Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Rest of the BD Celebration

SATURDAY-- I worked in the yard, one of my favorite things to do. Then, we went to Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, to see a band we've never seen before, Mystify. These guys were great and played all sorts of music from the Beatles, ZZ Top, Bryan Adams and Jimi Hendrix. Our kind of music and you could have sworn Jimi was there playing.

Not only great music and friends all night, but also played NTN, another fav thing and had 9 top twenties in the nation.

Spent the night at the motel out back so didn't have to worry about driving home.

SUNDAY-- Tired all day as I was up WAY later than normally last night. I usually try to hit the hay around 11 pm, and last night it was 2:30 am. I used to stay up every Friday and Saturday to 2 am and later, but NOT NO MORE. Old Age You Know.

Had breakfast with friends at the Corner Kitchen in Twin Lakes and then walked over to Main Street for some of Ray's Famous Bloody Marys. At $3, it is loaded with a skewer of veggies and meats, pickle, celery, scallion, and a shrimp. And it comes with a small schooner chaser. Practically a meal in itself.

Joined by Liz and friend Gayle whose graduation from NIU we attended last weekend. Then, we went back to Donovan's for NTN with Ed and Laura who were also at Gayle's graduation. Ed and Laura met at one of our end-of-the-year parties back when we taught school. We had five more top twenties.

Came home and worked some more in the yard.

MONDAY-- MEMORIAL DAY-- Drove back to Twin Lakes and met up with Al and Vickie at Main Street and had drinks before the annual parade which comes right by the place. This is a long-standing tradition. Also met friends Lin and Dennis at the parade.

My favorite part of a parade are the bands. The more, the better. This year, we had four instead of the usual three.

Then we all adjourned back to Donovan's where we had 8 more top twenties, including a #1!!! We really put old Donovan's (named after the movie "Donovan's Reef" featuring Lee Marvin and John Wayne) on the board this long weekend.

Came home and worked some more in the yard.

Now THAT Was a Pretty Good Way to Celebrate the BIG 57! --RoadDog

Has It Already Been Two Years?

Today, around noon, I will be joining the staff from Round Lake Middle School for their annual last-day-of-school get-together at Docker's in Fox Lake, Illinois. We will be sitting out on the deck overlooking Pistakee Lake.

Actually, I re-tarred on May 26, 2006, but didn't really start counting it until they had to go back in August. So, I'm two days into my third year.

What makes this special is that this marks my second year of retirement. Getting paid for not working, now there's the ticket.

My only question is, "Where did the time go?" It certainly does not feel like I've been out of school for two years. And I thought those last years of work went fast, but NOTHING like this.

Plus, what about all those things I planned on doing? How come I haven't gotten around to most of them? I thought I'd have plenty of time to do stuff, so how come I haven't?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know. --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Four Bucks a Gallon-- Who's Gettin' Rich and Who Ain't

Well, for one, I am on the "Ain't" List. I had envisioned lots of road drives and cruises after retiring, but have REALLY cut down on these. It's not that I can't afford them, BUT, I don't want to make those GRBs at Big Oil any richer than they already are.

The May 18th Chicago Tribune ran an article "Gas profits farup the pipeline, not at the pump" by Greg Burns and Joshua Boak.


Crude Suppliers-- that'd be BIG OIL and producer countries
Speculators-- I believe these folks to be in cahoots with Big Oil
Tax collectors-- not flat fee charges, but percentage chargers
Credit Card Companies-- many folks are charging their gas and not paying charges off at end of the month
Public Health-- walking, biking, and public transit make for healthier lifestyles.

I'd like to add, the railroads.


Dear Old RoadDog-- can't enjoy retirement like he should
Motorists-- Can anybody give me an AMEN
Transport Companies-- trucking, cabs, limos, and especiall the airlines
Gas Station Owners-- don't make much on a gallon of gas to begin with. Sales of soda and other items lagging though because of customer ersentment.
Refiners and Distributors-- I don't think I agree with them as losers here
Automakers-- Should have told Big Oil to take a jump a long time ago and focused on better mileage vehicles

Still Doing Some Burning Here. --One Really Mad Horny Toad

What Were You Doing May 4, 1969? Final Part

Continuing with Bob Stroud's May 4, 2008 Rock and Roll Roots Time Warp back to the same date, 39 years earlier. Comments are Bob's unless in parentheses which are mine.

THE BOXER-- SIMON & GARFUNKEL-- "A" side of new single
BABY DRIVER-- SIMON & GARFUNKEL-- "B" side of zippy little two-sided hit. (Love the race sounds. A fav S & G hit, along with "Cecilia.")
I CAN HEAR MUSIC-- BEACH BOYS-- remake of a Ronettes song. He also played part of the original song. (Bob uses this as part of his show intro.)

SORRY SUZANNE-- HOLLIES-- (another great harmony effort. Who can't Graham Nash sing with?)
HAWAII FIVE-O-- VENTURES-- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. ("Book 'EM, Dano!")
PINBALL WIZZARD-- THE WHO-- First cut off Rock Opera Tommy. (Brings me back to Roger Daltry's flying fringes at the Woodstock movie.

GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVIN'-- CRAZY ELEPHANT-- considers this Bubble Gum Music. (I love my Bubble Gum Music, but don't really consider this Bubble Gum. A real roadtrip around the US.)
MERCY-- OHIO EXPRESS-- Bubble Gum Music. (I'mnot familiar with this one.)
IT's YOUR THING-- ISLEY BROTHERS-- great funky hit

GUITARZAN-- RAY STEVENS-- Top Ten (And His Jungle Band. Tarzan and Cheetah singing duet and Jane crying out "Baby." How funny is that?)
GOODBYE-- MARY HOPKIN-- written and produced by Paul McCartney. Written by Paul and sung by Mary. (I didn't know Paul wrote it. Where was Peter?)
WILL YOU BE STAYING AFTER SUNDAY-- PEPPERMINT RAINBOW-- one hit wonder. (Another song I can never remember the performers. I get them confused with Spanky & Our Gang.)

AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN-- FIFTH DIMENSION-- From the Off Broadway Musical "Hair." (Let's all chant "Let the Sunshine In.")
HAIR-- COWSILLS-- Number 1 song in Chicago. Also, "Easy to Be Hard" and "Good Morning Starshine" came from it. ("She asked me why, why I'm a hairy guy.")

Three hours of May 4, 1969 that was so full of hits, so much good music, that I just had to play it.

A SpecialTime for Me as Well.-- RoadDog

Saturday, May 24, 2008

We DID Crash the $4 Barrier

Yesterday, regular prices of gas were $4.10 in Spring Grove, Richmond (both Illinois) and Lake Geneva, Wi. It was $4.10 and across the street $4.06 in Twin Lakes, Wi. We saw it at its highest, $4.15 at Rock Corner at Il-173 and Wilmot Road.

The Big Oil GREs finally got their $4 which they've been shooting for for so long. Hope they choke on it.

However, since there is no longer any law of supply and demand, I expect prices to go down from here since we are officially in the summer driving season. Public outcry will cause them to back off the rest of the summer. And, by election day, everyone will have forgotten what they've done for and to us.

I'm predicting $3.90 by the end of June, and close to $3 by election day. They WILL come up with reasons for it to come down. Just like their "reasons" for raising it.

Hey, don't tell me an Indian or Chinaman earning a buck an hour can afford to buy a car and keep it going.

Read My Lips, No Such a Thing as Law of Supply and Demand. --RoadDog

What Were You Doing May 4, 1969? Part 2

Continuing with songs in your radio May 4, 1969.

Again, I have Bob Stroud's comment and mine in parentheses.

Hour Two, 8 am

GET BACK-- BEATLES-- The A and B sides of the brand new Beatle Apple single (One of my favorite post-"Runner Soul" Beatles songs.
DON'T LET ME DOWN-- the B side
TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY-- MARVIN GAYE-- brand new (Motown, what can I say)
NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE-- FLIRTATIONS-- a girl group from South Carolina, but went to England torecord their only hit. (I am somewhat unfamiliar with the group, but know the song well. I had no idea who sang it until Bob back announced it.)

