Tuesday, December 30, 2008

JSS: Is Anybody Going to Win?-- 100th NTN Site-- House of Gerhard-- Mary Ann Gerlach's Wake-- Christmas Lights

Just Some Stuff.

1. IS ANYBODY GOING TO WIN?-- Yesterday, both NC State and Northwestern lost their bowl games. Is any one that I back going to win a game this bowl season? Come On!! It seems that if I like the team, they're done for. I'm not saying who I'm pulling for the rest of the way.

2. 100TH NTN SITE-- Drove to Kenosha, Wisconsin, yesterday and played NTN at my 100th new site this year, Big Shots. That is a lot of sites in a year. Whenever Liz and I travel, we try to stop at places to play the game. It was my 709th place overall.

3. HOUSE OF GERHARD-- After NTN, we drove the short distance to a German restaurant and had one of the best meals ever. I got the German combo with beef, a sausage, and one of the best smoked pork chops I've ever tasted. It came with potatoes (we had spaetzle) and soup or salad. We especially enjoyed what they called House Appetizers of mini muffins, rolls, liver pate, toasted garlic bread pieces, and kidney bean salad. It cost $19.

4. MARY ANN GERLACH'S WAKE-- Sadly, the reason for going to Kenosha was for the wake of Mary Ann Gerlach, the wife of Paul, with whom I taught for 30 years at Magee. I have never seen so many people at a wake. We had to wait over an hour to pay our respects. We did get to see some friends including the Evans, Dawsons, Rohlwings, Eakers, Babiaks and several other Magee teachers. Unfortunately, we are getting to that age when we will be seeing each other often at wakes and funerals.

Mary was born October 19, 1946 and a graduate of UW-Whitewater and marrieed Paul in 1977. She taught for 37 years after beginning her teaching career in Fort Atkinson in 1969.

5. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- On the way home, we saw some really nice Christmas displays, including the one by Breezy Hill Nursery in Wisconsin Hwy-50, and one very impressive one off Wilmot Road in Spring Grove, Illinois.

Now You Know. --RoadDog

Monday, December 29, 2008

What Would You rather Have: Good Food or Good Service?

The May 15th Chicago Tribune At Play Section had two articles by Phil Vettel and Monica Eng about which you prefer at a restaurant: good food or good service.

Eng said she goes for the food, regardless of bad treatment. Vettel thinks service is primary.

I fall somewhere in between. The food has to be really good AND REASONABLY-PRICED. But. I get angry if I have my "invisible shields" up and am ignored by the wait staff. I also will not wait more than a few minutes for a table. I really don't like lines and will go somewhere else.

Give me Food or Give Me Service!! --RoadDog

Stinking Football

Not much fun for me this weekend in football. Wisconsin didn't even show up for the Champs Sport Bowl in Orland. Central Michigan (MAC) lost as well. Then Northern Illinois lost in the Independence Bowl to Louisiana Tech. We could have won, but gave up too many big plays and had too many drive-stopping penalties. But, we really didn't deserve to be in a bowl game with that 6-6 record.

The less said about the Bears, the better.

Crying in My Beer. --RoadDog

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Typical Nasty Weather-- Part 4

Most of that snow is now gone. It's amazing what 50 degrees and rain will do to twenty-plus inches of white stuff.

Then, yesterday, we had veritable downpours and drizzle off and on most of the day. I did take advantage of one break to cut my shaggy hair on the deck. Liz gets a bit perturbed if I do it in the house.

I also was able to fix some Christmas decorations outside that had fallen. Before, there was too much snow to get at it. I was also finally able to get a beer bottle frozen at the bottom of a cooler int he garage extricated from the ice as well.

But, then the winds came, and howl they did. Most of last night, but no damage that I know of. Temps below freezing today.

Bob Stroud opened his Rock and Roll Roots show today with "I Am a Rock" by Simon & Garfunkel, you know, "In a deep and dark December." The next song was Cleveland, Ohio's, Choir, singing "It's Cold Outside" which was recorded here in Chicago in 1967.His Salute today was to ELO as Jeff Lynne turns 61 this week. Also, lead vocalist of the Guess Who, Burton Cummings turns 61. Del Shannon would have been 69.

One Rough and Weird Winter So Far, AND, We Haven't Even Got to the Brunt of It Yet!!-- RoadDog

While on the Subject of White Christmas

We surely had a White Christmas this year, with at least 20 inches of the stuff on the ground here along the Illinois-Wisconsin border. That is, until yesterday when the rain and 50 degree temps melted a lot of it away.

Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the Chicago Tribune ran an article with all sorts of interesting "White Christmas" facts and stuff. "I'm dreaming of a ...White Christmas (by the numbers)

40-- Percentage of Chicago Christmases that are considered "White Christmases" where at least one inch of snow on the ground at 6 AM

2003-- the most recent "white Christmas" in Chicago until this year

1951-- the year of Chicago's "whitest Christmas" with 17 inches on the ground

2000-- Chicago's second whitest with 12 inches

100-- Number of consecutive days with one-inch-plus snow in Chicago's snowiest winter, 1978-1979. Only one inch on the ground Christmas Day, however. (No kidding here. Until last winter, that was the last of what I call "Bad" winters.

1940-- the year Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas"

101-- Irving Berlin's age when he died in 1989

1954-- Year the movie "White Christmas" was released

1942-- Bing Crosby's recording of "White Christmas" released in the movie "Holiday Inn"

11-- Number of weeks Crosby's song topped the charts in 1942

5-- Ranking by ASCAP of the top-most performed holiday song

12,000,000-- Dollars spent on rentals of the movie "White Christmas

So, Who's Dreaming of a White Christmas? Probably Those Rotten Snowmobilers Who Won't Come Over and Clear My Driveway. I Mean, If They're Getting Something They Want, It's the Least They Could Do. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 27, 2008

JSS: Movies-- Black Monday?-- Bears Win!!-- Bowling

Just Some Stuff.

1. MOVIES-- I've seen two movies this week. "The Day the Earth Stood Still" cost $3 at the McHenry Theater. A good remake and some really nasty little metallic critters. I saw "For Christmases" at the Fox Lake Theater for free using a customer card. See seven movies and the eighth is free if it's been out for two weeks. This movie featured some of the most dysfunctional families I've ever seen. I especially liked her grandmother.

2. BLACK MONDAY?-- While out shopping and seeing the movie Monday in McHenry, I'd have to say the crowds were bigger than on Black Friday in the past. Il-120 was almost gridlocked. I finally gave up waiting in the line at Borders. Parking lots were packed. Perhaps many others like myself were unable to leave their houses over the last week because of the weather. From last Friday to Tuesday, I had to stay put for three of five days.

3. BEARS WIN!!-- It was a Monday Night Football Game and the Bears USUALLY stink when playing this game. They did...until the second half. Then we had a game and they beat the much disliked Packers!! And still have a shot at the playoffs. Go Bears!!

