Friday, December 31, 2010

Now, That Was U-G-L-Y-- Part 2-- Football

As a Bear fans, I have two games from this season that I would like to include as did the Tribune.

GIANTS 17, BEARS 3-- OK, the score didn't look bad, thanks to some inspired defense, but I have never seen the Bears battered and smacked down as much as this game on October 3rd. "By the time Cutler was sacked for the ninth time, when Antrel Rolle caught him in a safety blitz and knocked his helmet into the turf for a concussion, the offense had been annihilated. Worse, the performance was NBC's prime time game.


PATRIOTS 36, Bears 7-- And this was supposed to be Bear Weather. New England wouldn't be able to play in it. Rights. They loved it!! Score at half 34-0. At least I didn't lose anytime watching the game the second half.


MINNESOTA 38, ILLINOIS 34-- Who'd have figured that as bad as the Gophers were? Illinois defeated my team, NIU earlier in the year, then the next week we beat Minnesota. Go figure? Then Minnesota was naughty and "stole" our football coach.



A Special Bonus. Although North Carolina and Tennessee have nothing to do with around here, that Bowl game last night, I watched the game and am a fan of both teams. My nephew went to Tennessee and I'm from North Carolina so I was somewhat torn between the two.

I backed Tennessee up until the end when I saw some of the dirtiest play I've ever seen on the part of the Volunteers who seemed intent on maiming Carolina's players. I'm glad Carolina won in overtime. You just don't play that way.

So, Embarrassing. --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF...you know that no other grocery store can compare to Publix.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

JSS: Finally Warm-- Bowl Games-- NTN Trip Today

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. FINALLY WARM-- Temps today got to a balmy 39 degrees, a regular heat wave. The snow is melting and yes, there is grass under it all. The snowmobilers are crying. I'm rejoicing.

Unfortunately, all this moisture has shorted out part of the Christmas lights in the front of the house.


2. BOWL GAMES-- Been watchin' 'em. What happened to East Carolina yesterday? At least the Illini won. Someone has to come up with a way to stop that LeSheure(?) guy. he sure ran over my Huskies earlier in the season.

There should have been a thirty yard excessive celebrating call on Oklahoma State's first TD when the idiot ran parallel with the goal line at the end of his TD run. Or perhaps an unbelievable hit while he was showing off in the end zone was in order. There is no room for that sort of behavior in any level of football.

Big decision to make right now. Do I pull for Tennessee or North Carolina in this huge battle of so-so teams in Nashville. And why should the Volunteers get what amounts to a home bowl game?


3. NTN TRIP TODAY-- We met up with Kevin and Kelly at Uncle Mike's in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We had several top twenties then drove the short distance to The Brat Stop and had some more top twenties. Last stop was home base at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes where we had more top twenties despite all the repeat games. I'll be writing about these places tomorrow on my blog at http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot.com.

A Good Way to Spend a Day. --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF...you've driven through Yeehaw Junction. (?)

Now, That Was U-G-L-Y!!!-- Part 1

From the December 22nd Chicago Tribune "That was ugly: From Z's meltdown to Cutler's mauling, these games were the pits."

These were some of the low points for Chicago sports during 2010. I only included the ones that pertained to me.

WHITE SOX 6, CUBS 0-- What is called Carlos Zambrano's annual meltdown. Lasted just one inning June 25th. Then Cubs manager Lou Piniella suspended him after the big-time temper tantrum.


MINNESOTA 7, WHITE SOX 6-- The beginning of the end for the Sox. With sixteen hits you should win, but "closer" Bobby Jenks opened the door in the ninth for four runs July 18th. The Sox rarely beat the Twins after that. At the end of the season, the Twins couldn't beat anybody before being swept in the first round of the playoffs. But, they sure could beat the Sox.


ROCKIES 17, CUBS 2-- Colorado sets a major league record of 11 straight hits July 30th. Enough said. And YET, the Cubbies still fill those stands with Yuppies.

And We Haven't Even Talked About the Football Yet. --RoadDog


YOU'RE FROM FLORIDA IF...Anything under 70 degrees is chilly.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Day-After the Day-After Shopping Expedition-- Part 2: A Wal-Mart Experience

Then, it was on to the world's biggest outdoor used car lot at the neighboring Wal-Mart. Other than the one in Goldsboro, NC, this has to be the most-crowded parking lots in the whole Wal-Mart kingdom. I was heading out to the back-forty when I almost ran into someone backing out of a parking space just two spots away from the store. What luck!!

Looking at some of the folks a-shopping, I couldn't help but be reminded of some of those hilarious Wal-Mart shoppers e-mails being sent around so much. I'm sure they were looking at me and thinking the same.

Checked out their steadily decreasing stock of CDs which are now lumped together with rap, country, rock and pop along one aisle side. Forget anything remotely resembling alphabetizing. It won't be long now until there are none. I'll sure miss it. Just something else I didn't think they could take away from me.

Then, on to Christmas decorations which were picked over pretty well. I was hoping to find some 100 light straight strands of clear lights, but they were all gone. I did find two boxes of 300 light twinkling icicles and two boxes of 300 light two-cycle (blue and clear) icicle lights.

Everything was 50% off, of course, and the price read $5.99. Hey, $3 for 300 lights is a great deal. But wait. Was the $5.99 the regular price or did that already reflect half price? You have to be really careful at stores during the cheap after-Christmas shopping.

Do those prices reflect 50% off or are they the regular price. I couldn't find one of those machines where you can get the price you'll pay, so had to take my chances at the check-out line.

Next, the Checkout Line from Hell. --RoadDog


YOU'RE FROM FLORIDA IF...You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: GRBs Do Their Thing...Again. Gas Here Tops $3.20!!

Coming home just now, I was shocked to see gas EVERYWHERE at $3.22 to $3.25, an increase of between 12 and 15 cents!!! And that's from last week when we had a similar 12 to 15 cents increase and a week before that when they did the same thing.

And yet, the government does nothing and old Mr. Promise-the-World vacations in Hawaii.

These GRBs are Big Oil, the Hedgie-Wedgies, Commodities Traders, Stock Market Folk, Day Traders and Investment Bankers and I wouldn't be surprised if the Middle East was in on it.

When gas went over $4 a few years ago, this set us out on the economic downturn we still haven't recovered from it. And now it appears they're doing it again.

What will it take to stop these greediest things from doing it to us again?

Ridiculous!! --RoadDog

A Day-After the Day-After Shopping Expedition-- Part 1

Into the wilds of McHenry, Fox Lake and Spring Grove, Illinois.

Sunday was pretty-well tied up with football, so yesterday, I ventured out into the cold (at least no new white stuff) for my annual bargain-hunting trek. This is the best time to buy Christmas stuff for next year.

I am now fairly sure everyone in the area is on vacation but the poor souls working in the stores. This was just as crowded as Black Friday. (And, we don't even want to talk about the Wal-Mart parking lot.)

The list of stores visited: Home Depot, Borders, Meijer's, Wal-Mart, Target, Vinyl Frontier, Culvers, Menard's, Home Depot, Aldi, Walgreen's, Walgreen's and Jewel. I guess you can call that multi-tasking a trip.

I put on 26 miles.

First I drove to the McHenry Il-31 SHS (Standard Homogenized Stuff) strip north of town.

First stop was at Home Depot where I bought a small hanging flag with winter cardinals. At Borders, I got two daily calendars for half price. For me, I got one of propeller war planes and for Liz I purchased a Wizard of Oz one. Maybe this will get her to look at them. If it's not on a computer screen she normally won't look at anything. Meijer's yielded a 5-pound box of clementines, a real favorite of mine.

Next, Wal-Mart, the parking lot, the bait-and switch, and check-out line from hell.

Oh, Glorious Fun. --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF...You're under 30, but you have lots of friends over 65.