THESE EYES-- THE GUESS WHO-- in your radio, their first big hit, that featured Burton Cummings, anyway.
GOOD MORNING GIRL-- NEON PHILHARMONIC-- Warner Brothers was expecting a lot more than they got from the two guys, Tupper Saucy and Dan Good. They managed to squeeze out one hit out of a couple of albums. Stroud then played a radio commercial for the song.
GOOD MORNING GIRL, LATER-- NEON PHILHARMONIC-- Side one of the album had the hit, This was on side two.

THE COMPOSER-- DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES-- brand new and written by the great William "Smokey" Robinson
TIME IS TIGHT-- BOOKER T. & THE MGS-- great insrumental. (How do uyou do better than a Booker T. instrumental, especially with those Blues Brothers guys playing on it?)
BROTHER LOVE'S TRAVELING SALVATION SHOW-- NEIL DIAMOND-- the gospel according to Neil Diamond. ( Liz's favorite Neil Diamond song. Mine is "Solitary Man."

OH HAPPY DAY-- EDWIN HAWKINS SINGERS-- We're talking dyed in the wool gospel recording. A huge smash 39 years ago today. I think the Cubs stand a better chance of winning a World Series than a record like this ever becoming a hit again. The Edwin Hawkins Singers would go on to back up Melanie the next year in her hit "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)." (So, that's why the chorus on Melanie's song sounded familiar. This song always takes me back to the Kent State riots at Northern Illinois University. The campus station was playing it as the police attacked the students in frontof my dorm. Sure thought I was watching the end of the United States.)

MEDICINE MAN (PT 1)-- BUCHANON BROTHERS-- weren't brothers at all, one hit wonder. (How do you get a better one-hit wonder. Liked the stuttering.)
MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY-- SPIRAL STAIRCASE-- hit bound. (Great song, but I can never remember who sang it until the ddejay tells me.

Bob played two Glen Campbell songs to introduce the show after commercials. Both were in the radio. "Where's the Playground, Susie" was one. Both were written by the great Jimmy Webb. He had once been a Beach Boy, taking the place of Brian Wilson after he had the breakdown. Now, he had a television show, the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour."

"Say it Loud, I'm Back and I'm Stroud."

Stay Tuned for Part Three. -- Roaddog

The Big 57

This day marks the Big 57 for me. Like they say, the old "Help, I've Fallen and Can't Get Up" bit is not so funny anymore.

Today also marks the first night time baseball game played in 1935 in Cincinnati. Talk about your things that go "bunt" in the night.

Plus, the Brooklyn Bridge turns 125 today.


We took a trip north to Lake Geneva and admired all the $4.10 a-gallon-gas-signs. Dear old BO finally got their wish and objective. However, I think they've pushed it as far as they dare, so we should start dropping. After all, we have reached the flaunted Summer Driving Season so prices should drop. They did last year.

Took the US-12 freeway past the now-closed, unfortunately, visitors center near the Illinois border. Then, there is the great "Beware of Low-Flying Aircraft" sign by the subdivision whose folks commute via plane. I remember once stopping to take a picture and a cop pulled up behind me and asked what I was doing. When I told him, he just shook his head and walked away. Hey, I'm not a weirdo. That's a sign you don't see every day.

Lots of traffic on the roads, even with Big Oil's ripoff, as this is the start of the season in Lake Geneva, Memorial Day Weekend.


Paid out our quarter for 30 minute parking fees and went into Popeye's on the water and had a great all-you-can eat boiled and fried cod fish fry which came family-style and with some outstanding walnut cole slaw and potato pancakes. Enjoyed the view of the old boats at the Riviera Docks and the nautical decor in the place.

This meal was $11.99 apiece, but we had a 50% off coupon, so it was even better.

Took a walk to the souvenir stores around the corner and enjoyed the sayings on the tee shirts and signs. Then walked across the street to the Riviera Docks with its striking architecture and looked at two steam launches which have been perfectly preserved, both dating back to the 1890s. Back then, there were no roads around Geneva Lake and the rich folks living in the mansions had steam launches to come to get visitors arriving by the railroad.

Gage Marine, who operates them, also has some other old boats which you can ride for 1 or 2 hour trips around the lake for $24.

A Good Time in Cheesehead Land. --RoadDog

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Every Bloomin' Thing

Yard report for end of May.


The "Blast of Color" continues with loads of light purples and yellows on the west side. The purples are from creeping phlox that thrive over there. The yellows are from two perennials that I don't know, but are plentiful just the same. The wild phlox are budding and just opening in purple blooms and Shasta daisies are just starting to bloom into white. I have a real lot of these last two.

Plus, there are some tulips still in bloom along with white and red creeping phlox, candy tufts, and other perennials I've forgotten the names. The hundred or so irises are budding.In short, "We Have Color Everywhere.


The mountain ashs have white balls on them, the Japanese lilacs are getting ready to bloom, one white crabapple is still blooming, and the two sunrise honey locusts are bursting into leaves with that blast of gold color. My two purple lilacs are ablaze as well.


I've been transplanting purple coneflowers, black-eyed susans, short daisies, medium daisies, tall phlox, creeping phlox, mums, hostas, and a peony bush to the west side.

I have also been straightening up and thinning out all the flower beds, and there are a LOT of them. Currently working on Frances' Back 40.

Helps Take the Mind Off Oil and Gas Prices. --"Green Thumb" Dog

One Mad Horny Toad-- Just in Time for Memorial Day Weekend--$4 Gas

Our dear old "buddies" at Big Oil raised prices to $4 a gallon, well, $3.99.9 actually. But, some of us are fully aware that $3.99.9 is really $4!!! To think that putting 10 gallons in your tank now costs $40, excuse me, $39.99.

Something we're quite proud of around here is that CHICAGO has the MOST expensive gas in the US with a $4.07 average with all those taxes. One Chicago BP station has it at $4.50. Unfortunately, those high prices also extend out in the burbs. It is very high in Cook County (in which Chicago is located).

Yesterday, two gas stations in Fox Lake, Illinois, were at $4, one was at $3.94, and one at the cheap price of $3.92 and were there ever lines at the pumps. Spring Grove's one station was also $4.

Across the US, the average is $3.79 a gallon, up 17 cents in the last two weeks. Gas in Fox Lake at the beginning of May was $3.70. That's a 30 cent INCREASE!! And in 21 DAYS!!! Come on BIG OIL and MINIONs. Give us a BREAK!!!

Last year, gas in Fox Lake was a riduculously high $3.12 (although that rip-off is looking better and better) and had risen to $3.57 by May 23rd before dropping off--gradually of course. Maybe, with their $4 GOAL attained now, they will start finding reasons to let the price drop, much the same way they find dubious reasons to raise it.

I know these figures because I have been keeping track of gas prices the last five years when it became apparent Big Oil was going to go for the gold. So, I know.

Something's Rotten in the US and it Has Nothing to Do with B.O. Body Odor.
--One Mad Horny Toad!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bob Stroud's Making Me Feel Old

I love Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Show on WDRV FM, 97.1 FM, in Chicago every Sunday morning from 7 to 10 am. You can hear it on the internet as well. This guy really knows hisstuff about the music of the 60s and 70s.

However, one problem is that he likes to tell which musicians are having birthdays that week.

Some birthdays in the last two weeks:

Jay Ferguson-- Jo Jo Gunne, Spirit, and on his own-- 61
Jack Bruce-- Cream-- 65
Steve Winwood-- 60
Stevie Wonder-- 58
Eric Burdon-- 67
Dave Mason-- 62
Magic Dick-- J. Geils Band-- 63
Graham Goutman-- 10 CC-- 62
Billy Swann-- 66
Donovan-- 62
Arnold Isley-- Isley Brothers-- 67
Bernie Taupin-- lyrics for Elton John-- 58
Rick Wakeman--Yes-- 59

Come On Bob. You're Making Me Feel Old. --RoadDog

THIS DATE IN HISTORY-- Speaking of old-- 1955-- On this date, Chuck Berry went to Chess Studios in Chicago to record "Ida Mae" whose name was changed to "Maybelline" to make it sound less country.

