Thursday, December 31, 2009

JSS: All Dem Lights-- Packer and Deere Trees-- No Movie for Me

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. ALL DEM LIGHTS-- Last night, we got together with some friends and went over to the Cuneo Garden Light display in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Monday to Thursday, it is $5 a car load ($10 Friday to Sunday). Lots of lights and especially impressive at the end.

2. PACKER AND DEERE TREES-- After the lights, we went to Kip and Susie's place in Grayslake. We were impressed with his Packer and John Deere trees, both decorated in theme and with lots of lights and ornaments. Kip is a big-time Packer fan and living on his farmette, has several John Deere products.

I have a John Deere tractor

3. NO MOVIE FOR ME-- I have to remember to take a "movie vacation" during the two weeks kids are off from school this time of year. All those parents take all those kids to the show, making for lines and crowded theaters. Yesterday, I had plans to see "The Morgans" and arrived about five minutes before show time, but there had to be 40 people in the line. No way I'd get to the show on time, so I came home.

Definitely spoiled by retirement.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

Thoughts to Ponder: Life is sexually transmitted.

The Stooges and Me

Up at 6:30 and hurried downstairs so I could record as much as I could of Countdown with the Stooges on AMC.

Twenty-four hours of pure Stooge Mania. And the old, grainy black and white shorts have been cleaned up and digitalized so we see just what the folks back in the 30s and 49s saw. Plus, the period shots of buildings, styles and down towns take you immediately back to the era.

"Quiet numb skulls, I'm broadcasting!" Love that quote from Little Steven's Underground Garage in the intro.

Great contrast between the rich and regular folk. And you especially have to like the way they "get" the upper crust.

Too many commercials, though. The Stooges are best served straight. All so far have been with Curly, my all-time favorite. Definitely not a good idea to be in their proximity if you want to avoid pain. Always looking for a way to make a buck in the depression.

Stooge Fan for Life. --RoadDog

Thoughts to Ponder: Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Must've Been the Ditka Jersey

My wife Liz got me two Bear jerseys for Christmas. I won't wear any of the new guys' numbers because, as the old man on "A Christmas Story" said, "They're playing more like the Chicago Chipmunks." Right, Alvin? ALvin, ALVin, ALVIN!!!

One was Walter Payton's number 34 and the other Mike Ditka's 68. I took the Ditka jersey out last night to Tommy's here in Spring Grove for the Monday Night Game against the hated Vikings and their new qb, a long-time nemesis.

We usually watch night games at home in Margaritaville, but felt we needed shoulders to complain on as everyone figured this was going to be a real train wreck. Minnesota is a much superior team to the Bears this year.

This was not the Bears we've come to expect that took the field. The old fire was back. These guys wanted to win and performed for a change. Even Old Stone Face was animated on the sidelines.

We had ourselves a grand old time. Lots of cheering and quite a few other guys wearing old Bear jerseys. Besides some Paytons, there was a Butkus and even a Nagursky, as in Bronco Nagursky. Now, there is a BEAR fan! Liz went up to him and he thanked her for noticing the jersey. He also wears a Bear hat with a bear head on it, and said most ask him about that and not the jersey.

Enjoyed those $2 23-ounce arm curls as well.

Lots of TVs to watch as well, but Tommy's should put a bank of them in the center of the bar.

Are Da Bears Back? One More Game to See. --RoadDog

Monday, December 28, 2009

OK, How Happy Are You?

I came across a list of the Happiest States, counting District of Columbia.

According to the list, the Top Ten:

1. Louisiana
2. Hawaii
3. Florida
4. Tennessee
5. Arizona
6. Mississippi
7. Montana
8. South Carolina
9. Alabama
10. Maine
12. North Carolina
45. Illinois
51. New York

This was compiled with statistics before Hurricane Katrina. Three million people were asked how happy they were, then statistics such as how crowded, air quality, house prices and quality of life were added to come up with the ranking.

I'm from Illinois, but am a Bear fan as well which might account for the sadness and tears.

