Saturday, August 31, 2013

Just Got Back: 40th Anniversary-- Part 2: (August 27th) Dubuque and Galena

We had an excellent hot continental breakfast at the Best Western and sat out by the pool for awhile. Went looking for the Julien Dubuque Monument south of Dubuque off US-52, but couldn't find it, probably because of the road construction. /// Then went to the Old Jail Museum and had a Coney dog at the Grand Tap, in an old gas station. /// Crossed the Mississippi on the bridge and went to Van's in East Dubuque. Checked into the Ramada Inn-Galena, on the site of the old mom and pop Palace Motel where we stayed on our honeymoon 40 years ago. /// Then we went to downtown Galena, "The Town That History Forgot" as it is straight out of the 1840s. Went to the places east of te Log Cabin today, two that we'd never been to before. First stop was at the Gold Room, then Durty Gurts and the Galena Brewing Company where we found that Red Stripe Beer, so closely associated with Jamaica, was originally made in Galena for a hundred years before being sold to some British investors in 1937 and taken to that island. /// Back to the Ramada and enjoyed yesterday's lunch, the in-room gas fireplace and sat out on the patio and drank a bottle of Blue Nun wine, a tradition started by Liz's father back on August 25, 1973. /// Doing That Memory Thing. --RoadDog

Iconic Brands That Just Disappeared

From the July 3, 2013, Yahoo! Finance, 24/7 WallSt by Alexander E.M. Hess and Michael B. Sauter. /// Ten years ago, SONY Ericsson was one of the hottest cell phone makers and Cingular was one of the most popular wireless carriers and, then Compaq was one of the hottest PC brands. Don't ask me about the first two. I'd heard of them, but you're talking to a guy who has had his cell phone (same one) for about eight years and still doesn't know how to operate it. I think my school in Round Lake got Compaq computers for the first time back in 2000. I didn't know how to operate them either. /// These and others have effectively ceased to exist, but were household names back then. Cause of loss, usually significant mismanagement coupled with industry pressure. /// Compaq and Cingular were bought. Some others which are gone now: Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, Washington Mutual and Saab. /// Gone Now. --RoadDog

Friday, August 30, 2013

Just Got Back: 40th Anniversary-- Part 1: (August 26th) To Dubuque

We just arrived back home after four days on the road, celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. As friends told us, that's a l-o-n-g time. /// AUGUST 26TH, MONDAY: Out to Dekalb, Illinois, where we were married August 25, 1973. Lunch at Fanatico's, a new Italian restaurant with our scholarship person, Terri. We have a scholarship at Northern Illinois in education that we are building. /// Then, drove by the Newman Center, where we were married and the Best Western on Lincoln Highway where we had our wedding reception. /// Took that scenic US-20 from Rockford to Galena, then stopped for cocktails at the VFW, Paradise Bar and Grill and the Log Cabin. Forty years ago on this date, we ate our first meal after the wedding here, but not today as we were too full from lunch and had too much left over. /// Swiss Inn in East Dubuque had no vacancy, so ended up at the Best Western in Dubuque. Met some friendly people at Champps and went to bed. /// A Real L-o-n-g Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far Away.... --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How to Celebrate a 40th Anniversary

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22ND: No boating because of threatening rain and rain. NTN at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wi.. Two of the dumbest movies ever made: "Sharknado" and "Ghost Shark." /// FRIDAY, AUGUST 23RD: Boating. Then Stormy Monday on Fox Lake and the Legion on Nippersink Lake. Margaritaville at home and Sox and Bears games. /// SATURDAY, AUGUST 24TH: Boating for 20th time. Dock's Tiki Bar in Wauconda and dj on deck. Fratello's Hot Dogs in Volo (for our 40th wedding anniversary rehearsal dinner). Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake for the band 1969 playing music from that era. /// SUNDAY, AUGUST 25TH: Our 40th wedding anniversary. Boating then the band Soda playing outside at Captain's on Fox Lake. /// Great Way to Celebrate. --RoadDog

