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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Heading For the Warmth: December 28th-- Snowstorm


Friday, we got a very late start, 12:30 PM, and, as usual, took Il-47 south to I-74 by Champaign, Illinois.  Had to stop at the usual McDonald's in Yorkville.  For some reason that is always about the time for a bathroom break and get something to eat and drink.  And, right now, McDonald's has those great McRIBS!!! 

Stopped for gas at the Crawfordsville Pilot station which is usually the cheapest in the area, but it was about ten cents a gallon more than Indianapolis.

Took I-74 to Brownburg, just west of Indianapolis.  Would have liked to go farther, but starting about Crawfordsville, we started getting light snow.  And, by the last twenty miles, we had a regular snowstorm going on.  We were in a line with about twenty cars following a snow plow for safety.

We  got off along with a bunch of other cars and checked into the Super 8 for the night.

Not much fun driving in the snow, and dangerous as well.

As Paul Would Say, "Slip-Slidin' Away."  --RoadDog

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Heading for the Warmth...Maybe, Hopefully, Perhaps

Whoever said the South was the land of warmth and sunshine should be severely shaken, perhaps beaten.  Tain't so.

Man, it is C-O-L-D out there this morning.  There is even a little bird out there complaining about how cold it is.  The car sits shivering and forlorn out in the parking lot (well, at least it doesn't have four inches of snow on it like yesterday).

And, we're in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.   If there are still peaches in the trees, they too are frozen.  Looks like the planned shorts and tee shirts (with NIU logos) will have to be put off for another day.

Temps this morning in Atlanta, according to Weather Bug, 27 degrees.  Hey, we can get that back home!!  (OK, it's 9 degrees), but still.

Hoping for Warmth in Florida.  --RoadDog

Friday, December 28, 2012

Heading for the Warmth and Backing Those HUSKIES!!!

In an hour or so, we're going to head southward to this lil' thing down by Miami called the Orange Bowl.  Hoping to avoid the snow which we hear will be in Illinois and Indianapolis.  Taking three days to get to Hollywood Beach.

Then, New Year's Eve there and the next night NIU vs. FSU.  Thinking a couple days in Clearwater Beach and a week at PCB after that.

Watering the plants and last-minute packing and battery charging underway.

All the Northern Illinois stuff is on the car, so they'll know who we're for.

I Can Sure Use Some 70 degree+ Temps As It Has Been Downright COLD Here for the Last Couple Weeks.  --RoadDog

The Baddest of the Bad TV Shows

According to the Dec. 16, 2012, Yahoo! TV.

American Idol--  Fox
Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo--  TLC  (saw a few minutes once.  Makes the Springer folk seem academic.
Animal Practice--  NBC
Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp-- 
Lifetime Beauty and the Beast--  CW

Jersey Shore--  MTV
Liz & Dick--  Lifetime
Two and a Half Men-- CBS  (Hey, I still like it.  But, we need more Rosie.)
Revenge--  ABC
Work It--  ABC


WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I'll be ready in a minute.  =  Kick off your shoes and find a good game on TV.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Going for the Oranges-- Part 2

As we prepare to head out tomorrow to warmer climes and, dare I say it, a Huskie victory.  hey, they do say "Every Dog Has His Day."  Why not us?

**  More than 1300 students took advantage of the $150 package which includes bus transportation, two nights lodging and game tickets.

**  Thousands more got free tickets and are carpooling it to Miami.

**  NIU alumnae sold out two charter planes with 300 people.  They have 300 hotel rooms as well.

**  1,700 have paid to go to the pre-game reception (including us).

**  $40,000 was raised to help defray student expenses to the game.

**  There was a 19.3% spike in applications this past month.

Well, Here We Go.  --RoadDog

Coach Joe, Da Man

From the Dec. 23, 2012, Comcast Chicago "Novak thrilled about NIU's success" by Jack McCarthy.

And well he should be.  Without him, we just wouldn't be there.  Imagine finding a coach who has success and decides to stay with the program.  That just doesn't often happen at the Mid-Major level.  Not only do we not get the top high school players, but ant success and the all-important coach at the college level bolts (doerens).

Ex-Northern Illinois coach Joe Novak spent his pre-Christmas on the road visiting kids and grandkids in Cleveland and Bloomington, Indiana.  The coach from 1996-2007 says it's a lock he'll be in Miami this New Year's Night.

Said Novak, "We often thought about championship in the MAC and great years, but I don't think honestly we ever thought about the Orange Bowl.  That was a little bit out of reach for our dreams."

Joe Novak played as a defensive end at Miami of Ohio, and then spent 34 years as an assistant coach at Miami, Illinois, NIU and Indiana before taking over the Huskie reins in 1996.  A team that was on the rise in the early 80s under Bill Mallory, who "doerened" to Indiana, was in the pits.  Probably one of the worst teams in the country.

He was 51 at the time and figured this would be his last coaching job.  In order to get better, NIU had to go to the depths, which really happened the first three years.  Northern was 1-10 in '96, 0-11 in '97 and 2-9 in '98.  Believe me, those were times that tried Huskie souls.

Then, improvement: 6-5 in 2000 and 2001, 8-4 in 2002.  Then came the best-ever, 2003, when NIU beat three BCS teams: Iowa State, #15 Maryland and #21 Alabama.  Posting a 10-2 record, but no BCS bowl game.  And, for that matter, no bowl game at all.

Then, 2004 was a 9-3 season and a MAC West Title and another title in 2005.  In 2006 it was 7-6 and a year in which everything that could go wrong, did, 2-10 in 2007, and retirement.

OK, Joe. This Bowl Is For You.  --RoadDog

Dead Page: "In-A-Gadda" Man and "Rescue" Gal


Bassist with the psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly.  Died Dec. 21st.  Their second album was massive and with that long, long song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and that  long drum solo.  Almost made me take up the drums.


Grew up and lived in St. Louis.  Had some minor hits "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing" and "You'll Miss me (When I'm Gone)."  Died Dec. 26th.

But the real big hit was "Rescue Me" one of my favorites.  It went to #1 R&B and #4 on the pop charts.  Drummer on the song as Maurice White who went on to game in Earth, Wind & Fire.  Minnie Ripperton was one of the backup singers.

Going for the Oranges

**  The newly painted Huskie equipment truck left last week for Miami.  Quite an impressive job was done on the murals on its side, back and the part above the cab with those Huskie eyes.

**  The team itself left a 26 degree Dekalb yesterday and went to Rockford Airport and arrived in an 81 degree Miami.

**  They have been bombarded in practice by that Seminole war chant you always hear.  It is impressive, but even worse in that it is coming from the "Other Side."  Maybe we will have to start howling, Arkansas State-style.

