Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beachin' It-- Part 3

Unfortunately, Topsail Beach two major eateries, the Beach Cafe and Breezeway are both very expensive. It costs around $15 for a plate of seafood, although the view of the sound and hush puppies at the Breezeway are outstanding and the food is good.

Unfortunately, the last several times we've been to the Beach Cafe, the food was not that good. On top of that, there wasn't much of it. Expensive, meager, and blah just doesn't make it.

Neither place was open in March.

However, cousin Graham suggested the Seahorse, located a mile from the beach in Surf City on the other side of the sound and swing bridge.

We got the small platter which was $9 and came with two sides. Lots of food for that price and very good.

The place to go by Topsail Island, the Seahorse.

Now, That's Some Good Eating. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beachin' It-- Part 2

My family has our traditions when going to and returning from the beach, both when we used to go to Carolina Beach and now when we go to Topsail Beach.


PAUL'S FAMOUS HOT DOGS

One definite stop, either going or returning, is Paul's Famous Hot Dogs on US-117 near Castle Haynes, about twenty miles outside of Wilmington. They have been in business since 1928 and feature hot dogs on a steamed bun with some of the best special sauce you'll ever found.

At one time, they were 10 cents, but now $1.60. You can get the special which is 3 dogs and a drink for $5.85. This past time, I saw that you can also get it with slaw, something I'll have to try next time.

Off I-40, it is easy off, drive a few miles along 117 which parallels 40, then continue to Castle Haynes and get back on.


SMITHFIELD BBQ AND CHICKEN

This is a chain in North Carolina with a lot of places along the interstates. This spot is in Warsaw, North Carolina. I suggest a combo of Carolina BBQ, double slaw, hush puppies and chicken for around $8. Mighty good eating to say the least. And, the chicken is as juicy as you'll ever taste.

Gettin' Hungry Just Typing This. --RoadDog

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beachin' It

This past Sunday to Tuesday, I was at Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

My mom's town home is on the second row with views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the sound to the west. Sunrises and sunset that way. Second row means that it is not oceanfront.

My cousin Graham has the next door town home of the six. They were built in 1976 and he bought in 1979.

This is a great place for family reunions.


WAY TOO COOL

Unfortunately, this was not the greatest of weather visits. After the warmth of Saturday, it continued all the way to the beach and about two hours after we arrived. I was out on the deck trying to find a Beach Music station and reading the Wilmington News-Star when the cold front blew in and I had to come in.

It stayed cool and windy and a bit overcast Monday. Tuesday was sunny, but still a lot of cold when you weren't behind a wind block. I was fairly comfortable behind the partition between the decks.

Even a Bad Day at the Beach Isn't Too Bad. --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another Great Tournament

Kudos to the folks who put this new tournament together. We have definitely seen lots of great b-ball this past week. I did a count of what I consider to be great games, ones that were close and came up 12 with another 4 upsets and 4 other upsets that were classified as great games as well.

Of course, that Northern Iowa-Kansas game ranks right up there with that great Duke-Kentucky game of all those years back.

I especially like seeing all those "Little Guys" in the Sweet 16. Seeing names like Butler, Northern Iowa, Xavier, Cornell and Saint Mary's is great. I'm pulling for them right down the line, but doubt they'll go much farther.

Greatest Sporting Event of the Year in My Opinion. --RoadDog

145th Anniversary Battle of Bentonville, Good, But... Part 3

After the long line at the ticket booth, we encountered a long line by the portapotties near the Harper House and almost made the mistake of going right up to them before we noticed a line. They should have had one side blocked off.

By this time, the food lines had to be twenty to thirty deep.

Finally, someone at the tickets came out and started walking along the line selling them to people with cash, which really sped up the process, so we bought them. We found out that all activities were free, but it cost $10 to see the battle. We also heard that we should immediately go out to the field where it was to take place if we wanted to view it.

We walked on out about two hours before it and there were already so many people there that a good view of the battle was going to be difficult, so we walked back into the woods and viewed the Union troops getting ready for battle which was interesting and a LOT cooler.

Watched several regiments marching off down the dirt road and felt this would have been what it would have looked like with US flags and drums a rolling.

We did find several portapotties near the Union encampment, but again, a very long line.

More Coming. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

145th Anniversary Battle of Bentonville, Good, But... Part 2

Again, I have never seen as many re-enactors in one place. I read in another blog that this was the "Biggie" for North Carolina historical sites, calling in resources and state employees from all over to pull it off. The event only happens every five years, and, of course, the next one is going to be the "Biggie," the 150th!

There was also a large number of sutlers there, offering everything a Civil War fanatic, novice or greenhorn could possibly want. I was impressed. Normally in Illinois, we only have seven to ten sutlers.