Monday, December 27, 2010

JSIS: Son Daley Outserves Old man-- Teena Marie Dies-- Queen of Soul

Just Some Interesting Stuff.


1. SON DALEY OUTSERVES OLD MAN-- Yesterday, Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley passed his father, the Honorable Richard J. Daley, in terms of days served as mayor of the city. That's hard to believe. When asked whether father or son would be regarded as Chicago's greatest mayor, the son said his father.

Of course, it took his father's dying to get him out of office. Son is voluntarily leaving one of the worst messes Chicago has ever been on. Let his successor sort it out.


2. TEENA MARIE DIES-- Dead at age 54. Best-known for her great sing "Lovergirl," one of my favorites. She is one of the few white artists to do well on black charts like R&B. Black artists regularly are on pop/white charts. Sure makes you wonder who is racist and who is not.


3. QUEEN OF SOUL-- I was very sad to hear the news that the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has a very bad form of cancer and probably won't be with us a lot longer. She recorded some of the best songs ever like "Think," "Respect" and "Chains."

Just Some Interesting Stuff. --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF...Your winter coat is made out of denim.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Songs for You-- Part 3

The final hour of Bob Stroud's Holiday Hootenanny.

Plenty of bells ringing this morning.

WAR IS OVER-- JOHN AND YOKO-- 1971
CHRISTMAS MUST BE TONIGHT-- BAND-- Off the '77 release Islands.

SANTA CLAUS IS BACK IN TOWN-- ELVIS PRESLEY-- A little Christmas Bump and Grind.
RUN RUN RUDOLPH-- DAVE EDMUNDS-- a great version of the old Chuck Berry classic.

STEP INTO CHRISTMAS-- ELTON JOHN-- 1973 (with this one and the next one, when it snows like it did here yesterday and last night, you'd better watch your step or you'll sure slip onto Christmas.)
SLIPPING INTO CHRISTMAS-- LEON RUSSELL-- Here's one you listen to with both elbows on the bar down on the corner. Backed by Elton John from 1972. (so this is how they met for this year's tour. Bob can sure paint a word picture.)

I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS-- GREG LAKE--
WINTER--

SNOOPY VS. THE RED BARRON-- ROYAL GUARDSMEN-- 1968
LINUS AND LUCY-- VINCE GIRALDI TRIO-- Dec. 1965

A CHRISTMAS SONG-- JETHRO TULL--
RIVER-- JONI MITCHELL--

CHRISTMAS-- DARLENE LOVE-- Some more of that great Wall of Sound to close the show.

Plant Yourself Firmly Under the Mistletoe as You Know Christmas is the Ti,e to Say I Love You.

Are Youse in Christmas Mode Yet? --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF... A good parking space has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.

JSS: Bowl Games-- Star Wars Marathon--Dadburn Eastern Time Zone-- A White Christmas

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. BOWL GAMES-- I've been watching 'em. I've noticed that many of the Big Guys like Tennessee and Georgia get to go to them for their awesome 6-6 seasons. Other Little Guy schools like Northern Illinois get to go to them for 11-3 seasons. Right Julie and Andy?

I wonder if Northern would have gone to one with a 6-6 record?


2. STAR WARS MARATHON-- Yesterday, I started recording the Star Wars Marathon, all six movies, on Spike, something I've always wanted to do. Just sit down and watch them in order.


3. DADBURN EASTERN TIME ZONE-- I woke up at 5 and went downstairs to Margaritaville Bar in the basement to put another VHS into the VCR, that's right, I'm still using them.

Spike had stopped the marathon for infomercials after the third movie. I backed up to the end of the third one and saw that the marathon would continue at 9 am this morning.

I went to set up the VCR at 8:45, only to find the 9 am was Eastern Standard Time. Since we're in Central, I missed the first 45 minutes. Hope they show all of them again. I hate when that happens.


4, A WHITE CHRISTMAS-- As if we needed some more of the stuff, but it snowed all of yesterday with about two more inches. It made the roads slippery so I just had pop while at the Legion last night. I don't drink and drive on icy roads.

Of course, we have now had snow on the ground since December 4th.

I am no fan of snow. If only we could train it not to fall on driveways, sidewalks and roads.

We did drive around and look at lights again, including that great display on Johnsburg Road.

Happy, Merry to You. --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF...You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fort Fisher 146th Anniversary

Today marks the 146th anniversary of the commencement of the First Battle of Fort Fisher, NC, back on Christmas Eve. This battle means a lot to me as it was the thing that got me interested in history, and the Civil War in particular. To say it had an impact on my life is an understatement.

Today, back in 1864, a vessel loaded with ammunition was blown up at 1:40 am in an attempt to knock the sand fort down with its concussion. It didn't work, but sure woke the garrison up.

At 12:45 pm, about 25 minutes from now (EST), the USS New Ironsides fired a shell. The Union fleet (64 warships) opened fire at 1 and continued until dusk, firing roughly 10,000 rounds of solid and explosive shot at the fort.

At dusk, the Union fleet withdrew.

For more, see my Civil War Blog-- http://sawtheelephant.blogspot.com.

Definitely a Defining Moment in My Life. --RoadDog


YOU'RE A FLORIDIAN IF...Socks are only for bowling.

Christmas Songs for You-- Part 2

The lights are twinkling, the bells are jingling, and we be mingling to the sounds of Christmas.

WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME-- PAUL McCARTNEY--
SANTA CLAUS IS WATCHING YOU-- RAY STEVENS--

CELEBRATE ME HOME-- KENNY LOGGINS-- 1977
SOMETIMES IN WINTER-- BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS-- seasonal thing, great song, great atmosphere, from 2nd album.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN-- BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN-- The big man's coming, but not Santa. Clarence.-- Bruce was a big fan of the Phil Spector album from the get-go and borrowed the arrangement for his own version in '75.
WHITE CHRISTMAS-- DARLENE LOVE-- From Phil Spector's album.

CHRISTMAS IS THE TIME TO SAY I LOVE YOU-- BILLY SQUIER--
CHRISTMAS-- WHO-- From Tommy

LITTLE SAINT NICK-- BEACH BOYS-- 1964
SANTA CLAUS AND HIS OLD LADY-- CHEECH & CHONG-- 1971 (Like, Man!!)

BACK DOOR SANTA-- CLARENCE CARTER-- Christmas 1968 (and before "Strokin'")
SILENT NIGHT-- ROTARY CONNECTION-- 1968, Hometown Heroes. (What were they smokin'?)

One Last Edition Tomorrow. --RoadDog


A FINAL SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Willie Nelson "On the Commode Again."

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun Turns 70-- Part 2

The Red Ryder air rifle was introduced in 1938 and named for a popular comic strip and movie star by that name. Another part of its popularity lay with its resemblance to the famed Western Winchester rifle. Of interest, it is still in production.

The Red Ryder never existed in its movie form with a compass and sundial in its stock. Author Jean Shepherd came to Daisy before the movie was filmed and wanted three guns made for it. He insisted that he had had one like it as a child.

The Daisy Company told him that the Red Ryder never had it, but one of their models, the Buck Jones, did. They think he most likely had both and when one broke, Shepherd merged the two together.

Daisy actually made these guns in 1983 and 1984. I imagine one would be worth a lot now. they also made them for the film's 20th and 25th anniversaries.

Maybe I'll get Either That or a F-R-A-G-I-L-E Lamp Under the Tree Tonight. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Leslie Gore "It's My Procedure and I'll Cry If I Want To."

Steve Goodman Gets Post Office

From the October 24th Chicago Tribune "Special Delivery" in Sidewalks column by Rick Kogan and Chick Osgood.

Musical friends help celebrate Steve Goodman postal tribute.

In April, House Resolution 4861 passed in the House of Representatives 371-0 and then in July, the US Senate voted unanimously to rename the Lakeview Station in Chicago the Steve Goodman Post Office Building.