**  Here will be "Watch" parties in Dekalb, Rockford and all over Chicagoland.

**  The Rockford Register had an article by Melissa Westphall "Can You Feel Northern Illinois' Huskie Fever?"

**  The Village Commons Bookstore in Dekalb is filling orders for Orange Bowl gear going out all over the United States.

**  It may be just another game for Florida State, but this is "The Game" of all-time for us Huskie fans.

**  Former Coach Joe Novak, 1996-2007, who built the program inherited by the other two is going to be in Miami as well.

Remember, Every Dog Has His Day.  And, Guess What Huskies Are?  --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top Ten Reasons to be Glad Twilight Is Over

From the Dec. 1, 2012, Listverse.  Of course, pictures and more text at the site.

10.  Vampires can be vampires again.

9.  Fewer children named Isabella and Jacob.

8.  Isabella no longer has to annoy millions of people.

7.  Young people can be sensible again.

6.  Werewolves can be werewolves again.

5.  No more "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob."  I was Edward team.

4.  No more frenzied year-long waits.

3.  No more vampire tourists in Washington state.

2.  Guys will no longer have to emulate Edward.

1.  The surge in all-things vampire will weaken, including fiction.

Actually, I really enjoyed the series after missing the first movie.  My sister-in-law in NC let me see it, though and was kind enough to answer questions.

Wondering If There Will be a Follow Up on the Kid?  --RoadDog

Northern Illinois Football is Winning, But Struggling At the Turnstyles

From the Dec. 9, 2012, Chicago Sun-Times by Neil Hayer.

A very true and sad state of affairs in the attendance department.  You'd think a team that was 23-4 over the last two seasons, had won two conference (MAC) Championships two bowls and the nation's longest winning streak would regularly have sell-outs at home.

The old coach "Doerened" it off to greener pastures, but his biggest regret was that he never sold out a home game.

Sadly, this is also a problem at all Mid-Major football programs.  Unfortunately, not so with the Big Guys, especially when winning.  They regularly sell out much bigger stadiums.

And, the price is right.  Single tickets at the 24,000 seat Huskie Stadium in Dekalb are as low as $20 and high-end seats with seat backs on the 50 go for $45.  A 6-game season ticket goes for $100.  So, its not the expense.

It is hard even to get the students to come to the games.

There are few outward signs of Huskie success in Dekalb or campus.

Everyone is hoping our visit to the Orange Bowl in less than a week and its exposure might turn things around.  And then, a win, if it comes, WOW!!!!

Here's Hoping for Success This Coming Tuesday.  --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: Lincoln-- Skyfall-- Twilight-- Hobbit

A Dog's Eye View of Today's Movies.

I have now seen my last movie of the year, and made my 52 for the year.  I try to average one movie a week, which I did.

49.  LINCOLN--  12-5--   ROUND LAKE BEACH $7--  Lincoln plays politician and gets the 13th Amendment passed, abolishing slavery.  Lots of Wilmington, Fort Fisher and even Gen. Whiting!!

50.  SKYFALL--  12-12--  FOX LAKE $4--  From that chase across roofs in Turkey to blowing up his ancestral home, Bond, even an older James Bond, proves up to the task.

51.  TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN 2-- 12-14--   FOX LAKE $6--   This wasn't the Shootout at the OK Coral.  It was the Heads-Off in the Snowy Glen.  The good vampires and their buddy werewolves beat the bad vampires.

52.  THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY--  12-18--  FOX LAKE $6-- So, that's how the Rings began.  Bilbo gets accepted by the dwarf king and the mean old dragon will be a problem.

For the year, I spent $225 for the movies.

End of Another Movie-Watching Year.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  How much do you love me?  =  I maxed out your gold card.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Here's Ten for Your Christmas

Today's Ten at Ten on WDRV in Chicago featured Christmas songs for some reason.


SILENT NIGHT--  Stevie Nicks

And, a Merry, merry to You.  --RoadDog

Five New Songs for Your Christmas Enjoyment

From Parade Magazine.

Every year, we need to add a few more songs to our Christmas Song Enjoy List.  Here's five new ones Parade wants you to put on your Playlist, whatever that may be.  I doubt I can find it on a single, though.

1.  CHRISTMAS SPIRIT--  Richard Marx
2.  BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE--  Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera (Something about "The Voice?")
3.  CHRISTMAS IN THE SAND--  Colbie Caillet  (Jimmy Buffett would be so proud.)
4.  I THINK YOU MIGHT LIKE IT--  John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (Sounds a bit grease-y to me.)
5.  ON THIS WINTER'S NIGHT--  Lady Antebellum

What Do You Mean...Download!!!???  --RoadDog

Voting on Favorite Christmas Songs

On my history blog, Cooter's History Thing, I wrote about the best-ever-selling Christmas song and there was a place at Parade Magazine where you could vote on your favorite.  I voted for mine of the the ten offerings.

Here is the voting as of two hours ago:

O Holy Night-- 33.91%
White Christmas-- 22.32%
The Christmas Song-- 11.16%
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas--  9.01%
All I Want for Christmas--  8.37%
Jingle Bell Rock--  5.36%
Rudolph the Re-Nosed Reindeer--  3.43%
Winter Wonderland--  3.22%
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town--  2.15%
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus--  1.07%

I vote for "Rudolph."

What Did You Vote For?--  RoadDog

"A Christmas Story" Legal Battle

From the Dec. 19, 2012, Yahoo! Movies Hollywood Reporter.

Zack Ward from "A Christmas Story" has found out recently about how much money is being made in merchandising the 1983 movie.  Most of the other actors signed contracts regarding merchandising royalties except him as his part was originally intended to be very minor, but was increased during filming.  He is not and has filed a legal suit against Warner Brothers, who made the movie.

In case you're wondering what role Ward had, he was Scott "Skutt"  Fakes, the bully, who made Ralphie's life pretty miserable until until the meltdown beat-up.

In November 2010, he was at the annual "Christmas Story" charity fundraiser in Cleveland and was shocked when a fan handed him a "Christmas Story" board game with his face on it.  The playing cards for the game also had his face on them.  Then, there was a calendar and other items.

Go, You Old Bully!!  You Should be Paid for Ralphie's Beat-Up On You.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  Do you love me?  =  I'm going to ask for something expensive.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Movie Scratches: Argo-- Cloud-- Flight-- Dawn

A Dog's-Eye View of Today's Movies.

Number, Name, Date, Where Seen, Price,  Recap

45.  ARGO-- 10-30--  FOX LAKE $6--  I was wondering how a movie about the Iranian hostages got this name.  Makes you want to go punch one of those Iranian "students" right in the snoot.

46.  CLOUD ATLAS--  11-7--  FOX LAKE $4--  I may have to see it again to sort it out.  Confusing, but excellent.

47.  FLIGHT--  11-14--  FOX LAKE $4--  A hero battling his demons.

48.  RED DAWN--  12-4--  FOX LAKE--  Rotten, sneaky North Koreans with those stupid-looking dress uniform hats.

Hit the Matinees, They're Cheaper.  --RoadDog

Ten Things You Need to Know About Northern Illinois-- Part 2

6..  NIU has had a 1000-yard rusher every year since 1999 with the exception of 2008.

