CDs at home, but then, CDs are on their way out. Just go into any store selling them, andther are considerably fewer offered for sale. Just try to find cassettes for sale anywhere.

Then, there is the demise of VCRs and VHS tapes, which I still own and use exclusively. I have never even played a DVD at home.


NOW THIS!!

I see that two more Virgin Mega Stores in San Francisco and New York City are closing now, even though not for the downfall of CDs, but real estate values. Of 23 Megastores in 2002, there are just three left in Orlando, Denver, and Hollywood. How much longer these will be with us is probably not long.

Then, there were the great old Tower Records. No more, no more.

We still have FYE, but I'm sure not for too much longer.

Sad Times Indeed. Dadburn Downloading.--RoadDog

Mighty Good Time for All-- Chicago Rock-- Part 2

Then, the Buckingham's performed. They had just played in Panama City last night where they opened for Herman's Hermits. They refer to selves as AHRSs--Aging Hippy Rock Stars. They have been nominated for the Rock and Roll hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Song List

Don't You Care
Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Reliving a Dream
Old Enough
Kind of a Drag

Then, Jim Peterik got up. He was with the groups Ides of March and Survivor. He referred to his home as "The House That Stallone Built" with the popularity of the "Eye of a Tiger" song.


Songs:

High on You
The Search is Over
Eye of the Tiger-- before singing it, Petetik said, "When I wrote this song, I had no idea that one day I'd be performing it at a Border's." (How the mighty have fallen.)

To be Continued. RoadDog

Mighty Good Time For All-- Chicago 60s Rock-- Part 1

Back in November, Liz and I went to the Schaumburg Border's Store for the release of Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 10 party. We'll definitely be back for Vol. 11's release. We had a great time and a trip back down memory lane with lots of the guys we grew up with on the radio back in the 60sin Chicago.

Of course, our two big stations back then were both AM: WCFL and WLS. There was great music coming from the rest of the country, but Chicago had its own little thing going on with bands like New Colony Six, the Buckinghams, Shadows of Knight, and Cryan' Shames.

Everybody was here for the party. And they played for two hours. I kept a list of songs and groups.

NEW COLONY SIX

I Confess
I Love You So Much
I Will Always Think About You
Things I'd Like to Say
I Want You to Know-- Sold a million copies of this song

I later got to talk with Ray Graffia Jr, founder of the band. Of all the Chicago groups, this was my favorite.

Take Me Back to the Old Days. --RoadDog

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Movies and a Band

Good weekend. Friday band Saturday, I saw the movies "Taken" and "The Reader" at Fox Lake Theater. "Taken" was one of the better action movies I've seen. All I can say is don't mess with Liam 's daughter. He is the "preventer" of bad things happening.

"The Reader" was nominated for academy awards for best movie and actress. It is just the third of the five nominated movies that I have seen. Once all the nudity was over, it developed into an excellent movie.


Yesterday, we went to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and played NTN and watched a really great 50's-60's band called the Affects. They did an amazing array of songs, including Creedence Clearwater and Roy Orbison.

We had ten top twenty NTN finishes during the course of the night. Geocas, Alfons, Vicki, FGump, Gemini, Imotis and two others played. We also got a room for the night so didn't have to drive home. We got a good deal at $30. Since the new owners took over, they have extensively remodeled the rooms which definitely needed it.

Good Times in Cheesehead Land. Pass the Popcorn. --RoadDog