Some Interesting Stories

OREOS ON THE INTERSTATE-- Monday morning, 14 tons of double oreos spilled out on I-80 near Morris, Illinois. The cause of the accident is under investigation as detectives wait for the milk truck to show up.

$175 HAMBURGER IN NEW YORK CITY-- All this inflation has hit that American staple, the hamburger. The Wall Street Burger Shoppe is offering a burger and fries for $175. Even with our worthless money, that's a lot of bucks.

It is Kobe beef topped with foie gras, exotic mushrooms, shaved black truffles and with a golden truffle mayonaise (chopped black truffles, truffle oil, and gold flakes). And, it comes with an order of fries!!!

They've sold some of these, but their staple is the $4 Shoppe Burger, a little more within my financial means.

TEACHER DUCT TAPES STUDENTS IN HOTEL ROOM-- A chaperone from Milbury, Ohio, sealed students in their motel rooms with duct tape. The chorus was on a field trip to Chicago. This was to make sure the students remained in their rooms during curfew. They wouldn't be able to put the tape back on if they left and came back to their rooms.

A mother, whose son claims he was worried about being trapped in his room in case of a fire, is irate and thinking about filing a legal suit since the school board backs the teacher.

As a teacher who has taken kids overnight on field trips, their sneaking out at night is a problem. I wish I'd thought of the duct tape. That won't keep someone from getting out the door in case of an emergency. Hey, mama, be careful around that McDonald's coffee.

And, Who Says the News is Boring. --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top Songs This Date, 1964

My Guy-- Mary Wells
Love Me Do-- Beatles-- Part of the invasion. Beatles were all over the place.
Ronnie-- 4 Seasons-- Great harmony-- Jersey Guys Done Good.
My Heart Skips a Beat-- Buck Owens-- Great country

I was finishing up 7th grade at Winston Park Junior High School in Palatine, Illinois. Mrs. Banie. We had been in our new house at 1102 Anderson Drive in the huge Winston Park subdivision for a little over a year.

I was NOT a country fan back then, but have since gotten to like it.

Back When Gas Was Around 30 Cents. --RoadDog

What Were You Doing May 4, 1969?

Bob Stroud did his whole Rock and Roll Roots show on May 4th on the songs playing in our radios back on May 4, 1969. Normally he spends an hour and a half on one year and the second hour and a half on the same date 5 years later. But, he said there were so many great songs, he did all three hours on the same date. I agree with him.

On May 4, 1969, I was preparing to graduate from Palatine High School and working at Burger King on Northwest Highway (US-14) for just over an buck an hour, but all the Whoppers I could eat. I was still going steady with Liz.

The first comment is Bob Stroud's. The second in parentheses is mine. The songs for the first hour:

25 MILES-- EDWINN STARR-- We may have to head back 39 years, but to get there, we only have to go 25 miles. One of the greatest soul songs of 1969. (Just as good as "War")
I'VE BEEN HURT-- BILL DEAL & THE RHONDELLS-- Some of that great Beach Music from the Carolinas in your radio. (I didn't know Bob knew about Beach Music which I would have to rate as my overall favorite music. It's a Beach Thing, You Wouldn't Understand.)

LOVE (CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY)-- MERCY--out of Tampa Bay, one hit wonder and climbing the charts.
SWEET CHERRY WINE-- TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS-- the cabernet variety, follow up to "Crimson & Clover" (two classics from their psychadelic era)
GRAZING IN THE GRASS-- FRIENDS OF DISTINCTION-- From LA, first of their three hits. Vocal version of the instrumental by Hugh Masakela the previous summer.

ROCK ME-- STEPPENWOLF-- The Friends of Distinction and Steppenwolf were both from LA, but with highly different approaches to music. (Takes me right back to that great jukebox in the Senior Lounge at the old Palatine High School.)
I COULD NEVER LIE TO YOU-- NEW COLONY SIX-- debuting this date, the new 45 from the New Colony Six. (Another one of those great 60s Chicago groups.)
THE LETTER-- ARBORS-- covering the Box Tops. (I'm not familiar with this song.)
I SHALL BE RELEASED-- BOX TOPS-- the Box Tops covering Bob Dylan. (Not familiar with this one either.)

YOU'VE MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY-- BLOOD, SWEAT, and TEARS-- One of the must-have albums of the day, the second BS&T album that was self-titled and it was such an inventive fusion of rock, jazz, pop, and soul, you name it, it was all there, including several hit records. Their take on an old Motown song done a couple years before this by Brenda Holloway. (This album has to be in anybody's ultimate rock collection, possible a top ten album of all time.)
MR. SUN, MR. MOON-- PAUL REVERE & the RAIDERS-- gettin' all formal on us. (Turn in your Rock and Roll Shoes, Guys!! My least favorite-ever song by them.)
ATLANTIS-- DONOVAN-- (Could have done without that syrupy, gooey intro.)

Bob always introduces each part after commercial break with a song from that date. "To Know You is to Love You" by Bobby Vinton and the Vogues doing the Penguins classic "Earth Angel."

This is Part One of Three. Takes Me Right Back. --RoadDog

Monday, May 19, 2008

Down Da 66-- Best Places to Live-- Gay Parita-- Tattoo Man-- Model Ts on the Route

Down Da 66-- New News About an Old Road.

BEST PLACESTO LIVE-- Relocate-America released its annual list of one hundred best places to live in the US based on a variety of factors such as home appreciation, education and employment rates.

Four Route 66 towns made it, two in the Top Ten: #5- Tulsa, Ok, #8 Albuquerque, NM, and Kingman, Az, and Oklahoma City. Good Ol' Route 66, A Good Ol' Place to Live.

GAY PARITA-- Built 1929. West of Halltown, Missouri. Known for a long time as Gay Parita after former owners Gay and Fred Mason. A fire destroyed the place in 1955. Now open again and sounds like a good place to go.

TATTOO MAN-- AKA Ron Jones, now has 67 tattoos, all but one of them relate to Route 66, but at 5'7" is not sure how much further he can go with his avocation.

MODEL Ts ON THE ROUTE-- The May 15th Miami Ok) News-Report said that the 19 members of the Model T Club of Southern California, stopped at the Coleman Theater. One car dropped out in Ohio due to a broken clutch, and another left the group in Missouri the day before with mechanical problems.

The May 14th Springfield (Mo) News-Leader reported that the Ts had stopped at Gary Turner's Gay Parita Sinclair gas station where there was a gas war sign advertising the now-dear stuff at 15 cents. The Ts parked out by the Mae West gas pumps, so named for their feminine shape. Gas had to be hand-pumped into the glass globe on top, then drained by gravity into the fuel tank.

Twenty restored Model Ts started the trip. The four-cylinder, 20 hp cars have a top speed of 45 and get between 15 and 20 mpg.

Down Da 66 I Go. --RoadDog

Happenings Twenty Years Ago This Month-- 86 Cents Gas!!!

I've been keeping a journal since 1978 which brings back a lot of memories of things i would have completely forgotten about had I not written them down.

I went over what I was doing during May of 1988.


I was quite sick for a lot of the month after having eaten a bad oyster at Crystle's on April 22nd. I suffered from vomiting and diarrhea for a long time and just couldn't eat. I dropped to 168 pounds the hard way and was just getting it under control after visiting Dr. Miller and getting medication.


I was deejaying a lot back then. During the month, I entertained twenty times: 11 at Crystle's, 1 at Out Bak's on Long Lake, 5 times at schools, and had 3 private parties.

I ended up getting paid $2150 for the month. Not bad pay for having a good time.

I was complaining about a lack of any record stores in Round Lake or Fox Lake.


The first boat we had, a 1980 Imperial, was having problems with the trim cylinders which would cost $165 apiece. Rick Reynolds was working on it. We finally found out the problem was not enough oil in the hydraulic pump. Put oil in and it worked fine. The oil was about $2.


Vietnam Veteran Mr. Long came into my class and talked about his experiences.

Binnie's opened on Il-134. Had the best-ever Polish sandwiches, a real "Meal on a Bun."


GAS PRICES in Fox Lake had been UP to 90 cents a gallon during the winter, but had DROPPED to 86 cents in May. How about that?