Our first problem encountered was a very long line to buy tickets so we decided to put it off. In Illinois, you pay even before you get on the grounds and so far, no one had asked for money for tickets.

There appeared to be just two food vendors, but prices were very reasonable: $2 hot dogs, $3 hamburgers, $3 elephant ears, and pop and water for a buck.

The small museum was crowded and there was quite a line waiting to go into the Harper House, a focal point of the battle.

Not Through Yet. --RoadDog

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How About That!!

I am watching bits and pieces of the greatest sporting event around, the NCAA tournament. As usual, we have some great upsets and close games.

Who would have figured Northern Iowa defeating Kansas. I imagine there is absolute bedlam going on in Cedar Falls, Iowa right now, and rightfully so.

As a person who attended what they call a mid-major, but in actuality, miles away from really being able to contend with the big boys, UNI's victory is to be savored. Way to go Panthers.

We went through Cedar Falls while cruising US-20 last August. A really great town, and those folks are big-time fans!!

I Know Who I'm Pulling for!! --RoadDog

145th Anniversary Battle of Bentonville, Good, But...

My brother Bob and I went out to the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville, NC, today.

It was a great experience until ....

Free parking and plenty of sutlers offering any and everything a Civil War buff or re-enactor could want. If that was all you wanted to do, it was free.

But, major waits in line for food (only two vendors that I could see) bathrooms (definitely not enough port-a-potties) and even a wait to get tickets to see the battle. These cost $10 apiece for adults ($8 before Mar
ch). said it was actually 4,500.

However, more re-enactors than I had ever seen. In advance, the number was announced at 3,500, but a sutler old us it was closer to 4,500.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Friday, March 19, 2010

Arrived-- First Day on Road

Got into Goldsboro last night after a little over 1000 miles on the road.Mostly drove on Illinois Highway 47 to I-74 to Cincinnati. Then I-275 around that city.

Gas prices Tuesday were anywhere from $2.60 to $3.00 (this price at two stations in Illinois along Il-47. As usual, the stations around Crawfordsville, Indiana, (west of Indianapolis, were the cheapest at $2.60.

I was looking to meet up with buddy Denny at a BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) on Montgomery Road (US-22, Ohio-3). As I found out, there are two B-Dubs on Montgomery Road.

And, I was delayed at the first one, by the appearance of a Skyline Chili place across the street. If you go to Cincinnati, you absolutely have to try some of their 3-way to 5-way chili. And don't forget a chili Coney Dog.

Went to the B-Dub and asked where the upstairs was and was told they didn't have one. This is where I was to meet Denny and his live trivia team. They said there was another B-Dub up the road and gave me the address so drove there and met up with them.

A Day on the Road. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where Were You February 28, 1975?-- Part 1

Bob Stroud jumped ahead ten years to 1975. Again, I was in Florida when this aired, so missed his comments, unfortunately.

I was in my second year of teaching at John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois, with Jim Rogers as principal and Bob Ballinger assistant. I had three grades to teach: 7th, 8th and 9th.

We were living at the Villas By the Lake apartment complex in Vernon Hills, but had bought a new Fairfield Homes house in Round Lake Beach and were getting FHA papers in order. The $33,000 for house and lot seemed like millions for a guy earning $8300 a year, whether he needed it or not.

Liz had just gotten a job teaching first grade in the Round Lake District at Beach School.

We were getting used to "raising puppy." We had recently gotten a sheltie/beagle mix puppy from Lamb's Farm in Libertyville. That dog survived because I loved it just a little bit more than I wanted to kill it. It was driving me nuts.

Music Up Next. --RoadDog

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where Were You February 28, 1965?-- Part 7

Songs not already mentioned. These were on the UK charts.


TIRED OF WAITING FOR YOU-- KINKS
KEEP SEARCHIN' (WE'LL FOLLOW THE SUN-- DEL SHANNON

I'LL NEVER FIND ANOTHER YOU-- SEEKERS
GO NOW!-- MOODY BLUES-- Their first hit.

GAME OF LOVE-- WAYNE FONTANA & THE MINDBENDERS
BABY PLEASE DON'T GO-- THEM-- with Van Morrison

IT HURTS SO MUCH-- JIM REEVES
LEADER OF THE PACK-- SHANGRI-LAS

YEH YEH-- GEORGIE FAME
YES I WILL-- HOLLIES

The Leader of the Laundrymat. --RoadDog


They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease is already taken.

Where Were You February 28, 1965? --Part 6

From Dave McAleer's book again.

Some side notes that Dave had for January to March 1965:

*** America's first successful answers to the British Invasion were Gary Lewis & the Playboys and the Beau Brummels.

*** Capitol Records second-biggest album-selling artist, Nat King Cole, died from cancer. The Beatles held three of the top ten LP chart positions. Beatles won the Grammy for Best New Artist 1964. Wonder why?