Going to Watch the Minnesota Game Tonight, But Know It Will Be a Disaster. --RoadDog

You might be Taliban if you can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.

"Cheezborgers and Cheeps" 75th Anniversary

Congratulations to Chicago's landmark Billy Goat Tavern which turned 75 today.

The first one opened this date back in 1934 across from what today is the United Center. Of course, the famous one is the one under the "El" tracks.

Great food, drinks, and a slice of Chicago even with the exorbitant sales tax.

The Billy Goat was made famous by the Saturday Night Live sketch where "Cheezborgers, no fries, cheeps" were ordered.

Cub fans lament the Billy Goat incident which must be the reason the current futility continues. Back in the 1945 World Series, the LAST one the Cubs played in, the Billy Goat's owner brought his pet goat to the game and were thrown out. He angrily declared that the Cubs would NEVER win a World Series after that. They lost that one and have never been back. Coincidence?

Did they say "Cheezborger" or "Cheezboiger?" --RoadDog

You might be Taliban if you think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide. Our soldiers maintain their sense of humor. We're proud of you.

JSS: Another Three Inches-- Winter Wonderland-- Keep Me Away from After-Christmas Sales-- Losing Them Bowl Games-- Tommy's, No Choppers

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. ANOTHER THREE INCHES-- Sunday, I had to go out and clear off another three inches of the white stuff, bringing Saturday's snow fall to 10 to 12 inches. All the while, I heard the sound of snowmobiles in the near distance. Hope they're enjoying themselves. Their treat is my sore back.

2. WINTER WONDERLAND-- One good thing about all this snow, however, is the scenery. The trees and bushes are covered with the stuff. We even had to take a ride around the subdivision to look at the trees. We knew we had a lot of Douglas firs and the like, but the white trimming really brought the numbers into focus.

I had to take the movie camera and digital cameras out to capture Key North (as we call our place).

3. KEEP ME AWAY FROM AFTER-CHRISTMAS SALES-- Just got back from a run on some of the local stores' half-price Christmas sales. That was a quick $60. But that was some really neat stuff.

4. LOSING THEM BOWL GAMES-- If you want to insure that your team wins its college football bowl game, you need to contact me and for a nominal sum, I'll back the other team. I think last year only five teams I backed won. This last Saturday, Ohio, North Carolina and Boston College all lost close games.

5. TOMMY'S, NO CHOPPERS-- Yesterday, we were heading up to Chopper's in Antioch for 25 cent wings and $1 pints. Ran into Kora at Walgreen's and ended up at Tommy's here in Spring Grove where we enjoyed $1 tacos, beer nuggets and $3 23-ouncers. Too bad about the Saints and Colts.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

A Winter Statistic: 98% of people say "Oh $H!T" before going into a ditch on a slippery road. The other 2% are from Wisconsin and say, "Here, hold my beer and watch this."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Don't Let It Snow, Don't Let It Snow, Don't Let It Snow

What we're getting is the old "Let It Snow" three times song. And plenty of it. I've already been out twice to clear the snow off the driveway and sidewalk. The first time it was four inches and five more inches the second time. That was a couple hours ago and it hasn't stopped snowing yet. So much for the 1 to 3 inches forecast.

The only nice thing was that the snow was light and coming down fairly straight without any wind. I shoveled the whole first time while listening to WDRV playing classic rock.

I shoveled about half the second time and then got the snow blower out.

It could have been much worse, however. It rained the last two days and had that been snow, we really would have been up to snow. I understand that the midsection of the country is really getting clobbered worse.

This is the third straight really bad December as far as weather is concerned.

Just Can't Take Much More of All This Global Warming, Al. --RoadDog

Friday, December 25, 2009

And a Merry Christmas


Yesterday's Chicago Tribune had an interesting graphic on Christmas trees.

I didn't know that McHenry County in Illinois, where we live is the top county in the state for Christmas tree farming with 15,117 harvested in 2007. We have one farm about a mile away from us.

It is not in the top five, though, when it comes to Christmas tree farms. Madison County has the most with 15.