Prices for gas at the marinas varied from the rip-off $1.45 at Harmony to $1.09 at Inland Harbor. Don't we wish?


On the 19th, took our dog Brandy, to Dr. Huckstadt, the veterinarian. This was always embarrassing as she would have a fit and bark the whole time. Everyone would be looking at me. This time, for some reason, she was behaved and both the vet and receptionists remarked about it.


On May 24th, my 37th birthday, we went to Liz's mom's in Arlington Hts, where she made me one of my favorite meals, Texas Steak. I sure liked that meal. Afterwards I went to Sound Warehouse on Dundee Road and bought some albums and CDs.

I Would Have Forgotten Most of This Stuff If I Had Not Written It Down. --RoadDog

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Hilarious Robin

This morning, I looked out the back window onto the deck and saw one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

Last summer, I used some twine to tie up some tall flowers and left the twine. One end had come loose and this robin was doing everything it could do get it.

At times it would take the end in its beak and take off, only to be jerked down at the end of the twine. Then it would hop on the deck from one side to another and at times just put some real exertion into pulling it.

Too bad I didn't think about getting the camcorder out as this would have been great for America's Funniest Videos or Animal Planet. My excuse is that I was laughing too hard. Who knows, maybe I could have won some money so I could afford some GAS!!!

When a robin is that intent on getting material like that, you can bet that it is building a nest. I looked above the deck lights, two really favorite nesting spots, but nothing there. I did find it on the upper shelf of the deck bar.

That Was One FUNNY Bird. --RoadDog

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Da Gas Gouge-- Let's Refuel America

The Angry Horny Lizard just gets madder and madder at Big Oil. The magic $4 level has been breached in some places and I imagine it will be all over the country by Memorial Day.

I am predicting it will get up to around $4.10 here and then will start dropping during the Summer Driving Season, when it used to go up. Hey, the law of supply and demand no longer applies here.

Prices should continue to drop until the election as I don't think Big Oil wants one of the political parties to be adversely affected.

A friend sent me a site where you can punch in a zip code and find out gas prices for the area. I checked out my family's prices. Guess I'll be needing to move to White House, Tennessee, to get those "cheap" gas prices these days.

Prices for regular, with the nine tenths rounded up:

Palatine/Arlington Heights, Illinois-- $3.90 to $4.10
Spring Grove, Illinois-- $3.90 to $4
Goldsboro, NC-- $3.72 to $3.77
Richmond Hill, Georgia-- $3.64 to $3.91
White House, Tennessee-- $3.60 to $3.70

And, I can remember pulling out of a gas station back in the sixties and being mad when they HAD the AUDACITY to charge 35 cents a gallon. How dare they!!!


I see that Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep has a new program that guarantees that you don't pay over $3 a gallon for the next three years on new purchases. That would help a lot. BUT LET'S NOT FORGET THAT ANYTHING ABOVE $2 IS TOO MUCH.

The Horny Toad's Gettin' His Tail in a Bind!!! --RoadDog

JSS-- Mallard Nest-- Finished Retaining Walls-- Boat to Marina-- GAS GOUGE-- Won at NTN-- Top Songs Today in 1967

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. MALLARD NEST-- A mama mallard scared me a bit this morning while I was working out in the yard. She quacked and moved off her nest by the air conditioner. This is the second year I've had a mallard nest in the yard. I don't know exactly why they pick the house to have their babies as we're not near any water. How do the get the little peepers to water?

2. FINISHED RETAINING WALLS-- Tuesday, I finished the retaining walls along the west side of the house. I figured I'd be finished a week and a half ago, but one wall leads to another. There are about 80 landscaping stones on about ten different levels. Now, I am transplanting perennials over to the area.

3. BOAT TO MARINA-- Tuesday, Liz cleaned up the inside of the boat and I polished the hull. Yesterday, I took it to the marina over by Antioch to have it prepared for BOATING we will go. Hopefully, we'll be on the water by next week.

4. GAS GOUGE-- continues. We're getting poorer and poorer while Big Oil gets richer and richer. Gas in Antioch was $3.97 to $4. Wisconsin was $3.97 and Fox Lake anywhere between $3.92 and $4. They're destroying this country to get richer.

In keeping with my efforts to cut down on gas consumption, I drooped the boat off, checked out a nursery over the border in Wisconsin, checked out a new NTN site in Antioch, and played NTN at Hello Folks in Fox Lake.

5. WON AT NTN-- As I said, I stopped at a new place, VIP's, in Antioch to play NTN. They've had it about a month and the owner is hoping it catches on. Nice place, and on Wednesdays they have 50 cent wings, $2 domestic bottles, and $4 pitchers. These are prices I can live with.

Drove to Fox Lake and took part in the NTN tournament. There was a play-in round since we had ten players. Happy to report that I won for the day and will go to the final four competition in June.

6. TOP SONGS MAY 15, 1967

The Happening-- Supremes
Sweet Soul Music-- Arthur Conley
Groovin'-- Young Rascals
Sam's Place-- Buck Owens

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Ain't It Sad

We have the Baby Blues 2008 Daily Calenday. Baby Blues is one of my favorite comic strips. The May 8-10th strips were funny, but not-so-funny.

The Theme of all three was Good Parenting and they looked at how Darryl and Wanda's parents raised them, and how they are raising Zoe and Hammie. It was a Then and Now.

May 8th

THEN Darryl's father throws a bat and glove to him and says: "Here's a ball and glove, son. Go play baseball."

NOW-- They're holding up papers to Hammie, Wanda's saying: "We've signed you up for T-Ball, and we're hiring a private coach to develop your skills and sportsmanship."

May 9th

THEN-- Wanda's mother: "Eat your fish. It's good for you."

NOW-- Wanda to Zoe: "Don't eat the fish. It's bad for you."

May 10th

THEN-- Darryl's parents as his mom puts a bandgae on his knee: "I guess you learned a lesson about climbing trees."

NOW-- Wanda putting bandage on Hammie's knee: "We need to pass legislation to make trees safer."

Funny, but sad.

Wonderin' How I Manage to Survive Growing Up. --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gas Protest Gets Indiana Man Arrested

I'm sure we'll be hearing these stories a lot in the coming weeks as Big Oil continues its inexorible march to hat $4 a gallon price.

Jay Weinberg performed his song "Price Gouge'n" on the roof of an Indiana service station and got arrested for his efforts. He did this May 5th with Obama and Clinton campaigning nearby. His song can be downloaded for 39 cents and it has been picked up by several Chicagoland radio stations.

Good song and you can see on You Tube.

The refrains goes "Price gouging so ? who's jacking up the cost of fuel. I can't afford it, I'm banging on my dashboard, I can't believe they thik I'm a fool."

I listened to it several times, but can't figure out that one bit around where the question mark is.

This Guy Really Impressed the Angry Horny Toad. --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Me and "Indy"

Archaeology has always fascinated me. I'd sure love to go out sometime to a site and do some archaeological work. Sifting through the dirt and clay, you just never know what you'll find. And sometimes you don't find anything. You just never know.

One of the earliest things I wanted to do for a job was underwater archaeology. It was either do that or be a teacher, I taught for 33 years.

If we ever get a site near home, I just might volunteer to do some sifting. I've even thought of buying a metal detector.


I watched the three movies on USA Network. Here are my short words on each.

Raiders of the Lost Ark-- "I hate snakes." "It's beautiful" and Nazis get fried.

Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade-- Looking for the Holy Grail and battling Nazis. "He chose unwisely."

Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom-- She sure screams a lot. Great food: baby snakes, eyeball soup, giant beatles, and chilled monkey brains served in the skull.

Overall, Pretty Hokey, BUT Fun and Lots of Adventure. --RoadDog

Archaeologists Take a Look at Indiana Jones

Is he good or bad for archaeology? With all the fanfare about the new Indiana Jones movie coming out and USA Network running all three of the previous movies as well as tie-ins and the release of all three on DVD, the question arises.

Indiana Jones "preaches research and good science in the classroom, but is more of an acquisitive tomb raider in the field with a scorched earth policy about what he leaves behind."

David Germain, AP Movie Writer in Yahoo! News asked several archaeologists what their take on Indy was.