4. BOWLING-- and speaking of football, I've been following some of the college bowl games. Really enjoyed the Boise State-TCU game. Texas Christian is a much-underrated team. The Hawaii Bowl was boring as Notre Dame blew out Hawaii. Pulling for North Carolina and Wisconsin today. Then, tomorrow, it's the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana featuring my Northern Illinois (with our whopping 6-6 record) against Louisiana Tech which usually beats us. Never could understand why, a few years ago with a 10-2 record and victories over Alabama, Maryland (both ranked at the time) and Iowa State, and we sat home. Now, at 6-6 mediocrity, we go to a bowl game. Go Huskies. Hope it is better than the last time when TCU embarrassed us.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

Thursday, December 25, 2008

State Street, That Great Street, Especially at Christmas

Flashback 1958, by Nancy Watkins in the Nov. 16th Chicago Tribune.

I always look forward to that last page of the Tribune Magazine every Sunday to see what delights Nancy has brought me in her weekly Flashback page. Not only is there an old picture, but also all sorts of interesting information related to it.

Nov. 16th she showed a picture a picture taken Nov. 13, 1958, of 250,000 standing in State Street admiring the new $250,000 street lights when they were first turned on.

I'll quote her opening statement: "We moan about the crowds and the parking and the weather. But we know deep down that shopping on State Street knows no equal for revving up the holiday spirit, ever since Marshall Field's unveiled its first Christmas window display in 1897."

SANTA LOST HIS PANTS-- Ten days later in the parade, Santa's pants fell down, but fortunately he was wearing another pair underneath, (You know how cold it can get in Chicago.)

HENRY LYTTON, 1888-- Hub Store owner Henry Lytton was seen dressed in a tuxedo sawing wood in a display window. he had lost a bet.

1938-- Year of the first State Street parade.

7 and 3/4 TONS- weight of each clock at the corner of Marshall Field's, er, Macy's.

33%-- The percent of adults who say they'll shop online because of the high cost of gasoline.

I sure enjoyed my trip to State Street earlier this month. Fly Metra, the Only Way to Go.

Thanks, Nancy. Another Great Job. --RoadDog

Santa Been Good to Me

Mighty, mighty good. And I didn't think I was all that good.


GPS-- as in Tom Tom. Actually for Liz from Mom, but I'll sneak it out as well. It will be especially helpful when looking for NTN sites while on the road.

WILBER'S SIGN AND BUILDING-- Mom got me a watercolor original of my favorite 'cue place in Goldsboro, North Carolina. This is by well-known NC artist Brenda Behrs who happens to live next door to Mom. I had Wilber Shirley sign a business card which I will put on the front of it.

BLUE SWALLOW MOTEL, TUCUMCARI, NEW MEXICO, PICTURE-- Liz had this framed for me. This is one of the best-known motels along old Route 66. We were fortunate to get to spend a night back in the fifties. The new owners spent many hours and days out in front until they got just the right sunset. They certainly did. Between the motel's neon and the sky, this is awe-inspiring.

KEN TURMEL'S ROUTE 66 POSTMARKS PRINT-- Roadie Ken Turmel took a ride along the Mother Road after he was bitten by the bug and stopped at every town along the way that had a post office and had them postmark a map of the route. I won this one at the Munger-Moss anniversary celebration several years back, but had never had it framed. Thanks Liz.


I had mentioned to Liz that I liked John T. McCutcheon's 1907 "Injun Summer" cartoon. She ordered a print from the Chicago Tribune and had it framed as well. Thinking of putting it up by Terry Redlin's "Aroma of Fall" print in the living room.

Four ten brick packs of cassette tapes (Yup, I still use 'em), a huge NIU floor mat, a Chicago Bears sweatshirt with "Roaddog " on the back, and a Topsail Beach sweatshirt.

Thanks Santee Clause. --RoadDog

Jeff Foxworthy on Chicago Winters

The Redneck himself says that you know you're from Chicago if... Especially poignant this year with all this winter stuff we're having.

If your local Dairy Queen closes from September to May. (Well our local Dog N' Suds closes from October to March.)

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time.

If you've switched from heat to the AC in the same day and then back again.

If you drive 75 mph through two feet of snow during a raging blizzard (Our first trip on Route 66 encountered a snowstorm back in 2002 and we figured I-55 would be safer. Not safer!!! The trucks were slamming through the snow and blizzard at 80 mph. Never been so scared in my life.)

If you design your kids' Halloween costumes to fit over snow suits.

If you think driving is better in the winter because the pot holes are filled with snow. (No kidding there. US-12 yesterday was an obstacle course.)

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car. (I measure by gallons of gas. Last year I used a gallon and a half. The three years before that about a gallon. Since Dec. 4th this year, just shy of a gallon.)


If you know all four seasons of the year: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction. No Kidding!!!

Still Diggin' Out. Gimme a Break. --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

JSS: More Snow-- Passed the Digital Test-- And Speaking Of...-- And It Cost $165-- LPs/Cassettes to CD--

Just Some Stuff

1. MORE SNOW-- Snowed all morning until around noon and we got another 4 inches. At least it warmed up so no frozen fingers. Since Friday, we have gotten about 20 inches. That's enough. Stayed home Friday, Sunday and Tuesday because of it.

2. PASSED THE DIGITAL TEST-- A local station had a test last week where they switched over to all digital broadcast so people could see if they had signal. Glad to say we did. The cable company said we would, but you hear lots and lots of stories from folk.

3. AND SPEAKING OF...-- However, Monday I did buy a digital converter at Circuit City. It was $20 after the $40 coupon. I like to lug an old set out to the gazebo and watch games during the summer. All of our TVs are still analog, with the oldest at 25 years and newest at around ten.

4. AND IT COST $165-- I had mentioned the "rain" we got in the basement from the main floor a couple weeks ago. Good thing I was at Margaritaville because we might not have noticed it until the veritable flood.

We had a guy come out and look at it. It took him about 15 minutes and he found a small plastic tube that controls the amount of water let into the washer was plugged up. A couple snips and it was working and we were out $165. Good work if you can get it, but at least I have nice clean clothes.

5. LPS/CASSETTES TO CD-- Also, about two weeks ago, I went to Kohl's and bought one of those old-timey radios that have a phonograph, cassette and Cd players. It also records cassettes, and records to CD. Who says I "ain't caught up with the rest?" Wait a minute, CDs are on their way out. What's a download?

Can't Keep Up With the Rest, and I Don't Drink Starbucks or Bottled Water. --RoadDog

More Funny Blagojevich Stuff

Newly listed on e-Bay.

Obama's Illinois Senate Seat. Current high bid is $36 out of 12 bids. Includes free shipping.

NEVER TRUST A CUB FAN-- A photo of Blagojevich wearing a Cubs hat.

A large group of political cartoons are making the rounds as well. Mighty funny stuff.

The older of Blago's lawyers sure seems full of himself.

Do the Right Thing. --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Typical Nasty Weather-- Part 3

Snowing AGAIN!! Enough said!!

Yesterday, I went to the local mechanic at Five Star, and Ralph plugged a computer in and found the engine light was because of a brake light switch that was probably activated by the rocking back and forth to get the truck out of the snowdrift on Sunday. He fixed it and NO CHARGE. Nice guy and Merry Christmas.

