Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baseball's Hairston Family

While on the subject of Herry Hairston breaking up that perfect game 30 years ago, I suspected that Jerry Hairston Jr, playing for the Dodgers and Scott Hairston playing for the Cubs might be his sons.  They are.  But, I didn't know his father also played in the majors

Sam Hairston spent most of his baseball days in the old Negro League playing for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Indianapolis Clowns before playing for the White Sox in 1951.  Sadly, it was his only year in the majors and he didn't play much, but he broke the color barrier on the White Sox.

This is something I didn't know as I always thought Minnie Minoso was the first black player on the Sox.  This hits home with all the hoopla about that excellent Jackie Robinson movie "42."

The Hairstons three generations of players at the major league level ties them with the Boone and Bell families.

Then, Johnny Hairston, Jerry's brother played three games for the Cubs in that infamous 1969 season at catcher/left field.  Johnny and Jerry were the second generation of black players in the majors.

Quite the Family (And With a SOX CONNECTION).  --RoadDog

Monday, April 29, 2013

Every Blooming THing: Late May 2013

We finally got some warm, and, NO RAIN, weather and hopefully spring has sprung.  The grass has greened up big time and I even had to cut it yesterday.  I have been busy the last several days working on the flower beds, mostly cutting back dead plants, weeding and thinning out perennials.  And, I have the scratches and sore muscles to prove it.

I also have been trimming the burning bushes in the front as they have gotten way too tall.

The trees are budding out, the forsythia about to bloom and the daffodils are sure putting on a show.  (And, I have a whole lot of them.)

Finally, SPRING!!  --RoadDog

Jerry Hairston: The Guy Who Broke Up the Perfect Game All Those Years Ago

Closing out that perfect game for 26 outs that Milt Wilcox of the Detroit Tigers was pitching back 30 years ago, April 15, 1983 with some information on the guy who messed it all up, Jerry Hairston.

I went into his history and then found that he is a member of a Major League Baseball family, with two of his sons playing with the Cubs and Dodgers this year.  And, his father also played one year at the major league level.

Jerry Hairston was born in 1952 and spent 14 years in the majors playing mostly for the Chicago White Sox.  From 1978-1980, he played in the Mexican League, where he met his wife.  His lifetime batting average was .258 and he hit 30 homers, used primarily as a pinch hitter.

His best year was 1983, when he appeared in 101 games, had 126 at bats, 5 home runs and 37 hits for a .294 batting average.

He was pinch hitter excellent for the White Sox and manager Tony LaRussa made great use of that ability in that year when the Sox went to their first post season since the World Series in 1959.

Quite the Pinch Hitter, But WHY Did He Have to Get THAT HIT!!!??  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  What does a clock do when it's hungry?  It goes back four seconds.  (These are getting bad.)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Deaths: The Possum

GEORGE JONES, 81

Died April 26, 2013.

I was listening the 94.9, the Surf, out of North Myrtle Beach, SC, yesterday, when I heard Ted Bell say that George Jones had died and he then played what has to one of the greatest sad country songs ever recorded, Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today."  A fitting tribute.

He was known as "The Voice" along with several other names in his career.  What he could do with that voice was amazing "Rich and deep, strong enough to crack like a whip, but supple enough to bring tears." 

His personal problems were as legendary as his songs.  Alcoholism, drug addiction, brawls and accidents were regular and he earned the name "No Show Jones " for not showing up at concerts.

He was able to chart number one songs in every decade from the 1950s to 1980s.

Of course, my favorite George Jones song is "The Corvette Song" where he pulls up into a convenience store parking lot with a beautiful girl in the car, goes inside, and the clerk starts talking about what at first you think is a Corvette he used to have, but turns out to be the girl.  "Hotter than a $2 pistol, she was the fastest thing around.  Long and lean, every young man's dream..."

Give it a listen at You Tube.

We were fortunate to get to see him once at the the Walworth County Fair in Wisconsin.

Goodbye, Possum.

It Was, Still Is, a Flooding Situation Around Here

Sounds a bit like what would have been a great George Jones song.

That really big rain we had April 17th is still hanging around the Chain of Lakes area.  Even with rain all day this past Tuesday, most of the problem comes from the Fox River in Wisconsin which comes through the Chain of Lakes.

The water has gone down a little, but still in flood stage.

Of course, we had quite a bit of flooding on our way south to Springfield last Friday.  The Illinois, Vermillion and Sangamon rivers were especially flooding.

Fox Lake still has roads blocked off bcause of flooding.  Going on Grand Avenue, requires a detour.  Plus, the Taco Bell, McDonald's parking lots are mostly underwater.  At one time there was a shallow Dollar Lake where Rollins Road intersects Grave Avenue, but it was filled in to make the shopping plaza.  Well, folks, the lake is back on that parking lot.  I had a problem finding a place to park Wednesday when I went there for the movies.

Several marinas have boats that formerly were on dry land, sitting in the water as they are flooded.  A friend said he and folks at Munsen Marine of Il-59 spent this last week building a sand-bag, gravel levee to keep the water out.

The parking lot and sand volleyball court at Stormy Monday were under water and you can still see the different stages of the flood.

The Chain is closed to boating, obviously and will be for quite some time.  Even when it does open to boating, great care will have to be given to floating objects in the water.

Water, Water, Everywhere.  --RoadDog

Did We Really Get Spring?

This has to go down as the year we didn't have a spring...that is until yesterday when we finally got a much coveted 60 degree+ day with NO RAIN or cold in the air.  One thing about living here in the Midwest, when it FINALLY gets here, we sure enjoy it.

I got some yardwork in yesterday, plus navigated around flooded areas to get to Stormy Monday and later the Legion.  We sat out on the deck at Stormy Monday and enjoyed the warm air, sun and a nice sunset.  Plus, we saw the effects of the flooding that still has the Chain in its grips, more on that later.

Even caught some rays a short time ago OD, and will do some trimming, burning and maybe cut the grass today.

Warm temps are going through midweek.

About TIME!!!  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Milt Wilcox and That Near Perfect Baseball Game

I wrote a lot about that near-perfect baseball game between the Tigers and White Sox that took place back on April 15, 1983.  I sure would have liked to see that perfect game as that is a rare opportunity, despite the joy some Sox fans had when Jerry Hairston got that hit.

Here is some more information about Detroit pitcher Milt Wilcox.  He was born in 1950 (a year before me) and made his Major League Baseball debut September 5, 1970 with the Cincinnati Reds, beginning a career that went to 1986 and closed with him playing for the Seattle Mariners.

Overall career record 119-113 with a 4.07 ERA and 1,137 strikeouts (I would have liked to have had that strike out number one higher with a Jerry Hairston striking out that night back in 1983).

Reds--  1970-1971
Indians--  1972-1974
Cubs--  1975 (I never knew he played for the Cubs)
Tigers--  1977-1985
Mariners--  1986

Today, he runs an outfit called Ultimate Air Dogs in California.  It holds competitions to see how far a dog can jump off a dock into the water.

And, I really came up with some interesting stuff on Jerry Hairston and his family.

Sure Would Have Liked a Perfect Game.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?  A thesaurus!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Leading Last? The Trials of Chicago Baseball

Yesterday, we went to Antonio's and Tommy's here in Spring Grove.

While getting out $10 sixteen-inch pizza at Tommy's, we got into a discussion with some of the bartenders.  We all agreed our two Chicago baseball teams were playing mighty poorly, with both occupying last place in their respective Central Divisions.

Chris said our teams were "Leading Last."  Kenny said we were "First in Last."  I think they have it.


1984 CUBS PLAYOFF/WORLD SERIES TICKETS

While at Antonio's (enjoying $1 bottles), we saw Tim looking at a picture frame.  We asked what it was and he showed us a full set of Chicago Cubs (Leading Last this year) 1984 playoff and World Series tickets.