"Indy has been both a blessing and a curse for the misty world of archaeology..."

In the 1989 "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the last of the three movies, he tells students, as his nerdy alter-ego Professor Henry Jones, Jr., that "70% of archaeology is done in the library and advises them to 'forget any ideas about lost cities, exotic travel...We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and 'X' never marks the spot.'"

Then he becomes Indiana Jones and smashes through crypts, kills Nazis, and desecrates a tomb by using a leg bone as a torch.

According to archaeologists, the only thing other than the classroom scenes that resembles real archaeology was in "Raiders" when the Nazis were excavating the lost city."

What Indiana Jones, the "Mummy" and "Lara Craft Tomb Raider" really benefit archaeology is by getting people interested in the subject and talking about it.

And These Guys Don't Even Know How to Spell It. I've Seen it As Archaeology and Archeology. --RoadDog

Monday, May 12, 2008

JSS-- Thanks RL Carnival-- Drove 3 Miles-- Tony Romo and Bob Uecker Shouldn't Sing at Wrigley-- Favorite Animals Songs

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. THANKS ROUND LAKE CARNIVAL-- For the second time this year and 31st time (there was another two-fer weekend) in 30 years, the Round Lake Carnival's Bad Weather Hex continued. Weather was crummy all weekend with very cool temps since Friday until Sunday. When will they learn. Somebody needs to do something about that Carnival!!!

2. DROVE 3 MILES-- Speaking of somebody needing to do something about something, we have those wonderful lads and lasses at Big Oil who keep taking more and more money out of our pockets at the gas pump while they put more and more in theirs.

I'm doing my own little bit and really cutting back on driving. This past weekened I drove a total of three miles. None on Saturday and thre yesterday. Today, I drove 15, but multi-stopped: McDonald's for lunch, Home Depot, Aldi's, and Menard's.

Being retired, this is easy for me to keep mileage down. Unfortunately, even if most people did this, it wouldn't stop the GRBs from raising the price. There IS NO LONGER SUCH A THING AS THE LAW OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND. Now, it's just the LAW OF GREED AND AVARICE.

3. TONY ROMO AND BOB UECKER SHOULDN'T SING AT WRIGLEY-- Quick, when is a qb from little old Eastern Illinois University better than a qb from big old Univ. of Florida. When the EIU guy is Tony Romo and the UF is Rex Grossman. Sunday, I watched the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley where they have guest singers for Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

Sunday, Tony sang at Wrigley, and the only thing I can say is, "Tony. don't give up your day job." He was horrible, but at least Root, Root, Rooted for the Cubbies and that is a lot better than we can say for Bob Uecker, who for a second time led the song and rooted for the Brweres, but hey, what can you expect.

4. FAVORITE ANIMALS SONGS-- And we're not talking about animals in a zoo, but the bluesy British Invasion band from the 1960s headed up by Eric Burdon. Bob Stroud, on hisSunday Rock and Roll Roots featured the top 13 Chicago Animals songs because of Eric's 67th birthday. If Eric is 67, that makes me ....

My top three songs by them are #1 Sky Pilot, #2 We Got to Get Out of This Place, and #3 Don't Let Me be Misunderstood. The number one Chicago song, why, "House of the Rising Sun" of course.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fessa Hooks' Beach Music Top 40

The Fessa started this in September 1992, making it the longest-running Beach Music Survey, going on 16 years.

I like to listen to it on Saturday mornings on his Endless Summer website.

The Top Ten for May 3rd.

1. I Had to Fall in Love-- Part Time Party Time Band
2. Runaway Soul-- Ruthie Foster
3. Natural Born Lover-- Omar Dykes and Lou Ann Barton
4. Beautiful Girls/Stand By Me-- Sean Kingston (popular on pop charts)
5. All the Way from Philadelphia-- Russell Thompkins, Jr
6. How'd You Learn to Shake it Like That-- Ana Popovic
7. (So Long) Since I Felt That Way-- Russell Thompkins, Jr.
8. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer-- Ruby Hayes
9. Sure Cure for the Blues-- Miranda Louise
10. I Wanna Love You-- Dr. Wu & Friends

Beachin' It Whenever Possible. Get Me Back to Topsail Island. --RoadDog

Every Blooming Thing-- Early May

Update on the Yard.

1. TREES: The crap apple and Bradford pear trees blooming are about to. In the front yard, the white crab apple is in full regalia and the red one about to go into it. The two other red ones in the backyard are also about to bloom. One pear tree is blooming white all over, but the other two have just a little white on them. They haven't bloomed much the last several years and I don't know why. The starburst honey locusts are about to burst into their golden glory.

2. FLOWERS: Most of the daffodils and hyacinths are gone. Tulips are all over the place and in bloom as well as several perennials that I don't know the name. They are yellow. Many other perennials are growing quickly.

3. TRANSPLANTING: Yesterday and later today, I'll be out digging up, cutting, and replanting perennials. Yesterday it was mostly low daisies, creeping phlox and mums. Today, I'll be working on daylillies. Much of this is going on along the west side of the house where the new retaining walls are located. I've decided to buy another 20-30 Windsor stones for some more walls as well.

The Babies Are Back. --RoadDog

JSS-- $4 Gas Arrives-- Circuit City/Camcorder-- Many Stores-- Indiana Jones

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. $4 GAS ARRIVES-- I knew it was just a matter of time before Big Oil's greed hit out here. Yesterday, I saw gas at the Mobil station in Johnsburg was at $3.99.9That translates to $4!!!! This is the first station I've seen out here with regular at the "magic" FOUR DOLLAR MARK!!! Other places were at $3.82 in Fox Lake to $3.93.
"Great Horny Toads", I'm Getting angry about all this greed. I just might have to unleash the "Great Horny Toad" in regards to this.

2. CIRCUIT CITY/CAMCORDER-- Yesterday I got an e-mail saying that Circuit City was getting close to bankruptcy so decided this would be a good time to bring my VHS-C camcorder in to get some work done on it. I got the extended warranty as I always have problems with the mode selector getting loose and this time, it just fell off.

They will mail it in, but aren't sure it will be honored as the piece broke off and it was not an internal problem. They'd best honor it. The mode selector problem was the REASON I purchased the plan anyway. I normally don't buy the extended warranty.

I REALIZE that a VHS-C Camcorder is not exactly techmologically cutting-edge, BUT, I KNOE how to OPERATE it!!!

3. MANY STORES-- Because of Big Oil's greed, I multi-stop whenever out and about. Since I was already at the Circuit City on Il-31 north of McHenry, I checked out the nurseries at Meijer's and Home Depot, and went to Target. Bought the new Dierks Bentley Greatest Hits CD at Best Buy for $9.99 and the new Toby Keith Greatest Hits double CD at Circuit City for $11.99. The savings on these pretty well offset the gas money I spent driving over to McHenry. Stopped on the way home at Hello Folks and played NTN with Bill, Jeff, and Sherry. We had a #18 and #5 with Yadhey at #17.

4. INDIANA JONES-- Looking forward to the new Indiana Jones movie coming out soon. Today, USA is running all three of the previous Jones movies back-to-back. I will definitely be doing some recording to watch them. I like it when a network runs all of a series like this, especially when I haven't seen them for a long time.

I enjoyed AMC running all five of the Planet of the Apes movies and Spike has been showing all the Star Wars ones. It is amazing how much I forgot.

Just Some Stuff Before I Go. --RoadDog

Not Technologically Challenged...But

Every time I walk into a Best Buy or Circuit City, I am overwhelmed. I probably couldn't operate but about 25% of the stuff in those places. There are even items that I don't even know what they do.

I have done been passed by in this technological revolution we now have where today's "new" stuff is outdated within months. I just can't keep up. Plus, I hate learning new stuff when I am so comfortable with the old stuff.

GARFIELD-- April 29th

Jon: "My new cell phone has voice mail, a calendar, an alarm clock, a camera, a tip calculator. a GPS system and it plays MP3 music files."

Next frame. Jon: "It does everything but ring."

Next frame. Garfield: "That would require friends."

Well, I do get an occasional call, but that's all I've ever done on the cell phone. Take a picture?