JSIS: Gators-- Tornadoes-- Bears-- Wings

From the August 26, 2013, USA Today State-by-state./// 1. GATORS: BONITO SPRINGS, FL-- No more baby alligator-hugging at the Flamingo Island Flea Market. The market and Gator Man Mike Sturgill refuse to pay the $3,500 fee for permission to have an ordinance exception./// 2. TORNADOES: FAYETTEVILLE, ARK.-- Research from the University of Arkansas shows thqat tornadoes traveling uphill cause much more damage than ones going downhill after studying the horrific tornadoes of 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo../// 3. BEARS: MINNESOTA-- The world's oldest-known wild black bear has died of old age at 39 1/2. Bear No. 56 was tagged and radio-collared in 1981./// 4. WINGS: BUFFALO, NY-- That's a lot of wings. Forty tons of chicken wings have been delivered for this weekend's National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival which will feature 100 styles of wings, music and wing-eating contests./// Love Dem Wings --RoadDog

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy 40th Anniversary to Us!!!

It was 40 years ago, August 25, 1973, that Liz and I were married at the Newman Center on campus at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. We then had the reception at the Holiday Inn on Lincoln Highway and went to Galena, Illinois, for an abbreviated honeymoon as I had to start teaching in just three days./// Time sure flies when you're having fun.

21st Day Boating: Over Half Way There

II just got back in from a boat float on Mineola Bay on Fox Lake here on the Chain of Lakes for our 21st day of boating. Yesterday's trip to McDonald's in Fox Lake for breakfast was the half-way mark./// Every boating season we try to get out at least 40 times to make the expense and effort wortth having a boat. This year, between the two floods, too hot and too cold, we didn't even get the boat in the water until July 11th, so are rushing to catch up./// Shooting For 40. --RoadDog

Friday, August 23, 2013

Star Trek in the Dorm Room Back in 1969

I don't think I had ever watched the TV show "Star Trek" when it aired, but things changed in the fall of 1969 after I got to Lincoln Hall at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb./// My roommate was Chuck from a small town near Peoria and he had a little 12-inch black and white TV. Only one other room on the 24-room dorm floor (3rd floor A Wing if I remember) had a TV other than one in the meeting room in the middle./// Every night after dinner, Chuck and I would go back to our room and I would commence reading my copy of the Chicago Daily News that my parents had subscribed for me and right at 6 PM (or was it 7 PM?) the number of occupants in the room would jump to anywhere from ten to sixteen. There'd be guys sitting everywhere, four across the edges of the bunk beds. You couldn't walk across the floor./// WGN, Channel 9, would have a rerun of Star Trek at that time. I became a "Trekkie" at the time. (But watching the old episodes now, I have to admit they were probaby the worst acted things since "The Lone Ranger.) We would all watch intently and have discussions about it afterwards before the all-night card games would get started. Hearts being the favorite./// These, Of Course, Being the Days Before Technology Reached Colleges. --RoadDog

Saturday Flashback Goes to 1972

WXRT FM, 93.1 FM in Chicago goes back to the year 1972 on tomorrow's Saturday Morning Flashback with Wendy Rice. It is at 8 AM to noon, CSDT and streams live on www.wxrt.com. for you folks outside of the Chicago area./// I finished up junior year with summer school at UGA and then transferred back to NIU and took lots and lots of education classes that fall semester so I could student teach in the spring of '73./// Of course, Sunday, Bob Stroud does his Rock and Roll Roots Show (featuring the 60s and 70s) on WDRV from 7 to 10 AM CSDT. Tune in to see if he plays two Beatles songs around 8 AM when Terri Hemmert starts her Breakfast With the Beatles show from 8 to 10 AM on WXRT./// All great shows./// Give It a Listen. --RoadDog

Won't Somebody Tell Me How to Get Off HTML

That is why there are still no paragraphs in my entries. I hate it, but have no clue how to get back onto compose (and even get spellcheck back). I have no idea how this mess started. Perhaps I hit the wrong key or somehing./// I have started using /// to show where a paragraph should be./// Bring Back My Paragraphs, Please!!! --RoadDog