Bitterly cold again. My fingers were really yelping after I got in from clearing the drifts off the driveway the first time. Felt I was going to freeze walking the distance from where I parked to the McHenry Indoor Theater. Same with the walk from there to Bambino's to play NTN (and THEY were closed, thanks a lot).

I've been shopping on Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving and today I saw easily as many folks out and about. I imagine a lot of them were there because of the lousy weather keeping people in. We lost Friday, most of Saturday, and Sunday to the bad stuff. And now we have the snow today which will be continuing through Christmas Day.

Lately, when the weather folk predict snow and cold, they are right on the mark.

I have to mix oil with my gas in the snow blower and already this month, I've almost finished a gallon. Last year I ended up using a gallon and a half.

Let Me Out, I've Had Enough. --RoadDog

Top 20 Greatest Christmas Songs-- NBC

A couple weeks ago, NBC ran a list of 20 songs they deemed as the greatest yuletide tidings. I agree with some and not the others. Not all were sung by the ones who made them popular.

Here's the list:

20. Most Wonderful Time of the Year-- Andy Williams
19. Jingle Bell Rock
18. The First Noel
17. The Chipmunk Song
16. Silent Night
15. What's This?
14. Christmas Tree
13. Feliz Navidad
12. Jingle Bells
11. Joy to the World
10. Merry Christmas Baby
9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
8. Do You Hear What I Hear?
7. Little Drummer Boy
6. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
5. Channakuh Song
4. Blue Christmas
3. All I Want for Christmas is You
2. The Christmas Song
1. White Christmas--Hard not to go with this one.

An extra one was Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.

How Many More Days Until Christmas? --RoadDog

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Them, Not Me: Fred Basset-- The Gov's Load-- New Illinois Motto-- The Gov Speaks

Don't It Just Burn Ya!!!

1. The Dec. 12th Fred Basset comic strip was pretty good. You see Fred tied up outside a store with "No Dogs" on it as well as a "No Smoking" sign. A guy is leaning up against the window smoking a pipe and Fred says, "We're a couple outcasts."

2. THE GOV'S LOAD-- Columnist McCaleb in the Dec. 19th Northwest Herald: "Mother nature dumped a lot of snow on us early Friday (no kidding, about 12 inches), Later on in the day, Governor Rod Blagojevich dumped a load on us of a completely different nature.

As much as I hate shoveling, I think I prefer the snow to what the governor gave us.

3. NEW ILLINOIS MOTTO-- Forget the "Land of Lincoln." The new one should read, "Illinois, Where Our Governors Make License Plates."

4. THE GOV SPEAKS-- As mentioned earlier, Friday, the governor held a news conference and said he'd done nothing wrong and won't resign: "I will fight! I will fight! I will fight until my last breath. And, I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob. I am dying to answer these charges. I am dying to show you how innocent I am."

Load Out!!

Don't Look Back, They May Be Gaining on You!! --RoadDog

Typical Nasty Weather-- Part 2

My fingers have finally thawed out enough to type this. I was just out in 0 degree weather with a bit of a breeze and using the ol' snow blower. Yesterday, Sunday, it was subzero and a west wind to 30 mph doing a lot of snow drifting. Early on, I decided not to risk a trip up to the Wisconsin bars like last Sunday. Those north-south roads sure get a lot of drifting.

About 3 PM, I decided to drive the Dakota over to Billy's for some gyros and Italian beef, but got stuck in the driveway. It took a lot of rocking back and forth to get back into the garage. That snow was about two feet high in spots. I couldn't tell that from inside the house. Even worse, the check engine light came on and wouldn't go out. I'll have to take it somewhere to be checked so that will cost a bit.

Today, I had to come in because of the cold and still have about half the driveway to clear. Sad to say, but the neighbors across the street didn't get any drifting yesterday. That's simply not fair. If I get it ....

We have snow forecast for tonight and even more for Tuesday. At least it will warm up to ALMOST freezing. That would be an improvement.

Going to Someplace "Hot." --RoadDog

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Them, Not Me: On the Docket-- Alas, CDs, I Knew Them Well-- Obama Celebration-- Want a Space Shuttle?

1. ON THE DOCKET-- On the agenda at Springfield, Illinois' state capitol is whether or not to impeach our governor and what to do with the US Senate seat vacated by Obama. Do you think the gov is innocent? He thinks he is. I also figured that senate seat had been empty ever since Obama was elected to it. He was campaigning for president the whole time.

2. ALAS, CDS, I KNEW THEM WELL-- Digital sales have surpassed CD sales at Atlantic. I imagine they will soon exceed CD sales everywhere. First they took away my albums, then cassettes, now this. Give me a break, guys.

3. OBAMA CELEBRATION-- Well, that big to-do in Chicago's Grant Park back on Nov. 4th ended up costing the city $1.74 million. Good publicity and good times for the estimated 240,000 who attended, but, WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT? Please Mayor Daley, NO MORE TAXES!!

4. WANT A SPACE SHUTTLE?-- The Space Shuttle Endeavor got a piggyback ride from California to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on its modified 747. All the shuttles will be retired in a few years and NASA is looking for places to put them. It will be costly though. I think one would look good in my driveway, but imagine the neighborhood association would put a kabosh on it. They won't even let me keep my boat out there. Unpatriotic if you ask me.

Don't look Back, They May Be Gaining. --RoadDog

Friday, December 19, 2008

JSS: Lake Geneva-- Technology 1 Dog 0-- Da Birds-- Da Loss-- Da Pear Trees

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. LAKE GENEVA-- We took Kora to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for a late birthday lunch at Popeye's overlooking the lake. Great food as usual. Kip and Susie joined us. Afterwards we drove over to Grand Geneva which puts on a great "Christmas in the Country" light show on the grounds and go over the top for decorations inside. There were some unbelievable gingerbread house creations. Enjoyed sipping Cokes by the fireside.

2. TECHNOLOGY 1 DOG 0-- Went to the Wal Mart in Lake Geneva to get a replacement pedal for the stationary bike. Found one, but all the checkout lanes were busy so figured to try the self-checkout line. Just my luck to get behind a girl with lots and lots and lots of stuff. I waited patiently, then, when I ran the old card through , it declined it. The employee stationed there to help said, "Hey, it didn't take your card." No kidding.

Went to a regular checkout line and got behind another lady with lots of stuff, but finally got to make my purchase after about ten minutes of waiting to spend my money.

Thanks a lot Wal-Mart.

3. DA BIRDS-- Between clearing snow off the driveway today, the yard was over run with cardinals and chickadees who were after the seeds left on the wildflowers and trees. I got some great video of the cardinals. All that red against the white snow was something. However, the party was broken up when a hawk swooped down on one unfortunate bird. Rotten hawk!!!