7.  The school is ranked 189th by the U.S. News & World Report, tied with New Mexico State and University of Colorado--Denver.  Undergraduate population is 17,306.

8.  Has ranked in the Top Five on the Academic Progress Rate for football players in each of the last five years.

9.  NFL players currently playing:  Larry English, linebacker, San Diego; Doug Free, offensive tackle, Dallas; Nathan Palmer, wide receiver, Indianapolis; Michael Turner, running back, Atlanta.

10.  Some famous alumni:  Joan Allen, Dan Castellante (voice of Homer Simpson), actor Woody Harris, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and, of course, your old RoadDog (well, in his mind, anyway) Class of '73.

Win One for the Little Guys, NIU.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I heard a noise. = I noticed you were almost asleep.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12-22-12 and Still Here

Well, here I sit on Saturday Morning, the day after the end of the world and still typing away on my lil' 'pute, two-fingers of course.  Reckon the Mayans were wrong or those who thought they were right about the Mayans were wrong.

Still getting over some flu-like stuff, but felt well enough yesterday to go to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, for their End-Of-The-World Party.  We were there during the afternoon, but later that night, they had a band.

Plus, for $15, you could buy an inscribed tee shirt, which we did.  If you wore it, you got half price drinks.  Hard to beat $1 pints.

The front of the tee shirt read: "End of World Party, 12-21-12" with a circle around the globe with a line drawn through it.  The back:  "Survivors Party 12-22-12" with a tilted mug of beer with another globe on the suds.  So, we're covered each way.

A little later today, we are going back to Donovan's for the Survivors party.  Half price again if wearing the shirt.

Tonight, Route 12 Bar is having a Survivors Party as well.

I've always pictured myself as sitting down and having a drink of some fine bourbon or scotch at the end.  Kind of like those guys on the Titanic as it was sinking.  Most likely, however, I'll be out running in the streets screaming my head off.

Also, last night FX had one of the best-ever action movies, "2012." Those near destruction car and plane chases were something else, and then there was the madman Charlie (Woody Harrelson) and even ships.  You can't ask for more action than that.

I'm going to have to buy that DVD some day.

Not the End...Yet.  --RoadDog

Ten Things You Need to Know About Northern Illinois-- Part 1

From the Dec. 11, 2012, USA Today by Paul Myerburg.

1.  Dekalb, where NIU is located) is roughly an hour west of Chicago.  (Illinois Route 38 forms the southern boundaro of campus.  It is called Lincoln Highway and is part of the United States' first transcontinental road, 1913's Lincoln Highway.)

2.  Barbed wire was patented by Dekalb resident Joseph Glidden in 1874 who donated 74 acres of land to create Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1895.  Became NIU in 1957.  (A normal school was to train teachers.  Supposedly, town fathers dammed up the Kishwaukee River, normally more of a slow-moving creek during the summer.  When state official came out to investigate the site, the dam was broken and it appeared there was a good-sized river flowing through campus, which swayed the decision.)

3.  NIU is one of only two schools to win 11 or more games in each of the last three years.  Oregon is the other one.

4.  One of only five schools to have ten or more wins in each of the last three years with Oregon, LSU, Stanford and Alabama. 

5.  NIU has won nine or more games in a row the last three years.  Northern won nine games in a row in 2010 and 2011 and 12 straight this year.

Five More on Monday.  --RoadDog

Where Were You December 9, 1978?-- Part 2

Continuing with the songs on the radio from back then.

MAGNET AND STEEL--  WALTER EGAN--  With help from Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on backing vocals.  He's got such a great Southern Californian vibe down to that sort of Surf Guitar  break in there.  (I always thought the background singers sounded familiar.)

RIGHT DOWN THE LINE--  GERRY RAFFERTY--  (One of my favorites.  Formerly with Stealer's Wheel.)
REMINISCING--  LITTLE RIVER BAND--  One of a handful of big bands to come out of Australia.

STRAIGHT ON--  HEART--  From Dog and Butterfly (And included in all of their many, many, many greatest hits compilations.)
KISS YOU ALL OVER-- EXILE--  (A Dirty Country song cracking the charts.)

WHO ARE YOU--  WHO--  Title track.  First Christmas without drummer Keith Moon.)
WHENEVER I CALL YOU FRIEND--  KENNY LOGGINS AND STEVIE NICKS--  From his new solo album Night Watch.  (Stevie's spreading her wings from the Mac.)

HOT CHILD IN THE CITY--  NICK GILDER--  #1 in Chicago.  A one-hit wonder.

Bonus Track

JUST ONE LOOK--  LINDA RONSTADT--  from that Living in the USA album.

Wonder What That Hot Child Was Doing in the City?  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I need new shoes. = The other 40 pairs are simply the wrong shoes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ten Songs for the End of Time

Today, Bob Stroud did his Ten at Ten on The End of the World.  He repeats it at 10 PM, CST, so if still here, give it a listen.

www.wdrv.com to stream.

GIMME SHELTER--  Rolling Stones
ARMAGEDDON IT--  Def Leppard

BLACK FRIDAY--  Steely Dan

Fitting, Somehow.  --RoadDog

Every Dog Has His Day: Go You Huskies!!!

Yesterday while posting about that house with the Christmas lights set to the NIU Huskie Fight Song, I came across another song called "Every Dog Has His Day" and thought, well, I need to give this a listen.  It might just pertain.

AND, it was by one of my favorite country performers, Toby Keith.

The regular stanzas were not much use, as it was about some guy trying to cut in while he was dancing with his gal, but the chorus!  Well, the chorus was right on, and sums up poor little NIU going up against the Big Dog FSU.

The chorus goes:

See, Every Dog Has His Day.  When the Big Dog (BCS) Throws Him a Bone (Orange Bowl)
One Moment in the Sunshine (Florida), When Your Ducks Line Up in a Row (Getting the BCS Invitation)
Lucky Dog Gets a Big Ol' Bed (BCS Bowl), Stray Dog Gets the Porch (Outside Looking In Again)
Every Dog Has His Day, But Today Dog Just Ain't You  (Wouldn't That Be Something If We Win?)

See It At http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3bD3TyZwc0

With apologies to the Kirkster.

Maybe The Chorus  Should be Our Fight Song Going Down There.  What You Think Huskie Fans?  --RoadDog

Obama Is Time's Person of the Year...Again

From the Dec. 20, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Reuters and Tribune Staff.

He was Person of the Year in 2008 and repeated for 2012, mostly, I suppose, because of his presidential victory in November.  I'm a bit surprised though, because he has done little toward all that "CHANGE" he was promising, promising and promising back in 2008.

And, before that, has Illinois ever had a worse U.S. senator?  All he did was run for president.  No representation there.

Let's hope he actually does something to earn the honor this term.

Personally, my choice would have been the Middle Class for valiantly trying to hold on while the GRBs take steps to wipe them out and make themselves richer.  Either them, or the Unions who enabled so many to get into the middle class.  They are in a life and death battle with the GRBs (and their allies the Tea Party and that political party) to even survive.  They are on the ropes.