Interesting Christmas Tree Facts:

1850-- the year in which Christmas trees were first sold commercially.

291-- number of Christmas tree farms in Illinois.

17 million-- number of Christmas trees harvested in 2997.

$385 million-- the value of those trees.

50-- the number of states in which Christmas trees are grown (even Hawaii?)

#1-- Oregon leads all states with 1,852 Christmas tree farms. Illinois is #17.


"The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" is 65 years old now. It was written during a sweltering Los Angeles during the summer of 1944 by Mel Torme (Judge Harry would be so proud) and Bob Wells.

It has been performed by over 100 artists and is one of the top-selling Christmas songs of all time.


I've now seen all three of my favorite Christmas movies at least twice now this season.

Last night, I saw "It's a Wonderful Life" on NBC. I also saw "A Christmas Story" on TBS last night and just watched "Christmas Vacation" on AMC.

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. --RoadDog

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

I am getting into the Christmas spirit even if 144 years ago a Union fleet was commencing one of the biggest bombardments ever in history up until that time on Fort Fisher, guarding Wilmington, North Carolina.

Earlier today, General "Beast" Butler had exploded a ship loaded with powder in an effort to knock the earthen walls of the fort down, but had not succeeded in much more than waking the garrison up.

The date, December 24, 1864.


I'm getting set to watch this movie a couple times on TBS. I have been writing a lot about the house featured in the story in my travel blog:

I see that AMC is running a "Christmas Vacation" marathon this year. No doubt cashing in on the success of TBS. I'll see that one at least once as well. Go squirrel, Go little squirrel!!!


According to the Chicago Tribune, we missed it. It was Wednesday. Was it George or Kramer's family holiday on that Seinfeld episode?

You can get a 6-foot Festivus tree at out of Milwaukee for $39. Such a deal.

Happy Festivus to You and Yours. Let us now have the airing of grievances.

Desperately Seeking Egg Nog, But Will Settle for Irish Cream. --RoadDog

Military Humor: You might be a Taliban if you wipe your butt with your hand but consider bacon unclean.

Movie Scratches: Demons-- Smithsonian-- Trekin' Again-- Fallen

A Dog's Eye Take on the Movies.

DEMONS AND ANGELS-- 5-20-- Fox Lake $4-- Some humor amid a lot of gross. Tom Hanks battling the Illuminati or did they really do it?

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN-- 5-28-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Larry, Abe, Amelia and NY guys battle Pharaoh, Napoleon and henchman for the world.

STAR TREK-- 5-29-- Fox Lake Free-- Worth seeing second time. I understand the time aspect better.

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN-- 7-10-- Fox Lake Free-- More action than you can ever hope for. Who knew Transformers could be funny? Love that new Camaro.

Yuck! Gum Under Arm Rests. --RoadDog

Military Humor: You might be a Taliban if you refine heroin for a living, but have a moral objection to beer.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Doing Our Wassailing, Er, Irish Creaming

Last Friday, we went over to friend Pam's and joined Ed and Sue for a good old time making batches of Irish Cream from scratch. For years, we have been getting a bottle of Pam's famous Irish Cream and for years I've been asking if we could help her make it. We finally got the opportunity.

I'm not sure if we liked the making or testing/tasting better. Plus, we had plenty of snacks and later pizza and home made split pea soup. Good drinkin' and good eatin'.

To make Pam's Famous Irish Cream (I can't reveal amounts which are a closely guarded secret), you start with Seagram's 7, then add eggs, light and heavy cream, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and evaporated milk.

That evaporated milk is nasty stuff and I'm not volunteering to open or pour those cans anymore. Talk about sticky. Another "fun" job is corking the bottle. Those corks were mostly too big. We'll need to get more easy twist offs next year.

We ended up making thirty batches and drinking a batch or two or three.

On the way home, we went out looking at Christmas lights, another fun thing to do. Saw some mighty impressive displays.

A Very Pleasant Way to Spend an Evening. --RoadDog

Military Humor: You might be a Taliban if you have more wives than teeth.