Tony, the owner had bought them from somebody for $100 and had been offered $500 for them.  Cub fans?  Who could figure?

These were box seats and what we really found interesting was the cost.  The box seats for the Playoffs cost $20 (just shy of the cost of a beer these days) and the price of that box seat for the World Series was.............$30. 

You couldn't even get bleacher seats for that price today, even on the rare "Regular" game price days.

Loving My "Leading Last" Teams.  --RoadDog

Top 40 in South Carolina August 25, 1967-- Part 1

From the Dancing on the Edge Magazine #30, February 15, 2013, by Professor John Hook.

These would be the top songs on WKYB, the Big KY Country in Hemingway, SC.

Top Tens in the south would have a lot of soul music and also some Beach Music.

1.  ODE TO BILLY JOE--  Bobby Gentry
2.  BABY, I LOVE YOU--  Aretha Franklin
3.  GIMME LITTLE SIGN--  Brenton Wood

4.  COLD SWEAT--  James Brown
5.  WORDS/PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY--  Monkees
6.  EVERLASTING LOVE--  Robert Knight
7.  REFLECTIONS--  Supremes

8.  HEROES AND VILLAINS--  Beach Boys
9.  TURN ON THE MUSIC--  Swinging Medallions (Beach Music)
10.  THE LETTER--  Box Tops

What Did My Baby Write Me?  --RoadDog

Deaths: Woodstock and the Toucher

RICHIE HAVENS, 72

Died April 22nd.  Noted guitarist and cover-song interpreter.  First on stage at Woodstock and played extra long as other artists having trouble getting there.  Played extra-long as well.

Who can forget that great song he sang "Freedom" shown in the movie, that robe and those tapping sandals.

Whenever I heard him afterward, I thought about this song.


CHRISSY AMPHETT, 53

Lead singer of Australian band Divinyls with their one big hit "I Touch Myself" back in the 90s.  Has it been that long ago?  Definitely a provocative song.

Sometimes I feel Like a Motherless Child.  --RoadDog

Digging Those Old Movie Scratches-- CIA-- Apes-- Cars2-- Hulk-- Dirt-- Eli

These are some movies I watch on TV:

I WAS A TEENAGE CIA AGENT--  That Arnold (Wonder Years) really kicks.

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES--  Caesar came, he saw, he spoke.

CARS 2--  Mater goes international.  Mater saves the day.

THE HULK--  Whatever you do, don't get this dude mad.

JOE DIRT--  Guy and his ultimate 'hawk.

BOOK OF ELI--  Bible-toting after the apocalypse.

You Get Those Pesky Commercials First at the Movies.  --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: Effects-- Skies-- Die-- Slayer

A dog's-eye view of today's movies.


9.  SIDE EFFECTS--2-20--  FOX LAKE $4--  Using pills to cover murder.


10.  DARK SKIES--  3-6--  FOX LAKE $4.50--  Alien Invasion?  Too late, they're already amongst us.  Watch out for the Grays.


11.  A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD--  3-6--  FOX LAKE $4.50--  Father-son bonding movie with all the smart-aleck Bruce Willis comments you can bear.


12.  JACK THE GIANT SLAYER--  3-7--  FOX LAKE $6--  Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the castle.  Gives a whole new meaning to "Spill the Beans."


What's This No Senior Discount With Sony Movies?  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  How do you make holy water?  Boil the hell out of it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back Home Again

After eating at Charlie Parker's yesterday, we drove home along Route 66 to Dwight, Illinois, and then Il-47 to Woodstock and then home.

It rained the whole way and the trucks were really throwing up the spray.  Not my favorite kind of driving.

We were shocked at the gas gouge we saw along the way.  Most every gas station was 20-30 cents higher, but some still at Friday prices.  And I thought Big Oil's annual pre-pre-pre Summer Driving price spike was over after they started the one in January.  Monday, gas in Springfield was $3.54.  Tuesday it was $3.80!!  Gas in McHenry County was anywhere from $4 to $4.16.

And, they thought they caught the terrorists last Friday.  Well, some of them evidently got away and "hit" yesterday.

Still no reason for the gas gouge and we'll probably not get one.  OK, I understand whatever the excuse they give is a lie, but it is always worth a laugh as we cry.

We did do a pit stop at the Dixie Truckers Home in McLean.

Good to be Home.  --RoadDog

TV Guide's Bubble Shows

I came across a photo gallery of shows which are believed to be in trouble and might receive the axe for next fall.  There were some that I have never watched, but these I do and would like to see come back.  I voted to keep all these, the percentage of "for" votes appear behind network.  My comments.

Community--  NBC 56%.  Even though they do get a little far-fetched, almost "too Glee" I imagine, though I've never watched that show.

CSI: NY--  CBS 67%.  I can't help it, I like those ensemble cop shows.

Law & Order: SVU--  NBC 68%.  Having a rough time recovering from Stabler's departure, but still good.

Parks and Recreation--  NBC 59%  I would REALLY hate to see this one go.  That is one zany group of folks.

Suburgatory--  ABC 62%.  Seems to have lost its way when the two New Yorkers went over to the "other side."

Vegas--  CBS 67%  Of all these listed, I'd miss this the most.  Besides the excellent characters, I love the music, cars and old Vegas.

Bring Back Vegas!!  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  I didn't like my beard at first.  Then, it grew on me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Local Dealer, the Cozy, Double J and the Curve

APRIL 22ND

We ended up taking the '03 Malibu over to the local Chevrolet.  Not that we wanted to, but because the check engine light came on the day before.  Don't want to have problems on the road going home.

Friendly Chevrolet, on the southwest side of town took it in right away and had to wait for a part, but had us out of there in a little over two hours and a little over $200 lighter.  Something about something with emissions.  Very friendly place and great popcorn, coffee and pop while you wait,   Sure like the looks of the '13 Malibus.

We were way too late for breakfast at Charlie Parker's so went to Cozy Dog for the Cozy Dog special (4 Cozy dogs and a large fries for $9.50).  You can't go to Springfield without eating at Route 66's Cozy Dog.  While we were there a tour bus came in with people from welcome centers around Illinois` who were finishing a five-day excursion around the state to experience some of the sites and places.

Hung around the motel and enjoyed the first bit of springlike weather and then went to Capital City and played NTN with JJ, Rusty and Peaches and then to the Curve Inn for 25 cent wings.  Lastly back to the motel's Southside Pub and watched the Bulls win their playoff game against the Nets.

The Day Got Better.  --RoadDog

Monday, April 22, 2013

Shopping and Eating Here in Springfield

APRIL 21ST

A day to just hang out around town.

I went over to the Wal-Mart across from the motel and bought the CCR CD Cosmo's Factory and was really happy to find two DVDs I had been looking for in the $5 bin: "Grumpy Old Men" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" two of the all-time funniest movies.  As an added bonus, the "Grumpy Old Men" DVD also included "Grumpier Old Men."  Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau, now there was one funny duo.

Then, we drove west to Veterans Parkway and the Best Buy and Barnes and Nobles.  The Best Buy has one of the best collections of CDs remaining in any of those stores, even though it continues to dwindle.  I even found several CDs by North Carolina's Avett Brothers that I've been looking for.

I still miss my Borders Bookstore in McHenry, so am always happy to find a Barnes and Noble store, even if they no longer carry CDs.

Then, we went to Golden Corral and enjoyed that magnificent spread of offerings.

Last stop was the Curve Inn for another sad Cubs effort (and loss).  One bad thing about the new juke boxes is that some of the songs that are played are rather ridiculous, including one we heard with more "F." "M-F." and "N" words than anyone should ever have to listen to, which is never.

RoadDog

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Springfield Spring 2013: April 20th-- In and Around the Capital City

Stopped at the Rock and Roll Hardee's on the way to the Crowne Plaza for a breakfast bite.  Liz dropped me off and I went to the SCV meeting.  We had 25 people there from four camps around Illinois.  I'll write more about this in my Civil War blog.