Over in my Cooter's History Thing Blog, I will post on Time's Man of the Year history in a little while.

Maybe Next Year Will Be Better.  --RoadDog

Where Were You December 8, 1978-- Part 1

We jump ahead ten years to 1978, 34 years ago.  I was teaching 7th and 8th graders at Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois.  We were living in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, at the corner of Morningside and Beverly.  Back then, we had some really great neighbors and partied with them a lot, even bowling.  Liz was a first grade teacher at Beach Elementary in Round Lake Beach, so we didn't have far to drive to get to work.

Anyway, these were the songs playing on WLS and WCFL and other stations.

HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS--  BOB SEGER--   Back in 1968, a new artist was about to break into our radios (with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man), his name Bob Seger.  Ten years later, we were more than familiar with him.
ALIVE AGAIN--  CHICAGO--  With some firsts.    First time an album isn't called Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority or a Roman numeral.  This one's called Hot Streets and it's the first time without Terry Kapp who had died in 1977.  Their new guitarist is Donny Dakus.  First single release.

BLUE COLLAR MAN--  STYX--  From the album Pieces of Eight.  (These last two songs by Chicago groups.)
BACK IN THE USA--  LINDA RONSTADT--  From Living in the USA.

DOUBLE VISION--  FOREIGNER--  Their second album.

Can Anyone sing more gravelly than Bob?  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I want new curtains. = I want new curtains, new carpeting, new furniture, new wallpaper....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Huskie Fight Song Set to Christmas Decorations

By NicksChristmas on You Tube

Northern Illinois University has always had a great fight song and, with the success of late after all those years of losing, we've sure gotten the opportunity to sing it a lot.  And hopefully this New Year's Night we'll get to sing it a whole lot more.

The football team has definitely lived up to the song.

Here's the site http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWREv-yUM4I .

Now, there lives a Real Huskie Fan!!  I understand the home is somewhere in Dekalb, Illinois, Home of NIU.  Puts my poor Christmas exhibition to shame.
Well Worth Seeing.  --RoadDog

The Snow Arriveth: It's Me Vs. the Snowmobilers

It started snowing here about two hours ago and we already have a covering on the ground.  It rained most of last night and the day until the snow started so we are fortunate.  Had that rain been snow, we'd be buried.

This is the first snow since last February or March, the longest stretch of no snow on record here in the Chicago area.

That's definitely alright with me.  Even though this gets me into discussions with those of our friends who are snowmobilers.  I always tell them that they have to come over and shovel off my driveway and sidewalks before they go out an have fun.  So far, no one has taken me up on the offer.

The way I look at it, why should I have to have a bad time so they can have a good time.

Actually, I wouldn't mind snow if we could teach it NOT TO FALL on my driveway, sidewalks or any road I need to drive somewhere on.

I Don't Think That Will Happen, Either, Unfortunately.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  This kitchen is so inconvenient. = I want a new house.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Where Were You December 9, 1968?-- Part 4

Songs playing way back then.

KENTUCKY WOMAN--  DEEP PURPLE--  Follow up to "Hush."  (And Neil was so happy.)
THINGS I'D LIKE TO SAY--  NEW COLONY SIX--  Their biggest hit.  (Chicago's own with Ronnie Rice out front singing lead vocal.)

ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN--  DION--  What a terrible, turbulent year 1968 was with the deaths of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the Democratic Convention in Chicago, riots in the streets and reflecting that was this song.

I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE--  MARVIN GAYE--  What a year it was for Motown.  They were sitting on the top of the charts this date with one of their biggest single releases.

These were songs Bob Stroud played parts of coming out of commercial breaks:


GOODY GOODY GUMDROPS--  1910 FRUITGUM COMPANY--  One of the ultimate Bubble Gum groups. (And, I love my Bubble Gum music.)


Brought Back the Memories.  --RoadDog

JSIS: Doerened Again?-- Bowling Package-- Watching the Huskies-- Carpools Forming

JSIS--  Just Some Interesting Stuff

All of these deal with the upcoming Orange Bowl game between our NIU Huskies and those FSU Seminoles.

1.  DOERENED AGAIN?  I read in the Sun-Times yesterday that Dave Doerened, who "Doerened" for the dough to NC State, has approached several Illinois prospects about playing at his new school.  If these players were NIU prospects, he had sunk to a new low.  And, I think they are.  How many times is this guy going to "Screw" us?  So, the term "Doerened" will take on a whole new meaning.

2.  BOWLING PACKAGES-- NIU offered students $150 packages including transportation, accommodations and game tickets to the Orange Bowl and sold out the initial 500 in nine minutes.  Now they are asking alumni to donate $150 so that more can go.  It is fully tax-deductible.  Call 877-448-2648.

3.  WATCHING THE HUSKIES--  Northern had a poll asking Huskie fans where they were going to watch the game.

In Miami at the game:  33.33%
With NIU alums at regional watch parties:  3.63%
Local bar or home of a friend: 15.32%
At home on favorite couch:  45.05%
Listen to Bill Baker and Mark Lindo on the radio 2.7%

4.  CARPOOLS FORMING--  A carpool hot line has been set up for NIU students wanting to attend the game.

Getting Mighty Exciting.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  Be romantic and turn out the lights = I have flabby thighs.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Northern Illinois IS a BCS Team Years in the Making

From the Dec. 11, 2012, USA Today by Paul Myerburg.

With apologies to the Kirkster who wouldn't agree.

In 1996, a new coach arrived at NIU by the name of Joe Novak and found facilities for the football program even worse than that of some high school teams.  His words to Northern, "Listen, I need some time.  I need to this the right way."  He was taking over a team with five consecutive losing years.

He proceeded to lose 26 of his first 27 games (year one 1-11, year two 0-12, year three 2-10.  Believe me, these were three hard years to be a Huskie fan and on top of five previous losing years.)  But, NIU showed patience ( a whole lot more than NC State with their coach.  I don't think Novak would have lasted too long with the Wolfpack.)


Even Novak considered Northern the worst in the country the first two years he coached.  In his fourth season, NIU won five games and then ran off seven consecutive winning seasons from 2000 to 2006.  And that included a ten-win season in 2003 with victories over Iowa State, a ranked Maryland team and biggest of all, a win over ALABAMA!!!  (And, believe it or not, no BCS invitation, or, for that matter, any bowl game at all!!)

His foundation has lived on through the next two coaches who, even though one for sure, Jerry Kill, built an even better team (his successor Doeren, may have built a better team as he was using Kill's players mostly).  The last two combined for five years before Doerening it for more prestige and money.

This is a huge problem at Mid-Majors like Northern.  Any success and you have to start looking for a new coach as the Big Boys grab him right up.  That doesn't build up much of a foundation.

More power to Joe Novak for sticking around and building a team and a program.  It is to him that we owe our thanks.

Thank You, Joe.  --"The Joke" RoadDog

Monday, December 17, 2012

When the Unspeakable Happens

First Off.  No matter how many precautions you take, you can't completely stop things like this from happening.