4. DA LOSS-- Yesterday, we had the $1 bottles of beer and $1 burgers at Mar's in Wilmot and then went to Donovan's to play NTN and I was in the final four championship round of the NTN tournament. I won the first round and led the championship one until the very last question when Alfons beat me. Too bad for me it was a movie question, something that he excells in and I stink at. So, he won the $50 and I settled for $10. Nice going there, Alfons!!!

5. DA PEAR TREES-- Tried singing the 12 Days of Christmas driving along the long road up to the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva Wednesday. Didn't do well despite the lighted displays. That is TOO much to remember.

There's a Partridge in a pear tree which is easy to remember. Speaking of pear trees. My Bradford pear trees, all three of them, still have their leaves. You'd think by now they would have dropped.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Typical Nasty Weather

I must admit, we've been somewhat pampered during our notorious winters here in the Midwest over the last 30 years, that was, until last December. Last December was full of cold and snow and this one is shaping up as a second go-around.

It has been cold and snowy ever since I got back December 4th. This last weekend was nice with temps up to the 50s and a lot of snow melt, but, OTHER THAN THAT...Yuck!!!

I had to clear snow off when I got back. Then one other time. Tuesday night I was out again. Then, this morning I was out twice clearing snow. The first time it was about 8 inches and another 3 later on.

With the exception of this past weekend and one other day, the temperature has not been over freezing either.

Looks Like It Might Be Time for a Trip to the WARM. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: Arnie Duncan-- Best Buy-- Dead Confederate-- Above and Beyond Political Malfeasance

Some Stuff of Interest from the News.

1. ARNIE DUNCAN has been nominated for Secretary of Education. he is the head of schools in Chicago and an innovator. Hopefully he will have a major overhaul of the No Child Left Behind, a good idea, but poorly implemented and funded.

2. BEST BUY's third quarter profit was off 77%. But the thing is that they still made a profit. It's an economy thing and perhaps some folks will learn that they don't have to have the very latest in technology all the time.

3. DEAD CONFEDERATE-- a group from Athens, Ga. (also home of REM and B-52s) is making some noise with its new album "Wrecking Ball." I've heard some of it and it's mighty good stuff.

4. ABOVE AND BEYOND POLITICAL MALFEASANCE-- Political comic Will Durst on Illinois' Gov. Blago: "Hats off to the Illinois governor for shooting so high above and beyond the normal arc of political malfeasance that he probably annoyed NASA by interfering with satellite traffic.'

"...I mean, finally finding someone getting caught acting crookeder than a dump truck full of dissembled wire hangers."

He is the fourth Illinois governor since 1974 to be "offered a long-term residency at the Gray Bar Hotel." The state capitol in Springfield "seems to work as a halfway house in reverse."

Pretty Good Stuff There, Will.

Don't Look Back, They May be Gaining. --RoadDog

VA Hospital-- Chicago-- Barhopping in Wisconsin-- Part 3

SUNDAY-- After listening to Bob Stroud, we headed north across the border to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. First stop was at Main Street Tap where we enjoyed their fantastic Bloody Marys. It's a regular salad and deli tray in a 16 ounce glass for $3. Great deal and love those little bitty beer mugs to chase it. They were getting a crowd in to watch the Packer game. Imagine folks in Wisconsin watching a Packer game.

DONOVAN'S REEF-- Next stop in Twin Lakes was favorite stomping ground Donovan's where we played NTN. Imagine us playing NTN. We had quite a few top twenties including double doubles. A double double is where we have a top twenty in both bar site and individual. These scores are on a national and even international level as places in Canada also play. Also enjoyed the free Chicago-style hot dogs.

MAR'S TRADING POST INN-- WILMOT-- Last stop in Cheesehead Land was Mar's where we participated in the Booze raffle which draws a lot of folks every Sunday. As usual, I didn't win anything. Liz won a small jar of pickled herring, which i like and she doesn't so guess I won after all.

Enjoyed their snacks, $1.75 Bloody Marys, and dollar pints.

It Was a Wisconsin Thing. --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tribune Picks to Click Christmas Songs

Louis R. Carlozo listed 25 tunes he thinks ought to burn into your whatever (what's an IPOD? I've heard of them, but never used one). I know some of them, but not others.

1. Monster's Holiday-- Bobby "Boris" Picket-- making some more bucks on an old theme.
2. Do You Hear What I hear?-- Keola Beamer-- Hawaiian Christmas music
3. Santa Claus Go Straight to the ghetto-- James Brown-- funky time

4. Happy XMAS (War is Over)-- John Lennon-- Must get played once an hour on those all-Christmas stations.
5. Father Christmas-- Kinks-- one of the best
6. Run Rudolph Run-- Chuck Berry-- Why does he keep saying "Run, Run Rudolph?"

7. Holly Jolly Christmas-- Burl Ives-- Wouldn't be Christmas without this one.
8. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch-- Thurl Ravenscroft-- So that's who talks and sings it.
9. Baby, It's Cold Outside-- Dean Martini-- But my martini is dry.

10. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy-- Bing Crosby and David Bowie-- What an arrangement and who'd have figured pairing these two up?
11. Christmas Wrapping-- Waitresses-- Don't know this one.
12. You Gotta get Up-- Rich Mullins-- Don't know it either.

13. Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)-- Ramones--Have a punky Xmas.
14. The Twelve Days of Christmas-- Bob and Doug McKenzie-- Hoser yuletide
15. Christmas is here Again-- Beatles-- Fab Four

16. Santa Claus is Coming to Town-- Bruce Springsteen-- Sounds like they had too much fun making this one.
17. The Man With All the Toys-- Beach Boys-- from my all-time favorite Christmas album.
18. Christmas Time is Here-- Vince Guaraldi-- Huh?

19. The Christmas Song-- Nat King Cole--Another top song
20. My Favorite Things-- Tony Bennett-- Didn't know this was a Christmas song.
21. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day-- Frank Sinatra-- It's got it all.

22. Boas Festival-- Two for Brazil-- Huh?
23. Sleigh Ride-- Herb Alpert and the Tijana Brass
24. Riu, Riu Chiu-- Sixpence None the Richer-- sung in Spanish
25. Do They Know Its Christmas?-- Band Aid-- Gets me.

Felice Navidad, This is Quite a Collection. I'd Burn 'Em If I Knew How. --RoadDog

VA Hospital-- Chicago-- Barhopping in Wisconsin-- Part 2

Continued from Dec. 15th.

SATURDAY-- Chicago--

Folks in Chicagoland are still angry about Macy's changing the name of the icon Marshall Field's. There is still even a boycott going on by the group Fields Fans Chicago. As a matter of fact, I was given a flyer while walking by them. They will be happy to know that I didn't buy anything, but did walk around that magnificent store will still retains all the Field's grandeur.

Went up seven escalators to the Walnut Room, a Chi-town tradition for a Christmas meal. All the shoppers and people I didn't see earlier at Sears and on State Street were here. There was even a line waiting to get pagers. Got a glimpse of the beautiful Christmas tree that is so much a part of the whole thing.

Went to the Christmas Village a block away and that was crowded and expensive as usual. This is also where Chicago's official Christmas Tree is located.