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Boating Duh for the Week

Tuesday, we went out to the boat to go out on the Chain in our quest to go boating 40 times this season. As of today, we are at 18 (but with the much-needed rain, probably not going out)./// Uncovered the boat, primed the engine, turned the key and....nothing. It was like it was trying to start, but not getting a spark. Continued trying and flooded the engine with gas. Sat and waited, then tried again...still wouldn't start./// Called our boat mechanic and he started having me check things (not a great thing as mechanically inclined I am not). Distributor, where's the distributor? No luck, no start. Set up arrangements for him to come over to the boat the next day./// After I hung up, Liz said to check the kill switch on the boat. I had already done so, but evidently not very well as it was loose. Tightened it and...the BOAT STARTED!!! Embarrassed, I called the mechanic and he laughed at me./// Well, At Least the Boat Runs. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Thought That Toilet Roll Was Getting Smaller

Well, this confirms it. From the July 24, 2013, Yahoo! Finance/Wall Street Journal. "Shrinking Rolls, Plump Profits. This confirms it. The number of sheets are shrinking on this necessity. I had been thinking that the "Double Rolls" are getting down to about the size of the former regular rolls. Not only that, but it appears that the width is also shrinking. There appears to be more room between the edges of the roll and the t-p holder.// Or Maybe It's Just Me. --RoadDog

Ten Great Great Places to Live in 2013

From the July 25, 2013, Yahoo! Finance, Cost of Living. These are cities based on affordability, good jobs and quality of schools. 10. DUBUQUE, IOWA, (We'll be there next week) 9. Anchorage, Alaska 8. ITHACA, NEW YORK, 7. Morgantown, West Virginia, 6. BILLINGS, MONTANA, 5. Columbia, SC, 4. SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, 3. Bryan/College Station, Tx, 2. BURLINGTON, VERMONT, 1. Little Rock, Arkansas. RoadDog

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Weekend Recap-- August 15th-19th

I worked in the yard every day but Saturday and had breakfast out on the front porch every day. Out on the boat every day except Sunday. THURSDAY, 15TH: Chicago Tribute Anthology Band (music of the band Chicago) concert at It's Thursday in Antioch. FRIDAY, 16TH: Fish fry at Granny's Diner in Antioch and karaoke at the Legion in Fox Lake. SATURDAY, 17TH: Dan Deaver Memorial at Never Sink Inn in Spring Grove. Mitch performing on stage. SUNDAY, 18TH: Cruise around Geneva Lake, 'Cue and Blues at the Abbey in Fontana, NTN at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes. MONDAY, 19TH: Tacos at Dawg House and a new place called 50 K in Fox Lake. Can't Beat Fun Around Here. --RoadDog

Yahoo's Greatest Songs of Summer-- Part 2

Continuing with the first round pairings. Do you see any you like? Again, * means I would have voted for it as favorite: CALL ME MAYBE-- Carly Rae Jepson* vs. CALIFORNIA GIRLS--vs. Katy Perry//// GET LUCKY-- Daft Punk vs. BLURRED LINES-- Robin Thicke*//// PONTOON-- Little Big Town* vs. CRUISE-- Florida Georgia Line//// MARGARITAVILLE-- Jimmy Buffett* vs. IT'S 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE-- Alan Jackson (and JB)//// SOAK UP THE SUN-- Sheryl Crow vs. ALL SUMMER LONG-- Kid Rock*//// ISLAND IN THE SUN-- Weezer* FEEL GOOD HIT OF THE SUMMER-- Queens of the Stone Age//// SUMMERTIME-- DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince* vs. IT WAS A GOOD DAY-- Ice Cube//// VACATION-- Go Gos* vs. CRUEL SUMMER-- Bananarama//// Sadly, Summer's Fast Slipping Awat...AGAON!! --RoadDog