The change took place in what was called a "musical unveiling" earlier in the month orchestrated by the Old Town School of Folk Music, some of whom knew Steve. His mother Minnette was also there.

Some of those performing were pals such as Ed Holstein, the master of ceremonies, Bonnie Koloc, Corky Siegel and Jim Tullio.

Politicians were there as well. Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Il) is the man who introduced the bill.

The post office is at 1343 W. Irving Park Road, just a few blocks from Steve's beloved Wrigley Field. Since 2007, every Cub victory has erupted with the song "Go, Cubs, Go," a Steve Goodman number. Of course, there is always his "A Dying Cub Fans Last Request."

New Cubs chairman, Tom Ricketts said the song "represents the passion and optimism of the Cubs fans."

Goodman is probably best-known for his song "City of New Orleans" but my own favorite is "Lincoln Park Pirates" about a well-known towing company. I'd like "Go, Cubs, Go" more, but I am more of a Sox fan, but have caught myself singing it on occasion. Hey, I back the Cubbies unless they're playing the Sox.

Unfortunately, Steve's life was cut way too short, dying at 36 in 1984 of leukemia.

A Well-Deserved Honor. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED: Helen Reddy: "I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore."

Cubs Looking for Game Analyst

Another aspect of Cub Great Ron Santo passing away, is that WGN has to find a replacement for him in the broadcast booth.

A search has begun.

The Dec. 22nd Chicago Tribune in its humorous sports Main Event section suggests perhaps George Costanza. There was one episode of Seinfeld where he and Jerry were talking about job possibilities for George.


GEORGE: "What about being a sports commentator? You know how I always make those witty comments during a game?"

JERRY: "You do make good comments."

GEORGE: "So?"

JERRY: "Well, they generally give those jobs to ex-ballplayers and people, you know,, in broadcasting."

GEORGE: (pause) "Well that's really not fair."

What Was That Christmas Celebration George's Family Celebrated? --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED (for us aging folk)-- Tony Orlando & Dawn: "Knock Three Times on the Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun Turns 70-- Part 1

From the December 20th Chicago Tribune.

Ralphie Parker really, really wanted one and made it his life's mission to get one for Christmas in any manner necessary.

Bass Pro Shops sell the 200-shot range model air rifle and it is considered one of the most popular BB guns in history. I'm trying to remember if I had one, but am drawing a blank. I know we had air rifles, but don't think they shot bbs. Probably a good thing considering my brother Bob and my friends' wars.

Of course all the adults other than his dad would say was, "You'll shoot your eye out." Om 2009, over 10,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms for pellet and BB gun injuries.

The value of one can reach $300.

Some men have been spotted buying them for themselves. In that great movie, "A Christmas Story," Ralphie mentions the gun almost 30 times.

Of course, the annual marathon starts tomorrow on TBS where it will be shown eleven times over a 20-hour period.

I Didn't Shoot My Eye Out, But Didn't Have One Either. --DaCoot

Where Are Then Now?-- "It's a Wonderful Life" Kids

From the Dec. 19-25th American Profile Magazine.

A great magazine for us regular folks.

From the Ask American Profile page.

A man from Georgia wrote to ask is any of the children from the cast went on to show business.

ANSWER: All four of the youngsters who portrayed the children of Mary and George Bailey continued their careers into film and television.

PETE, the oldest boy, was played by Larry Sims, now 76 played Baby Dumpling Alexander in more than two dozen Blondie films.

ZUZU, the baby, played by Karolyn Grimes, 70, and JANIE, the oldest girl, played by Carol Coombs, 75, worked in other movies as adolescents, but stopped acting as adults.

TOMMY, the youngest boy, played by Jimmy Hawkins, 69, co-starred in the 1950s TV series Annie Oakley and later became a producer.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is #2 on my all-time favorite Christmas movie list. They have a photo from the film of all four kids (with their names superimposed) and another picture taken recently of the four.

Now, That's Some Interesting Stuff. --Cooter

It's Them, Not Me: Just in Time for Christmas, a Gift from Big Oil and the Hedgie-Wedgies: $3.16 a Gallon Gas!!

Amazing. Truly and simply amazing.

Tuesday, liz and I were driving through Fox lake when I saw gas at the BP was "down" to $3.02 ($3.01.9). It had been $3.08 and then $3.05 and I mentioned that perhaps the GRBs at Big Oil and the Hedgie-Wedgies were going to give us a Christmas gift and drop prices down to $3 (still completely ridiculous).

The Philips 66 station had $3.16 as its price!!!

Oh, Oh!! Something's afoot. Gouge Time is Here.

I did a quick U-Turn and went back to fill up at that "cheap" $3.02 price before they changed it.

Yesterday, the BP was $3.14!!!

No reason for this except greed and making our enemies richer.

Of course, if it is this high now, what will it be this summer?

BAH-HUM BUG to You Folks Too. --RoadDog

My Buddy Nailed Winter

When he heard that the 21st was the first day of winter, my buddy Carl asked, "Then what were the last three weeks? A ______ preview?"

My sentiments exactly.

Yesterday, we actually got over freezing for the first time since the 4th and we've had snow on the ground since then as well.

Global Warming My Foot!! --RoadDog


SIXTIES HOTS REVISED-- Abba: "Denture Queen."

Christmas Songs for You-- Part 1

Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots show on the Drive, 96.9 FM in Chicago was his annual Christmas Hootenanny.

So, grab ahold of your yule log and let's get to it. Happy Merry!

RUN RUDOLPH, RUN-- KEITH RICHARDS-- great old Chuck Berry rocker. Keith's version from '79.
MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY-- BEACH BOYS-- Recorded in the heat of summer 1964 and released at Christmas time on the Beach Boys Christmas Album, my favorite all-time Christmas album.

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN-- RONETTES-- Good will to all. We find ourselves up against Phil Spector's wall...of Sound. From his "A Christmas Gift to You." (Probably the best rock and roll Christmas album ever.)
SANTA BRING MY BABY BACK TO ME-- ELVIS PRESLEY-- the King

SLEIGH RIDE-- VENTURES-- instrumental
I SAW MOMMY KISSING SANTA CLAUS-- FOUR SEASONS--

SOULFUL CHRISTMAS-- JAMES BROWN-- You ready to get back and do the camel walk with the Godfather of Soul?
MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY-- IKE AND TINA TURNER--

FATHER CHRISTMAS-- KINKS-- From the Arista label
HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS-- BOB B. SOX & THE BLUE JEANS-- You can't miss him. he's the cat who looks like he always has his meal super-sized all those years. From Phil Spector's Christmas album.

More Christmas Music on Its Way. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Temptations: "Papa's Got a Kidney Stine."

A Final Look Back at a Wonderful Huskie Season

Northern Illinois Football results 2010:

Date Result score

Sept. 2-- L at Iowa State 27-10
Sept. 11- W vs. North Dakota 23-17
Sept. 18- L at Illinois 28-22
Sept. 25- W vs. Minnesota 34-23

Oct. 2-- W at Akron 50-14
Oct. 9-- W vs. Temple 31-17
Oct. 16- W vs. Buffalo 45-14
Oct. 23- W vs. Central Michigan 33-7
Oct. 30- W at Western Michigan 28-21

Nov. 9-- W vs. Toledo 65-30
Nov. 20- W at Ball State 59-21
Nov. 26- W at Eastern Michigan 71-3

Dec. 3-- L 26-21 to Miami (Ohio) in MAC Championship game in Detroit
Dec. 18-- W 40-17 over Fresno State in Humanitaroan Bowl in Boise, Idaho on that real blue field.

Definitely, a Year to Remember. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Leo Sayer: "You Make Me Feel Like Napping."