Played NTN at the Snuggery and Metro Deli in the magnificent Union Station and drank the $3.25 pint drafts. Talked with a guy passing through on Amtrack heading for the warmer climes of San Diego at the Snuggery. Don't miss the Great Room at the station.

Once home, I watched my third favorite Christmas movie, "It's a Wonderful Life." Just love those old town shots, Clarence, and that end always gets me.

To Be Continued. --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some Funny Stuff

ON BEING RETIRED: My wife Liz asked me what I was doing today.

I said, "Nothing."

She said, "You did that yesterday."

I replied, "I wasn't finished."


TRAIN STATION "Keep back from the platform edge or you might get sucked off."

ZOO-- "Please be safe. Do not stand, sit, climb or lean on zoo fences. If you fall, animals could eat you and that might make them sick."

BATHROOM: "Our aim is to keep this bathroom clean. Gentlemen: Your aim will help. Stand closer. It's shorter than you think. Ladies: Please remain seated for the entire performance."

Funny Stuff. --RoadDog

Where Were You December 7, 1974? --Part 2


I CAN HELP-- BILLY SWAN-- he produced a hit for Tony Joe White called "Polk Salad Annie" One hit wonder. (Love that part when it starts up again just when you think it's over)
BUNGLE IN THE JUNGLE-- JETHRO TULL-- Off album "War Child" (Still can't believe they got the first Grammy for Heavy Metal)
SHA-LA-LA (MAKE MR HAPPY)-- AL GREEN-- an incredible era of music for the Reverend.

WHATEVER GETS YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT-- JOHN LENNON-- Elton John on background vocals.
ONLY YOU-- RINGO STARR-- Only Ringo doing a Platters song. Harry Nilsson doing all of the background vocals and the great Steve cropper on guitar. (I forgot that Ringo had done this one.)
TIN MAN-- AMERICA-- latest single. The band Beatles producer George Martin went on to produce afterwards.

BOOGIE ON REGGAE WOMAN-- STEVIE WONDER-- (One of my first introductions to Reggae.)
PICK UP THE PIECES-- AVERAGE WHITE BAND-- brand new instrumental

KING FU FIGHTING-- CARL DOUGLAS-- the number one song 12-7-74.-- one hit wonder. (OK, stop your kicking!)

Intro songs: EVERLASTING LOVE-- CARL CARLTON-- this one a cover as well of 1967 Robert Knight song.
WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN-- THREE DEGREES-- Philadelphia Sound and Motown

Bringing Back Those Memories. --RoadDog

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where Were You December 7, 1974? --Part 1

Eight days ago, Bob Stroud did another one of his Time Warps, this time back to Dec. 7th for both 1969 and 1974.

Music takes me back and then he has all this interesting bits of info on the songs. I was in my second year of teaching social studies to 7th, 8th and 9th graders at Magee Middle School in Round Lake and living in the Villas By the Lake apartments in Vernon Hills. Liz was still working at General Finance in Evanston, Illinois, but was soon to start teaching first grade at Beach School in Round Lake Beach (same district). I was driving a 1973 Ford Pinto.

These were the songs in our radio back 34 years ago. Bob's comments follow. Mine in parentheses ().

There were many cover tunes being played including these first two.

ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT-- CAT STEVENS-- (originally by Sam Cooke)
AFTER THE GOLDRUSH-- PRELUDE-- Canadian group covering a song by Canadian Neil Young.
LADY-- STYX-- The break Styx had been looking for

JAZZMAN-- CAROLE KING-- her current release (off the great Tapestry album)
LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS-- ELTON JOHN-- Another cover tune. Just a 45 release featuring guitarist Winston O'Boogie, none other than John Lennon.
I'VE GOT THE MUSIC IN ME-- KIKI DEE-- an Elton John protege.

JUNIOR'S FARM-- WINGS-- the "A" side of the new 45 by Wings (that'd be Sir Paul)
SALLY G-- WINGS-- one of the more charming "B" sides Paul released. There were other Beatles things in your radio as well.

More to Come. --RoadDog

VA Hospital-- Chicago-- Barhopping in Wisconsin

This past weekend was a good one.

THURSDAY-- Played NTN at Donovan's with several number one finishes. Came back home, loaded the equipment and drove to Mundelein, stopping along the way for White Castle sliders in Ivanhoe. Deejayed the junior high dance at Santa Maria. I've been doing this for at least 22 years.

FRIDAY-- I helped out at the Fox Lake, Illinois, American Legion Christmas dinner for the the residents of the North Chicago VA Hospital. We had about 65 and they filled up on a great turkey dinner as prepared by resident food expert John.

Afterwards, I played NTN at Hello Folks.

SATURDAY-- Took the train into Chicago for a little Christmas trip. Great deal, only $5 round trip and good for Sunday as well. Walked to Macy's (the old Marshall Fields) and noticed that there were no where near as many people walking the sidewalks as usual. Sears was about empty.

Macy's, as usual had big crowds in front of the windows which were not a unique as they once were since so many people now have their own moving Christmas objects.

To Be Continued. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 13, 2008

'Tis the Season...For Christmas Music

The Chicago Tribune did an article on Chicago's WLIT FM station that changes over to an all-Christmas format every year about this time. And not because they think 'Tis the Season, but for huge ratings.

The Numbers:

7-- Years all-Christmas programming

Nov. 14th-- When they switched to all-Christmas programming this year. (A Milwaukee station switched Nov. 1st. What next, a pre-Halloween switch so you can hear Christmas music while dressed as a witch?)

1,600,000-- cumulative listeners in December 2007--tops in the market (And I've never met ONE person who admits to listening.)

?-- When WLIT returns to regular light rock programming. (Hey, what about year-long all-Christmas programming?)

Most-played Christmas Songs WLIT, Dec. 1-7

1. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas-- Johnny Mathis
2. Jingle Bell Rock-- Hall and Oates
3. O Holy Night-- Josh Graban
4. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas-- Burl Ives
5. The Christmas Song-- Nat King Cole
6. Winter Wonderland-- Amy Grant
7. Most Wonderful Time of the Year-- Andy Williams
8. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree-- Brenda Lee
9. All I Want for Christmas is You-- Mariah Carey
10. Sleigh Ride-- Leroy Anderson

Is it Christmas Already? --RoadDog

Top 25 Teen Idols of All Time-- Part 2

12. Jonas Brothers-- (Probably will rise in standings. These guys are hot with the Tween set.)
11. Taylor Swift-- (I'm impressed.)
10. Munudo
9. Donny and Marie Osmond
8. Lulu-- ("To Sir With Love" and especially liked her version of "Shout.")
7. Tanya Tucker ("Delta Dawn")
6. Michael Jackson-- (He was really good before he got weird.)
5. David Cassidy-- (Loved the Partridge family, but liked his sister better.)
4. Avril LaVigne
3. Miley Cyrus-- (I don't get it?)
2. Britney Spears-- (Good when she isn't being weird.)
1. Davy Jones-- (Looked young with the Monkees, but was he REALLY that young?) Must be a "Daydream Believer" because he's short.)