Monday, August 19, 2013

Yahoo's Greatest Songs of Summer-- Part 1

These were the pairings for the first round of play. I didn't vote (didn't know about it), but if I had * would be my vote: CLUB TROPICANA-- Wham vs. ROCK LOBSTER--B-52s*, HOLIDAY-- Madonna vs. SUMMER OF 69-- Bryan Adams*, SCHOOL'S OUT-- Alice Cooper* vs. SUMMER NIGHTS-- Grease, HEAT WAVE-- Martha & Vandellas vs. HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME-- Sly & Family Stone*, IN THE SUMMERTIME-- Mungo Jerry* vs. SUMMERTIME BLUES-- Eddie Cocran, WIPE OUT--Surfaris vs. SURFIN' USA-- Beach Boys*, PARTY ROCK ANTHEM-- LMFAO* vs. HOT IN HERE-- Nelly, GIN & JUICE Snoop Dogg-- CALIFORNIA LOVE-- Tupac. Dceisions, Decisions. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Greatest Summer Song Ever-- Part 3

"Surfin' U.S.A." was an immediate hit and went to #3 on the Billboard and Cash Box charts. Carl Wilson played the classic guitar riff at the beginning of it, but I have to wonder who is on that great organ you hear? In 1977, Leig Garrett covered it and it went to the Top Twenty and it was featured in the movies "Teen Wolf" in 19885, "My Blue Heaven" in 1990 and "Rush Hour" in 1998. In order to reach number one, the song had to battle through five head-to-head rounds, beating out the Surfaris "Wipeout," "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry, "Summer Nights" from Grease, "Vacations" by the Go-Gos and then a really tough round against Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville." Those crazy Parrotheads put up a real big fight before "Surfin' U.S.A." won 57% to 43%. Got to Pop My Beach Boys' Greatest Hits CD On Now. --RoadDog

Greatest Summer Song Ever-- Part 2

The Beach Boys' "Surfin' U.S.A." beat out big summer songs like this year's "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and last year's "Call Me, Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. It was written by Brian Wilson with Mike Love singing lead and released as a single March 4, 1963 (fifty years ago!!) and was the title track of their second album and the follow up to 1962's "Surfin' Safari." It is not actually original, however. It's melody was taken from Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen." It debuted on TV's "Steve Allem Show" two days before it was released where the group lip-synched it(common practice back in the days where live recording was a hit-or-miss thing. Gettin' In That Summed Mode. --RoadDog

Friday, August 16, 2013

What the Magazine Said About "Surfin' U.S.A."

"Brian's songwriting had a momemtum of its own. March 4, 1963 saw the release of the band's first top 10 hit, 'Surfin' U.S.A.'. Based on Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen' (Berry finally won co-writing credit in the mid-70s after suing the group), the sprightly tune name-checked a number of popular surfing spots-- many in California, but also two in Hawaii and one in Australia. The song peaked at #2 and served as the title track for the band's second album, released on March 25. It was Carl who came up with the memorable guitar intro, which itself owes something to Duane Eddy's 'Moving and Grooving.'" That Is One Great Guitar Lick. --RoadDog

Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tribute

I recently finished reading "Life Story: The Beach Boys: 50th Anniversary Tribute." This was from last year's tour when all remaining Beach Boys were together again for the tour and they put out that album that really harkened back to their glory years in the 60s. As a matter of fact, they are going to be at the Walworth County Fair in a couple weeks and thinking about going to see them. Great magazine with lots of information and hundreds of photos. Also, one section is "25 Far-Out Facts About the Beach Boys." Worth a Read. --RoadDog

My All-Time Favorite Summer Song (and Summer Band)

If I had my say, my all-time favorite summer song, without a doubt, would be Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime." I'd like to know how they made that "Shhsss da shsssh" sound? However, my all-time favorite summer band would have to be the Beach Boys. It's hard not to get into the summer mood when you hear one of their classics. Right Barbara Ann? --RoadDog