No More Movies for Me This Year

Yesterday, I went to my local movie palace, Fox Lake Theatre in Fox Lake, Illinois, to see the new Chronicles of Narnia offering (in good old 2-D) and was greatly disappointed that it had been pulled yesterday because of the new Christmas movies.

Too bad, now I won't get to see it and I am a fan of the Narnia movies.

Also bad, this time of the year, parents all over the place take their kids to the movies (and so many are 3-D and kid-related). Even worse, so many parents just drop their kids off and leave. Never a good situation.

Between the kids and adults seeing movies, this is a bonanza season for the theaters, but I hate crowded theaters so won't go back until after the new year.

I ended up with 71 movies for 2010, a new record.

I'll finish up my Movie Scratches after Christmas.

Way Too Many People. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED (for us old folks)-- Procul Harum: "A Whiter Shade of Hair."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Northern's Bowl Record Evens Out to .500

Getting to a Bowl Game, any Bowl Game is quite an accomplishment for a Mid-Major school like Northern Illinois. At one time, like back in 2003 when Northern went 10-2 and beat Alabama, Maryland (both ranked) and Iowa State and DIDN'T go to a bowl thanks to Toledo, Mid-American teams only had one bowl, but now they get as many as four.

Granted, big-time schools may consider the bowls NIU has played in more along the lines of Toilet Bowls, but it is still a great honor to go to one and enriches the school coffers.

On Sunday, the Chicago Tribune ran the list of the six bowls we've been in.


1983 CALIFORNIA BOWL-- NIU 20, CS-Fullerton 13

2004 SILICON VALLEY BOWL-- NIU 34, Troy 21

2006 POINSETTIA BOWL-- TCU 31, NIU 7

2008 INDEPENDENCE BOWL-- Louisiana Tech 17, NIU 10

2009 INTERNATIONAL BOWL-- South Florida 27, NIU 3

2010 HUMANITARIAN BOWL-- NIU 40, Fresno State 17


Hopefully Many More to Come. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Commodores: "Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Way to Go Huskies!! Winners of the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl

This past Saturday, Liz and I and some other friends watched the whole Humanitarian Bowl at the Fox Lake, Illinois, American Legion.

Our interim coach did what the Most Wonderful Kill couldn't do in two years and that was to win a bowl game. Kill lost both that he coached.

It didn't bode well when Fresno State scored right away. The Huskies marched right back down the field for a TD of their own, but the point after was missed. But, in the second quarter, the Huskies scored two TDs and a field goal to the Bulldogs' field goal to take a 23-10 lead. In the second half, Northern dominated and eventually had 1 40-10 lead before FSU scored.

Final score was NIU 40 Fresnao State 17.

This was the same FSU which had beaten Illinois two weeks earlier. The Illini defeated Northern 28-22 back in September.

We finish the season 11-3, the most-ever wins by our football team.

However, I believe that Kill did built a great nucleus for the future, so I will commend him for that, but definitely not the shaft in the back after the championship game.

Go, Huskies!!! --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Paul Simon: "Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rockin' into the Hall of Fame

The Class of 2011 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been announced.

Tom Waits
Neil Diamond
Alice Cooper
Dr. John
Darlene Love

All five have been eligible for induction for a long time under the rule that acts can't be eligible until 25 years after their first recordings.

I picked Diamond and Cooper and three others who were passed over: Bon Jovi, Donovan and the J. Geils Band.

Neil Diamond told Rolling Stone, "I'm happy that they recognized me and my work.: He continued, "Any club that has Chuck berry and Little Richard and the Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of."

Some people would like to see Hip-Hop acts included, but my own opinion is that I worry about that kind of music being the end of rock and roll.

There is always next year.

Induction will be held in March in New York.

Come On, Guys!! Bon Jovi, Donovan and the J. Geils Band Belong!! --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Johnny Nash "I Can't See Clearly Now."

OK, Here's a Dose of Christmas Rock and Roll

Just in case you haven't had enough yet. This is the first hour of Bob Stroud's December 20, 2009 Christmas Hootenanny.

WHITE CHRISTMAS-- Darlene Love
SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS-- Stevie Wonder
SILENT NIGHT-- Huey "Piano" Smith & the Clowns
STEP INTO CHRISTMAS-- Elton John

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY-- Jim Croce
COMFORT AND JOY-- Simon & Garfunkel
SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN-- Crystals
MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY-- Bruce Springsteen

BACK DOOR SANTA-- Clarence Carter
JINGLE BELL ROCK-- Bobby Helms
SLIPPING INTO CHRISTMAS-- Leon Russell
CHRISTMAS-- Who
CHRISTMAS SONG-- Jethro Tull

And a Ho-Ho-Ho to You. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Roberta Flack: "The First Time I Ever Forgot Your Face."

It's Them, Not Me-- The Big Fuss Starts Today

Today marks the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's secession from the United States 150 years ago.

It also marks the beginning of what is sure sure to be five years of fussing from the NAACP and kindred groups about the big "S" word.

The fact that the Southern states wanted to keep the "S" word can not be denied. The secession movement was led by men who had the "S" and wanted to keep them. It was fought primarily by men and borne by the women of the home front who did not have the "S".

One has to wonder how the rich "S" holders were able to convince all those people without "S" to do their bidding.

Of course, in today's world, it is impossible to defend the idea of "S" unless you live in Haiti or Africa. And rightfully so. Even though it goes way back into history, it was and still is a horrible practice

However, the NAACP would do better to commemorate the war in their own way and quit attacking those who choose to commemorate the events that transpired during those fateful years in their own way.

Besides, it is my belief that they have much bigger problems facing their people than to be spending all this time on the "S" word.

Can't We All Just Get Along? --RoadDog

Saturday, December 18, 2010

JSS: "Miracle on 34th Street"-- Still Cold-- Homebound Two Days-- Bars and Movies and Christmas Lights-- Homemade Irish Cream-- Christmas Music

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. MIRACLE ON 34th STREET-- Last night, I saw the Christmas movie "Miracle on 34th Street." I had forgotten how good it was. I'll have to move it onto and up to #4 on my Christmas Movie favorites list. (See a couple days ago.)


2. STILL COLD-- We've now had below freezing temperatures for seven days. But, i do have to admit that the last several 20 degree days were "balmy."


3. HOMEBOUND TWO DAYS-- We ended up staying home all day last Sunday and Monday because of crummy weather. That is rare for me, not so much for Liz.

4. BARS AND MOVIES AND CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- Tuesday, I had an excellent Mexican omelet at Dill Pickle in Spring grove ($5 special). The hash browns were so good I didn't even have to put on A-1 like usual. In the afternoon, Liz and I went to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin and had eight Top 20 Rankings in NTN.

Wednesday, it was Taco Bell and the movies "Unstoppable" and "Love and Drugs" in Fox Lake and 35 cent jumbo wings at the Dill Pickle.

WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY Liz and I drove around and looked at Christmas lights. Again, the business on Johnsburg Road between Spring Grove and Johnsburg has an unbelievable display, always a highlight for viewing.

YESTERDAY, it was recording songs for Larry Logan's memorial service today and a trip to Donovan's for more NTN (another 8 Top Twenties).


5. HOMEMADE IRISH CREAM-- Thursday, we went over to friend Pam's house to make her annual homemade Irish Cream drinks which we bottled. She gives them to friends. had a great time making and drinking them. They had SOME kick.


6. CHRISTMAS MUSIC-- While typing away at this with my two busy little fingers, I am listening to Christmas tapes I made over the years. I have about fifty of them and have been listening to them over the last couple weeks while posting and researching.

Enough. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HOTS REVISED-- Bee Gees "How Can You Mend a Broken Hip."

Ten Sayings and Their Strange Origins-- Part 2

5. BITE THE BULLET-- In the mid-1800s, soldiers had to bite open cartridges in order to fire their guns. Having a good set of teeth was very important for a soldier back then.