Many of the comments were that Rob left Bobby Sherman off. I agree.

Gets Ya To Thinking. --RoadDog

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 25 Teen Idols of All Time

From Rob O'Connor's List of the Day, Dec. 1st. He admits that there is no real reason he ranked them as he did. Someone just needed to make a list. he gave some details on each one as well. I'll include my comments.

25. 98 Degrees
24. Tiffany (Hey I liked her remake of Tommy James' "I Think We're Alone.")
23. Brandy (I had a dog by that name.)
22. New Kids on the Block
21. Frankie Lymon--(You've just got to like "Why Do Fools Fall in Love.")
20. Shaun Cassidy
19. Debbie Gibson
18. Ricky Nelson (I'd say he should be higher there, Rob.)
17. 'N Sync (Boy Band or Not, they were good. Same with #22.)
16. LeAnn Rimes (What a voice on that "Blue!")
15. Silver Chair (Who?)
14. Hanson (Their "Mmm Bob" was one great song.)

More to Come. Top 13 That Is. --RoadDog

Where Were You December 7, 1969?-- Part 2

Continuing from Dec. 9th with Bob Stroud's Time Warp.

ELI'S COMING-- THREE DOG NIGHT-- This and the next song were both also written by Laura Nyro. From their second album, "Suitable for Framing."

COME TOGETHER-- BEATLES-- Both from an album that had just been out a little over two months called "Abbey Road."
SOMETHING-- BEATLES-- "A" and "B" sides of current single.
BACKFIELD IN MOTION-- MEL AND TIM-- Out just in time for football season.

DOWN ON THE CORNER-- CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL-- flip side of "Fortunate Son" (Hard to beat a two-sided hit like this one and the Beatles one.)
JAM UP AND JELLY TIGHT-- TOMMY ROE-- part of a long list of hits from him (Many folks put him down, but this was some great stuff.)
SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER-- DIANA ROSS & SUPREMES-- Diana Ross' swan song with the Supremes.

NA NA HEY HEY (KISS HIM GOODBYE)-- STEAM-- The number One song this date. This was a studio concoction only meant to be a "B" side. The group of musicians who made this didn't think much of it, but when they presented it, the record company said, "Are you kidding?" (Hey, Nancy Faust made this the song of the Chicago White Sox during the time of the South Side Hitmen in 1977 and they've been playing it ever since and more than a few other teams use it, but we were first!!)

Bob Stroud also introduces each segment with a song and a few words about it. Here they are.

DADDY DON'T CRY-- ELVIS PRESLEY-- Follow up to "Suspicious Minds"
MIDNIGHT COWBOY-- popular movie at the time.
ELEANOR RIGBY-- ARETHA FRANKLIN-- recently voted by Rolling Stone Magazine as the best rock singer of all time. (And, I would have figured her for best soul singer.)

Still to come, Dec. 7, 1974.

Great Times to Have Been Listening to the Old Radio and Record Player. --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top Chicago Songs, Dec. 3, 1960

From WLS' Silver Dollar Survey. I was very happy when Chicago's True Oldies station changed its name to WLS-FM. WLS was one of the two stations kids listened to growing up in Chicagoland in the 60s and 70s. The other being WCFL, both AM stations.

Their website also has the Silver Dollar Survey, the list of the top songs in Chicago for the week.

The top songs for Dec. 3, 1960:

1. Are You Lonesome Tonight-- Elvis Presley
2. A Thousand Stars-- Kathy Young
3. Lonely Teenager-- Dion
4. Poetry in Motion-- Johnny Tillotson
5. New Orleans-- Gary "US" Bonds
6. Hucklebuck-- Chubby Checker
7. Exodus-- Ferrante and Teicher
8. Rat Race-- Richard Maltby
9. You're 16-- Johnny Burnette
10. Sailor-- Lolita

I'd never heard of numbers 8 and 10, but then again, I wasn't listening to pop music back then. It took a little old band from Liverpool in early '64 to get my attention.

The majority of the rest of the top 40 were also songs I am not familiar with.

However, I did like #15 "North to Alaska" by Johnny Horton and #27 "Last date" by Floyd Cramer.

Deejay Bob Hale had the "East of Midnight Show" Monday to Saturday from midnight to 5:30 AM. Well, you gotta start somewhere.

WLA, WLS, WLS!!! --RoadDog

All Hail the Gov

Time to get those old shoe boxes out. As they say, Illinois politics have hit a new low. You'd think that with the most recent governor behind bars, that the current one might have gotten the signal, BUT, NOOOO!!!

Dear old Rod got caught with his hand in the ol' cookie jar. Imagine trying to SELL the seat to the US Senate? And that was just some of the things he was up to. And there are still questions about his wife's real estate ventures.

I must admit, I never voted for the guy. His campaigns were just nothing short of dirty mud-slinging, His first election was so dirty, I couldn't vote for either him or his Republican opponent.

Then, there was his commuting to Springfield (and I believe at state expense) and refusal to live in the governor's mansion. I had my doubts about him right then. Anyone who would rather live in Chicago than Springfield?? Hhhmmmnnn.

And, I'm not even going to try to spell his last name.

A New Low. --RoadDog

#1 Songs This Date in the Seventies

1979-- Babe-- Styx
1978-- Le Freak-- Chic
1977-- You Light Up My Life-- Debby Boone (Oh Well)
1976-- Tonight's the Night-- Rod Stewart
1975-- Fly Robin Fly-- Silver Connection
1974-- Kung Fu Fighting-- Carl Douglas (I wonder how it ranked on Stroud's list from Sunday?)
1973-- The Most beautiful Girl-- Charlie Rich (The Silver Fox)
1972-- I Am Woman-- Helen Reddy
1971-- Family Affair-- Sly & the Family Stone
1970-- The Tears of a Clown-- Smokey Robinson & Miracles

Some Great Stuff and Not So Good-- RoadDog

Where Were You December 7, 1969?

Good Old Bob Stroud had a Time Warp this last Sunday, back to Dec. 7th, 1969 and 1974.

I was in college in 1969 at Northern Illinois University and finishing up my first semester freshman year. I was having a great time with my dorm floor an Lincoln 3A, that's be third floor A wing. My roommate was Chuck Hartsell from Peoria and we had our own group called the Keggers. Later, it became an independent organization like a fraternity and even had their own house.

I was buying lots of 39 cent 45s at various places around Dekalb and back home in Palatine. These were 45s that had been on jukeboxes and you had to check for wear and scratches. A brand new 45 cost 99 cents. That was a lot of money for me back in those days.

Unfortunately, I slept through the first six songs since he starts at 7 AM CST. His comments follow. Mine are in parentheses.

EVIL WOMAN-- CROW-- (Definitely a heavy song)
HEAVEN KNOWS-- GRASS ROOTS-- (a much underrated group)
AND WHEN I DIE-- BS&T-- By Laura Nyro, one of three tunes she penned that were in the charts--(This and Lucretia MacEvil are my favorite Sweat songs)

UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK-- BAND-- From their second, self-titled album-- (bought all their albums as they released them, as I also did for Creedence)
FORTUNATE SON-- CCR-- one half of a two-sided hit-- (If I had to chose just one all-time favorite group, this would be it.)