*** "Downtown" by Petula Clark won Grammy for Best Rock and Roll Record. Well, if Jethro Tull can win the Grammy for Heavy Metal, I guess anything is possible.

*** Alan Freed died at age 42 while awaiting trial for income tax evasion. As Little Steven says, "Thank you Alan Freed."

Back when a 45 cost 99 cents and an album $3.99 to $4.99.

Play That Funky Music-- RoadDog


The gene pool could use a little chlorine these days.


Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!!

Hitting the Road Again

Tomorrow, I head out for points south.

I'll be in Cincinnati to check out their St. Patrick's Day shenanigans.

Then, hopefully if I'm early enough, a Snappy Lunch pork chop sandwich in Mt. Airy, NC, the next day.

Saturday, I'll be at the huge Civil War reenactment at the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina. Around 3,500 reenactors are expected. I've never seen more than 300 at one time.

I'll be spending time with family for the next week in Goldsboro, NC, and down at Topsail Beach as well.

I've got to get my travelin' in before BO and the commod folk get the price of gas too high.

On the Road Again. --RoadDog


A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

Movie Scratches: Paris-- Wolfman-- Crazy-- Crazies

A Dog's Short Take on Today's Movies.


17. FROM PARIS WITH LOVE-- 2-17-- Fox Lake Free-- Not your typical love story. Who'd have thought Vinnie Barbarino could be so violent.


18. THE WOLFMAN-- 2-17-- Fox Lake $4-- Very predictable and no better than "American Werewolf in London" even with today's special effects.


19. CRAZY HEART-- 2-22-- Panama City Beach, Florida $7-- The way to spend a rainy day at the beach. How "Down and Out" can ye be? They're finally showing it around here.


20. CRAZIES-- 3-8-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Whatever you do, don't drink the water and avoid containment areas.

Let's Do the Concession Stand Dance Like That Video for Coke. --RoadDog


A hangover is the Wrath of Grapes.

Where Were You February 28, 1965?-- Part 5

Some other songs popular back 45 years ago. Hard to believe these are going on a half century ago.

From Dave McAleer's Book of Hit Singles: Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day.

Top Twenty from February 1965, not included in Bob Stroud's list.

THIS DIAMOND RING-- GARY LEWIS & THE PLAYBOYS-- Love the start of this song. What a hook.
MY GIRL-- TEMPTATIONS-- Another great way to start a tune. Who can't name the song after six notes?

THE NAME GAME-- SHIRLEY ELLIS-- How can you sing that fast?
SHAKE-- SAM COOKE

THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT-- KINGSMEN-- "From the valley of the jolly, green giant, __, __, __.
HOLD WHAT YOU'VE GOT-- JOE TEX

LET'S LOCK THE DOOR (AND THROW AWAY THE KEY)-- JAY & THE AMERICANS
LOVE POTION #9-- SEARCHERS-- You kissed a cop and he did what?

THE "IN" CROWD-- DOBIE GRAY-- I was never in the "In" Crowd.
TWINE TIME-- ALVIN CASH & THE CRAWLERS-- Never heard of it. Appears to be an instrumental.

HOW SWEET IT IS TO BE LOVED BY YOU-- MARVIN GAYE
KING OF THE ROAD-- ROGER MILLER-- "Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let ___."

"No Phone, No Pool, No Pets, I Ain't Got No _______." --RoadDog

I have a degree in Liberal Arts. Do you want fries with that?

Where Were You February 28, 1965-- Part 4

YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING-- RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS-- Can't get that scene in "Top Gun" out of my head with all those guys on their knees.
IT'S ALRIGHT-- ADAM FAITH & THE ROULETTES--

CAN'T YOU HEAR MY HEARTBEAT-- HERMAN'S HERMITS-- About the time Herman's Greatest Hits album came out, I had to make a choice of his album of the Beatles' Rubber Soul. I went with the Greatest Hits for better or worse. I was a big Hermits fan, though.
LAUGH, LAUGH-- BEAU BRUMMELS-- What a way to start an album. A classic and favorite of mine from the Sixties.

DOWNTOWN-- PETULA CLARK-- Was that one "hot" woman? Mesmerized me.
ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT-- KINKS-- Hard to beat the chords in that great intro.

I DON'T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY-- BEATLES-- Big surprise here with the Beatles having another TWO-SIDED HIT. Who would have imagined? The number one single in Chicago.
EIGHT DAYS A WEEK-- BEATLES

Sorry Beatles, But Herman Won. --RoadDog


Procrastinate Now!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Patrick's Parade

The weather was nice to hold off the drizzle and we managed to get the annual Lake Villa, Illinois, parade in. I only saw part of it as it was overcast, windy, and LOTS OF COLD in it. Saw part of it from inside George's Cedar Inn.