Some Really Good Christmas Music-- Part 2

Now, for Side 2 of "Ultimate Christmas #1."





JINGLE BELLS-- Jimmy Buffett
HAPPY X-MAS (WAR IS OVER)-- Jimmy Buffett

BACK DOOR SANTA-- Clarence Carter


JOY TO THE WORLD-- Jambalaya Cajun Band
JINGLE BELLS-- Harry Fontenot

Personally compiled by myself of my favorites. The first four are by Beach Bands.

Gettin' in the Spirit. --RoadDog

Military Humor: You might be a Taliban if you own a $3,000 machine gun and a $5,000 grenade launcher but can't afford shoes.

These Might be a Taliban are compliments of pal J.C.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Really Good Christmas Music-- Part 1

I am sitting here right now listening to the Surf radio station out of North Myrtle Beach, SC, 94.9 FM and also listening to a cassette tape I made a few years back that I call "ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS #1."

It is my own compilation of my absolute favorite Christmas songs.


THIS CHRISTMAS-- Donnie Hathaway


I'M YOUR SANTA-- Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials

LET IT SNOW-- Aaron Neville




And, Even better, It IS On Cassette Tape!!! --RoadDog

A backward poet writes inverse.

"A Christmas Story"

I have been making entries the last two days on the house featured in my all-time favorite Christmas movie, "A Christmas Story." The actual house is still there and the interior has been recreated to look like the one in the movie (interior shots were filmed on a sound stage).

You can see the entries at http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot

The man who survived both mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

JSS: Nicer Snow-- Yes, Virginia There Really is a Desktop-- My Desktop Reward

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. NICER SNOW-- Just came in from my second exercise session out on the driveway and sidewalk. We got snow starting at some time last night and continuing up until now. At least it was lighter, fluffier snow, so I shoveled most of it until it got too deep.

I'd say we have a new six inches on the ground. With temps in the twenties, little wind and light snow, I don't mind shoveling, especially with the garage radio tuned to the classics on the Drive, 96.9 FM radio station.

2. YES VIRGINIA, THERE REALLY IS A DESKTOP-- And I'm not talking computer either. Well, there is a desktop computer, but I refer to the top of my desk in the study. I hadn't seen it for a couple months, but was pretty sure it was still there. After a concerted two hour attack, I found it.

Give me a flat surface and I will CLUTTER. It's just what I do. Just ask my wife.

3. MY DESKTOP REWARD-- One nice thing about clearing off my desk in the study was that I was able to sit in there earlier today and watch the snow coming down and accumulate on the bushes and trees. I was listening to this past Sunday's Little Steven's Underground Garage Christmas Show and eating some of Pam's split pea soup while the furnace blew hot air on my feet.

Now, that's the way to enjoy a snow storm.

Getting About Time to Head to the Beach. --RoadDog

A short fortune teller escaped from prison. She is now a small medium at large. (snicker, snicker)

Da Story Behind Da New Bear Fight Song

Sunday, December 20th, I wrote about the new Bears Fight Song that is steadily gaining popularity with Bear fans all over the Chicagoland area.

Here's some background on the song according to the December 18th Chicago Tribune.

It all started back on a thorough 41-21 thumping of the Bears by the Cardinals back in November (at our other Bear Party). Fan Joe Schmitt sat in Soldier Field with buddies and they began altering the words to the "Bear Down" fight song.

Riding home, he began putting the finishing touch on his new and more appropriate fight song. This last Thursday, he and friends gathered to shoot a video which he has dubbed "Chicago Bears Fight Song (frustrated fan version)."

See Sunday's entry for the words, and, if you are a Bear fan, sing along.

The video was available on the Chicago Tribune site or

I just couldn't get it out of my mind while I watched the latest effort in futility against Baltimore. To paraphrase Bluto in "Animal House," where's the Delta fire I used to know?

Hard Times in ChiTown. --RoadDog

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Da Sad, Sad Bears

Watched what will probably be the last Bear game of the year for me. Why waste my time when they're not going to show up.