4. BLOW HOT AND COLD-- changing opinions.


3. BREAK A LEG-- superstition for actors.


2. BURY THE HATCHET-- create peace from an Indian custom.


1. BY HOOK OR BY CROOK-- Reaching one's goal by fair or foul play. British monarchs owned forest. gathering firewood by commoners was a crime unless they were very poor. The poor were not permitted to cut off branches unless they were withered. They could pick up limbs on the ground. They would use hooks or crooks to do this.

A Stitch in Time Saves ____. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Ringo Starr "I Get By with a Little Help from Depends.

Top Ten Male Lead Performances in Film

From the Jan. 29, 2010 List Universe

Some of these did not win the Academy Award, But should have.


10. TOM HANKs in Big.
9. AL PACINO in Dog Day Afternoon.
8. SIR PETER O'TOOLE in Venus.

7. PETER SELLERS in Dr. Strangelove
6. SIR PAUL SCHOFIELD in A Man for All Seasons.
5. DANIEL DAY LEWIS in There Will be Blood.
4. SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS in The Silence of the Lambs.

3. MARLON BRANDO in The Godfather.
2. F. MURRAY ABRAHAM in Amadeus
1. SPENCER TRACY in Boy's Town

Of course, photos and much more information at listuniverse. Check it out.

My King for a Horse. --RoadDog


SIXTIES HITS REVISED-- Herman's Hermits: "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Walker"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ten Sayings and Their Origins-- Part 1

From the August 15th List Universe.


10. ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE-- Actually, from a Listerine commercial. I guess if you don't use it, you'll never get married.


9. BARK UP THE WRONG TREE-- From hinting and dogs treeing raccoons.


8. BE ON A GOOD FOOTING-- It is customary for trade apprentices to take out fellow workers on their first day of employment. Drinks on them and they "FOOT" the bill.


7. BEAT AROUND THE BUSH-- Also from hunting.

6. BEST FOOT FORWARD-- Trying to make a good impression. The left foot was considered sinister, so for gosh sake, put your right foot out in front when meeting someone.

You can go to the site and get pictures and more information.

The Rest Tomorrow, Or Is It No rest for the Wicked? --RoadDog


The next week, I will be running final comments where 60s artists Revise their old hits to fit advancing age. Something I can relate to. Sixties Hits Revised.

BOBBY DARRIN: "Splish Splash, I Was Having a Flash."

Movie Scratches: Hereafter-- Skyline-- Due-- Harry

Off to the movies.


65. HEREAFTER-- 11-3-- Fox Lake $4-- Three people brought together by death. Another great Clint Eastwood effort.


66. SKYLINE-- 11-15-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Cloverdale Part 2. This time there are more of 'em.


67. DUE DATE-- 12-7-- Fox Lake Free-- Planes, Trains and Automobiles-- Part 2. Minus the train.


68. HARRY POTTER: THE DEADLY HALLOWS-- 12-8-- Fox Lake $4-- Confusing, but all Harry. We now get to see all the Bad Guys.

Gotta Have the Popcorn Salt. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- Sign on restaurant window: "Don't stand there and be hungry. Come in and get fed up."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Top Ten Christmas Movies

I mentioned in my Just Some Stuff entry earlier today that I had seen two of my favorite Christmas movies Saturday.

Moviefone recently posted their list of the Top 25 Christmas shows of all time (for their list, see today's entry on my http://cootershistorything.blogspot.com).

The number following the date is their ranking of it.

10. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) #13
9. Elf (2003) #6
8. The Santa Clause (1984) #20

7. Scrooged (1988) #7
6. A Christmas Carol (1951) #11
5. The Polar Express (2004) #25

4. Gremlins (1984) #21
3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1985) #10
2. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) #2

1. A Christmas Story (1983) #1

Love My Christmas Movies This Time of the Year. --RoadDog

The Indiana Jones Four

In my Just Some Stuff from earlier today, I mentioned that I had seen all four of the Indiana Jones series of movies over this past weekend thanks to the USA network. I had seen them all before, but never in a group like this.

Along with Movie Scratches for the new ones that i see, I also do the same for older movies.

This is what I wrote:

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK-- For the love of snakes.


INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM-- Gross food and even worse dialogue.


INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE-- Old Dad still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Indy and his father.


INDIANA JONES AND THE MOVIE TITLE THAT WENT ON FOREVER-- Well actually, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Was this where the new alcoholic product came from?

Indy battle the evil Nazis in the first three, then the Commies in the last one.

Old Harrison Ford was sure lucky to be in this great series of movies as well as the first three Star Wars and not to mention "American Graffiti." I also just saw him in "Morning Glory."

"I Hate Snakes." --RoadDog

JSS: Fighting the Rug Wars-- Two Down, One to Go-- Indiana Jones-- Thanks Liz-- Gas Gouge

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.


1. FIGHTING THE RUG WARS-- Ever since I got the new rugs earlier this month, I have been fighting a losing battle to get it down flat. I'm using all sorts of heavy boxes, but it just keeps popping up. But, I am not giving up.

I have them by the computer to help keep my feet warmer since I am in the basement and a concrete floor with indoor/outdoor carpet over it.


2. TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO-- This past Saturday, I got to watch two of my favorite three Christmas movies: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and It's a Wonderful Life. They will be having my favorite one Christmas Eve through Christmas night when one channel runs a 24-hour marathon. I wonder what that movie is?


3. INDIANA JONES-- In addition, this last weekend, I got to see all four of the Indiana Jones movies. I love the action, but the dialogue is about as corny as you can get. Plus, archaeology both above the water and in it was a definite job I considered while growing up.


4. THANKS, LIZ-- I have to thank Liz for getting the old 'pute up and running properly again. Tuesday night it wouldn't let me get onto the internet explorer which I use to post these. I figured some sort of virus and did what I knew how to do, which wasn't much.

She worked on it most of the morning hours of yesterday and finally got it back. She explained what she did, but it went over my head.


GAS GOUGE-- Those GRBs have gas around here, northeast Illinois, up to $3.08 and $3.10!! Sure doesn't bode well for what they have planned for us this summer. Someone really does need to stip them, right, Mr. Promise-the-World?

Now, You Know. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- In a vet's waiting room: "Be back in 5 Minutes. Sit! Sit!!"

Where Were You November 21, 1973-- Part 3

FREE RIDE-- EDGAR WINTER GROUP-- This song always reminds me of driving out to Galena from Dekalb, Illinois, after a wedding August 25, 1973. We must have heard it three or four times on different stations. Driving that great old '73 Ford Pinto.

After what seemed to forever, we got to the Palace Motel and found a note taped to the office door for the "Honeymoon Couple." They were closed, but we were to go to room #3 where the door was unlocked. Guess we must have really been married."

SPACE RACE-- BILLY PRESTON-- Imagine playing keyboards for a group like the Beatles. I'd even learn how to play to do that.

D'YER MAKER-- LED ZEPPELIN-- Now, that was some h-e-a-v-y stuff.
JUST YOU 'N ME-- CHICAGO-- So s-m-o-o-t-h.

ANGIE-- ROLLING STONES-- Not your typical Stones kind of a song.
RUBBER BULLETS-- 10CC--

PHOTOGRAPH-- RINGO STARR-- the #1 song in Chicago November 21, 1973. Who says Ringo can't sing?

Good Stuff, Maynard!! --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- Outside a car exhaust repair shop: "No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Movie Scratches: You-- RED-- Network-- Secretariat

Some more movies I saw this year at the theatre.


61. YOU AGAIN-- 10-13-- Fox Lake $4-- Be careful how you treat people in high school. It may come back to bite you. Really funny.