As usual, we had some absolutely great corned beef and cabbage with all the fixins. This year the price was $7 and it was all-you-can eat. I have cb&c all over, but never any better than you get here.

This is one of the few places I still deejay (with my cassettes and equipment I bought in the late 1980s). Had the usual good time. The folks especially liked it when I switched over to some 1980s country and also when I played "No, I Don't Want to Do Dat." "Blatz & Sauerkraut" and "We're on a Beer Run" by the Happy Schnaaps Combo which we found out is still playing. We definitely need to see one of their great shows this summer.

Played mostly Irish music from 11:30 to 2:00 and even if I do say so, with eleven cassette tapes, I have a great selection of all things Irish music.

By Gosh and Bygora. --RoadDog

Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where Were You February 28, 1965?-- Part 3

All comments mine as I was at the beach. Sorry 'bout that. Not really.

I GO TO PIECES-- PETER AND GORDON-- Or is it Chad and Jeremy, I can never tell the difference.
STRANGER IN TOWN-- DEL SHANNON-- One of the most under-appreciated performers of the 60s.

STOP iN THE nAME OF lOVE-- SUPREMES-- OK, now. Let's all put out hands out and do the choreography. Let the music take you.
COME HOME-- DAVE CLARK 5-- I don't remember this one either. But one of my all-time favorite groups who FINALLT made it to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL-- JOHNNY RIVERS-- Cover me, cover me. By the Alltime King of the cover. But, somehow, he always made the song his own.
TELL HER NO-- ZOMBIES-- No, No No, No No, No, No....

NEW YORK'S A LONELY TOWN-- TRADEWINDS-- When you're the only surfer boy in town.

Lovin' That Year. --RoadDog


Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Seeking the Warm-- Part 9-- Mobile Bound

THROWED ROLLS

March 1st we checked out and drove US-98 along the coast to Pensacola and over that beautiful bridge to the city. Lots of traffic there.

First stop was Foley, Alabama, where we had a hankerin' for Lambert's Cafe, a real experience. Watch for those flying rolls and be prepared for some major eating. We also had to watch out for our waitress' practical jokes which made the experience even more fun.

Then, it was NTN Cruisin' east of the bay. First stop was Kelsy's west of Foley. Not much to look at, but really friendly people, including the guy who had gone to school with Mike Ditka and the couple who had lived along the Fox River south of McHenry in our neck of the woods.

Then, it was on to Fairhope and a stop at Tokyo Lounge and after that, the Top of the Bay in Daphne.


RAINING IN MY HEART

It was pouring by the time we got out of the last place and continued the rest of the night so didn't have much fun driving I-10 into Mobile. Took it to I-65 and then to Airport Road, one of the scariest places in the country to drive. You just don't know where you're going to get hit from. And, worse, it was rush hour.

We had to drive it way out west where we played some more NTN at the B-Dub and Boondocks (well deserved name). All five of these NTN Buzztime sites were new to us, bringing us up to 13 new places for the trip.

Ended up driving all the way back to I-65 to find a motel that wasn't too expensive. The Hampton said since we were seniors and it was storming, we could have a room for $110 plus tax. Got a room at the LaQuinta for $50.13 including tax.

Drove over to the nearby Wings and played some NTN before going back. We'd already played here before.

A Really Busy Day. --RoadDog


Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

It's Them, Not Me: GAS GOUGE Is Underway

Yesterday in Fox Lake, I saw gas was up to $2.84 from $2.78 at all stations. Big Oil's GAS GOUGE is definitely on.

How high will it go? I'm thinking $3.50 and soon so they can make their profit.

That new price reflected the price increase the day before. Isn't it amazing how fast they find it necessary to raise the price at the pump on oil increases and how long it takes them to drop the price when it goes down?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Looks like I will have to be cutting my driving again.

Dadburn GRB BO. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: John-- Darkness-- Percy-- Rome

A RoadDog's trip to the old movie theater.


13. DEAR JOHN-- 2-10-- Fox Lake $4-- With a title like this and a guy named John, what did you expect? It's a coin thing.


14. EDGE OF DARKNESS-- 2-10-- Mad Max still mad and kicking butt. Attention evil corporations. Be careful whose daughter you kill.


15. PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF-- 2-15-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Minotaurs, Furies, Medussa, satyrs gods and demigods. What more could you ask for? I learned what a demigod was.


16. WHEN IN ROME-- 2-15-- Fox Lake Free-- Don't go stealing coins from Roman fountains. I had to laugh when in New York, the driver was told to "Drive like in Rome." I have been there twice and know HOW THEY DRIVE!!!

Fun and Games Are Finding a Seat in a Dark Theater. --RoadDog

Is Winter Over?-- Part 2

You'd think that with Uncle Al's Global Warming, winters would be getting warmer, not colder and snowier, but that is what has happened the past three winters, with this one being the worst of them. The first two were bad in December and January and acceptable in February. This one stayed bad until March.