Greatest Summer Song Ever-- Part 1

From the August 14, 2013, Stop the Presses "Beach Boys' 'Surfin' U.S.A.' Voted Best Summer Song of All Time" by Jon Wiederhorn. The voting took place this last month on Y! Music. (I never heard of it and didn't vote.) It was a mega poll to determine the greatest summer song of all time. The site gave the selections, covering all genres and years. To win, the Beach Boys had to battle these songs in head-to-head competition: WIPE OUT-- Surfaris IN THE SUMMERTIME-- Mungo Jerry SUMMER NIGHTS-- Grease VACATION-- Go-Gos MARGARITAVILLE-- Jimmy Buffett Just Another Summer. --RoadDog

Beginning My 8th Year of Retirement

Teachers went back to school in Round Lake, Illinois, yesterday, which officially begins my 8th year of retirement. Man has that time really flown by!!! I still don't know how I managed to get things done back when I was working. -- RoadDog

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Good Times in the Area: August 8-13th-- Part 2

AUGUST 11TH, SUNDAY-- Rally By the Lake Classic Car Show on Nippersink Lake at Lakefront Park in Fox Lake. St. John the Baptist Parish Fest in Johnsburg with concert by New Odyssey. Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive Commemoration at Veterans Park in McHenry. AUGUST 12TH, MONDAY-- JABD-- Boating. Boat Float on Fox Lake. Rain chased us to Grasslake. Port of Blarney for pizza. American Legion. AUGUST 13TH, TUESDAY-- JABD on Kevin and Kelly's boat downriver to McHenry. Stops at Epic Deli in Johnsburg for lunch, Foxhole in McHenry, Dockers and American Legion in Fox Lake. By car to Antonio's in Spring Grove. Why Go Anywhere Else? --RoadDog

Good Times in the Area: Aug. 8-13th-- Part 1

AUGUST 8TH, THURSDAY-- McHenry, Illinois. Dinner at Vickie's Place on the Fox River. Chain Crawl Stamp at the Foxhole on the Fox River. Old CD at Vinyl Frontier and New Odyssey concert at Veterans Park. AUGUST 9TH, FRIDAY-- JABD-- Just Another Boating Day with Kevin and Kelly and on the deck at Stormy Monday on Fox Lake. AUGUST 10TH, SATURDAY-- Lakes Area American Legion Post 703 picnic on Nippersink Lake with Ron Payton spinning the tunes. RoadDog

Where Were You August 4, 1973?-- Part 4

These songs on the radio back then. KODACHROME-- Paul Simon, UNEASY RIDER-- Charlie Daniels, LADY-- Styx, SHAMBALA-- Three Dog Night, LET'S GET IT ON-- Marvin Gaye, RADAR LOVE-- Golden Earring, ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY-- Joe Walsh, RUBBER BULLETS-- 10CC, HIGHER GROUND-- Stevie Wonder, And FEELING STRONGER EVERY DAY-- Chicago. YESTERDAY ONCE MORE-- Carpenters, ANGEL-- Aretha Franklin.

Friday, August 9, 2013

To Rain Or Not to Rain, Still Chaining-- Part 3

This is back to July 31st. Left Middleton's in Wauconda and drove back to Fox Lake on US-12 to stop at three places for more passport stamps. First stop was Docker's on Pistakee Lake. They were getting ready for Saturday's Venetian Night which takes place there and on the street beside it. Boats with Christmas lights and fireworks. Then, a stop at the Lagoon Lounge, which shares the lagoon with Waterway Management and McDonald;'s. This is a bar straight out of the 40s-50s and the cleanest one anywhere. Then to Moretti's, also accessible by water through Ben Watt's Marina. Ran into Kelly, Kevin, their son and his girlfriend here. They were out getting passport stamps as well. We then drove to the Legion where they boated. It was here that the rain really came down right when they were getting ready to leave. They came back inside to wait it out. A Pretty Good Day. --RoadDog