SUITE; JUDY BLUE EYES-- CSN-- the second single off their Crosby Stills and Nash album-- ( a third group I'd buy every album as released.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Monday, December 8, 2008

JSS: John Lennon-- Bears Party-- Bye Bye Boston Legal-- Cold and Snow, Rain Snow and Cold

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. JOHN LENNON-- Sorry to say that Beatle John Lennon was murdered this date in 1980. Was it THAT long ago? The Beatles sure had an impact on me. They were the ones that got me interested in music. Without that, I never would have been a deejay.

2. BEARS PARTY-- Sunday, we had about 15 friends over for the Bears party. The earlier one last month against the Packers was rather dismal. At least Da Bears won this one against the Jaguars.

3. BYE BYE BOSTON LEGAL-- Sad to see that tonight will be the last episode of Boston Legal. I sure will miss it and always look forward to seeing what Denny Crane will do. I'll also miss Alan Shore's escapades in the courtroom.

4. COLD AND SNOW AND THEN RAIN-- Come on and give us a break. This is all we get these days. If it's not snowing, it's very cold. Today, I had to work on some strands of lights at the gazebo and what started as a perfect day for it, started raining by the time I got back home. Not much fun playing with electricity in the rain, but fortunately it had slowed down by the time I got out to it.

No More Denny and Alan. Sigh!! --RoadDog

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Today

It was 67 years ago today. Also on a Sunday.

The Nov. 11th Joplin Globe had an article that pretty-well explains why we need to recognize and teach the date to our younger generations.

For years, Richard Ferguson went around to the schools of southwest Missouri talking about his experiences at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day. He died last month.

Associated Press estimates that around 1,000 World War II veterans are dying every day. A force that once stood proudly 16 million-strong is now estimated at 2.5 million.

Mr. Ferguson was 88 and a member of Battery "E" 64th Coast Artillery at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, during the attack. He was also the last survivor of a local breakfast club of Pearl Harbor survivors.

The Greatest Generation.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tomorrow, December 7th, the Day That Will Live in Infamy

Tomorrow is the "Day of Infamy." US forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were suddenly attacked by planes from Japan and the country entered World War II.

An article in the December 4th Market Watch.

"You can count on one hand the number of events that changed everyone's life--everywhere, forever," says National World War II Museum President Dr. Gordon Mueller. "December 7th, 1941 was certainly one such event."

Quote from the article. "Though World War II was the most pivotal event of modern times, the memory of the valor and sacrifice of America's Greatest Generation grows harder to summon as the men and women who fought its battles both around the globe and on the Home Front are passing away. Veterans are dying at the rate of 900 a day, and vanishing with them, the personal stories of epic battles and deeds of sacrifice and heroism that museums and historians must keep alive."

The National World War II Museum has more than 2,500 personal accounts of veterans as well as more than 500 videos.

Anyone who has relatives who lived through this event should record their thoughts and recollections before it is too late.

Enough Said.

50th Anniversary of OLA Tragedy

I didn't mention it here, (I did in my other blog, Cooter's History Thing), but Monday, December 1st, marked the 50th anniversary of the tragic Our Lady of Angels fire in Chicago in which 92 children and three nuns died.

I came across an article in the December 4th Marin (Ca) Independent Journal about the fire and a Navato resident by the name of Jonathan Cain. He is an OLA survivor and was also the keyboardist and a songwriter with the popular band Journey.

He attended the ceremony this past Sunday at Chicago's Holy Family Church where candles were lit and the names of victims read aloud. Some of the victims' relatives wore lapel pins with their pictures.

And, Cain played a song that he had written this past November about the event, "The Day They Became Angels." It will tear you up. The article had a link to the song. Quite an evoking scene painted in music and words, and by a survivor.


As he was known back then was an eight-year-old in third grade, Room 101, on the ground floor of the school. When they smelled smoke, his class was herded outside and saw the black smoke and heard the screams of their classmates. One nun climbed a ladder to save those trapped on the second floor while another took the class inside the church located next door. They prayed.

Jonathan didn't stay long, figuring that being in a building next to one that was on fire was not a good idea. He went back outside and looked around in shock. "I ran home to find my mother on her knees (praying)" From their window above the deli about six blocks away, they could see a mushroom cloud. He remembers that the surviving children did not have the opportunity to have people available to deal with their post-traumatic stress like they do today.

A Very Sad Story Indeed.

It's a Chicago Thing, Gouge Then Gouge Again

An article in yesterday's Chicago Tribune about the new and more expensive Chicago parking meters. I mentioned it in yesterday's JSS.

I think Mayor Daley is making a big mistake, getting paid BIG up front, but losing the revenues for 75 years which will be much more than the $1.2 billion the city gets now.

The 36,000 meters generate $20 million a year. Neighborhood meters go from a quarter an hour to a buck nect month and then to $2 by 2013. Prime downtown ones go from $3 now to $6.50 in five years. WHAT A RIPOFF!!!!

Yet another reason NOT to go to Chicago. And we're not even going to talk about those exorbitant parking garages and facilities.

I used to go to Chicago a lot (about 50 miles away), but have stopped since they put street parking by places you want to go by sticker only. That was thanks to night games at Wrigley.

If You Go Downtown, Be Prepared to Pay and Pay and Pay. --RoadDog

JSS: The Fessa-- C-O-L-D-- Water From the Ceiling-- Snowblower Started

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. THE FESSA-- Just sitting here typing away and listening to the Fessa, that'd be Fessa John Hook, doing his Beach Music Top 40 Countdown at Endless Summer. Sure is great getting some Beach Music all the way up here in the Northlands along the Illinois-Wisconsin border. AND, while it's snowing outside.

Some really great songs so far are: Mercy- by Duffy, Carina/Jacqueline by James Hunter, Think by Angel Risoff, Any Other Way by Sensational Epics, Love That Girl by Raphael Saadiq.

The Top Five:

#5. Mercy-- Duffy
#4. Shoo Da Wop-- Mr. David
#3. Turn Back the Hands of Time-- Royal Drifters
#2. Falling-- Rhonda McDaniels
#1. Hey Mr. DJ-- Lonnie Givens

2. C-O-L-D-- Sure picked a bad time to come home. If I hadn't had to DJ tonight, I might have stayed a bit longer in NC. It doesn't appear that we'll get over freezing in the next week and all the snow just keeps piling up with no chance to melt off. We also had a mean December last year.

3. WATER FROM THE CEILING-- Last night, I was in Margaritaville watching Ghost Whisperer (OK, I like that show), when all of a sudden water started torrenting down through a basement light feature. Turns out, there was something wrong with the water coming into the washer upstairs. Also started getting water through a nearby heat vent. You wouldn't expect to get water from above while in the basement. Wet floor to say the least. ALL SORTS OF FUN CLEANING UP THIS MESS. Don't know what's wrong with the washer.