In the afternoon we had lunch and then a talk by a councilman from the Army of Tennessee.

Liz picked me up and we then went to Recycled Records and then the the new Camp Butler Civil War exhibit at the Elijah Iles House, Springfield's oldest home.

Stopped at Norb Andy's Taberin and George Ranks for drinks and baseball games.  Norb Andy's dates from the 1840s and George Ranks from the 1940s.

Later to Curve Inn (1932) and Southside Pub (1960s) at the hotel.

Busy Day.  --RoadDog

Supported My Local (Well Sorta) Record Store Yesterday

After the SCV meeting at the Crown Plaza Hotel, we drove over to Recycled Records in downtown Springfield, Illinois, and, after negotiating all those many, many, many one-way streets downtown, found a parking space (parallel) right by the place.  After some checking on whether the parking meters were in effect today (they weren't) we went in.

Talk about your really narrow aisles.  Meeting someone coming the other way requires some negotiating, especially if someone is looking through the DVDs or CDs.

I overheard one employee saying that there were about fifty people waiting for them to open today and that he store was packed the first two hours, then had tapered off to a steady stream.  Great to see the Record Store Day effort paying off.

I ended up buying CDs by the Human Beinz "Nobody But Me" and "Lemon Pipers "Green Tambourine" and three DVDs.

I Did My Part.  --RoadDog

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How Are You Celebrating Record Store Day? Willie Says, "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die"

I plan on going over to Recycled Records as soon as the SCV meeting gets over today here in Springfield, Illinois.   Had I been at home, I'd be over at the Vinyl Frontier in McHenry.

A day for the little guys, the indies, and for old fogeys like me who still get a kick out of leafing through albums or CDs and like seeing stuff we understand.  Download?

As an additional incentive to get people out to the stores, the folks running the Record Store Day thing have over 350 exclusive releases coming out today.  Amounts and items will vary from store-to-store.

Chicago's WXRT, Chicago's Finest Rock, has been pushing the event a lot.

I found a list of some of the items on Yahoo!  Most of these 45s and EPs apparently are on vinyl.  Some of the groups I know (and there are a lot I don't know) with releases today are Black Keys, Bob Dylan, Dave (Don't drive your boat under my tour bus when I'm on the bridge) Matthews, Flaming Lips, REM and Willie Nelson.

OK, I haven't heard of Flaming Lips, but with a name like that it would seem something to check out.

Plus, I'm really hoping Recycled Records has that Willie Nelson release which is titled "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die."  Considering Willie, I wonder what he's talking about?

A Day for Folks Like Me.  --RoadDog

Springfield Spring 2013: Wet Flooded Drive

APRIL 19TH

Pretty much every creek, stream and river we passed the whole way down was at flood stage, especially the Illinois River at Morris and the Vermilion River at Pontiac.  At one point outside of Woodstock, we even had to ford a stream.

Weather alternated between pellet hail, wind-driven snow, rain and those ever-threatening clouds.  And, it was mighty cold.  We like to froze at the Standard Oil station in Odell.  Plus, it was cold getting out of the car and taking short walks into the Old Log Cabin restaurant in Pontiac and the Dixie in McLean.

Once in Springfield, we went to the Lake Springfield Tavern on the Stevenson Road (Route 66 by-pass) where we saw that the second he-whose-name-must-not-be-mentioned suspect from Monday had been captured.

Saw a band at the Curve Inn and ended up back at the hotel's South Side Pub.

Some Spring we're having.

Neither Rain, Nor Snow....  --RoadDog

Friday, April 19, 2013

And, Don't Forget Record Store Day This Saturday

As in tomorrow.

After the SCV meeting, I'm going to Recycled Records in downtown Springfield, Illinois.  Might just buy a couple CDs.  Who knows.

Save Those Mom and Pop stores.

RoadDog

Time for Route 66, the Civil War and History

Springfield here we come.  SCV meeting tomorrow and all that good Mother Road cruising on the way down.

Hoping we don't encounter much in the way of flooding as we really got drenched the last two days.

Looking quite overcast and weather reports call for a possibility of rain or SNOW!!!  Yuck.  It won't be a great day for 66 cruising, but even a bad day on Route 66 is better than a good day at work.  Even if you don't work "no more."

Cozy Dog here I Come.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  Headlines--  Energizer Bunny Arrested!!  Charged with Battery!!!



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Saturday Is Record Store Day!!! Get Out to Your Local Mom and Pop Record Store

Last Saturday, I stopped into my local Mom and Pop record store, The Vinyl Frontier, in downtown McHenry, Illinois and bought CDs by the Knack and Squeeze.  I asked the owner when Record Store Day was and he said this coming Saturday, April 20th.

I was disappointed as we plan on being in Springfield, Illinois, that day, but there is a really good record store there called Recycled Records.  I'll go there after the Illinois Sons of Confederate Veterans Division meeting.

These stores are a special place to me.  They are definitely not corporate and perhaps some would call them cluttered.  But, it is my kind of clutter.  And, here, you can still flip through those albums, one of my favorite things to do.  Like look for buried treasure, you never know what lies behind that next album.

You can go to the website and find any of the stores near you.   www.recordstoreday.com.

I still miss three of my favorite old Mom-Pop stores: The Record Rack in Goldsboro, NC, Full Cyrkle in Crystal Lake, Illinois, and Record Revolution in Dekalb, Illinois.

From a Gung-Ho Album Flipper.  --RoadDog

Just Some More JSIS: Chad and Jeremy-- Defiance-- Bruins Fans Sing-- New Fogerty Album

JSIS--  Just Some Interesting Stuff.


1.  CHAD AND JEREMY--  Earlier this week, I was watching the "Dick Van Dyke Show" episode where they had the Redcoats on the "Allen Brady Show" and they were really Chad and Jeremy.  Ah, the old British Invasion and all those screaming girls.  Or, were they Peter and Gordon?  I never could tell those two groups apart.


2.  DEFIANCE--  Watched the first episode of this on Scyfy and it looks like it might be a good one.  And I see "Falling Skies" comes back on TNT in June. I enjoy these end of the world as we know it, sorry REM, TV shows.


3.  BRUINS FANS SING--  It was really neat to see those Bruin fans belting out the "Star-Spangled Banner" at last night's hockey game in Boston.  Glad the singer realized what was going on and stopped singing over the microphone.  Chills ran up and down my back.


4.  NEW FOGERTY ALBUM--  This past Thursday, WXRT played a song from John Fogerty's upcoming album.  I didn't hear it, but sure am looking forward to anything from JF.  One of my all-time favorites.  I'll be buying it right away.

"Land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE!!!!"  --RoadDog

JSIS: Denny's Chili-- Reality Show At Pier West and Angelo's-- SOS

JSIS--  Just Some Interesting Stuff


1.  DENNY'S CHILI--  I see my buddy Denny has been going to various places noted for their Cincinnati Chili and reviewing them.  Most recently he did one called "5 More 4's."  You can get your chili three-way, four-way or even five-way.  I don't know whether to thank or condemn him for getting me hooked on the stuff.  You can read it at www.dennygibson.com/blog.


2.  REALITY SHOW AT PIER WEST AND ANGELO'S--  Last week one of the Reality shows on the Food Network filmed at Pier West in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.  This week, they are filming at Angelo's on the square in Woodstock, Illinois.  I forget the name of the show, but it has something to do with helping failing restaurants succeed.  Last Tuesday, we met some of the show's people at Donovan's.  We were not impressed at all.


3.  SOS--  We are in the midst of the ten-day SOS Spring Safari Party in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  That's Shaggin' On the Strand and it is a big Beach Music celebration.  Sure would like to be there.  If it keeps raining, we might just float over to there.  By the way, here shagging refers to the dance.