I have seen some really bad Bear teams, but never have I see none with as little fire as this one has. There is nothing at all.

Two more losses might get a whole new coaching change as well as ownership.

This is just sad. What was $30 million guy's quarterback stats for yesterday's affront to Beardom? Come on Jay, time to say you're sorry and give some of the money back. Then apologize and take about $10 million off of next year's undeserved salary.

Time to go with ANYBODY who is not first string.

A Sad Time to Be a Bears Fan. --RoadDog

Again, a big thanks to friend Lulu for sending these. Hope she sends even more. I sure enjoy these little sayings.

Here's a new one:

A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to the hospital. When his grandmother called to ask how he was, the nurse said, "No change yet."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The New Bear Fight Song

As reported in the last Just Some Stuff.

Actually, a lot of us were hoping the Bear game today wold be completely canceled. That would be one less loss. I've been watching these guys for a long time and have to believe this is the worst team ever.

Where is the fire? Even the other bad ones had a certain fire, but these guys have nothing.

Anyway, Bear fan Joe Schmitt has come up with a new Bear Fight Song to the tune of the old one, but with words closer to this team's spirit.


Lie down, Chicago Bears,
snatch defeat from the jaws of victory;

Lie down, Chicago Bears,
let them score and you've lost your dignity.

We'll never forget the way you bored the nation
with your punt formation.

Lie down, Chicago Bears, you've failed to convert on third down.

Haven't had a man since Jim McMahon,
Chicago Bears, lie down.

About Sums it Up for Me!! --RoadDog

A sign of the lawn of a drug rehab center said, "Keep off the grass."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Movie Scratches: Obsession-- X-- Girlfriends-- Trek

Next year, I will do a better job keeping up with these instead of having to do all these at the end of the year. Anyway, here are my comments on movies that I saw at the theater this year with date, where I saw it, and cost (not counting popcorn and pop).

OBSESSION-- (Besides having a time trying to figure out the where and how many "s" go in its spelling.) 4-28-- Fox Lake $4-- Fatal Attraction Part 2.

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE-- 5-6-- Fox Lake $4-- "You wanted the animal? You got the animal." A different kind of brotherly love.

GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST-- 5-6-- Fox Lake $4-- An updated "Christmas Carol." Hilarious.

STAR TREK-- 5-13-- Fox Lake $4-- James Tiberius Kirk puts his crew together for TV while battling misguided Romulan and losing Uhuru to Spock. Great casting for the younger crew.

Sticky Theater Floors, yuck. --RoadDog

I wondered why the ball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Closing Out the Naughts, Bringing On the ?s

Or whatever you call this decade we're finishing up in a few days. Maybe you called it the "Os," "Ohs" or "Zeroes." I called it the "Retired Decade" as I finally reached that magical time in "oh six."

For me, it was also the "Pute" decade as I got my first computer. I also made the mistake of starting a blog, then two, then three and finally four. I even had thoughts of a fifth but thankfully never got around to it. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have the goal of an average of a post a day

Maybe it was the "Naughts" or "Oughts" as in I oughta've done this or that.

Anyway, we now face a new quandary. What do we call the new decade? "Teens" come to mind but don't really cover 2010, 2011 or 2012. Maybe "Preteens and Teens?" Or, "Oh Ones?"

Dazed and Confused in a New Decade. --RoadDog

Friday, December 18, 2009

Good Party, But Bears Stink

This last Sunday we had our annual Bears-Packers party, and again the Bears let us down with a loss to those cheeseheads up north. At one point, I thought we might win when we had a 14-13 lead, but then the $30 million man threw one of his patented interceptions.

As usual, Old Stone Face had absolutely no facial expression. Hopefully he is on his way out and we can get a REAL Bear like Singletary or Rivera.

Anyway, we again went through a whole keg with the 36 guests we had. Too bad, I sure like the Day After parties where we finish off kegs like we have with Kevin and Kelly. But, evidently our friends like their beer.

Ran out just about the end of the game.