Where Were You August 4, 1973-- Part 3

SMOKE ON THE WATER-- Deep Purple, BROTHER LOUIE-- Stories, ALL THE WAY FROM MEMPHUS-- Mott the Hoople, WILL IT GO ROUND IN CIRCLES-- Billy Preston, IF YOU WANT ME TO STAY-- Sly & the Family Stone, LONG TRAIN RUNNING-- Doobie Brothers, DIAMOND GIRL-- Seals & Crofts, MY OLD SCHOOL-- Steely Dan and RIGHT PLACE, WRONG TIME-- Dr. John. Gettin' Ready To Get Married Forty Years Ago. --RoadDog

Beach Music 1960-- Part 2

H.M. DOLLAR BILL/IT DON'T MAKER SENSE-- Fiesta, 35. SYMPHONY-- Sammy Turner, 34. THERE YOU GO-- Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters, H.M. WHEN WILL I BE LOVED/CATHY'S CLOWN-- Everly Brothers, 33. JUST A LITTLE BIT-- Roscoe Gordon, LOOK AT LITTLE SISTER-- Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, H.M. WHY YOU TREAT ME SO COLD-- Gene Allison, H.M. ROADRUNNER-- Bo Diddley, 31. MIAMI-- Eugene Church. Give it a listen. You can also hear the current Beach Top 40 and the Roadhouse Blues, Boogie & Fish Fry. Enjoying It As I Type. --RoadDog

Beach Music 1960-- Part 1

For the next several days, Fessa John Hook will be featuring the Beach Music Top 40 from the year 1960 at his www.beachshag.com site. You'll recognize some of the songs and artists, but some will be ones you've never heard, which makes it a great listen. 40. THREE LITTLE PIGS-- Lloyd Price, 39. MARY LOU-- Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks, H.M. (honorable mention) A HELP EACH OTHER ROMANCE-- LaVern Baker & Ben E. King, 38. BABY, WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO-- Jimmy Reed, H.M. BABY-- Little Richard, 37. BE MY GUEST-- Fats Domino, 36. MIDNIGHT FLYER-- Nat King Cole. Good Stuff. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The History of Middleton's On Main in Wauconda, Illinois

The building in which Middleton's is located dates to 1847 when it was a stage stop which ran from Wauconda to Janesville, Wisconsin, a journey that took two days back then. After that, it was a brothel and then for many years, a resort called the Grand Hotel. Since then, there have been a series of restaurants and bars in it. The bar is located in a two story room with a second story walk around eating area on two sides. Well Worth a Visit. --RoadDog

To Rain or Not to Rain, To Crawl or Not to Crawl-- Part 2: Wauconda, Illinois

July 31st, Wednesday. Continuing with our day trip down river on the Fox River. Heading northward now. Decided to stop at Middleton's On Main in downtown Wauconda. We hadn't been there probably since the 1980s when it was O'Traina's. It is in an old 1890s resort hotel. The place hasn't changed much since then, but, of course, is no longer a hotel; more of a restaurant/Irish bar. Also took a walk along Main Street which is the pld US-12 Highway until it bypassed the downtown. Wauconda is running one of those objects on parade things that is so popular in towns these days. They have Adirondack chairs all along the road. Some interesting designs. Wauconda is a former resort town on the shores of Bang's Lake. We go to Dock's Tiki Bar often which is on a bluff overlooking Bang's Lake. Middleton's is about a block from the lake. Laying Back On a Chair. --RoadDog

Where Were You August 4, 1973?-- Part 2

WAITING FOR THE BUS/JESUS JUST LEFT CHICAGO-- ZZ Top, GYPSEY MAN-- War, GIVE ME LOVE-- George Harrison, MONEY-- Pink Floyd, KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR-- Bob Dylan LOVES ME LIKE A ROCK-- Paul Simon, ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN-- ELO, WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND-- Grand Funk, BIG BARN BED-- Paul McCartney, LIVE AND LET DIE-- Paul McCartney.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