My, Oh My, It's SOS Again.  --RoadDog

Places That Have Never Flooded Are Flooding

That's what they are saying on Chicago's WBBM-AM News Radio.  And, of course, those places that do flood...well!!

Pretty much every expressway is closed at one place or another.  Lombard is 75% underwater.  A sinkhole developed and swallowed three cars.  Chance of rain today--100%.  2.01 inches at O'Hare.  4 1/2 inches so far.  Flooding already along Des Plaines River and I'm sure along our Fox River.

We also have been getting a real lot of rain the last 2-3 weeks so the ground was already saturated.  I guess all the water we lost in last year's drought is BACK.

Temps today up to 70 degrees.  Back to the 40s tomorrow.

This Is a Bad One.  --RoadDog

Let the Monsoon Begin: Row, Row Row Your Boat

There is rain and then there is more rain.  We're getting both here in northeast Illinois.  And...we've been having a lot of rain for several weeks, not just what started yesterday.  It's got me out checking downspouts and drain tile to make sure the water is getting away from the house.

We have a big drainage basin behind the house and that is getting almost to the top, not to mention the new pond between the driveway and driveway light.

The Chain was made No Wake last weekend and now is completely closed, not that many folks yet have their boats out, including us.  Maybe the Waterway Management knew when they seriously let the Chain down last fall.  That will make up for last year when they let it down and we didn't get hardly any rain.  As a result, there were a lot of bottom-boat interaction last season.  We even had to pull out boat for a month because of fear of getting stranded in the mud in our channel.

We have had a real lot of rain since about 10 AM yesterday.  It rained all night and continues and we hear it goes until Friday.

We had been planning to drive to Springfield today for a SCV meeting Saturday until a few days ago when I remembered there was a presentation tonight in Fox Lake that I wanted to go to.  We put off the trip until Friday.  Now, I am not even sure we will be able to go then.

It was to be a Route 66/Sons of Confederate Veterans Illinois Division Meeting kind of a trip.

Well, At Least the Neighbors Have a Row Boat.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  We're going on a class trip to the local Coca-Cola plant.  I sure hope there is no pop quiz.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Journal Goes to April 15, 1983: The Near-Perfect Game-- Part 2

Chester and I go to our first White Sox game of the season on out 20-ticket game package, and what a game to kick off the season.  Continuing from my journal entry for that day:

"The Sox bats were cold as Milt Wilcox put them down in order through the first six innings.  In the meantime the Togers, especially Lance Parrish and Chet Lemon, were hitting the ball exactly where Sox players weren't.  Greg Walker forgot how many outs there were and threw the ball to the ump who jumped away from it.  Forttunately the runner on third didn't discover the situation until it was too late to score.

Wilcox continued his perfect game through the 7th and 8th and the stands started cheering him.  I will pull for any pitcher, except a Yankee, to throw a no-hitter, even against one of the teams I back.  A standing ovation was in order as he came to the mound in the 9th.

He got the first two batters out, one away from a perfect game.  We were about to see only the 13th perfect game since the beginning of the majors.  But, alas, it was not to be.

LaRussa  sent up the AL's best pinch hitter, Jerry Hairston, and he singled sharply through the center, the first and only Sox baserunner of the game.  To say the least, he was roundly booed and all sorts of expletives were mentioned in the stands.  Wilcox couldn't have had more support had he been in Tiger Stadium.

The next batter grounded out so we had to settle for a one-hitter.  I know that the next time Hairston comes up in a game the Sox have a chance to win he will pop up, foul out or strike out, but no, he couldn't do that tonight.

Had two more beers at Bridgeport Pub and drove home."

That Sure Would Have Been Something.  --RoadDog

Good Eatin' and Times Around Here: The Mega Mary (As in Bloody)

FRIDAY:  $2 bottles at Dirty Rooster overlooking Grasslake.  $1 drfats at the Legion.


SATURDAY:  Great breakfast skillet at Steak 'N Shake, presentation on Railroads in McHenry County, Vinyl Frontier Record Store in McHenry (bought two CDs) and the new Brad Paisley CD at Best Buy.  You know, the one with "Accidental Racist" that has so many blacks up in arms.  Great books and sports gnomes at Five Below.

Unbelievably good steak dinner at Route 12 Bar and Grill.  For $10 we got an 8-ounce NY Strip, salad and home made mashed red potatoes.

SUNDAY--  Tommy's for the Hawks win.  Route 12 for their $12 Mega Bloody Mary.  I don't usually spend that much for a drink, but made an exception.  It comes in a 28-ounce glass with three shots of vodka.  Then, it is loaded.  You drink it through a hollow Slim Jim.  Then there is a shrimp, two loaded spears of stuff, all sorts of other things and a burger slider and a brat slider.  Lends a new meaning to drinking your lunch.  Watched Cubs blow another one.

Big crowd as they also had a Chain Crawl sign up.


MONDAY--  $6 burrito meal at Antonio's.

TUESDAY--  NTN and $4.50 Maxwell Street Polish meal at Donovan's Reef.

Why Go Anywhere Else?  --RoadDog

Where Were You Spring 1967?-- Part 7: One Last Time

One last time back to that Spring, 46 years ago.  That's almost a half a century for you counters.  Stroud always plays part of a song when coming back from commercial break.  And on a Time Warp, these are also songs from the date he's playing.

These are his break songs:

CASINO ROYALE--  HERB ALPERT & TIJUANA BRASS--  From the upcoming spoof on James Bond movies.
SOMETHING STUPID--  NANCY AND FRANK SINATRA--  Father and daughter on their way to #1.

SO THAT'S GOOD--  SAM THE SHAM & THE PHAROAHS--  The good, the bad and the ugly.  (Hey, I like Sam the Sham.  He's the one who taught me how to catch a girl.)
WITH THIS RING--  PLATTERS--  Making the leap from the 50s to the 60s.  ()And with one great Beach Music song at that.)

THE LADY CAME FROM BALTIMORE--  BOB DARRIN--  Had dropped the "by" in a serious folk thing while recording a Tim Hardin song.  (No more Bobby.  I don't know, Bob just doesn't sound right.))
I GOT RHYTHM--  HAPPENINGS--  (I like these little song snippets, but sometimes Stroud doesn't tell the song or artist like he did on this one.  And, I'd heard it many, many times.  Like to drove me nuts figuring it out.)

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE--  (Another one he didn't tell the artist.  Anybody know?)
MELANCHOLY MUSIC MAN--  RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS--  (Sure glad he said the name and artist on this one.  I never would have guessed it.)

Turning the Old Way-Back Knob.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  Why were the Indians here first?  They had reservations.  ( I hear you moan.)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Journal Goes to April 15, 1983: The Near-Perfect Game-- Part 1

I have been keeping a journal since 1978 and really wish I had started it earlier.

Here is my entry for that day which was a Friday..

"Chilly.
Picked up Chester and drove to Chicago, stopping at Gemini on the way for hotdogs.  (Chester and I had purchased Sox 20-game season tickets for 1983 which guaranteed us seats at the All-Star game and any playoff games.  Both of us were huge Sox fans, but the prize was getting to see the All-Star game.  Gemini was a little hotdog stand on Il-134 in Round Lake.  I had forgotten about Chester until I read this. I haven't seen him since about 1985.)

Traffic as usual wasn't moving too well but we still managed to get to Bridgeport in 1 hr. 15 minutes.  We had a drink at Bridgeport Pub and walked the short distance to Comiskey.  (This was before the Cubs got their night games and everything went to parking stickers for locals only around Comiskey and Wrigley.)

Our tickets are between third and home and the only shortcoming I could find was that we couldn't see one side of the scoreboard because of camera equipment.  (This evidently was the first game we used our tickets.)  We weren't uncomfortably cold."