Stuck in the Way-Back Machine Again. --RoadDog

Friday, May 9, 2008

JSS-- Bill's Pub-- Route 66 Talk-- Round Lakin' It-- GAS GOUGE-- Dadburn Carnival Gets Us a Second Weekend

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. BILL'S PUB-- Wednesday, I met Kip and Susie in Mundelein at the great Bill's Pub, home of the free peanuts and double-decker pizza. We used to eat here a lot when we lived in nearby Vernon Hills. The place opened in the 1950s and noted for its north woods decor.

2. ROUTE 66 TALK-- Afterwards, we went to the Fremont Library in Mundelein, after quite a bit of country driving after getting confused with the hamlet of Fremont Center, and saw my friend Dave Clark give a talk on Route 66. Dave is probably the foremost authority on Route 66 in the Chicagoland area as well as an expert on the histories of downtown buildings.

The room was filled to capacity and I think some of the good folks might now be newly-hooked road fans. You can see a more detailed account at

3. ROUND LAKIN' IT-- Because of the high gas prices, Liz and I try to combine as many trips as possible whenever we go anywhere these days. Yesterday, we both had back-to-back dentist appointments in Round Lake. We also paid insurance bills at our State Farm agent's office and Liz had her hair cut. While she was getting her hair cut, I went to the school district office about my uncashed check. We then had the great buffet at the Pizza Hut on Rollins Road. We also did shopping at Wal Mart and General Dollar and Big Lots while each of us had the dentist appointments.

With gas prices like we have today, you have to do that.

4. SPEAKING OF GAS GOUGE!!!-- Gas all over our area now starts at $3.80 in Fox Lake and $3.90 in Round Lake!! And I can remember quite clearly pulling out of a station back in the sixties when I saw, at the pump, that they were charging the OUTRAGEOUS price of 35 CENTS a GALLON!!! Those GRBs at Big Oil and THEIR COHORTS!!!

5. DADBURN ROUND LAKE CARNIVAL GETS US A SECOND WEEKEND-- When will they ever learn? Yesterday, we saw that the carnival was still set up and learned they were going to ruin another weekend. Temp right now is 51 degrees under overcast sky. Somebody needs to do something about that carnival. It already wrecked last weekend, now plans on doing the same to this one.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

My Dumb Move

I must be wealthy as several months ago I was going through some papers on my desk and found a check from the school district dated December 2005 that I HAD NOT CASHED!!!

Now, that is majorly stupid. I was almost too embarrassed to go to the district office to ask what could be done about it. Why, they might even refuse to honor it, and that would have been their right, especially since I don't know many people at the office anymore.

Well, yesterday I went there and was very happy to find that they would cut me a new one. That is $1300 that I thought I might just have lost.

That comes in handy as the dear old Federal government hit me up for another $6000 and the property taxes for last year are a cool $8000. I'm being taxed to pieces and I thought that wouldn't be a problem after retirement.

My Word to You is to Check Out That Desk. --RoadDog

The Battle of the Security System-- We Lost

We're losing it and Liz, at least, is losing a lot of sleep over it.

This past Saturday, the system started beeping for no reason. We tried to stop it, but couldn't for awhile. Finally determined it was on low battery. What battery? We'd never changed the battery in it during the 15 years we lived here. I always thought it was hooked up to the electrical system.

After some moving plugs around, we got it to stop. Things were fine until Tuesday, when it started beeping again. More plug moving and it stopped until night, then went off regularly about every forty minutes.

Unfortunately, the guy who had installed it, a friend, was on vacation in Florida but left several messages with him. Finally got it to stop again.


Yesterday, when we got home, it was making a sound like "Bop", the sound you'd hear throwing a tennis ball against a wall. Now, this was every bit as annoying as the beeping. I eventually disconnected the sound box and things were fine.

The installer, Marty, called to say there was a big battery in the basement somewhere, and that it needed to be replaced. He said they normally need to be replaced after three or four years. We've been in the house for 15 years now. Definitely a long-lived battery, but not as long as Livermore, California's 107 year-old Centennial Bulb which I wrote about in today's Cooter's History Thing at

We still had no idea where this battery was. Marty had put the system in while the house was being built back in 1992. The following year, we had the builder complete the basement. This morning, Liz said that she had found where the battery was. It is by the bar and the builder had built a box around it. At least we're fairly sure that's where it is.

We'll know for sure when Marty gets back from Reno next week.

It's Got to Be There. --RoadDog

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

JSS-- First Day of Boating-- Our Boat in Driveway-- No Grass-Cutting today

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. FIRST DAY OF BOATING-- Not on our boat, but buddy Frank's. Frank put his boat in at Chain of Lakes State Park (no launching charge, about $20 everywhere else). I drove it over to his place off Pistakee Lake while he took the trailer back. We then did a cruise around Pistakee Lake and Pistakee Bay on an absolutely perfect day for boating. This really gets me in the mood despite that rotten Big Oil.

2. OUR BOAT IN THE DRIVEWAY-- Frank took his trailer over to the place he and I keep our boats in Hebron. I went with him and we picked up my boat and brought it back to the house. I hope to have it in the water by next week. We only have a week though, because our subdivision by-laws only allow a boat or RV to be parked in the yard or driveway for a week before you start getting nasty notes and legal threats.

3. NO GRASS-CUTTING TODAY-- I had planned to cut the grass this morning, but before I could get outside, it started raining. It is not good to allow the grass to get too far ahead of you this time of the year. I'll be out there tomorrow.

Got to Get Out on the Water. --RoadDog

I'm Not Technologically Challenged, Not Much Anyway

A recent Garfield had Jon with his new cell phone.

Cell phone is ringing and Jon answers it.



"I took another picture of my ear."

Garfield: "New cell phone."

Hey, I wouldn't even know how to take a picture unless it was by accident.

Said the Guy Who Just Got His First Cell Phone about 14 months ago. I know of first graders who have had them longer. --RoadDog

Chevron Made Little Money at the Gas Pump!!!

Now, that's a good one. The fact that the pump price goes up within hours of oil prices going up even though the just-pumped oil won't get to us for months would have nothing to do with it. Plus the fact that a drop in oil prices won't show up for weeks to months would have nothing to do with it.


The division that sells and refines oil made just $252 million in the first quarter. Chevron said that they are unable to raise fuel prices as quickly as oil prices have gone up. The profit, $5.17 billion, came from their oil fields where they made an $87 profit on each barrel.

I Tell You, Something's Mighty Wrong Here. --RoadDog

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

OH, By The Way-- Chevron Posts Best 1st-Quarter Ever

The May 3rd Chicago Tribune had an article in the Business section titled "Best 1st-quarter ever for Chevron."

"Coming off four straight years of record earnings, Chevron Corp. cashed in on soaring oil prices to begin 2008 with the most profitable first quarter in its history."

By the way, Chevron is one of THOSE BIG OIL COMPANIES. Isn't this amazing?

Enuff Said. --RoadDog

Next to Lying, the Excuses ARE Something Else

BIG OIL and their group of analysts and experts are truly unbelievable. Hey, we know we're making billions in profit while the US people and economy go down, but, really, it's not our fault.

Oil yesterday closed at $1.19.97 after being as high as $120.93 ON FEARS OF TIGHT SUPPLY AND WEAKER DOLLAR. That tighter supply is the much hyped Summer Driving Season. Hey guys, a big part of the rise so far has been the ANTICIPATION OF THE SUMMER DRIVING SEASON!!! Let's see, you can raise prices because of the summer driving season and also in ANTICIPATION of it?

"The bulls are in control of the market" says one "expert." Wrong, The GREEDY ONEs have control of the market.

Plus, supply outages and "potential threats" cause it to go up. Like yesterday, Kurdish rebels threatened to attack Iranian oil fields. This "threat" caused prices to go up.

If these threats are true, then those that cause the price of oil to go up have to be the biggest bunch of wusses to ever walk the earth. What we have here is a bunch of babies, but most likely I'd say they were GRBs looking to get even richer.

Here's my excuse why I'm doing this to you.