62. RED-- 10-27-- Fox Lake $4-- Best not mess with the Retired extremely Dangerous old Folk.


63. SOCIAL NETWORK-- 10-27-- Fox Lake $4-- The Face that Launched the Face.


64. SECRETARIAT-- 10-28-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Where'd the Guy get those hats? The trials and tribulations of Big Red.

Gum on the Shoes. Now That's really Neat. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGMS-- At a car dealership: "The best way to get back on your feet...miss a car payment."

Big Ten Divisions in 2011

As mentioned in Just Some Stuff earlier, the Big Ten, er 12, has announced the names of its two new divisions now that it will be expanding to 12 teams.

I don't know where they came up with the names Legends and Leaders, but I don't much like them.

For many years, I was no fan of the Big Two Little Eight Conference (Big Two being Michigan and Ohio State). But, I must be living up here too long as I now am a big fan.

Part of the reason I didn't like the Big Ten was that I went to Northern Illinois which really WOULD have liked to be in the conference, but that was never to be.

Anyway, here are the two division alignments:

LEGENDS

Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern

LEADERS

Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Go, You Leaders!! Go, You Legends!! --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- In a radiator shop: "Best place in town to take a leak."

JSS: Crummy Winter-- NTN Rankings-- Adios Larrys-- Dumb Big Ten

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. CRUMMY WINTER-- This rotten weather continues, even though we'll be getting up to a balmy 25 degrees today. It will seem like its a heat wave after the last two days. Monday and Tuesday, the highs were around 10 degrees.

Yesterday, at one point, the temp was 5 degrees with winds putting it down to -20 degrees.


2. NTN RANKINGS-- I just happened to be on the NTN site and saw that my two sites are ranked pretty well in their respective states.

Hello Folks in Fox Lake is #10 in Illinois. Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes ranks #6 i Wisconsin.

Definitely not too bad for two back waters like we have.


3. ADIOS LARRYS-- Two good friends named Larry have passed away in the last three weeks. One Larry played NTN with us at Hello Folks and died the day after Thanksgiving. The other Larry was at our Bears game on December 5th and died six days later.

Both went fast which is a preferred way to go.


4. DUMB BIG TEN-- The Big Ten, Going On 12, has to have come up with the dumbest names I've ever heard of for their two new divisions once Nebraska joins next year.

This is instead of East or West that came about so Michigan and Ohio State aren't in the same division primarily.

New Divisions are Leaders and Legends.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- Sign in the front yard of a funeral home: "Drive Carefully. We'll Wait."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Movie Scratches: Distance-- Expendables-- The American-- The Town

A look at recent movies I have seen.

57. GOING THE DISTANCE--9-8-- Fox Lake $4-- True love wins over all those miles. No f-in' way!!


58. EXPENDABLES-- 9-15-- Fox Lake $4-- Rambo's Back!! This time with lots of stars.


59. THE AMERICAN-- 9-15-- Fox Lake $4-- George Gettin' Down and Dirty. Not a good one to see after all the action in "Expendables." That is, action other than in bed." Almost put me to sleep.


60. THE TOWN-- 9-22-- Fox Lake $4-- See what happens when you try to rob Fenway Park and get the "Mad Man" mad at you.

Hey, Pass the Popcorn!! --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGN-- Sign on back of another septic tank truck: "CAUTION!! This Truck is Full of Political Promises."

Where Were You November 21, 1973?-- Part 2

Again, I was on the road that day so all comments are mine. Too bad though. Stroud always has some really great information to give about the tunes. I'm still not sure how much comes right from him and how much he has to look up.

KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR-- BOB DYLAN-- One of my favorite Dylan songs.
I GOT A NAME-- JIM CROCE-- Imagine what this guy could have done had he not died so soon after making it.

HELEN WHEELS-- PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS-- Sir Paul's tribute to driving. A British "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" if you will.
MIND GAMES-- JOHN LENNON-- Who was the better post Beatle, Beatle? I liked them all, but will still have to go with George, who was my favorite Beatle all along.

PAINTED LADIES-- IAN THOMAS-- And we're not talking about Victorian houses here, either.
HELLO, IT'S ME-- TODD RUNDGREN-- Der Todd pre-drum bangin' all day.

Give me Some of That Sweet Soul Music. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On a fence: "Salesmen welcome. Dog food is expensive."

JSS: Bears Snowed Under-- Gushy, Gushy Gush-- 12-14-10-- Crummy Weather

JSS-- Just Some Stuff


1. BEARS SNOWED UNDER-- The Bear-Patriot game Sunday was a complete disgrace. We've now played the best two reams I've seen in the NFL, the Giants and the Patriots and both completely dominated us.

At least, I didn't have to waste any time watching the second half (which the Bears actually won 7-3. Unfortunately, the score was 34-0 in the first half.

Some Bear weather. I felt sorry for the die-hards who attended at Soldiers Field. Maybe the Bears should give them their money back for the embarrassment.


2. GUSHY, GUSHY GUSH-- Besides the mess on the field, Bear fans were subjected to the biggest gush-fest ever. I'd have to say that whoever those CBS announcers were, they must have been the biggest New England fans ever born. I finally had to turn down tghe sound by the second quarter.


3. 12-14-10-- Today's date is sure a strange-looking combination.


4. CRUMMY WINTER-- A little while ago, I had to get a screwdriver and pry the garage doors open so that I could take the garbage out to the street. My fault though. I should know by now that whenever it rains and we then have a hard freeze that I should open the doors and inch as they WILL FREEZE to the floor.


Now, You Know. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On a taxidermists window: "We Really Know Our Stuff."

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Really Fine Tribute to Ron Santo

From the December 5th Chicago Tribune "Santo gave city his heart; Chicago returned the favor" by John Kass.

before I start, John Kass is probably one of the biggest White Sox fans who has ever lived. He really doesn't like the Cubs, either. I also am a big Sox fan, but I will pull for the Cubs when they're not playing the Sox.

But, both of us agree that the late Ron Santo was something else.

"In Chicago, Ron Santo is a name that is all about heart. He wasn't the prettiest baseball player at third base, or the smoothest broadcaster. He wasn't tricky or slick. Sometimes he'd groan in the booth, or cheer...."

"He'd stand at the plate in the days before batting gloves, stooping to pick up a handful or two of dirt. He'd rub his hands with it, rubbing them past the wrists to dry them of sweat. Then he'd pick up his bat and stare into the cold eyes of pitchers with names like Gibson, Ryan, Koufax and Drysdale."

"The fact that Santo isn't in the Hall of Fame--after a career of five consecutive Gold Gloves, nine All-Star appearances and 342 home runs--is an indictment of baseball."

John Kass is sure Santo will get into the Hall now. But he always said he hoped he wouldn't get in because he died. If he didn't get in while he was alive, he sure didn't want to get in out of pity.

I kind of agree with him, but if he does get in, I can live with that as well. Future visitors will get to see what baseball is all about (not your Miltons and Mannys).

If Ernie Banks is Mr. Cub, then Ron Santo is the heart of the Cubs.

And remind me to tell you my Ron Santo story.

We Sure Lost a Great One. --RoadDog

Where Were You November 21, 1973?-- Part 1

From Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Time Warp from November 21, 2010.

I was teaching 7th, 8th and 9th grade at Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois. This was my first year teaching and I wasn't adapting too well. I was ready to teach high school and these DEFINITELY weren't high school students. I sure looked forward to the Friday After School parties in Grayslake at the Last Chance Saloon.

We were living at some apartments in Des Plaines, Illinois and Liz was a secretary at general Finance Corporation in Evanston. I drove the 1973 Ford Pinto back and forth to school while Liz drove her parents' Chevy.

These were the songs playing in our radio back then.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY-- JOE WALSH-- No longer with the James Gang.
GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD-- ELTON JOHN-- Our neighbor at the apartment complex had every one of Elton John's albums and he let me record them.