More to Come.  --RoadDog

That Great Near-Perfect Game Thirty Years Ago

Here is what the book "White Sox Journal" had to say about April 15, 1983.

"At Comiskey Park, Milt Wilcox of the Tigers retires the first 26 White Sox batters to face him, but his bid for a perfect game ends when pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston hits a clean single up the middle with two out in the ninth inning.  Wilcox then retired Rudy Law to close out a one-hit, 6-0 victory."

Those people cheering when Hairston got the hit must have been Cub fans.  They didn't know any better.

I found box scores for the game at baseball-almanac.com and baseball-reference.com.  Type in date and teams.

Maddening, Just maddening I Tell You.  --RoadDog

Where Were You Spring 1967?-- Part 6

WHEN I WAS YOUNG--  ERIC BURDON & ANIMALS--  (It's been so long ago that I was young that I can't remember.)
MIDNIGHT HOUR--  MICHAEL & THE MESSENGERS--  local group (And one great rendition.  Wilson would be so proud.)

I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW--  TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS--  In Top Ten
SWEET SOUL MUSIC--  ARTHUR CONLEY--  By the late great.  Produced by Otis Redding.  (And, his biggest hit, one of my all-time favorites.)

HERE COMES MY BABY--  TREMELOES--  Written by Cat Stevens.  (Wasn't this the group the one record company signed while taking a pass on the Beatles?)
RUBY TUESDAY--  ROLLING STONES--  The "A" Side of the earlier single ("Let's Spend the Night Together" where the Stones wanted to play Tiddly-Wink.)

COME ON DOWN TO MY BOAT--  EVERY MOTHERS SON--  Their one and only hit.
GROOVIN'--  YOUNG RASCALS--  Brand new this week.  (The ode to my idea of a great time.)

LITTLE GAMES--  YARDBIRDS--  With a new guitarist by the name of Jimmy Page.
HAPPY TOGETHER--  TURTLES--  The #1 song in Chicago.  (Is it even possible to hear a Turtles song and not tap, hum, bop your head or react in at least some sort of way?)

Wonder How Old Tiffany Was When the Tommy James Song Came Out.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  PMS jokes aren't funny.  Period!!


Monday, April 15, 2013

I Was Pulling For You, Milt: Milt Wilcox's Near Perfect Game 30 Years Ago Tonight

This has to be the greatest Major League Baseball event I have ever seen in person.   Thirty years ago today, Detroit Tiger pitcher Milt Wilcox had a perfect game going into the 9th inning against my Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.

And I was there.

I have never forgotten that game, but had forgotten the actual date, but knew it was early in the 1983 baseball season.  Last night, while looking through the new book I bought at Five Below in McHenry, Illinois, "White Sox Journal" by John Snyder, a must-have for Sox fans, I happened upon the 1983 season and figured I'd see if they had the date for this near-perfect game.

The book did, and it was today.

Milt Wilcox had a perfect game going into the ninth inning and a 6-run lead.  I had long since quit pulling for my Sox and was 100% behind Wilcox.  One out, two outs and Sox manager Tony LaRussa puts in Jerry Hairston to pinch hit.  He was our best pinch-hitter.  And that is just what he did.  Clean single.  The next player flied out and the Sox got to lose a 6-0 game.

I did not get to see my perfect game.  I didn't even get to see a no-hitter.  All I got was a one-hitter.  Not bad, but I could have had a perfect game.

When Hairston got the single, two people behind me started cheering.  That is the nearest I ever came to getting into a fight at the old ballpark.

Idiots.  --RoadDog

Where Were You Spring 1967?-- Part 5

These wre songs on your radio (in Chicago WCFL and WLS) back in the spring of 1967.  Bob Stroud did this on his Rock and Roll Roots show on Chicago's WDRV in honor of "Mad Men" coming back on AMC April 7th.  When the last season ended, it was Spring 1967.

FRIDAY ON MY MIND--  EASY BEATS--  Still lots from the British Invasion, but this was the first from the Land Down Under.  (And, it had an AC/DC connection.)
SOCK IT TO ME--  MITCH RYDER AND THE DETROIT WHEELS--  (These guys sure knew their Frat Rock.)

A LITTLE BIT ME, A LITTLE BIT YOU--  MONKEES--  "A" Side of two-sided hit.  This one written by Neil Diamond.
THE GIRL I KNEW SOMEWHERE--  MONKEES--  "B" Side.

GIRL, YOU'LL BE A WOMAN SOON--  NEIL DIAMOND--  (Always wondered what Neil had in mind once she did.  Taking a lick from Gary Puckett here.  Stroud  played a Coke commercial by Neil Diamond after this.)
SOMEBODY TO LOVE--  JEFFERSON AIRPLANE--  Brand new this week.  (And one of their "Big Two.")

THERE'S A KIND OF A HUSH--  HERMAN'S HERMITS--  Two-sided hit "A" side.
NO MILK TODAY--  HERMAN'S HERMITS--  "B" Side.  Written by the same guy  who wrote "For Your Love" by the Yardbirds, "Bus Stop" and "Look Through Any Window" for the Hollies. His name Graham Gouldman.  (Like Stroud, I agree this is an often overlooked nugget of a song.  I will have to look up Graham Gouldman as I am not familiar with him, but definitely am with these songs, all favorites of mine.  "Look Through Any Window" was either my first or second single that I ever bought.)

I Hate It When There's No Milk.  The Cereal Just Isn't the Same.  --RoadDog

From a Prince to a Robin (Or, From a Castle to a Cock)

Saturday night, Liz started looking up information on a fast food place in Chicago from her youth that she used to go to for little square hamburgers for 5 cents.  It was called Prince Castle and started in the 1920s.  This would have been a counterpart to the famous White Castle which is still around (and, I have my own way of eating a slider, ask me about it some time).

She found out the first one was in Dekalb, Illinois (of course, that peaks my interest), and at one time had 70 places, many in the Chicagoland area.  They were also famous for ice cream.

Over the years they morphed into another famous eating place around the Chicagoland area, Cock Robin, with their famous burgers and One-In-A-Million shakes. 

I was not familiar with Prince Castle, but went many times to the Cock Robin place on Northwest Highway (US-14) in Arlington Heights.

Sure Wish They Were Still Around.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  A dyslexic man walks into a bra.


Deaths: A Lot of Great Music

PHIL RAMONE, 79 (1934-MARCH 30, 2013)

Grammy-winning producer and I have to admit I had never heard of him, but I have heard of his work...BIG TIME!  At first I thought he might have been a member of the Ramones.

He made platinum recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon.  Won 14 Grammys.  Worldwide sales over 100 million.  Also worked with Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Tony Bennett, Madonna and Lou Reed.

Specific albums: The Band by the Band, Blood On the Tracks--Bob Dylan, Still Crazy After All These Years- Paul Simon, 52nd Street-- Billy Joel and Genius Loves Company-- Ray Charles.

He was also a pioneer in digital recording and a native of South Africa.

Also produced Billy Joel's The Stranger, Paul Simon's There Goes Rhymin' Simon and concert albums by the Rolling Stones and Dylan.

Some other noteworthy songs Ramone was involved with:

Alice's Restaurant--  Arlo Guthrie
It's My Party--  Leslie Gore
Send In the Clowns--  Judy Collins
Girl from Ipanema--  Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto

This was one talented guy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where Were You Spring 1967?-- Part 4

One thing about songs from back then, you can sure fit a lot of them in a three-hour show, which is exactly what Bob Stroud did.  Sure enjoyed it.  Hope some of these are bringing back memories for you.  Stroud's comments first.  Mine in parentheses.

MY BACK PAGES--  BYRDS--  current release, a Dylan tune.
SWEETS FOR MY SWEET--  RIDDLES--  A good time to be a band in Chicago as chances were pretty good you'd get played on the radio on one of the two AM giants.  I can't imagine that happening today.  (The two giants on AM would be WLS and WCFL.  I hadn't heard this one for a VERY long time.  What a great song!!)

DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE--  MAMAS AND PAPAS--  Written by an artist who has been folk in the beginning, but now firmly entrenched in pop and rock, John Phillips, leader of the group.  Brilliant rerecording of an old Shirelles classic.  (I didn't know he wrote it so looked it up in Wikipedia which said it was written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass.  So, who wrote it?)
)
HAPPY JACK--  WHO--  first U.S. hit.  (And I always thought it was "I Can See for Miles.")

YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES--  DAVE CLARK FIVE--  One of their last U.S. hits.  (And, I liked them just as much as Beatles.)
JIMMY MACK--  MARTHA REEVES--  Motown rescued an old Martha and the Vandellas song, put it out and it became a big hit for the leader of the group, Martha Reeves.  (And here I always thought it was performed by Martha AND THE VANDELLAS.)

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH--  BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD--  The first of a couple tunes by Stephen Stills.  This one with his group, their debut album.  (And, a big reason I got into country rock.)
SIT DOWN I THINK I LOVE YOU--  MOJO MEN--  San Francisco group.

There's a Man with a Gun Over There.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type O.






Friday, April 12, 2013

OK, So Wrigley Field Is Not ALL That Magical

From the April 9, 2013, Northwest Herald Musick: Wrigley's blemishes embraced" by Tom Musick.

Everybody likes to talk about Chicago's Wrigley Field being such a great experience, despite the team that plays there.  Tom Musick took a walk around and observed some things that weren't so great.

I'm listing his findings.  He has his reasons, so check out his article.

1.  Urinal troughs for the guys
2.  Poles that block the view
3.  No escalators
4.  Black metal netting below the upper deck (to save you in case a piece of cement falls off.  Now, that's more than a little worrisome.

I might add, the money-grubbing rooftop owners, the offensive prices on everything you might want to buy in and outside the park and horrendous parking prices (especially since you can no longer park on the streets around the park unless you have a resident parking sticker.

Now, Who Sent the Goat Head?  --RoadDog

Five Big Retailers That Will Be Gone in Five Years

From the April 11th Yahoo! Finance by Brian Sozzi.

I'm just listing, go to site to find out why.

1. J.C. Penney's
2.  Staples
3.  Sears
4.  Radio Shack
5.  Barnes & Noble

Sad to see these go, although I don't even know if I've ever been in a Staples store.  I rarely go into Sears of Penney's.  Of course, I really hated it when a hedge fund guy got Sears and K-Mart, which marked the beginning of the end of those two stores.  Not much lower than a hedge fund and, especially the manager of one.

I also rarely went into Radio Shack's, even back in the 70s.

I will definitely miss Barnes & Nobles, even though there are none around here.  The loss of our local Border's helped get me off of the book box stores, even though I really liked them.

I Hate to See Stuff From My Past Go.  --RoadDog

Where Were You Spring 1967?-- Part 3

BERNADETTE--  FOUR TOPS--  Current hit by the great Funk Brothers in Top ten.  (One of the Delta Sigs' four must-play groups at parties.  The Funk Brothers were Motown's House Band.)
ON A CAROUSEL--  HOLLIES--   (And one of my favorite British Invasion bands.)

AT THE ZOO--  SIMON AND GARFUNKEL--  A Paul Simon song.  (What was it about the giraffes?)
59TH STREET BRIDGE SONG (FEELING GROOVY)--  HARPER'S BIZARRE--  Another Paul Simon song.

STRAWBERRY FIELDS--  BEATLES--  "A" Side from current hit.
PENNY LANE--  BEATLES--  "B" Side
TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS--  BEATLES--  Final song from Revolver album, the last from September 1966, the last before all this new Beatle stuff.

I NEVER LOVED A MAN THE WAY I LOVE YOU--  ARETHA FRANKLIN--  She had been languishing in semi-obscurity throughout most of her time on Columbia Records, she made a jump to Atlantic and her career took off.)
LONELY TOO LONG--  RASCALS--  (Also one of my favorite bands from the era..)


Where's It All Happening?  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  I did a theatrical performance about puns.  It was a play on words.



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Deaths: Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

LEE POCKRISS, 87  (Jan. 20, 1924-Nov. 14, 2011)

This man wrote or cowrote a lot of my favorite songs, including:

Catch a Falling Star--  Perry Como 1957
Itsy Bitsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini--  Brian Hyland 1960
Johnny Angel--  Shelly Fabares 1962
Tracy--  Cufflinks 1969
Playground In My Mind--  Clint Holmes

He even wrote songs for TV's Sesame Street:

My Polliwog Way-- Kermit the Frog
Transylvania Love Call--  Count von Count
My Rock--  Bert

And, I had never heard of him.

Deaths: "Drift Away"

I list music world deaths in this blog.  World War II deaths are in my Tattoed On Your Soul blog and all others in my History Thing blog.  These are people who have had an impact on me.

DOBIE GRAY, 71

(June 26, 1940-December 6, 2011)

Singer-songwriter.  His big hits include "The 'In' Crowd" which hit #13 in 1965 and one of my all-time favorites, "Drift Away" which went to $5 in 1973. 

He was born in Texas, the son of sharecroppers.  His name was adopted from the "Dobie Gillis" TV show.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It Was Deja Vu All Over Again: K.C.'s and Stabbings in Texas

Went over to pick up our taxes yesterday and then drove to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and played some NTN.  On the way home, we stopped at K.C.'s Cabin in Spring Grove (corner of 173 and Wilmot) and enjoyed their sandwich special.  Buy one, get one free.  And, all their food is outstanding, especially their burgers.

I got a half pound cheddar, bacon, bbq burger and fries for $7.95.

We hadn't been there since a little over five years ago.  The last time there, we were watching TV when they started showing video taken at Northern Illinois University, our old college.  This is when that unmentionable murdered five students and wounded twenty others.

Tonight on the TV, we saw where another unmentionable had stabbed 14 students at Lone Star College CyFair in Cypress, Texas.  That sent shivers down our spines.

It seemed strange that this happened the next time we went there.

Too Close to Home.

Every Bloomin' THing: Early April-- Winter's Last Gasp?

By the way, the "TH" in THing is done on purpose.  Not originally, but it kind of grew on me.  Guess I left my finger on the shift too long after I hit the "T."

We have a severe thunderstorm right now with lots of lightning and thunder.  Later today, maybe snow flurries.  Let's hope it's you-know-who's last gasp.

Yesterday, I picked one of the daffodils and brought it inside.  The first ones, by the heat outlet in the backyard, just started blooming.  Ah, the smell of spring.  Bringing in my first flower of the season is always a big thing for me.

The robins have been in the yard since early March.

I have already done some yard work in the back of the house, mostly trimming bushes and breaking down leftovers from last year.

At some point today, my lawn tractor gets delivered.  I have it worked on every spring to make sure it is in running condition.  That John Deere is now 18 years old.  And, the grass is starting to turn green, just in time.

Hurry Up Spring!!  --RoadDog

"The Ballad of the USS Titanic"-- Jaime Brockett

Up way too early again and listened to the start of Lin Brehmer's morning show on WXRT.  This being the 101st anniversary of the Titanic's maiden voyage (the ship sank April 12th), Lin Brehmer said we shouldn't worry as he knew where all the icebergs were.

He opened his show playing parts of that great Jaime Brocketts song from the late 60s-early 70s, "Ballad of the USS Titanic" with bits from movies and TV about it.

Guess I'll have to dig out the album and listen to it now.  That song alone, took up one whole side.  In it, Brockett gives his own theory as to why the ship hit the iceberg "and went right on down."  It had to do something with 297 (ok, just listened to it, 497) and a half feet of rope, in case you're wondering.

By the way, you can go to You Tube and listen to it.  Well worth a listen, especially if you've never heard it before.  Watch the FULL version.  All 13:30 of it.