Some say allowing people to carry handguns would help.  Yes, in a way and at the moment.  If someone could shoot back, that might help.  But, I for one would have to worry when someone gets road rage or mad at someone else.

I would favor classifying people who do stuff like Friday as terrorists and being tried on charges by military courts with a mandatory death sentence.  Let the psychology people find out what they need to know, then end it.  At least many of the killers do the right thing and kill themselves.

Also, I believe some do this just to leave their mark and get their name in the news.  After their identification is known, then it should be they whose name cannot be mentioned.  The murderer at Northern Illinois is treated in this way.  This morning I was listening to the news on WXRT and Mary Dixon referred to the culprit as killer and not by name.

A Sad Time.

The Unspeakable Happens in Connecticut

Evil came to Newtown.

Just horrible news from that town on Friday.  I first heard about it while on the internet and then that twenty had been killed in a store before I went to a movie.

Horrifying.  It especially hit home to us because Liz and I were both teachers.  When we started teaching in 1973, this was something that would be inconceivable.  Yeah, you might have a junior high kid smoking in the bathroom or maybe drinking alcohol...but never something like this.

In my last years of teaching we had lock down practices.  I had to turn out the lights, make sure the door was locked and get my students huddle into a corner of the room that could not be seen by someone looking in through the door window. 

I always got in trouble because there was just no way I could squeeze 29 kids into a corner of the room where some of them wouldn't be seen by someone looking real hard into the room.  Maybe if I had some on others' shoulders.  And, they always picked the practice to be held during my worst class of the day.  I could keep them under control fro 15 minutes, but after 45 minutes if would be like a volcano getting ready to blow.

Er have a lot of friends still teaching and that was a big topic of conversation over the weekend.

Just Something I Could Never Imagine.

What Were You Doing December 9, 1968?-- Part 3

These songs were playing on your radio.

SHAKE--  SHADOWS OF KNIGHT--  Jimmy Sohns of the Shadows of Knight took the name with him and went out to New York to record with some studio musicians and came up with this hit song in Chicago.  (of course, the Shadows, famous for their version of "Gloria" were a Chicago group.  I liked this song almost as much as "Gloria.")
STORMY--  CLASSICS IV--  the late great Dennis Yost on lead vocals.

CRIMSON AND CLOVER--  TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS--  Brand new.  We hadn't heard anything remotely similar to this from them before.

GLASS ONION--  BEATLES--  Such power in the music back then.  Any time I hear a song from the White Album this time of the year, it always takes me right back.  The album was about a month old. (Just in time for Christmas gifts.)
MOTHER NATURE'S SON--  BEATLES--  From the second vinyl album.

LOVE CHILD--  DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES--  Went to #1 for them in '68.  (Imagine someone being ashamed like that these days.)
CINNAMON--  DEREK--  (Come on, "Let 'em in!!")

So Afraid That Others Would Know.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I'm not emotional!  I'm not overreacting! = I have a severe case of PMS.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So, It Was 45 Years Ago Today

On this date 45 years ago (December 15, 1967), I gave my ID bracelet to Liz in a laundromat at the Palatine Plaza shopping center on Northwest Highway.  I couldn't give her my ring because I was just a junior and didn't receive it until May.

I was trying to think of an unexpected place to give it to her, and came up with a laundromat.  It worked.  She was doing her family's laundry at the time.

We were both juniors at Palatine High School at the time and her family had just moved to Palatine from Chicago.

We went steady throughout high school (and I got my ring for exactly one day before Liz got it).  We broke for awhile college, but got back together and celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary this past August.

I'm Figuring I Must Still Like Her...Maybe...Kinda...

Rolling Stones #1s

From the Nov. 21,2012, Y! Radish.

It's kind of strange, but for all those songs by the Rolling Stones that everyone so love, they have only had eight songs that went all the way to the top of the charts to #1.

These are their #1s:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Paint It Black
Get Off My Cloud
Ruby Tuesday
Honky Tonk Women
Brown Sugar
Miss You

Hard to Believe, Isn't It.  --RoadDog

Friday, December 14, 2012

What Does Wendy Order At Wendy's

From Dec. 9th Parade Magazine Personality.

Wendy Thomas' red hair has been a part of the Wendy's chain since 1969, and now at age 51, is the owner of 32 Wendy's franchises in Ohio, and now following in her dad's footsteps, appearing in ads for the chain since 2011.  She says her dad, who died in 2002, would approve.  She says she went to some of his photo shoots and would tease him to get him to mess up his lines, but says she now knows how difficult it is.

Anyway, when she eats at Wendy's she orders a single cheeseburger, baked potato and Diet Coke "and of course a Frosty.  I love to dip my fries in it; it's really good!"  So, sometimes, she must order fries instead of that tater.  Maybe I'll have to try the dipping.

I myself love their baked taters, and, like my dad, those Frostys are , as Tony would say, "Great!!"  But right now, I'm going to McDonald's for McRibs.

A Frosty and McRib.  Now, That's a Combo.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  You're so manly = You need a shave and you sweat a lot.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Movie Scratches: Looper-- Sinister-- Taken-- Cross

41.  LOOPER-- 10-9--  FOX LAKE $6--  Imagine the job description for these guys.  And, what a way to get laid off.

42.  SINISTER--  10-17--  FOX LAKE $4--   Well, I sure won't be watching any of my old 8 MM movies anymore.

43.  TAKEN 2--  10-17--  FOX LAKE $4-- When will those crazy Albanians learn to leave Liam's family alone?  Just doin' what he does best.

44.  ALEX CROSS--  10-24--  FOX LAKE $4--  Like Alex said to the bad guy, "You're one twisted s.o.b."  Kind of Sherlock Holmes of today.

How About My Own Private Showing?  --RoadDog

The Most Disappointing Movies of 2012

From Movie Talk: Yahoo! Movies by Jonathan Crow.

Of course. most of the time when critics don't like a movie, I do.  It doesn't take a lot to entertain me.  Crow also had his reasons, but I just listed.

Anyway, here's his list.  I'll do the ones I saw first:

Cloud Atlas
John Carter
Battleship Total Recall
Red Dawn
Dark Shadows

I liked all of them.

Ones I didn't see:

The Watch
Rock of Ages

See For Yourself.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I'm not upset. = Of course I'm upset, you moron!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 12-12-12

It happens once in a lifetime.  The date is all the same number.  Doesn't happen again with this date for a hundred years on December 12, 2112.  I don't figure any of us reading this today will be around.  Man, I'd be 161!!

Anyway, Bob Stroud did his Ten at Ten in honor of today's magical numbers.  It was "Magical" and all ten songs had something to do with it.