About Last Weekend: 3 Festivals, 9 Bars, 3 Bands and 1 Car Show

AUGUST 1ST, THURSDAY-- Boating. Antioch, Il.: Sequoit Lodge for wings, J.P. & the Cats playing at the bandstand, classic car show. Then, Steitz's for Chain passport stamp. AUGUST 2ND, FRIDAY-- Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wi., with Kevin and Kelly for NTN (ten top ten rankings), Never Sink Inn and Tommy's in Spring Grove, Illinois. AUGUST 3RD, SATURDAY-- Genoa City Days in Wisconsin. Mitch performing on the deck at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes. Fireworks at Venetian Night in Fox Lake, Illinois. AUGUST 4TH, SUNDAY-- Bloody Mary and cocktails on the deck at Dirty Rooster overlooking Grasslake. Port o' Blarney for Chain Crawl passport stamp. Funk Libido Circus playing at Captain's on Fox Lake. Fire on the Strand (bonfire) and gazebo back home. ALL OF THESE PLACES ARE WITHIN TEN MILES OF OUR HOUSE. Pretty Good Times. --RoadDog

Where Were You August 4, 1973?-- Part 1

Sunday, Bob Stroud on Chicago's Drive, 97.1 FM WDRV (simulcast over 96.9 FM for the northern suburbs which is the one we get) went back to the songs playing on the radio and on our albums on August 4, 1973. That's 40 years ago for you mathematically disinclined. I remember this was one really busy time for us. We had just rented an apartment in Des Plaines, Illinois. I was living there and Liz was still at her parents until our marriage coming up on August 25th, just 21 days away at this point. I had just started what I figured to be my future job, working as an assistant manager at Bonanza Sirloin Pit in Buffalo Grove. They were impressed with me and planning on letting me run the new store in Schaumburg when it iopened in six months. I would be the youngest-ever manager. Then, there was that great music. I'll just list the songs because of this run-on paragraph problem and leave out Stroud's comments (as well as my own). SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT FOR FIGHTING-- Elton John, BAD BAD LEROY BROWN-- Jum Croce. A Busy Time for Us. --RoadDog

Back to Our Old Stomping Grounds-- Part 5: Scott's Collectibles

We were back at Westfield Mall, which was Hawthorne Mall when we lived in Vernon Hills and used to go back to it. Scott's Collectibles had its start in Lake Villa, Illinois, on Il-83. Back in the 90s, it was mostly beer collectibles. We bought out best piece of bar stuff there, the revolving Hamm's Beer sign, dating to the 50s-60s way back when. He has since moved to malls and according to the clerk, they have three stores, including one at that huge Woodfield Mall. After sufficiently salivating, I decided to spend $40 for a White Sox heritage scroll, which had embroidered Sox emblems from over the years of the club. Liz bought a big Cib Wrigley Field pennant. Shoulda' Stayed Out. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 3, 2013

JAB'D, Wings, Oldies, Old Cars and An Old Bar

Thursday, we took advantage of decent weather for a boat float on Mineola Bay and Fox Lake. Then drove to Antioch and had some great 35 cent wings at the Sequoit Lodge before going out back to the bandstand and seeing the 50s-60s band J.P. & the Cats, which we have been seeing since the 1980s. They are based out of Dekalb. Plus, it was a classic car show. Took a walk around and met Maxine, my school sceretary for many of the years I worked at Magee Middle School in Round Lake. She is still working there and we did some catching up. After the show, we stopped at Steitz's on Bluff Lake to get a Chain Crawl stamp,. They have been open on the Chain since 1938 and quite noted for their German food. The inside is like a museum. Good Day. --RoadDog

Recent Stanley Cup Sightings

As I mentioned before, the Stanley Cup is a touring championship trophy. Regular folks get to see and touch it, not just the millionaires and upper crust. Liz received a phot from her long time friend, Michael (who plays in the band New Odyssey) and he was sitting and smiling broadly next to the Stanley Cup. He said it was on his Bucket List. At some point this month (probably during the Illinois State Fair), it will be on display at the Executive Mansion (Governor's home) in Springfield. On July 29th, the Stanley Cup was carried to the Jimmy Buffett concert on Northerly Island (by Chicago's Lakefront) by Patrick Kane. It was also in St. Peter's, Missouri at a children's hospital, carried there by St. Charles native and Blackhawk player Brandon Bolling. Sure Gets Around. --RoadDog