"And They Wouldn't Let Jack Johnson On Board."  --RoadDog

Where Were You Spring 1967?-- Part 2

That new episode of "Mad Men" was a good one Sunday night.

THE HAPPENING--  SUPREMES--  Title track from the film and much more happening than the film.
DON'T YOU CARE--  BUCKINGHAMS--  Their first hit on Columbia. Follow up to "Kind of a Drag."  (And a former Chicago band.)

MR. UNRELIABLE--  CRYAN' SHAMES--  Chicago's own, third consecutive Top Ten single in town.  (My second favorite Chicago band, after the New Colony Six.)
I'M A MAN--  SPENCER DAVIS GROUP--  I always thought the Stones had this song in mind when they recorded "Sympathy for the Devil."  (As fine of a Frat Rock song as there is.  Let's all chug!)

IT TAKES TWO--  MARVIN GAYE AND TAMMI TERRELL--  Recorded at Hitsville USA.
WESTERN UNION--  FIVE AMERICANS--  out of Texas.  (A band into communication.  Their other big hit was "Zip Code" recorded when that began reality.)

DARLING BE HOME SOON--  LOVIN' SPOONFUL--  (Probably my favorite song of theirs.  And, they had a lot of great songs.)
BABY, I NEED YOUR LOVING--  JOHNNY RIVERS--  A Four Tops song from 1964.  (Mr. Cover Guy)

"Bad News in His Hand."  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  I'm reading a book about anti-gravity.  I can't put it down.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My First Crush Dies At 70: Annette Funicello

From Wikipedia.


ANNETTE FUNICELLO (1942-2013)

I was listening to The Surf, 94.9 FM from North Myrtle Beach, SC, when I heard the news that Annette Funicello  had died after a long battle with MS at age 70.

I remember rushing home from school to see her and the other Mouseketeers on that Mickey Mouse Club TV show back in 1st to 3rd grades in Raleigh N.C..  I see the show lasted only from 1955 to 1959.  Somehow, I thought it went on for longer than that, but everything back at that young age seemed to last forever.  Well, it was on every day Monday to Friday, perhaps that is why it seemed to go on so long.

I mean, though, that was one really cute girl and she always looked right at me.

Then, we both graduated to those Beach Party movies with Frankie Avalon, the lucky dog.  Going out with my gal.

Some history.

Annette was the only Mouseketeer chosen by Walt Disney himself.  By the end of the first year, she was the most popular Mouseketeer and receiving 6,000 letters a month (though I don't remember ever writing her).

She had several big hits with songs, especially "Tall Paul" and "Pineapple Princess."  I was watching the video of "I'll Never Change Him" on one of the sites, and remembered why I liked her.

Then, there were the Beach Party movies:
Muscle Beach Party
Bikinia Beach
Beach Blanket Bikini
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini

There Goes a Part of My Childhood.  --RoadDog

Ten of the Worst Jobs for the Future

From April 4, 2013, Yahoo! Finance, Kiplinger.

Jobs they say are on the way out and current number working them.  Go to site for reasons.  I'm just listing.  These are doomed by technology.  Sometimes I hate technology.

1.  Post Office Clerk--  65,000
2.  Switchboard Operator/Call Receptionist--  142,500--  Guess we might as well get used to those pesky menus and waits.
3.  Semiconductor Processor--  21,100--  Hey, isn't that technology?

4.  Sewing Machine Operator--  163,200
5.  Printing Press technician--  50,800
6.  Desktop Publisher--  22,610--  Again, isn't this technology?
7.  Door-to-Door Salesmen-=-  153,800--  Are they still around?

8.  Floral Designer--  66,500--  Flower arranger?
9.  Journalism Reporter--  51,900--  Then who collects the news?
10. Jeweler--  39,000

How About Retired Folks?  --RoadDog

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Were You Doing Spring 1967?-- Part 1

Yesterday, Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Show on WDRV was a Time Warp--  The Mad Men Time Warp, back to the spring of 1967 since that is where season 5 ended.  Of course, Sunday was also the season 6 premier.  It just kind of fit.

And, best of all, he did the full three hours on the spring of '67, instead of splitting the show between two dates like normal.

Back in the spring of 1967, I was finishing up my sophomore year at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois.  I had been on the wrestling team until I broke my foot in practice.  At least that got me out of Latin class early, before Mrs. Johnson got to ask me the hard translation that I hadn't done.  And, it got my buddy Kevin out early as well.  Hey, somebody had to carry my books.  She's always say, "Mr. Hatch, just wait until you get that cast off!!"

We were living in Winston Park subdivision, a huge housing development,  across the street from St. Thomas.

Of course, I was somewhat fearing taking my drivers test.  Poor Dad had been taking me out for practice in the family 1964 Bel Air, with its "wonderful" manual transmission which I was having serious trouble mastering.  Dad and I would come back shaken, not stirred.

BREAK ON THROUGH--  DOORS--  From their debut album, their first single (And I always thought it was "Light My Fire.")  The title of the "Mad Men" premier tonight is "The Doorway."
LET'S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER--  ROLLING STONES--  Their latest release was a one-and-a-half hit because of the subject matter of this "B" side.

Enjoyed That Season Premier Last Night.  --RoadDog

A Sports, Movies Kind of Weekend

Other than going to Stormy Monday on Friday and Tommy's on Saturday to watch the Blackhawks-Predators hockey game, just stayed in.

Watched the Cubs get swept by Atlanta.  The only real sad one was Saturday night when they had a 5-1 lead into the 8th inning, until Cubs relievers let the game get the game get tied and then Carlos Marmol (with his 27,00 ERA) gave up that walk-off homerun.

The Sox lost Friday to the Mariners, but then won the next two, including yesterday's walk-off home run!!

The Blackhawks played the Nashville Predators twice and beat them both times.

As far as the NCAA Final Four, I had hoped for a Wichita State win, and they were ahead until near the end.  Oh well.  I don't like either Louisville and especially Michigan, so will be pulling for Louisville, but don't really care.

As far as the Bulls are concerned, I see Mr. Rose is still earning all those millions not to do anything.

Also enjoyed "Bat Man Returns" as campy as the TV show, "Thelma and Louise" with that ending I sure didn't expect, "Shawshank Redemption" about surviving prison and "Erin Backovich" about making a company pay for wrongdoing.

Of course, then at 8 PM, "Mad Men" returned and after that "The Vikings."

I've Got to Stop Watching So Much TV.  --RoadDog

Up Way Too Early, But Listening to WXRT's Cubs Opening Day Broadcast

Up way too early, but at least I get to listen to start of WXRT's Lin Braemer's Season Opener Show from Wrigleyville.  That means those sadsack North Siders are having their home opener.  They are at a bar near Wrigley Field and besides a bunch of fans (already there) and bands, will play until 1 AM, right before the first pitch at Wrigley.

Of course, should the Cubs amaze and actually have a lead near the end, that will be gone quickly if they put in chief reliever Carlos Marmol, who has been absolutely horrible so far this season and should be giving his salary to charities.

However, I think Braemer should be fair and have an opener show for Chicago's much better, but still sad, White Sox.  The world does not revolve around the Cubs, sorry Len.

Just heard that Marmol and his 27 ERA is no longer the closer.

How Long Did That Take You to Figure That Out?   Well, Anyway, Go Cubs.  --RoadDogs


TOO PUNNY:  This girl said she recognized me from a vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

NC Spring 2013 Trip: April 2nd-- Home

APRIL 2ND

Got back on I-70 and drove to Indianapolis, stopping along the way for some $3.60 gas in Ohio.  Had the thought of having the Breakfast of Champions, Sliders, but first place in Indiana was three miles off the road (after I got off) so went to a second.  Got that $5 deal: 4 Sliders, fries and drink.