MAGIC--  Pilot
MAGIC MAN--  Heart

IT'S MAGIC--  Cars
ABRACADABRA--  Steve Miller Band

How Many Years?  --RoadDog

Where Were You December 9, 1968?-- Part 2

TOO WEAK TO FIGHT--  CLARENCE CARTER--  Follow up to his "Slip Away."  Greg Allman would cover it in the 80s.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL--  ROLLING STONES--  From their brand new album, just three days old.  It was their last full Stones album to feature founding member Brian Jones.  AM radio didn't know what to do with the album, but the new FM channels did, if you could find one in town playing Rock.
WHO'S MAKING LOVE--  JOHNNY TAYLOR--  A great Blues Brother cover.  John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd had their ears glued to the radio as kids.

QUICK JOEY SMALL (RUN JOEY RUN)--  KASENETZ-KATZSINGING ORCHESTRAL CIRCUS--  Its lead singer was Joe Levine, also lead singer of the Ohio Express on "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy."  Also lead singer on Reunion's "Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me."  (Some great Bubble Gum Music.)
I CAN'T TURN YOU LOSE--  CHAMBERS BROTHERS--  Taking an old Otis Redding tune.  The follow up to "Time Has Come Today."  Years later, the Blues Brothers would be all over that one.  (Just like Aretha taking his "Respect" song and making it her own.)

After All, It Was You and Me.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  Sure...go ahead = I don't want you to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good Party-- Bad Bears

Sunday we had our annual Bears party here at the house with about 25 people coming over for the festivities.  We had our usual Aldi spiral-slice, pre-cooked hams and a keg of beer.  We used to have two big parties every year: one on the last day of school before Christmas vacation and one on the last day of school for the year.  Now, just this one.

This is always the thing that gets me to cleaning up the basement, which, because of putting it off so long, takes quite awhile, the same with the sun room.  I guess we should have more than just one party a year.  I'm thinking perhaps Mardi Gras.

Next year, I will have a 50 inch flat screen as some of our guests had a problem with watching the game on a tube TV that wasn't HD.  But, I've been wanting a big screen for quite awhile.  Just waiting for the tube TVs to break.  The 25-inch console in the basement was purchased in 1982 and still runs great except for the sound that goes in and out.

As usual, everyone brought stuff over as well, so there was plenty to eat.

The Bears started off in a way that made us think the Vikings would win too easily, scoring on the first drive and then taking advantage of an interception to score again.  Then the "D" dug in.  Another offense turnover resulted in another Minnesota score.  Final score was 21-14 for the bad guys.

Afterwards, several people stuck around for Name That Tune until 6:30.

Better Luck Next Time.  --RoadDog

The Drive's Ten at Ten: 1968

Today, at 10 AM, Bob Stroud played ten songs from 1968 on his Ten at Ten, which will be rebroadcast tonight at 10 PM CST.

A great selection of tunes.  So good in fact, it was hard for me to choose my favorite.  here at the songs and Stroud's excellent comments.  As usual, they played commercials, news bits and music stuff every two songs.

JUMPING JACK FLASH--  ROLLING STONES--  A 45 release in the Summer of 68.
DANCE TO THE MUSIC-- SLY & THE FAMILY STONE--  The one that finally put them on the map.

WHITE ROOM--  CREAM--  from Wheels of Fire, another double vinyl album.
ELENORE--  TURTLES--  The Turtles recorded a song they just thought was a spoof on pop records as it was loaded with so many pop-ish cliches.  They didn't think much of the song and didn't think it would be much of a hit record for them and it ended up in the Top Ten.  from the album The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands.

GOING UP THE COUNTRY--  CANNED HEAT--  From their double album Living the Blues.  (I don't know how they could have played it worse than they did at Woodstock.)
MAGIC CARPET RIDE--  STEPPENWOLF--  From the album Steppenwolf the Second.  (Ahh, yes.  Memories of senior Lounge at Palatine High School.)

HAZY SHADE OF WINTER--  SIMON AND GARFUNKEL--  Included on their Bookends album.  Actually this was originally out in 1966 as a 45 and wasn't released as an album until 1968.
LIVING IN THE USA--  STEVE MILLER BAND--  On a great album called Sailor.  (Someone get me a cheeseburger!)

JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHAT CONDITION MY CONDITION WAS IN--  FIRST EDITION--  I had this one on a 45.  A newcomer named Kenny Rogers was the lead singer.  (Yep, that Kenny Rogers.  Wonder if his beard was that white and perfect back then.)
BIRTHDAY--  BEATLES--  This is another one of those set lists that makes me realize just how much I spent on records.  I had every one of these songs either on a 45 or album, like the White Album.

A Really Great Show Today.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  We need to talk =  I need to complain.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where Were You December 9, 1968?-- Part 1

Yesterday, Bob Stroud went back to that date in 1968 and then jumped ahead ten years on his Sunday Rock and Roll Roots show on WDRV in Chicago.

Back then, i was a Senior at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois, and enjoying all that being top dog implies, especially the Senior lounge and woe to any underclassman who accidentally entered.

I was sports editor of the school newspaper, the Cutlass, and covering basketball games.  Liz and I were going steady and had been since the previous December.  I was working part time at the Burger King on Northwest Highway (US-14) in town.

These were songs on the radio back then, 44 years ago:

THOSE WERE THE DAYS--  MARY HOPKINS--    Paul McCartney had a big hand in the song on the Beatles' Apple label.    It was descending down the charts. 
HOOKED ON A FEELING--  B.J. THOMAS--  Brand new and climbing the charts.  Of course, then there was that great Blue Swede version, Ooga-chacka!!

SOULFUL STRUT--  YOUNG HOLT LIMITED--  a great soulful instrumental.
SON OF A PREACHER MAN--  DUSTY SPRINGFIELD-- From her great record Dusty in Memphis.

And We Thought They'd Never End.  --RoadDog

Go to France for That Bagel Burger and Here in the U.S., McRibs!!! Are Back!!!

From the Dec. 3, 2012, Yahoo! Finance Business Insider "McDonald's is Rolling Out Some Really Strange Burgers in France" by Kim Bhasin.

And, they're called bagel burgers.  Well, around here we have a breakfast bagel with steak (real steak), egg and cheese and quite good.  This is a limited time offer so you'd better hurry.  There are three varieties: Red Onion, Bacon or Emmental Cheese.  They come with lettuce, cheddar cheese and creamy sauce.


And, on a closer to home note, I just saw my first commercial for McRibs on TV. 

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, O Boy!!!  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  Do whatever you want = You are going to pay for this later.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

JSS: Time Warps-- Snow-- Getting Respect-- Bears Party

JSS--  Just Some Stuff

1.  TIME WARPS--  Right now, WXRT's Wendy Rice is doing her Saturday Morning Flashback Show on 1969 for four hours.  It began at 8 AM and ends at noon, CST.   www.wxrt.com

Although I didn't see it listed, it is about time for Bob Stroud to do his monthly Time Warp where he splits his three-hour show on WDRV between two years, playing songs we heard on the radio back then.  That will be tomorrow from 7 to 10 AM. www.wdrv.com

2.  SNOW--  Woke up this morning to a smattering of snow on the ground.  Reckon its high-time to fire up the old snow blower to see if it works.