My poor snow blower, which was adequate until the 2008-2009 winter, is undersized to handle the new snow amounts. but more than enough before that. When it breaks down, I will get a bigger one or move to a warmer climate here in the US if I can find one.


THE LAST REALLY BAD WINTERS

The last really bad winters before this were 1975-76, 1976-77 and 1977-78. In the last one, the roof of our local K-Mart in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, collapsed and I was running out of places to shovel the snow on the sides of the driveway.

I was using the old snow shovel back then and really had to oomph it to throw the snow up in the piles on either side. Thankfully, this was a MUCH smaller driveway and I was MUCH younger and in better shape.

After those three winters, I don't regard the winters as being too bad. Sure we'd get snow, sometimes as much as ten inches, but it would melt. And, we would get cold snaps, but then it would warm up. I could live with that situation.


WHAT GLOBAL WARMING?

But these last three winters, and especially the last one, it gets cold and stays cold. We get snow and it stays. This last one we had snow on the ground from early December and there is a little still left today. Until this past week, from early December until this last week, we had one or two days above freezing.

And, let's not forget the extremely cool summer and fall of 2009.


ROBINS

However, yesterday, when I went out to get the newspaper, I saw at least four robins. It would be neat if one or more were some of the babies we had on the back deck over the years, especially the three who hatched last summer.

And to Think, I Used to Feel Sorry for the Area Snowmobilers. --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where Were You February 28, 1965?-- Part 2

Ah, yes, the music of the Sixties will always have a big part in my memory.

Sure wish I had been able to hear Bob Stroud's comments. You'll have to settle for mine.

These are the songs playing in Chicago radio (WLS and WCFL) on February 28th.

DON'T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD-- ANIMALS-- Eric Burdon and boys doing some blue-eyed soul.
ASK THE LONELY-- FOUR TOPS-- Levi Stubbs and group doing some of that Motown stuff.

FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY-- GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS-- Always reminds me of MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) in Palatine for some reason. A real heartfelt group.
CUPID-- JOHNNY RIVERS-- I don't remember hearing this one, but being from Johnny, and sure it's a cover.

HEART OF STONE-- ROLLING STONES-- from my favorite Stones era, the early one.
MY GIRL-- TEMPTATIONS-- How do you get a better intro to a song?

LITTLE DEUCE COUPE-- BEACH BOYS-- Surfing and cruising. Well, I tried to go surfing, but couldn't get onto that slippery board.
BYE, BYE BABY (BABY GOODBYE)-- FOUR SEASONS-- Always would have like to have a Frankie Valli and Jay & the Americans sing-off. That would have been something.

With this lineup of groups, how do you get better?

Loved That Motown Music and Especially Those Moves on Stage. --RoadDog


God must love stupid people. He made so many.

Is Winter Over?

Despite still having a LOT of snow on the ground, we are beginning to see actual open spots on the yard. Snow is still piled about a foot and a half along the sides of the driveway and sidewalk.

I see on Weather Bug that we are predicted to have 50s!!! temperatures Wednesday and Thursday!!! That will really put everyone in a Spring Fever mode.

This past Saturday, I saw the squirrel sunning himself on a branch in my river birch tree. That guy was really stretched out, even his tail being parallel to the branch. Every so often, he would lift his head to the sun. Some life!


COWS GETTING INTO IT

Driving to McHenry Saturday, I passed Stade's Farm and their dairy cows were lounging in the mud (lots of that as well with all the melting snow) with heads stretched up towards the sun and a supreme look of contentment. Guess milk here in the Midwest will be very good because we sure have contented cows. You could just see them saying, "Ahh, Uncle Al's warming is finally here."

About Doggone Time!! --RoadDog

NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

JSS: NTN Boycott-- NTN Problem-- Dose Jonses?

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. NTN BOYCOTT-- I have to admit this is a bit difficult for me, but I am on a month-long boycott of NTN, well, at least Players Plus points. I am still playing, but just as a guest since I can no longer sign in to get the Players Plus points because of the change-over to a new sign-in method to enable to folks on those hand-held devices to play.

I have nothing against the new sign-in system, but don't like that you have to have a different e-mail address for every name you play under. I have six and two e-mails. I'd like to keep the other four, but don't want four more e-mails.

So, until Fool's Day, I am just a "guest."



2. NTN PROBLEM-- We just got back from a trip, and, of course, we played at new NTN sites to us. This trip we got 13 new ones and also played at five others that we had previously played at.

One glaring problem we see with NTN is lack of players. Usually, Liz and I are the only ones playing in places. NTN is expensive for bars, so a lot of them drop it when they get too few players.