4. SNOWBLOWER STARTED-- On a happier note, yesterday I mixed the oil and gasoline in the old snowblower, turned on the choke, primed it, turned the key, pulled the cord...AND IT STARTED UP RIGHT AWAY. Sure needed it as we got quite a bit of snow while I was gone.

I had forgotten to fire it up before leaving. Sure glad it started.

5. CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS-- Liz has the inside looking like a winter wonderland as we put up WAY TOO many Christmas decorations. But, they look good. I had put up all the outside lights before I left and had to set the timers (some of which had to be taken inside to thaw out). I have a few strands I'll have to work on, but the house is ablaze with color bith inside and out.

Just a Few Things. --RoadDog

Friday, December 5, 2008

NIU Planning Feb. 14th Observance

This Feb. 14th will mark the one year anniversary of the murders of five students on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb last Valentine's Day.

Gayle Dubowski, 20
Catalina Garcis, 20
Juliana Gehant, 32
Ryanne Mace, 19
Daniel Parmenter, 20

Sixteen others were injured.

NIU President John Peters said a "dignified and simple" observation will be held that day, beginning with a 10:30 AM memorial ceremony at the Convocation Center, an opportunity to view the thousands of objects sent by people from across the country and a candlelight vigil at 6:30 PM at MLK Commons.

The future site of the memorial and artist renderings of it will be shown. Also, there will be a luncheon for the first recipients of the Forward Together Forward Scholarship Fund which was set up to honor the slain. Up to five students will receive $4,000 scholarships.

This was especially difficult for my wife and me because we are both alumni.

That Was a Sad Time Indeed. --RoadDog

JSS: Recession Here We Are-- Chicago Parking Rip-Off-- Work for a Buck-- Obama Tour

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. RECESSION HEREWE ARE-- How about this breaking news. The guv'ment finally admitted we are in a RECESSION. I'm so glad they told me. I had no idea. AND, we've been in it for a year now. As the kids say, "No Duh!"

2. CHICAGO PARKING RIP-OFF-- Parking in Chi-Town, already a rip-off, is getting to be even a BIGGER rip-off. Parking meters have been turned over to a private service and soon, it will cost a buck an hour to park at a meter, and no more of those FREE holidays or Sundays. Yet more reasons NOT to go to town.

Of interest, it costs $17 for the first hour to park at Millenium Park and toll on the Skyway is 50% higher than it was in 2004.

3. WORK FOR A BUCK-- That was mighty big of Ford CEO Allan Mulally to say he was willing to work for $1 a year. Here that, all you overpaid CEOs?

4. OBAMA TOUR-- Now, you can take your very own Barack Obama Tour to the spots he was at in Chicago. This is roughly the same price as what it will cost you to park, so enjoy.

Question: Among retirees, what is considered formal attire? ANSWER: Tied Shoes (or sandals with black socks)

Ain't Things Just Peachy? --RoadDog

Back Home Again

As much as I like traveling, it's always great to get back home again. I got in at about 7:30 PM last night after driving from White House (north of Nashville), Tennessee, where I spend Wednesday night with my nephew and his family.


I left Goldsboro, NC, Wednesday morning and drove US-70 to I-40 and took it all the way to the outskirts of Nashville and then some backroads to their house. Gas was generally around $1.60 to $1.65 with the exception of around Asheville, NC, where it is always ten to twenty cents higher. Ate at the Golden Corral in Winston-Salem. I highly recommend these restaurants when you're on the road.

Interesting sight on the superslab was the pickup truck with a gun rack containing a rifle and an umbrella under it. I guess he didn't want to get wet while shooting something.

Enjoyed Andy and Andrea's kids, Charlie and Aylin, and got to watch some of Charlie's favorite movie "Cars" which was on TV for the first time. Maybe we'll have another Route 66er as he gets older. Charlie is 5 and Aylin two and a half.


Yesterday, I took I-65 all the way to Remington, Idiana, about half way between Chicago and Indianapolis, and then US-24 to Il-47. Had lunch at a KFC buffet in Lafayette, the Home of Purdue University. This place was not to far from the B-Dub (Buffalo Wild Wings) where we once had to drive back to after I forgot my drivers license which I had to turn in to get NTN boards.

Got the cheapest gas the whole trip at a Pilot station a little south of Indianapolis. It was, get this, $1.50 ($1.49.9)!!! Never thought I'd see gas under $2 again. Something I can definitely live with.

Also got gas at the Becker BP station in Dwight, Illinois, for $1.63. This station is right by the old Route 66 and sells lots of Mother Road memorabilia and is done in a Route 66 motiff, even the Burger King located in the store.

Superslabbin' and Good to Be Home. --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WKRP is Back

WKRP is back on the air again in Cincinnati, and this time for real. A low-power TV station in the city has changed their call letters to those used by the radio station in the popular 1970s sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati."

It was formerly WBQC to promote its new digital format.

While in Cincinnati a couple weekends ago, I went by the building where the station's studios were located, the Flim Building, actually the home of the Cincinnati Enquirer. I had always thought it to be in the taller building with columns on the top.

If I had to pick one all-time favorite sitcom, it would be "WKRP in Cincinnati." It is too bad the network kept changing its times and days throughout its run, or it would have been even more popular.

Dr. Johnny Fever Would Be SO PROUD. --RoadDog

Bare Naked Ladies

Just saw Bare Naked Ladies perform a Christmas song on the Regis show on ABC. You'd think that a group with a name like that would be wild and crazy. Nothing further from the truth on this count. They are one of the most clean cut groups around.

They are also a favorite band of mine. I especially like their "One Week," "If I Had a $1,000,000," "It's All Been Done," and "Brian Wilson" songs. I have several of their CDs. I especially like the chorus to "It's All Been Done."

They were formed in Canada in 1988 and are classified as alternative rock. Their live shows are noted for humor.

Give It a Listen. --RoadDog

Monday, December 1, 2008

Trip to Kinston, NC

Took a trip today out to Kinston, NC, about 28 miles from Goldsboro.Mom had an old picture she wanted given to a history organization there, plus, I wanted to see the full-scale replica of the CSS Neuse and, I had also reported on quite a few Civil War stories out of the city in my Saw the Elephant Blog.

On the way in, I saw a sign for the Kinston-Lenoir County Visitors Center and decided that would be the place to go. I gave them the reproduction and information of Simon Bright, who turns out to be an important person in local history dating back to pre-Revolutionary War.

Spent a lot of time in the center and found out a lot about the two Civil War battles fought there as well as on the Confederate ironclad ram Neuse.

Next stop was bbq at King's which dates back to the 1930s. Mighty fine eastern Carolina-style 'cue, cole slaw, fried okra, tea and hush puppies.

Drove around the town and found the CSS Neuse II, a full-scale 150 foot reproduction of the ship. If you've ever wanted to know what a Confederate ironclad looks like, this is where to go.

Last stop was out at the actual remains of the Neuse's hull which is currently housed in a partly open building, but there are plans to build an enclosed, climate-controlled structure to stop the vessel's deterioration.

Kinston, Your Stop for Civil War History. --RoadDog