3.  GETTING RESPECT--  I'm wearing my Northern Illinois stuff everywhere these days (like I didn't before) and am getting lots of compliments.  All positive so far except for one Kirkster want-to-be at the Kross Inn.  Everybody likes the Cinderella aspect and David vs. Goliath implications.

4.  BEARS PARTY--  Been preparing for the Bears party tomorrow where we expect about 25 people.  A lot of work, but at least it gets me to clean up and dust the areas I'm responsible for: the sunroom, basement and study.

Just Some Stuff.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS, WHAT SHE REALLY MEANS:  Do whatever you want = You are going to pay for this later.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Today

Definitely something the U.S. should have been expecting.  Considering American war preparations as well as Japan's increasing pressure in the Pacific, when the Japanese fleet left their homeland, then disappeared, someone should have figured out where they could hurt us the worst and also put every base in the Pacific on high alert.

After all, the Japanese had launched a sneak attack to start the Russo-Japanese War that essentially negated the Russian Pacific Fleet.  If it worked once, why not do it again.

But, anyway, I will never forget.

Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th. 

Hey, Kirk, We're Not Forgetting

I have to admit that I had never heard of ESPN's Kirk Hernstreit before Sunday, but this is one "absolute joke" who won't soon forget.  Knock my team, knock me. Some "sad state for college football!!"

And I thought sports loved a cinderella team.  If NIU doesn't fit that I don't know what does.  I, too, was mightily surprised to make a BCS bowl, so sure I was that the Big Guys that the Kirkster so loves would never let us in.  I mean, yes, we earned the right to be there even playing by their rules which are designed to keep mid-level programs on the outside looking in.

And, I admit, the only Big Guys we played this year, Iowa and Kansas, and to a lesser extent Army, were not that good and we just barely beat the last two and lost the first and only game to Iowa in the first effort of the season (I'm sure we could have beaten them later in the season).

But, Toledo and Kent State were no slouches and ranked above us in the Top 25 when we played them near the end of the season.

We earned the trip.

And, it begins to make up a little for the 2003 season when Northern went 10-2, and beat Iowa State and Maryland when the Terps were ranked.  Also, believe it or not, NIU beat a ranked Alabama that year as well.  And, Northern did not go to a BCS bowl.  Well, for that matter, we didn't go to ANT BOWL.

How's Them Apples?  --RoadDog

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Some Top Beach Music Songs from 1957

Taken from the Fessa John Hook's Yearly Beach Music Top 40 Songs.

His weekly Top 40 Beach Music survey, yearly Top 40 and Blues Fish Fry shows can be heard on the Cashbox site.  I listen to it several times a week, especially when he goes back to the 50s, 60s and 70s for the yearly.  Well worth a listen.

These were songs #40 to #31 in 1957.  The Fessa calls this the 2nd Wave of Beach music after Hurricane Hazel had ended the first in 1954.  R$B songs were just starting to cross over to the national charts with the help of the new Rock and Roll.

40.  JUICE, JUICE, JUICE-- Amos Milburn
39.  TRA-LA-LA--  Lavern Baker
38.  MISS ANN--  Little Richard
37.  C.C. RIDER--  Chuck Willis
36.  WHAT MADE MAGGIE RUN?--  Dell Vikings

35.  LUCKY LIPS--  Ruth Brown
34.  YOU'VE GOT ME DIZZY--  Jimmy Reed
33.  MISS YOU--  Lillian Offitt
32.  SO RARE--  Jimmy Dorsey
31.  JUST TO HOLD MY HAND--  Clyde McPhatter

He's Doing the year 2004 this week. 

Good Music, Maynard.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS, WHAT SHE MEANS:  It's your decision = The correct decision should be obvious by now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

JSS: Christmas Lights-- Warm Weather-- Firebird

JSS--  Just Some Stuff

1.  CHRISTMAS LIGHTS--  I had put up the outside Christmas lights before I went to North Carolina and turned them on this past Sunday.  Some worked alright, others took some work on them again, but now all are hooked up to come on automatically at dusk and run four hours.  Looks good as usual, especially with the inside lights and Christmas trees Liz put up.

2.  WARM WEATHER--   I was a bit worried to find that I had gone off to NC without a heavy coat.  hey, you expect cold weather in late November, early December, but as it turned out, I didn't need it.  Sunday, we enjoyed sitting out on the deck at the Squaw Bar during breaks in the defenseless Bears game.  Then, Monday, it was actually shorts and tee shirt day.  Had it not been so cloudy, I would have sat out OD and caught some rays.  Wow, shots and tee on December 3rd!!!

Temps are more like what is to be expected today.

3.  FIREBIRD-  Monday, I took the '85 Firebird out for one last run for the year.  I drove it about 350 miles, just around the area.  Runs great, but looks rough and does have a leak of something.  I'm figuring on just keeping it until it stops running.  Then, I'm thinking of one of those new Camaros or a Mustang.  Late Middle Age Crisis I suppose.

Send More Warm Weather.  --RoadDog


Northern's New Football Coach: Rod Carey

Thus, we begin the Rod Carey-era at NIU.  This past Sunday, he was named to replace the one who "doerened" it off south.  He had been the offensive coordinator at Northern, so is familiar with all the plays and players.  This marks his debut as a head coach.

And what a first game to be head coach, an appearance in the BCS Orange Bowl, something I'm sure he never in his wildest dreams imagined would happen.  I sure never did.  There is no way the Big Boys would ever allow a mid-major like NIU to play at that level, but, hey, we did what we had to do and earned it (sorry Kirkster).

Carey played his college ball at the University of Indiana where he started at center for three years for Coach Bill Mallory, who had coached Northern during our first era of success at the Division 1A level.  Back in 1983, NIU won the MAC and went on to win the California Bowl.

One of the coaches on that team was Joe Novak, who later came to Northern and stayed as head coach until his retirement instead of "doerening" it like the last two.  It is to Novak that I give the most credit for Northern going to the Orange Bowl.  Imagine that, a MAC coach achieving success and not vaulting to the Big Boys.

Before coming to Northern, he coached the offensive line at the University of North Dakota for three years and before that held the same position at Illinois State.  From 1997 to 1999, he was at the University of Minnesota, where one of our"doerens is now. and from 2000-2006 was on the staff at University of Wisconsin-Stout.

One thing for sure, he inherits a very good team.

Here's Hoping for His Success at NIU.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm So Proud of Northern, I Could...

Regardless of the Kirkster's opinion (and who is he anyway?  I know he evidently is a college sports opinionator on ESPN), I am as proud as anyone could be of my old school, Northern Illinois University.

I was so positive the Big Boys (as represented by the Kirkster) were going to find a way to keep us out of one of the big games, that I was even sort of hoping Kent State might win the MAC championship game since they were ranked higher, #16, than NIU, #21.  I figured it would be harder for the MAC to get locked out.


Was I ever shocked Sunday night to find out Northern was going to a BCS bowl, the Orange Bowl, to play Florida State.