Whoever sells the systems has to make it a point to come back and not only "train" owners and bartenders, but also work with customers to get a group going. It seems to me that the NTN folk sell it and then leave it. Not the way to run a business.


3. DOSE JONSES?-- While I am on the subject, who are those Jones folk they keep showing between sets and games? Where do they play? And, are they real people? Why are several eating instead of playing? Are any of them over 25?

We VERY rarely see people younger than 30 or 40 playing the game. I guess NTN is trying to attract the younger folk. Could this be a hoax?

Really, It's Them, Not Me. --RoadDog


Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: Gas Prices

I've noticed a stunning increase in the price of gas the last week. Today, I bought gas in Fox Lake, Illinois for $2.76 at the lowest station. The others were at $2.78.

I've heard on the radio to expect prices in excess of $3.50 this summer. Since Big Oil and their minions have managed to keep the price of oil over $2.50 all winter when it should have been lower, I don't doubt this to be the situation.

You'd think the GRBs would have learned the last time they connived to get the price over $4. Evidently their greed and unbounded avarice blinds them.

It sure would be nice if the government would do something about their plans.

But that would be helping the little guys like me and that is not too likely.

Looks Like a Long Hot Summer Even Above and Beyond Global Warming. --RoadDog

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.

Movie Scratches: Spy-- Groundhog-- Bones-- Fairy

A Dog's Take on Today's Movies.


9. THE SPY NEXT DOOR-- 1-27-- Fox Lake $4-- Don't like kung-fu movies, but Jackie Chan is a hoot. Too much Disney Channel Smarm, though.


10. GROUNDHOG DAY-- 1-30-- Woodstock Free-- Nothing like seeing the movie where it was made and in a theatre that was in it. Groundhog Day festival.


11. LOVELY BONES-- 2-1-- Fox Lake Free-- Don't know what to make of it. Should get an Academy Award nod.


12. THE TOOTH FAIRY-- 2-8-- Fox Lake free-- Wonder how they kept serious faces? This was hilarious. Stay through the credits.


Gimme That Popcorn Seasoning. --RoadDog


Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Seeking the Warm-- Part 9-- Destin

Sunday, February 28th, we just sat out by the Gulf on what was to be the warmest day of the trip, about 60 degrees. Still a lot of cold in the wind, but definitely fine when behind the wind block.

At 6, we drove west and did some grazing at Golden Corral.

We checked out tee shirt stores for Liz on the way back and a neat place called Fudpuckers with more beach detail than you could want, but it was essentially dead so didn't stay. They did have a really fine old beer can collection, something I used to collect. Enjoyed looking at it.

We had planned to go to Johnnie Q's for some NTN, but saw a cop car parked behind it. No way I go into a bar with a cop car parked out behind it. Last night, we had seen a cop car waiting on our drive back from the bowling alley. They must have a major effort going on.

Be Careful Out There. --RoadDog


Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder.

JSS: Brought the Warm Back?-- Weird Snow

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.


1. BROUGHT THE WARM BACK-- Temps here in northeast Illinois are hitting the balmy 40s in these days of Al's Global Warming. Hopefully, it will melt some of this lousy white stuff that made the snowmobile folk so happy.

We've had snow on the ground since December. It's still here, but hopefully gone by next week.

Perhaps we were good enough to bring the spring back with us? If so, I'll take full credit. Thank you very much.


2. WEIRD SNOW-- Yesterday, we were preparing to head out to the Donovan's Reef North in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, when I looked out the window to see what appeared at first to be the weirdest snow flakes I've ever seen. They were big, floating down in every direction and just strange.

When I went outside, I saw a huge column of smoke way off to the northeast and realized these were ashes. I was surprised we'd be getting the fall out at that distance, but it was a really huge wall of smoke with an almost mushroom shape at the top.

It continued snowing ashes on us as we drove to Twin Lakes. As we got closer to Il-173 we saw that it was east of us and to the south of 173. We could see the smoke coming up from numerous places. Illinois' Chain of Lakes State Park is located there so figured it might be a controlled burn that might have gotten a bit out of control.

When we returned home, Liz went on the computer and that was exactly what it was.

Strange Stuff Around Here. Non-Snowflakes and Warm weather. --RoadDog


You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.

Where Were You February 28, 1965?-- Part 1

Hard to believe this date is 45 years ago, almost HALF a CENTURY. Who'd have figured we'd still be around all these years on?

Bob Stroud did his monthly Rock and Roll Roots Time Warp to this date and the same in 1975, but. I was sitting out in the sun at Destin Beach, Florida, getting my last day of the sun in so didn't hear the show. I missed out on all those great comments the old walking encyclopedia throws out at listeners.


On February 28, 1965, I was an eighth grader at Winston Park Junior High School in Palatine, Illinois. I had just been moved from the 8-2s, the second highest class at the school to the 8-1s, the top. These were back in the days of tracking.