JIMMY LOVES MARY-ANNE-- LOOKING GLASS-- Follow up to "Brandy."
CHINA GROVE-- DOOBIE BROTHERS-- This song always reminds me of driving out to our honeymoon in Galena, Illinois, after our marriage.

Life is Just One Big Song. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- Optometrist's office: "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

Another Crummy Winter

Sure looks like we have another one.

After the rain turning to snow Saturday night, we had snow and very strong winds all day yesterday. So bad, that we canceled going to breakfast with friends at St. Bede's and then also decided not to go out with friends to Fire Wood in McHenry to watch the Bears.

Then today, the high was 9 degrees with wind chills to -20. Again, I had a hard time starting the snow blower and then had to deal with a couple foot to foot-and-a-half drifts across the front of the garage and sidewalk. On top of that, I forgot to raise the garage doors a little and the rain froze and that was another problem to get up.

Tomorrow, we have a real warm spell coming with temps supposed to get to 11 degrees.

This is the fourth year in a row that we've had a rotten winter.

Last year, we got snow early in December and it stayed with us until March. This year, again, we got snow early in December.

Curse Those Snowmobile Folks Who Are Gettin' TOO HAPPY!! --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On a maternity room door: "Push! Push! Push!!"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where Were You November 21, 1968?-- Part 3

Continuing with Bob Stroud's Time Warp Nov. 21, 2010 back to that date 42 years earlier.

SHAME, SHAME-- MAGIC LANTERN
CINNAMON--DEREK-- "Hey, let me in. Who was Derek anyway?

THOSE WERE THE DAYS-- MARY HOPKINS-- Was this an early Apple Records (Beatles) release?
ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN-- DION-- That would be Lincoln, King and Kennedy.

SHAKE-- SHADOWS OF KNIGHT-- How can some people refer to this as Bubble Gum Music?
HOLD ME TIGHT-- JOHNNY NASH-- Was that some reggae?

FIRE-- FIVE BY FIVE-- Great song, but, who were they?
MAGIC CARPET RIDE-- STEPPENWOLF-- Ahh, memories of the Senior Lounge jukebox at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois.

LOVE CHILD-- SUPREMES-- The #1 Song in Chicago. Not as big of a deal today as it was back then.

Next, We Jump Ahead Five Years to November 21, 1973. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On a Non-Smoking Area: "If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

It's Them, Not Me-- The New Gas Gouge-- Who 'Dun It?

The price of a barrel of oil has hit $90. The price of a gallon of regular here in northeastern Illinois is at $2.95 to $3 with a lot of stations keeping it at $2.99.9 so people won't realize that big number 3 is up front.

How does the price of gas go up, despite plentiful supplies and weak demand in the United States and Europe? Our law of supply and demand should dictate a drop in price, not an increase.

We now learn the problem is "investor optimism" regarding an improved economy. That means the GRB hedgie-wedgies, Wall Street, and Day-Traders are doing a number on us AGAIN in their quest for profit.

Hey guys, what part of no economy improvement don't you understand and didn't you folk start the economic setback back a few years ago when you went for that $4 gas?

People whose jobs you cost are still unemployed to the tune of almost 10%.

It's definitely time for the government to do something about you.

How about world-wide closing down all stock and commodity markets until you develop a conscience or learn to play better with each other.

How about taxing obscene profits to the tune of 80-85%?

These Guys Really Need Constraints on Their Greed. --RoadDog

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Number One Songs This Date-- December 9th-- Part 2

1964 MR. LONELY-- Bobby Vinton-- Doing something not blue.
1963 DOMINIQUE-- The Singing Nun-- OK, stop humming it right now!!

1962 BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY-- Four Seasons-- Jersey Boys making good.
1961 PLEASE, MR. POSTMAN-- Marvelettes-- Was this Motown's first hit?
1960 ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT-- Elvis the Pelvis

1950 THE THING-- Phil Harms
1940 ONLY FOREVER-- Der Bingle
1930 THREE LITTLE WORDS-- Duke Ellington

1920 THE JAPANESE SANDMAN-- Paul Whiteman-- And we were still asleep 21 years later.
1910 MEET ME TO-NIGHT IN DREAMLAND-- Henry Burr
1900 WHEN YOU WERE SWEET SIXTEEN-- George J. Gaskin (Otherwise called the "Jailbait Song."

A Trip Back Into History. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On an electrician's truck: "Let us remove your shorts."

Number One Songs This Date-- December 9th-- Part 1

Taking a look at number one songs on this date all the way back to 1900.

Thanks to Josh Hosler at www.joshhosler.biz/NumberOneinHistory/SelectMonth.htm.

2010 RAISE YOUR GLASS-- Pink (Haven't heard it, but I'm Old.)
2000 INDEPENDENT WOMEN-- Destiny's Child

1990 BECAUSE I LOVE YOU (THE POSTMAN SONG)-- Stevie B (Don't remember it.)
1980 LADY-- Kenny Rogers-- Crying Tears in my Beer.
1970 THE TEARS OF A CLOWN-- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (Give Me Some of that Good Old Motown!!)

1969 NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE-- Steam-- Thank you Nancy Faust!!
1968 I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE-- Marvin Gaye-- Raisins, anyone?
1967 DAYDREAM BELIEVER-- Monkees-- Liz's all-time favorite song and ringtone.

1966 GOOD VIBRATIONS-- Beach Boys-- Not feeling it with all that cold outside today.
1965 TURN! TURN! TURN!-- Byrds-- gettin' Biblical on us.

So, Lady was #1 the day John Lennon was killed thirty years ago yesterday.

Continuing. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- At a tire store: "Invite us to your next blow out."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where Were You November 21, 1968?-- Part 2

Continuing with the songs in your radio back 42 years ago. Again, I was on the road so these are my comments.

FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE-- STEVIE WONDER-- Still swinging that head back and forth and looking up through those sun glasses back then.
NOBODY-- THREE DOG NIGHT-- Mighty fine blue-eyed soul.

THINGS I'D LIKE TO SAY-- NEW COLONY SIX-- A great slow-dancing song by a Chicago favorite.
QUICK JOEY SMALL-- KASENETZ-KATZ SINGING ORCHESTRAL CIRCUS-- They must have had a great time naming this group. The Kings of Bubble Gum Music (and I really liked Bubble Gum music).

KENTUCKY WOMAN-- DEEP PURPLE-- Old Neil wouldn't even recognize it.
HANG 'EM HIGH-- BOOKER T. AND THE MGs-- The house band at Stax. The MGs stood for Memphis Group.

WHO'S MAKING LOVE-- JOHNNIE TAYLOR-- While You're out makin' love with somebody else.
WHITE ROOM-- CREAM-- Boy, were these guys great!! Who'd have thought three guys could make that much great noise?

Me and My Radio. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On another plumber's truck: "Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

Kill Sets NIU Program Back

I was afraid of this, and it did happen. Northern has a great season then has to go looking for a new coach. One of the "Big Boys," whose program is in disarray snaps him up.

I was going to write about a particularly gushy story about Kill's work ethic and family pride in Friday's Chicago Tribune and am glad I didn't. We now see his true colors. A typical college football coach working his way up to fame and glory at the top.

I was wondering why the Huskies were so ill-prepared to play Miami of Ohio Friday. Question answered, the coach had other things on his mind.

Well. actually, Northern got a piece of what they did to Southern Illinois. We "stole" him from them just like Minnesota "stole" him from us.

Let's take a look at what Jerry Kill accomplished with NIU. Two straight .500 seasons, one good season, three non-MAC Championships (including this last one that should been), two bowl losses and a losing record against the Big Boys. Not all that impressive.

I would, however, say he built a fine nucleus for success at Northern and hopefully it will continue. But most likely, next year will be a down one for Northern.