Tummy full, back on interstate to Indianapolis and through town to bypass on west side then to I-74.

Stopped in Mahomet for $3.56 gas, then watched gas prices start rising the closer I got to Chicago on Il-47.

Then, at 4 PM, home.  Drove 411 miles today.

Good to be Home.  --RoadDog

Ten Great Ones From 1976

Jumping ahead ten years.  From Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots show back on September 24,  2010.

JAILBREAK--  Thin Lizzy
LIDO SHUFFLE--  Boz Skaggs
AMERICAN GIRL--  Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

THIS SONG--  George Harrison--  And he made sure he didn't get this song from anyone else.
LONG TIME--  Boston
SO FINE--  ELO
WALK THIS WAY--  Aerosmith

CRUISIN'--  Jefferson Starship
ROCK AND ROLL NEVER FORGETS--  Bob Seger
DECEMBER 1963 (OH WHAT A NIGHT)--  Four Seasons

Bicentennial, You Know.  --RoadDog

Ten Great Ones From 1966

From 2010

LOVE IS LIKE AN ITCHING IN MY HEART--  Supremes
EIGHT MILES HIGH--  Byrds
KICKS--  Paul Revere & the Raiders

SCARBOROUGH FAIR/CANTICLE--  Simon and Garfunkel
CALIFORNIA DREAMING--  Mamas and Papas
UNDER MY THUMB--  Rolling Stones
ALONG COMES MARY--  Association

I FEEL FREE--  Cream--  From their Fresh Cream album.  I was in NC when my cousin Joe and buddies Ronnie and Keith introduced me to this new group.
MONEY--  Jr. Walker & the All Stars
CHERRY, CHERRY--  Neil Diamond

Recognize Any?  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.  Then it dawned on me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

NC Spring 2013 Trip: April 1st

Back on I-77 several miles north of that horrendous vehicle pile up from yesterday in which three were killed and many sent to the hospital.  I had heard that it had been cleared off, though.

Past Wytheville and up to West Virginia and past where the rock slide had been on my way down.  It was all clear, except the shoulder was closed for some reason.  West Virginia Turnpike, paid my $6 and kept an eye on those mountainsides.

At Ripley, got off and back onto US-33 and the 100 miles to Columbus and then I-70 west to Dayton exits and got my Skyline Chili fix and a room at the next door Super 8 for $33.

Almost Home Now.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  How does Moses make his tea?  Why, Hebrews it.

Deaths: Harry's Uncle and Thumbs Up/Down

RICHARD GRIFFITHS, 65

Played Harry Potter's mean old uncle with whom he was sent to live before attending Hogwarts.  Never heard of him before, but have to admit I am a big fan of those Harry Potter movies and those really big books sure did get kids to reading, a really good thing.


ROGER EBERT

Movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for many years and co-starred in the popular TV show "At the Movies" with Chicago Tribune movie critic Gene Siskel.  I didn't watch it much, but when i did, anxiously awaited the thumbs up or down.

For the most part, I like to read what movie critics write, but I don't take their advise.  Most times they pan a movie, I like it.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

NC Spring 2013 Trip: April 1st-- Feeling a Bit Foolish

April 1ST

Left Goldsboro and took US-70 to I-40 and past the Raleigh-Durham monster car trap with no problem. 

Approaching Burlington, I got off the interstate and stopped at Hursey's BBQ.  I'd seen their billboards all these times driving through, but had never stopped.  They're considered one of the best 'cues in the state, which is saying something.

They sure earn that distinction.  As Arnold would say, "I'll be back!!"

Then, I-40 to US-421 to US-52/I-74 to Mt. Airy, then off at NC-89 and into Virginia on what is also called Skyline Highway, an apt name.  Beautiful drive.  My objective was the town of Galax, Virginia, from which the country station I listen to transmits. 

Drizzling and didn't see any likely stops, so got gas and back on I-77.  I missed the spot where they had that huge car crash in the fog yesterday at the Va-NC border.

RoadDog

Deaths: Backed Elvis

GORDON STOKER, 88

Died last week.  Member of the Jordanaires, Elvis' backing group (though I'm not sure if vocals, instruments or both).  Performed on "Hound Dog" and you can really hear him on "It's Now Or Never" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight."

Also performed on "Crazy" by Patsy Cline, "Four Walls" by Jim Reeves, "He Stopped Loving her Today" by George Jones and "Lucille" by Kenny Rogers.

Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

I am a bit of an Elvis fan, so right there, this man was of interest, but also to have played with those others.  Wow!  Talk about a guy who had a life experience.  Hopefully he wrote a book.

TV Guide's Fall TV Guide Scorecard: Put On the Going, Gone List

These are shows that are ending or already canceled (that I like to watch):

30 Rock (ending) NBC
Last Resort (ABC)
The Office (ending) NBC
Zero Hour ABC--  Now, this was a show I could really sink my teeth into with history and detective work.  Sort of a "National Treasure" meets "Indiana Jones."

TV Guide says these are shows whose future is not so good (that I like):

1600 Penn-- NBC  I couldn't imagine how a comedy about the White House could be funny, but this group worked.
Body of Proof--  ABC
Community--  NBC  Getting a bit far-fetched.

CSI: NY--  CBS
Golden Boy--  CBS--  New, but I'm liking it.
Guys With Kids--   NBC--  Didn't think I'd like it, but it sort of grew on me.
Rules of Engagement--  CBS--  Now, I'd really miss this one.
Whitney--  NBC

Definitely Watching TOO Much TV.  --RoadDog


TOO PUNNY:  I know a guy who is addicted to brake fluid, but says he can stop anytime.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Home Now

Love to be on the road. Love getting home just as much.

It took me two days and a little over a thousand miles to get home on Monday and Tuesday.

RoadDog

NC Spring 2013 Trip: March 31-- A Family Easter

MARCH 31ST--  SUNDAY

Of course, this being Easter Sunday, I went to church with Mom.  First, though, Sunday School in my dad's old class.  These men always remind me so much of him, I enjoy being with them and listening to them talk.  You always get sports and especially college belittling amongst NC State, Carolina, Duke and East Carolina.

During the church service, the congregation went to the front and placed flowers on a cross, a new tradition for me as I had not seen it before.  Quite an impressive cross with all those flowers and taken out afterwards and placed in front of the church.  I later saw another flower cross in front of the Presbyterian Church.  This is a nice thing to do.

Went to Willowdale Cemetery and placed flowers at my dad's grave and that of my mother's parents.

Then visited Wayne Memorial Cemetery on the way to Warsaw and paid our respects to my father's parents.

Visited my cousin Graham's family in Warsaw.  It is always great to have a family get-together on special days.  And, some really fine food.

Came home and watched the rest of the two tournament games.  I wasn't happy about Louisville beating Duke and didn't care much about the Michigan-Florida game.

Watched the end of "The Bible" and "The Vikings" on History Channel.

Mom was saying what the people on "The Bible" said even before they spoke.

Heading Home Tomorrow.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NC Spring 2013 Trip: March 29th and 30th: Grazing at McCall's and Battle of Goldsboro

MARCH 29TH

Big thing today was going to McCall's for their lunch buffet.  For $7.95 got it all, but splurged on the bbq, slaw and Calabash shrimp.  I was even too full for dessert.

MARCH 30TH

Went out to the Battle of Goldsboro (Goldsborough) Bridge which was a large skirmish involving 11,000 Union troops and less than 2,000 Confederates back in December 1862, so the 150th anniversary was just commemorated.  Until several years ago, there was nothng at the site which was used as agricultural land after the war so is still pretty much the same.  It has  =been restored by the Goldsboro Rifles Sons of Confederate Veterans.

I also bought six two-liter bottles of Cheerwine.  It is a NC product and I'm a big fan of it.

My sister came in from Georgia.

Visions of 'Cue Dancing in My Head.  --RoadDog