I was scared to death, but soon learned they missed questions as well, so it wasn't so bad. I was really applying myself, however. My algebra teacher, Mrs. Nesmith, caught me up with the class within a month. Her teaching enabled me to slide through algebra freshman and junior years in high school. I did so well, I didn't even have to take the subject at NIU.

I lived with my family at 1148 Anderson Drive in the Winston Park subdivision.

However, at Georgia, they insisted I take it. easiest "A" I ever got in college.

Forty-Five Years Ago Seems Like a Long Time Ago. How Fast Time Flies By. --RoadDog


Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out alive.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Another Wacky Person?

With the opening of "Alice in Wonderland" today, you have to wonder if Johnny Depp can pull off the Mad Hatter without becoming too smarmy. We know he has played some great roles in the past, many of someone just a bit eccentric.

Our local paper, the Northwest Herald (here in McHenry County, Illinois) had a voting piece on favorite Johnny Depp characters.

I, of course, had to vote for Captain Jack Sparrow or risk problems with the wife.

As of yesterday morning, the Oddball Johnny Depp had these votes out of 135:

Edward Scissorhands-- 27%
Willy Wonka-- 10%
Jack Sparrow-- 51%
Sweeney Todd-- 3%
Other-- 10%

I don't exactly know who other would be.

Thinking about seeing "Alice in Wonderlamd" after all the kids have seen it. I just hate paying the extra $2 for the 3D glasses, especially when 3D doesn't exact;y do anything for me except hurt my eyes.

Looks Like the Movie Companies Have Found Another Way to Rake in the Bucks. --RoadDog


I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We're Home

After putting 2,524.6 miles on the Malibu, we arrived back home in the snow lands last night.

Put 473 miles on yesterday and 585 the Tuesday. Getting too old for these 500 mile days.

Had a great drive along Route 66 in Illinois and met an old friend and some new ones as well as having some pleasant surprises.

We also went through nine states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri.

We spent 13 nights in motels and nine days at the beach.

Wish it could have been warmer, but, we still had a great time.

Give Me That Fillet of Fish. Really Love That McDonald's Commercial. --RoadDog


Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them.

Seeking the Warm-- Part 8-- Destin, Florida

Saturday, we checked out and drove west to Destin. Ate at Cici's for their $3.99 anniversary buffet in Fort Walton, along with about half the locals. Couldn't check in until 4 pm and had pretty chilly, overcast weather so went NTNin' to new sites, hitting Fans Pub, Third Base and B-Dub.

Stopped into Angler's in Fort Walton Beach to play NTN and look out on the Gulf of Mexico. We were surprised to meet Kim, a person we know from the old Costello's, now Baja Benny's on Fox Lake, back home. Quite a coincidence, but not as much as meeting Hollis and Jean in Christ Church, New Zealand.

Checked into the motel and went to the bowling alley and played some more NTN. We were more than shocked at their $4.75 twenty-two ounce mugs of beer. Not drinking much at that price.

Stayed two nights at the Sea Oats Motel, an old mom-pop place right on the water.

Getting Tired of These Cold Days at the Beach. -RoadDog


I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.

Number One Songs This Date

Again, thanks to Josh hasler for bringing this information. www.joshhassler.biz/NumberOneinHistory/SelectMonth.htm

March 4th

2010 Imma Be-- Black Eyed Peas-- I'm losing touch with today's music, but this is a really great album, er, CD. Er, download.

2000 Amazed-- Lonestar-- a country band at number one on the pops.
1990 Escapade-- Janet Jackson-- pre malfunction
1980 Crazy Little Thing Called Love-- Queen

1979 I Will Survive-- Gloria Gaynor-- Wonder if she was talking about Al Gore's winter 2009-2010?
1978 (Love Is) Thicker Than Water-- Andy Gibb-- the first Gibb to go.

1977 Love Theme from "A Star is Born"-- Barbra Sreisand
1976 Love Machine-- Jacksons
1975 Have You Ever Been Mellow-- ONJ-- Please, no gagging.

1974 Seasons in the Sun-- Terry Jacks-- another gagger
1973 Killing Me Softly With His Song-- Roberta Flack-- Don was s-o-o proud.

1972 Without You-- Nilsson
1971 One Bad Apple-- Osmonds-- What about one bad family?
1970 Bridge Over Troubled Water-- Simon & Garfunkel-- Always reminds me of the Tune Room at NIU.

1960 Love Theme from "A Summer Place"-- Percy Faith
1950 Chattanoogie Shoeshine Boy-- Red Foley

1940 In the Mood-- Glenn Miller-- I'd argue, the best song ever written.
1930 Happy Days Are Here Again-- Ben Selvin-- Right in the middle of the Great Depression.