As usual, we provided the Aldi spiral sliced, precooked ham which is hard to beat. Plenty of sweets, dips and other snacks were brought along as well.

Afterwards, some folks stuck around for Name That Tune which we played for another 4 hours. Everyone also enjoyed listening to Pat Dailey's "Raw Bars" album as well and several expressed interest in a summer trip out to Put-In-Bay to see him at the Boathouse and Mike "Mad Dog" Adams at the Round House Bar.

Best comment came from a friend who was here for the first time. "This is just one big bar museum." I do have a lot of 1980s mirrors and lights all over Margaritaville and the North Woods.

New Bear Song, "Lie Down Chicago Bears." --RoadDog

Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, "You stay here; I'll go on a head."

JSS: Talking "Avatar"-- 30,000 Miles-- The Fun with Outside Lights-- "Lie Down Chicago Bears"

Just Some Stuff.

1. TALKING "AVATAR"-- I just got back from seeing the movie "Avatar." Probably one of the best movies I've ever seen and I will no doubt go back to see it again. My suggestion to you, Go See It.

I wasn't too happy to find out it was 3D so had to purchase the glasses for an extra $2 at the Fox Lake Theatre here in Illinois. Total cost was $7.50.

There is just too much to see.

2. 30,000 MILES-- Forgot to mention that the truck (2005 Dakota) just hit 30,000 miles as I was returning from the Legion with the keg Sunday.

3. THE FUN WITH OUTSIDE LIGHTS-- I just got back inside from checking lights outside and this time of the year that is a C-O-L-D job. Some of the C-9s were burned out and part of a strand of icicle lights were out. These required some jostling but they came on right away.

I've also had to get the strands around the garage and northeast corner on as well as the big wreath in front of the house.

4. "LIE DOWN CHICAGO BEARS"-- Today's Chicago Tribune had a video that pretty-well sums up this year's edition of our Chicago Bears. Go tot he web site and right now you can scroll to it. Otherwise look up "Lie Down Chicago Bears," the Team's New Fight Song.

More Fun Than You Can Imagine. --RoadDog

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Movie Scratches: Haunting-- Observe-- Monsters-- Play

Short takes on movies I've seen this year.

THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT-- 4-15-- Fox Lake $4-- New and better take on "Amityville Horror." True tale?

OBSERVE AND REPORT-- 4-15-- Fox Lake $4-- All these years and no movies on the tribulations of shopping mall security. Now, two in three months. Didn't need to see the flasher in toto.

MONSTERS VS. ALIENS-- 4-22-- Fox Lake $6 (including 3D glasses)-- My first-ever 3D movie. Gotta love those monsters, especially Bob, or is it Blob?

STATE OF PLAY-- 4-22-- Fox Lake $4-- Great thriller. This time not your evil and greedy corporations.

What, $3.50 for a Really, Really Small Popcorn? --RoadDog

Top Quotes of 2009-- Part 1

The December 17th Chicago Tribune had a list compiled by Yale researcher Fred Shapiro's list of the top ten quotations from 2009.

10. "You give me a ware board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura during a CNN interview May 11th. Dick and Jesse tandem tortures.

9. "The governor is hiking the Appalachia Trail. Spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford regarding Sanford's disappearance June 22nd. Is this getting to be a governor thing. What did the Blago have to say about it?

8. "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel.'" Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, posting on her Facebook page on Aug. 7th. Another governor? What was a Death Panel anyway?

Senate Seat for Sale. Highest Bidder.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Movie Scratches: Reader--- Knowing-- Man-- Adventureland

Some more movies I saw at the theater this year.

THE READER-- 2-28-- Fox Lake $5.50-- After all that steamy sex, a gripping movie. An aspect of WW II you don't usually see.

KNOWING-- 4-8-- Woodstock $4-- What do those numbers stand for? Oh, the end of the world.

I LOVE YOU, MAN-- 4-13-- Fox Lake free-- A Chick Flick for Guys. Don't leave before the credits are over.