Blackhawks Parade and Rally-- Part 11 (And, Last One)

Lots of confetti during the parade and lots of that "Chelsea Dagger" song. Also, goy more at the end of the speeches. Plus, we got "Sweet Home Chicago," the Blues Brothers version, of course. A bit surprising to actually see Coach "Q' actually smiling. You never see him smiling at games. One constant frown. The players sure had gruff, strained voices...the result of partying ever since clinching the Cup four days earler. Oh, to be young and have won the Stanley Cup!! --RoadDog

Friday, August 2, 2013

Blackhawks Parade and Rally-- Part 10: It's a Kissing Thing

Without a doubt, the Stanley Cup has to be the ugliest championship trophy in all the major leagues. Usually the bowl part of the trophy is the largest, but not on this one, which makes it stand out all the more. And, another player tradition is to hoist it into the the air, lower it to the face and kiss it. Can you imagine the germs? Buy, then again, while I was at the Indy 500 at the end of May, I noticed many folks getting down on their knees to kiss the bricks that extend into the infield area from the track which marks the beginning and finish line of the race. I understand racers kiss it as well. I did wonder what was on the bottom of the trophy and saw that there is a piece of plastic down there, indented in enough so that there is a place to put the finger grasp for hoisters. I imagine I'd kiss it if I got the chance, undeserving as I am. RoadDog

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Blackhawks Parade and Rally-- Part 9: Up On the Stage

I saw the players signing each others' jerseys on the numbers. For sure a nice keepsake of a special time. Kane said, "That's hockey, baby!" as he gave the belt to goalie Corey Crawford as best player in the playoffs. Crawford definitely had quite the playoffs. Then, Cory got up and got away with several "F" bombs on live TV. Then Toews went to the podium with the Stanley Cup which has to be the most-handled sports trophy in the world. I'd like to know how many Hawks fans have handled and touched it since it was won on June 24th and this is just four days later. One definite thing players have to do is hiold it up, lower it to their lips and kiss it. Tradition, Baby!! --RoadDog

Back to Our Old Stomping Grounds-- Part 4: Scott's Collectibles

I have to admit, I was disappointed not to find any record or book stores in Westfield Mall (our old Hawthorne Mall), but, at the same time, happy not to be tempted to buy anything. So, I was smiling and frowning at the same time, then, near the other end of the mall, we came across my undoing, a place called Scott's Collectibles. I should have known better than to go in, but, "in" I went. And, "out" I came a little over $50 poorer. This place, like Sports For Less in McHenry, has all sorts of pro sports stuff for sale, especially my preferred Chicago teams, and most of all, Da Sox and Da Bears. And, the clerk was mighty happy to see me perusing the Sox stuff as she is also a Sox fan (and we're deep in the heart of Cub country). What Did I Buy? --RoadDog

To Rain Or Not To Rain, To Crawl Or Not To Crawl-- Part 1

Busy day yesterday, and, sadly, a lot of miles for Big Oil. It misted, sprinkled all morning until 2, then cleared up, but poured at 6:30. First, McHenry, for my yearly physical, then Crystal Lake for '03 Malibu emissions test (passed). Then, since so far south, Chain of Lakes Chain Crawl along the Fox River. First stop at Dead End Saloon in Fox River Grove, right at the US-14 bridge. Next Pier 99 (the Old Port Barrington) but they wouldn't open until 3. Next to Hermann's Low Life Bar in Barrington Shores and a great pizza. This is a place that hasn't changed much since the 1920s. Farther north, we stopped at River's Edge. They weren't open yet, but signed the passport anyway. A lot of places on the water have reduced hours (and some closed) because of the continuing recession. Maybe things are better for the GRBs who got us into it in the first place, but not for most "regular" folks. Heading Northward. --RoadDog