1920 Dandanella-- Ben Selvin and his Novelty Orchestra
1910 Carrie (Carrie Marry Harry)-- Bill Murray-- Ya Gotta Lova That Titla.

1900 Mandy lee-- Arthur Collins

Temps Up to 40 Degrees Today. happy days Are Here Again!!! --RoadDog


My wife and I divorced over religious differences. She though she was God...and I didn't.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: Confessions of a Lost Soul in the Age of Technology-- Part 2

Another good comic strip in the February 21st newspaper was Pickles by Brian Crane. It is about an elderly couple and is hilarious. The old gent, Earl. reminds me of me. He just can't quite keep up with all this new technology that changes almost daily.

In this strip, he and his wife are sitting on the sofa watching TV.

She: "Turn the volume up, will you, Earl?"

Earl: Holding a device, clik! clik! clik! Still cliking in the next frame.

Earl: "This stupid remote isn't working!"

Next frame, from the device, "Hello? Hello?" Earl is looking at it.

Earl to wife: "I guess that explains why the stupid phone wasn't working either."

From the Stupid Me. --RoadDog

Seeking the Warm-- Part 7-- Decent Weather, Well, Sort Of

As we continue this third straight winter of Al's Global Warming.

Friday, February 26th was supposed to be the best day at the beach we've had yet, with temps around 60 and lots of sun.

We got just that, but unfortunately, along with that came brisk wind with plenty of cold in it after noon. Not as pleasant as it might have been. I had to follow the example of the folks near us from Mississippi, and lay the umbrella on is side as a wind block, then it was tolerable.

Went to Bahama Bob's and tried their mile-high nachos which was very good and then Donovan's where we met the Mayor and City Council and listened to some pretty bad karaoke. At least the dj had figured out Yvonne's (one of the better singers from Minnesota) name wasn't pronounced Y-Vonne.

Thanks, Al. --RoadDog

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: Weather Hype

I don't know about you, but I am getting really tired of all the weather hype we get from the Weather Channel and other weather sources these days.

There was a good article in the Feb. 28th Northwest Florida Daily News yesterday called "Snowpocalypse to snowicane: Hype reigns in winter" by AP.

"The snowmenclature smackdown among meteorologists started with 'snowmegeddon' and 'snowpocalypse.' When the latest snow event--laden with flakes and whipped by heavy winds--... (came) the folks at Accu-Weather Inc. warned of a coming 'snowicane.'"

These weather forecasters live for the storm. I'm sure impending weather calamities are a huge boost to viewership and do they EVER PUSH IT to the max. And they seem best at worst-case scenarios, always, of course, saying that "this might happen."

I know people, including Liz, who are always checking on what the weather is going to be. I will pay some attention to it, then stick my head outside to determine if they are right or not.

You never know when to believe the hype or not.

To Weather or Not to Weather. --RoadDog

Seeking the Warm-- Part 6-- Dusty's, Bahama Bob's, Donovan's Reef

February 25th and 26th were similar days (except for a trip to Walgreen's for prescriptions on Friday).

Catch those rays in the morning and afternoon, then go out to eat and down a few at night.

Thursday, the 26th, we decided to try Dusty's, but again found the parking lot full. Drove over to Sharky's, but no parking place there either. Drove downtown PCB, but ended up back at Dusty's AND found five parking spaces. Evidently at this place, it's a matter of arriving at just the right time.

The place was extremely crowded, and with $5 pitchers and 75 cent draft, I can see why. The food was reasonable as well.

Then, we drove back to the motel, parked and walked over to Bahama Bob's for their live trivia, which put the winning team from Tuesday against the team from Gulf Coast Community College. They split the first two rounds and Bob's team won the rubber match.

Watched Wisconsin win a very boring game with Indiana with a lot of Badger fans at the bar.

Went to Donovan's and enjoyed the $1.25 Natties and the karaoke, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday and draws big crowds.

A Good Way to Spend a Day. --RoadDog

Seeking the Warm-- Part 5-- Snowbirds Flocking

One thing about the Florida Panhandle and west to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach over in Alabama, the Midwest takes over come January and February with an annual flocking of what the locals call (and they themselves, including us) "SNOWBIRDS."

Everywhere you go, there are cars from every Midwest state (and quite a few from Ontario). Wear a hat or shirt with the name of a Midwest team, college or pro, and you are sure to strike up a conversation with some one.

Some of these folks arrived as early as November, but most arrive around the beginning of January.

The rates at the motels and condos are pretty low then. And, these birds bring the bucks that the local economy needs during the off season.

Everyone of these birds we talked, however, to say this is the coldest winter they can ever remember.

This is our third year of birding it south, and I'm sure not our last.

Even a Cold Season at the Beach is Still Better Than Our Illinois Winter. --RoadDog