Not Buying All This Baloney. --RoadDog

JSS-- Finished Retaining Walls-- Great Day for ODing-- "Iron Man"-- Preservation Month-- UT Goin' Down in October

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. FINISHED RETAINING WALLS-- Used the decent weather yesterday to finish the work on the retaining walls on the west side of the house. I figure I used about 70 retaining wall stones to do it as well as quite a few cut stones on about seven different levels. Looks good.

2. GREAT DAY FOR ODing-- And I don't mean overdosing. I call sitting out on the deck OD, On Deck, Get It?? Sun's out and temp is 68 degrees. Time to break out the suntan lotion. Or is it better called sunburn lotion. Planning on getting the boat out next week.

3. "IRON MAN"-- I'm not surprised to see that "Iron Man" did well at the box office this last weekend. It is good for both older folk like me and definitely something the younger kids will like. They were laughing and cheering at the theater on Friday. It made $100.7 million, the second-best non-sequel opening. It is the first-ever release by Marvel Studios. They've had others like "Spiderman", X-Men", and "Fantastic Four", but these were withthe backing of other studios. Robert Downey, Jr, was great.

4. NATIONAL PRESERVATION MONTH-- May is the 4th annual National Trust for Historic Preservation's Preservation Month. Go out and support your lcal historic house.

5. UT GOIN' DOWN-- I see that my alma is playing my nephew's alma October 4th in Knoxville. Poor old University of Tennessee won't know what hit them after my alma Northern Illinois gets through with them. Might even go to the show, despite Big Oil's greed.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

My Top Ten Beach Music Songs

Every morning, while on the internet and blogging, I listen to 94.9 FM, the Surf, out of Myrtle Beach, SC. They have one of my all-time favorite deejays, Billy Smith, on in the morning. And, they play that great Beach Music that I can't get around here (in Northeastern Illinois).

They allow listeners to vote for their top choices of Beach Music that they play on Saturday.

This week, my top ten are as follows:

1. Drink Up-- Big Time Party Band
2. Get My Fanny Back to the Beach
3. The Boys Are Back in Town-- Young Guns
4. Most of the Pretty Girls-- William Dee & the Weejams
5. Carolina Beach Motion-- Summerdaze
6. Money Honey-- Craig Woolard Band
7. Do That Thang Again-- Archie Bell
8. Put Your Records On-- MarkRoberts
9. Ain't That the Truth-- Danny Brooks
10. Gon Dance-- Ron Moody

Beachin' in the Carolina's...Nothing Fina. --RoadDog

Tunes fro Tremblors

The April 19th Springfield (Il) State Journal-Register had several articles about the earthquake that struck Friday morning.

One that I found of interest was where the staff and readers prepared a list of good songs to be playing during and earthquake.

Here are some:

You Shook Me All Night Long-- AC/DC
Twist and Shout-- Isley Bros and Beatles
Shake it Up-- Cars
Shake, Rattle & Roll-- Big Joe Turner and Bill Haley & the Comets
(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty-- KC & the Sunshine Band
I Feel the Earth Move-- Carole King
Crumblin' Down-- John Mellancamp
All Shook Up-- Elvis Presley
We Will Rock You-- Queen
Shake-- Otis Redding
It's the End of the World as We Know It-- REM
Rock This Town-- Stray Cats
The House is Rockin'-- Stevie Ray Vaughan

Music to Go With Your Earthquake. --RoadDog

Monday, May 5, 2008

Getting Lots of NTN Sites Around Here

On Saturday's JSS, I mentioned that I had played NTN at Vickie's Place in McHenry, Illinois. Now, I see that Raymond's Bowl in Johnsburg is getting it. VIP's Sports Bar in Antioch got it about the same time as Vickie's. Plus, Side Outs in Island Lake just reactivated it.

Last year, Dock's and Lindy's Landing in Wauconda installed it. Vickie's and these two places are right on the water, which makes visiting them even better.

That, and the fact that there are three places in Fox Lake: Hello Folks, Pug Mahone's and Famous Freddie's with it, and BW3 right down the road in Round Lake Beach, make this a big area for the game. Plus, there's our main home bar, Donovan's in Twin Lakes, just over the border in Wisconsin. All of these are within about a ten mile drive for us which is a great thing in this day and age of Big Oil ripoff.

Barhopping in Springfield, Illinois-- Celtic Mist, Recycled Records, Alamo, and Norb Andy's

This past April 19th, Liz and I went to Springfield for the Sons of Confederate Veterans Illinois Division meeting at the Hilton.

After the convention, I joined Liz and Missy, wife of Camp Douglas Camp 1507 commander John, and did a little bit of bar hopping around the city.

Met them at Celtic Mist, an Irish bar across the street from the Abraham Lincoln Hotel. I then walked around the corner to one of the fast disappearing mom and pop record stores, Recycled Records where I bought used CDs by Peter Frampton, a Mexican mariachi band, and Carole King's "Tapestry" CD, all for $10. They even had a three piece band playing by the front window with music piped into the street.

Next, walked over to the Alamo, on the site of Lincoln's first law office, well, actually the outdoor garden is. Normally, it is closed on Saturdays until evening, but was open for a breast cancer walk. Met the owner who was bar tending. Very friendly person.


Found out he also owns Norb Andy's, a historic Springfield place (building dating to the 1840s and restaurant to around 1904) located about two blocks from the capitol building. It closed about two years ago, much to our regret. This was a great place to eat (we had our first horseshoes here) and definitely enjoyed the $1 taps and live music on the weekends. John, a lobbyist, was always there and provided his own entertainment.

In the past, many of Illinois' movers and shakers were customers.

Asked the owner why he closed it and was told that the city had torn up the street in front of it for six months causing business to really drop off. He is trying to sell it and says it is in go-condition inside. Everything is ready to be used if someone buys it.

Sure hope someone does.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Saturday, May 3, 2008

JSS-- It Figures, RL Carnival-- New NTN Place-- "Iron Man"-- Multi-Shopping/Stopping-- First Corn

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. It Figures, RL Carnival--This event happens every year. Whenever the annual Round Lake, Illinois, spring carnival takes place, we have absolutely horrible weather. This has been going on for at least 30 years now. I can remember working as a Jaycee at the ticket booth 30 years ago and having the temperatures drop 30 degrees in an hour. I can only remember one time when we had decent weather in that stretch.

Of course, yesterday, the weather changed dramatically and temperatures dropped. I didn't think about the carnival as the culprit until I was listening to WRLR out of Round Lake and heard that the carnival was opening. So, that explains it. Someone has to find a way to stop that carnival.

It rained off and on all yesterday. Today it is raining and the deck temp reads 39 degrees

2. New NTN Place--Yesterday, I stopped by a place that just got the NTN game in and played a few games of Appeteaser. At least people around the country now know who Vicki's Place is as we had two #1s and other top tens. Vicki's is located along the Fox River in McHenry, Illinois. It is a major stop for the thousands of boaters who cruise the Chain of Lakes and has outdoor seating and fake palm trees. Great place, but a bit on the expensive side.

3. "Iron Man"-- Saw this new movie yesterday at the McHenry Indoor Theater for the $3 matinee price. Great deal. Wasn't sure I'd like it, but definitely did, even with the large number of kids in attendance for the 1 pm showing. Found out that McHenry schools had an early dismissal at 12:30. They enjoyed the show as did I.

Capsule Review-- "Don't make a scientific guy mad at you."

4. MULTI SHOPPING/STOPPING-- Trying to watch my gas these days, so yesterday, along with going to Vicki's and the movie theater, I shopped at Circuit City, Meijer's, Best Buy, and did some grocery shopping at Val's on the way home. Every Little Bit.

5. GREAT CORN-- Val's had ears of corn, 4 for $1, so took a chance on them. So juicy, water jumped off every bite. Can summer be far behind?

Just Some Stuff. --Cooter

April 20th-- Rt 66 Meeting-- Meeting of the Great Rivers-- Bird Vengeance and Monster Tacos

On April 20th, we weren't too happy to find that the $100 we paid to stay at the Hilton did not come with their fabulous breakfast buffet because we were on a group discount. Otherwise, it costs about $13. We weren't going to pay it. When we got back to the room, we found that John and Missy had left early and had given us their coupons, so we got to eat anyway.