I am also sure he will turn Minnesota's football program around, but will be gone as soon as one of the even bigger boys come a callin'. Then, they will be looking for a new coach.

I understand why he did it, but he sure didn't make any fan of me.

Shades of Gary Barnett! --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On a plumber's truck: "We repair what your husband fixed."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Flying My Flags for Pearl Harbor Day

Today, I put the US flag out on the mailbox and put another one on the deck in honor of the event that transpired 69 years ago that caused the US to enter World War II in a big way. That would be the Japanese surprise attack on US military forces at Pearl Harbor; one of the worst defeats ever suffered by American forces.

I will be posting several Pearl Harbor stories on my history blog at http://cootershistorything.blogspot.com.

My mom remembers her dad trying vainly to straighten out several sets of c-9 light bulbs when the announcement came on the radio. It was one of those sort of events likes Kennedy's assassination and 9-11 where everyone old enough remembers where they were and what they were doing.

This year's observance in Pearl Harbor is especially poignant because over 200 veterans who were there during the attack are expected and the umbrella group for them, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is considering disbanding because age is doing what the Japanese couldn't do to them. All of them are in their upper 80s or low 90s. The last surviving Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor died earlier this year.

While teaching, my classes always observed this date. Once I started teaching US history (but only up to the beginning of the Civil War, like I ever got that far) a one day unit turned into a three day one. Believe me, my kids knew about Pearl Harbor, even though schools today largely overlook it.

A Day to Remember That Freedom "Ain't" Free. --RoadDog

Chicago Cub Ron Santo Dies

All day Friday, WGN ran specials on Santo's life as well as had many people tell their memories of the man.

One I particularly enjoyed was told by 1960s Cub second baseman Glenn Beckert about Santo's first day in the Cub broadcast booth. It was a windy day at Wrigley and right after Santo welcomed listeners to Wrigley Field, he spilled his coffee all over his lap. The next words out of his mouth (and over the airwaves) was "Son of a B____!!" Beckert says he knew Santo was going to be a special one after that.

If Pete Rose was Charlie Hustle, then Ron Santo was Mr. Cub hustle. Then there was his jumping up and clicking his heels after a close Cub victory and always the famous "Oh n-o-o-o-!!" after a dropped ball by the Cubs in an important game.

Just because the Cubs didn't win a pennant or a World series during Santo's tenure at third is no reason for him not to be in the Hall of Fame. After all, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins are all in it. Maybe some think that three members from a losing team is already too many, but that should not be.

Time for His Rightful Place. --RoadDog

NIU Blows MAC Championship

I should have figured I shouldn't have written about Northern's season as that always puts a whammy on them (or for that matter, any team I support and write about).

I really thought we would win the game and the coach, Jerry Kill, obviously had other things on his mind (which I found out today) to such an extent that he did not get the team up for this game.

One thing for sure, Miami of Ohio came to play, but Northern still was the better team.

We watched it at Tommy's in Spring Grove, Illinois, and had a few other Huskie fans watching with us. Unfortunately, they wouldn't turn the sound up , which took away a lot of the enjoyment. Plus, they kept switching to other stations people requested, but always turned it back when we said, "HEY!!?"

This was a great game between two really good teams, especially considering that Miami was 1-11 last year, what a turn-around!!

With less than two minutes left in the game and NIU ahead 21-20, the RedHawks were on their own 38 with a fourth and 20. Unbelievably, they pulled off a 31-yard tipped pass play for a 1st down on the Huskie 31. Two plays later, they had a TD and won the game 26-21.

Well, at least this time, Northern will go to a bowl game, the Humanitarian in Boise, Idaho. One that we are not going to.

A Great Year, But It Could Have Been Better. --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- On a septic rank truck: "Yesterday's Meals on Wheels."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Where Were You November 21, 1968?-- Part 1

November 21, 1968, I was a senior at Palatine High School and sports editor of the paper. We were getting into basketball season after a successful 7-2 football season with losses to the hated Arlington Heights High School and Wheeling where Jack Bastable ran all over us.

Not bad considering that the previous two years we only won three games total. As a result, we sure played a lot of homecomings against other schools.

I was on the road so didn't get to hear Bob Stroud's Time Warp so all comments are mine.

I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE-- MARVIN GAYE-- Can you hear this and not think raisins for some reason.
ELENORE-- TURTLES-- One of my favorite groups that just never seems to get the respect they deserve. Are they even in the Hall of Fame?

BOTH SIDES NOW-- JUDY COLLINS-- good folk stuff.
STORMY-- CLASSICS IV-- Better watch out for that girl. You'll never know what she is doing next.

And You Were Wondering How I found Out? --RoadDog


FUNNY SIGNS-- At a podiatrists office: "Time Wounds All Heels."

JSS: Ron Santo-- Outside Christmas Lights-- Inside Christmas Lights-- NIU Game

JSS: Just Some Stuff.


1. RON SANTO-- In honor of Ron Santo, today I am going to do something I said I'd never do until the Cubs play in a World Series...and that is wear my Cubs hat. I make it a rule not to wear Cub stuff because of their Yuppie fans, and besides I am a Sox fan (but back the Cubs unless they play the Sox).

One time, I broke down and bought the hat, but have never worn it.

However, today, I will don it in honor of Number 10.


2. OUTSIDE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- I put them up before I left for North Carolina, but noticed some of them didn't come on before I left. After some exploration this morning, I found the offending strand and will replace it.

Plus, I think I might have plugged too many strands into the outlet so will take care of that as well.


3. INSIDE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- As if I didn't have enough Christmas decorations in NC, I also have to decorate Margaritaville in the basement and set up the village under the tree. But, I enjoy do that stuff so will probably survive.


4. NIU GAME-- I put up the Huskie banner in the yard with difficulty because of the frozen ground. We plan on watching part of it at Tommy's and the rest at Margaritaville.

Just Some Stuff and Good to Be Home. --RoadDog

Thanks for these, Uncle Bo.

FUNNY SIGNS: In a gynecologist's office: "Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

Ron Santo 1940-2010

Liz came in this morning to wake me up saying that WGN TV was running a special on Ron Santo, one of my all-time favorite baseball players from one of my all-time favorite teams, the 60s Cubs.

I was sleeping in late getting over all the driving I did the last two days, just short of 1200 miles. It then occurred to me, "Uh-oh, a special on Ron Santo, that is never good, especially this time of the year." I had to ask, "Did he die?"

Yes, he did.

If there was ever a player who was the Cubs before they became Yuppified, Ron Santo was the guy. Sure, you've got your Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Glen Beckert and others, and they were all great, but Ron Santo was my guy. He was always my favorite, especially after I got to meet him way back in 1967.

With his stats, it was always a complete shame he wasn't in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

And, I'm Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog


A Great Person.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NIU's 2003 Season: A Touch of Greatness

Tomorrow, Northern goes for its 11th victory of the season when they play Miami of Ohio in Detroit for the Mid-American Conference's Championship game. It promises to be a tough game as that school is always one of the best in the conference.

The last time Northern achieved this level of excellence was 2003 when we were actually ranked as high as #10 in the polls.

The results of the year:


20-17 W Maryland (ranked #14 at the time) 20-17 at home
42-17 W Tennessee Tech at home
16-13 W Alabama (ranked #21 at the time) away
24-16 W Iowa State at home
30-23 W Ohio (overtime)at home
40-24 W Central Michigan away
37-10 W Western Michigan at home
18-34 L Bowling Green away
48-23 W Ball State at home
40-9 W Buffalo away
30-49 L Toledo away (Good Old Toledo)
38-24 W Eastern Michigan at home

Despite the two late-season losses, expectations were high of a visit to a bowl, but that was not to be. However, Toledo did go.

No Wonder We Don't Like Those Guys!! --RoadDog


DOORMATS WITH ATTITUDE: We Gave at the Office.