It has never been easy for NIU in football.  As a mid-major, one of the schools the Big Boys (BB) are trying to keep down so as not to have to share the money, you do not get the primo players.  You have to hope the BBs overlook some talent. Then, if you start having any success at all, the BBs immediately grab up your coach and you have to start over.

Before the last two coaches "doerened" it to the BBs, we were fortunate to have a coach stick with us for an extended period, Joe Novak, and that is why we are at where we are now.  Coach Kill built on Novak's program as we hope Doeren did as well.  To me, you really don't know what a coach can do until he has been at the helm for at least three years and Doeren was with us for just two.

Granted, like the Kirkster said, we did lose to Iowa by one point (after leading most of the game) in the final minute of the game (I'm sure if we played them later in the season it would have been a victory.  And then, the other two bigger teams we played, Army and Kansas, weren't very good either.

But, we also had two of the last three games against ranked teams, Toledo and Kent State and won both of them.


Maybe this makes up a little for the 2003 season when Northern went 10-2 and beat a ranked Maryland team, Iowa State and, best of all, even a ranked Alabama team and, because we didn't win the MAC, didn't go to a BCS bowl, or for that matter, not even to any sort of bowl game.

Proud to Be Representing the MAC in the Orange Bowl.  --A Real Happy Dog

A Look Back: The Top 20 Songs of December 1969-- Part 2

11.  ELI'S COMING--  THREE DOG NIGHT--  Always reminds me of The Barn (eating place) at Grant Towers dorm at Orange Bowl-bound NIU back when I was a freshman.
12.  BACKFIELD IN MOTION--  MEL & TIM--  Great soul

14.  WHOLE LOTTA LOVE--  LED ZEPPELIN--  This one takes me back to what we called the Tune Room at the University Center for NIU.

15.  I WANT YOU BACK--  JACKSON FIVE--  How do you do a better soul song than this.

18.  CHERRY HILL PARK--  BILLY JOE ROYAL--  A long-time-coming follow up to '65's "Down in the Boondocks."

19.  LA LA LA (IF I HAD YOU)--  BOBBY SHERMAN--  Regardless of what the Kirkster might say, I enjoyed this guy's music.


Visions of Holiday Treats

From the November 19, 2012, USA Today "Visions of...peppermint chips?" by Bruce Horowitz.

I always like holiday goodies.  After all, I am just finishing off some mighty good pumpkin ice cream from Halloween/fall.  The article says that the food giants decide Americans want something else that they can't get the rest of the year.

Some of those:

Candycane,  Cinnamon & Sugar, White Chocolate Peppermint and Pumpkin Pie Spice flavored Pringles
Gingerbread shakes from Red Robin (with a shot of Jim Beam for adults)
Gingerbread Cookie Sundae from Burger King
Chocolate truffle ChapStick
Baskin-Robbins has a $32.99 ice cream cake centerpiece that looks like a turkey with legs made of sugar cones.

Jones Cola had a turkey and gravy soda in 1994.  This year, it has Gingerbread, Pear tree, Candy Cane and Sugar Plum.
You can get a Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks if you can afford it.

And, best of all, McDonald's is planning on bringing those McRIBS BACK!!! 

Oh, Boy.  Oh, Boy.  Oh, Boy!!!!   McRibs!!!  --RoadDog

MAXINE WONDERS:  Whatever happened to preparations A through G?

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Look Back: Top 20 Songs from December 1969-- Part 1

From "The Book of Hit Singles Top 20 Charts" by Dave McAleer.

Today, we go back to songs that were in the Top 20 from 43 years ago, back when I was a freshman at Northern Illinois University and never ever could have imagines out football team playing in the Orange Bowl game on New Year's Eve.  Things change, don't they?  How 'bout dem Huskies?!!!

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE--  PETER, PAUL & MARY--  Doing a John Denver song
NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE--  STEAM--  Go You White Sox!!!  Thanks Nancy Faust.

SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER--  DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES--  Before Diana "doerened" it.  "Doerened" refers to NIU head coach Dave Doeren leaving Northern to take the NC State job.  One who "doerens" leaves a great situation for greener pastures.  Just watch out for the cowpies, Dave.

DOWN ONTHE CORNER/FORTUNATE SON--  CCR--  Still my all-time favorites.  Another great two-sided hit.

COME TOGETHER/SOMETHING--  BEATLES--  Imagine the Beatles having a two-sided hit?
TAKE A LETTER MARIA--  R.B. GREAVES--  Also great when Brooks & Dunn covered it.

RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN' ON MY HEAD--  B.J. THOMAS--  Let's go bike riding.  You can sit on the handle bars.

AND WHEN I DIE--  BS&T--  This and "Go Down Gambling" are my favorite BS&T songs.
HOLLY HOLY--  NEIL DIAMOND--  I liked this one even better than "Sweet Caroline" and sure don't get to hear it as much.  Seems every karaoke has to play "Caroline."

"Sweet Caroline...dah...dah...dah"  OK, Get It Out of Your Head!"  --RoadDog

MAXINE WONDERS:  If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Three Reasons Why It Would Have Been Good for NIU to Lose the MAC Championship

Thinking Back to That really exciting Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship on Friday.

1.  At the time, the biggest was that Kent State, who somehow was ranked #17 in the BCS standings (NIU was #21) had a chance to go to a BCS Bowl game if they ended up #16.  Not actually likely because there is no way the Big Boys of College Football would have let one of us Little Guys into a game like that.  But, it would have brought some glory to the MAC and been worth some big bucks to both Kent State and the conference.

2.  At least this way, Northern would understand without a doubt why we aren't going to a BCS Bowl.

3.  Best of all, we could have sent the money-grubbing Doeren off to NC State with a loss.

Still Glad We Won, But....  --RoadDog

MAXINE WONDERS:  Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

As Doeren Slinks Off Into the Sunset

We figured it was coming, but it still hurt to find out that Northern Illinois coach Doeren, had already made up his mind to go to North Carolina State even before the MAC game last night that was one of the most exciting ones ever.

He says he can't wait to start his duties with the Wolfpack and as such was immediately relieved of his duties at Northern.  I, for one,  can't wait to see him go.

Hopefully he will be off campus by tomorrow if not already today.

I'll have some more comments at a later date.  Hopefully, however, he will have left the team in at least as good of a shape as he inherited when our last coach opted for the big bucks.

Take the Money and Run, Davey.  And Good Riddance.  --RoadDog

Back Home

Arrived back home after two weeks to the Carolinas for Thanksgiving with the family.  Did plenty of the old National Road on the way down and way back, plus a "seniors trip" to Myrtle Beach for Christmas shows.

For Thanksgiving, pretty much saw all the relatives over that weekend.

Saw an ECU game in person and last night watched the NIU MAC Championship victory over Kent State, part of it on 760 AM, the Score on Chicago. Only, that was east of Columbus, Ohio.  Always good to hear Bill Baker. the voice of the Huskies.  Wonder what he thinks of the latest NIU coach to slink away to the big boys?

Good to be Home.  --RoadDog

MAXINE WONDERS:  What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?