Took the superslab, I-55, to Hamel, Illinois, about twenty miles out of St. Louis. We would have driven 66, but were running behind time. Attended the Rt. 66 Association of Illinois at Scotty's, an old Rt. 66 tavern and inn that used to be called Tourist Haven. We were surprised to see Ernie Edwards (the Old Coot of 66) and wife Fran there as he is not getting around as easily as in the past. There are 970 members in the organization.


We then drove over to Alton, Illinois, right on the Mississippi and dropped south to Hartford and saw where the Missouri River flows into the Mississippi right near the Lewis and Clark encampment museum. Got gas for the most I've ever paid, $3,66. Saw they are building a tower out by the highway, which is the start of the Scenic Byway. We were disappointed that a big levee ran between the highway and river although lots of bicyclers were riding along the top ot it.

At Alton, we stopped and played NTN at Tony's, a famous Italian restaurant dating back to the 1950s. We also saw the famous Piasa Bird painted on the cliffside at a park outside town. From here on, this was mighty great river driving. There was a clear view of the river off to the left and cliffs to the right. A bike trail ran along the whole route.

Plus, I think every motorcyclist in the area was out and driving along this route. At Grafton, we saw where the Illinois River flows into the Mississippi and lots of neat bars and restaurants we'll have to visit if we can afford the gas to get back. Walked around the lodge and hotel at the Pere Marquette State Park, but thought the $125 a night was too much, so drove to Litchfield.


Cruising back on some great country roads, some bird, or birds, really let loose on us as we drove under a wire. There had to be at least 12 big splotches on the windshield. And as you know, you can't simply turn on the windshield wipers to get that stuff off. Stopped at a station in Jerseyville and used their squeegie and after a lot of effort, got it off. "Birdie, Birdie in the Sky, Why'd You That..."

We checked into the Super 8 at Litchfield and drove over to Jack-in-the-Box for Liz's favorite meal, the Monster Tacos. At 99 cents a good deal these days and greasy to the extreme as ever. I don't usually like to stop at chain stores on trips, but this is the closest Jack to home, so a definite stop any time through town.

On the Road Again. --RoadDog

And the Lies Continue

News Flash--- Exxon Mobil profit for first quarter of 2008: $10.9 BILLION!!!!

Price of gas here in northeastern Illinois-- at least $3.70!!!! And that's for regular!!!!

And yet these guys are trying to say that the gasoline prices have not kept up with oil's ascent to triple digits!!! Margins are off in refining and marketing.

When will this lying stop?

Why is it that any increases on the world market show up at the pump within HOURS!!!

Let's take a thousand people. Of that thousand, 998 are getting poorer by the day while the other two are getting unimaginable wealth. One would have to believe that something's UP. Help!!!

How Do you Know When Big Oil is Lying? Their Mouths are Moving. --RoadDog

Friday, May 2, 2008

JSS-- NTN Winner-- Smell of Spring-- Attack of the Dandelions

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. NTN WINNER-- Yesterday, I won the NTN contest at Donovan's and am $50 richer for it. Over the past 4 Thursdays we had preliminary competition. The winner of each single elimination round met yesterday for the championship. Fortunately, the walking encyclopedia, Big Bob, was not able to make it. He most likely would have won had he been there. NTN is a trivia game broadcast over the airwaves.

I'm good, but guess a lot. He just knows most of the stuff.

2. SMELL OF SPRING-- Is there anything that says spring more than the smell of a hyacinth or daffodil? I have been cutting some down and putting them in a vase in the kitchen. Every time I walk by, I stop for a whiff. Mighty fine.

However, today, I had a surprise in store for me. After my first morning sniff, a spider fell out of the hyacinth. Sure glad I didn't inhale that lil' varmint.

3. ATTACK OF THE DANDELIONS-- As usual, along with the bulbs comes the dandelions. And, I have a bumper crop this year, one of the few in the neighborhood as most heavily fertilize and weed kill. I usually only fertilize once a year and with weed and feed. I did it this past Tuesday, but no results yet.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Not Saying That I'm Technologically Backward, But...

There have been some comic strips out lately that I have especially enjoyed.


One good comic strip was Saturday's "Zits" in which the father says to Jeremy, "I'm thinking about starting a blog."
Jeremy- "Dad, nobody just blogs anymore. You have to add video and make it a VLOG."

Dad-- Okay, maybe I'll start a VLOG then."

Jeremy-- "Dad, nobody just VLOGs anymore!"

Dad to wife-- "Stop the internet. I want to get off."

I know exactly how the father feels. I still don't know how to put photos in these blogs.


The Dad is holding up his cell phone and saying, "Somebody took a picture of their rear end and put it on my cell phone's home screen and turned my ring tone to the sound of a whoopie cushion!"

He then says, "I wonder who it could be?"

Zoe says, " Yeah! I wonder."

His son Hammie says, "No fair, that's profiling.

I could no more do these things on a cell phone than I could fly. And Hammie is only six!!!

I guess the pc word for my condition is technologically challenged.

I Just Keep getting Farther and Further Behind. --RoadDog

Don't These Guys Just Burn You!!!

And they do it with a smile.

On today's Yahoo page, there was a video from Forbes on the CEOs who do the worst for the most. These are guys who run their companies into the ground and collect lots of money for doing it. These are the guys who are wrecking our country.

Among the rogues gallery:

KEVIN SHARER who makes $12.3 million yearly. I forgot to write down what company he is with.

ANGELO MOZITO-- Countryside mortgage lenders who pulls down a coll $66 million while his country founders.

The video went on to say that in the early 80s, most CEOs made 40 times as much as their workers. Today it is 433 times.

One guy was forced to step down with $40 million and a monthly pension of $83,000 and his former company is going to help him find a new job.

Then someone says, why don't the Boards of Directors do something about this. Well, these groups are made up of CEOs and their cronies.

It would seem to me that a lot of CEOs are in it for their sole benefit.

No Big Wonder that This Country is in Such Bad Shape. --RoadDog

April 19th-- A Day in Springfield, Illinois

At 9, Liz drove me over to the Hilton in downtown Springfield for the Illinois Division meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV). I must say that Springfield really has a lot of stop lights. And...I don't think I missed a single one on the way over.

Twenty-four SCV members showed up and we did he business first. There are 159 members in Illinois, spread around six camps. The largest is my camp, Camp Douglas, named after the infamous Civil War prison in which over 6000 Confederates died in 18 months.

Incidentally, this was on the same day back in 1861 when Lincoln declared a blockade on all seceded Confederate states. Springfield is also the home of Abraham Lincoln.

When officers and Division positions were being filled, I raised my hand to ask exactly what the historian had to do. This became my job for the next year. Next time, remind me not to ask.

After lunch, the Lt. Cmdr. of the SCV, Ron Casteel, gave us an inspiring talk on the role the press, of which he retired from, in the problems facing southern heritage organizations such as ours face.


Met up with Liz and Missy and took a walk around downtown Springfield to visit local establishments.

Met them at the Celtic Mist (an Irish place) by the hotel. Then walked over to the Alamo, a favorite watering hole for us. Usually they are not open Saturday afternoon, but had today because of a breast cancer march. Saw pictures of the march which featured many men hilariously trying to cope walking along in high heels. Now, That WAS REALLY FUNNY.

To Be Continued...

SCV and Springfield. Good Combination. --RoadDog

Been Working on Dem Retaining Walls

This past week, I began working on a series of retaining walls along the house's west side. And this in spite of some mighty chilly weather, hard winds and rain.

Over the years, the rocks I originally put up in 1993 have slid down or become dislodged and, in general, the whole planting area had become overgrown.

I spent a lot of time cutting down plants and dead flowers as well as trimming bushes. I then used a lot of my extra Windsor stones to build the main wall. These concrete stones are excellent for building projects, especially walls as they can be moved to configure lots of different possibilities.

I now have six different walls up in that area and will put up another one in a day or so.

I've also bought about 50 more stones for the effort. Menard's must be happy though as I've been back in their supply area twice in the last few days. They claim that you always "Save Big Money at Menard's." I say I always "Spend Big Money at Menard's." So far to the tune of $70.

Building Walls for the Yard, and my Hands Show It. --RoadDog