ADVENTURELAND-- 4-13-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Not your standard teen sex and pathos. "Rock Me Amadeus."

Spilled My Popcorn. --RoadDog

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like bananas.

Christmas Time in Our Little Home

Christmas has come to our little Spring Grove home, Margartitaville in Key North, the name of the bar downstairs and house here in Spring Grove. Looks like Santa Jimmy paid us a visit.

I'm listening to a tape I made of Little Steven's Underground Christmas show right now and getting into the spirit. I like his show because he plays a lot of Christmas songs you don't hear all that often. Cruising in my truck, I have a new Trans-Siberian Orchestra CD, "The Christmas Attic" that I am enjoying. Of course, we've played Jimmy's Christmas CD as well as the Beach Boys one many times.

We have six big Christmas trees: one outside, two upstairs and three downstairs. There are probably ten other small Christmas trees as well. Every window has inside lights as well. Lots of artificial poinsettias are around as well as one real one. Liz has amassed quite a collection of Christmas wreaths as well.

We have a toy train track under the main Christmas tree and there is a village inside the tracks.

We probably have forty Santa Clauses and a host of other Christmas characters as well as about ten Christmas lighthouses.

Each year, we say we won't buy any more things, but the main culprit is me. I go into a store with Christmas decorations and I can't help myself. It's a disease I tell you!! That's my excuse, anyway.

Tis the Season to DECORATE!! --RoadDog

Two silkworms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

JSS: Oops, Forgot Anniversary-- Way Too Cold-- Bug Man Not Cometh-- Little Steven

Just Some Stuff-- JSS.

1. OOPS, FORGOT ANNIVERSARY-- Completely slipped my mind yesterday, but it turns out it was Liz and mt anniversary. No, not wedding anniversary, but the anniversary of our starting to "Go Steady."

We were high school sweethearts, dating back to December 15, 1967. For you counters, that was 42 years ago. As my Dear Old Dad used to say....

2. WAY TOO COLD-- About 6 degrees right now. Can Florida be too far off?

3. BUG MAN NOT COMETH-- Yesterday, our exterminators didn't show up for the winter application even though we were scheduled. The spiders get another few days to play.

4. LITLLE STEVEN-- If you get a chance, make sure you tune in to hear Little Steven's annual Underground Christmas Show this coming Sunday. It is a national show, but here in the Chicago area it is on WXRT, 93.1 FM which streams over the net. It is on from 9 PM to 11 PM Sunday.

He plays a lot of Christmas songs you don't normally hear.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in linoleum blownapart. (Who comes up with these?)

Kross Inn

I should mention some prices at the Kross Inn which just got NTN-Buzztime.

A mug of beer is $1.50. Pints are $2. There are also daily drinks specials.

Tuesdays they have Italian beef and fries for $4.25.

Thursday are two burgers for the price of one. Mondays is the best with $3 burgers and $1 brats (both with fries). The brats taste as good as Johnsonvilles.

Good Eatin' and Drinkin', Cheap, and Now NTN!!! --RoadDog

A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

Here's a New NTN-Buzztime Site That Might Make It

Yesterday, I stopped off at the Kross Inn in Fox Lake, Illinois, on Grand Avenue, after having those great 25 cent tacos at Rookies on Il-134.

On Monday, I had seen that they had just gotten NTN so wanted to check it out. This place has been there for many years and at one time was owned by Al and Marge who we know very well from the American Legion. This is not one of your BW3s, Friday's or that type of place.

I'd describe it as more of a Cheers place.

Considering they've just had it for a few days, I was surprised to see three people playing when I walked in. One was the bartender and every TV in the place was tunes to the game. This is a great indicator of a place that just might be a success with the game.

The bartender is really hooked on it and played whenever she wasn't serving customers.

When at least one TV is on the game and the bartender is a fan of the game, the chances of the game being a success increases dramatically.

We played well, but no Top Twenties as the games were "Seen Its" so a lot of really high and perfect scores from those who had obviously already seen them.

This brings my total of new-to-me sites visited for the year to 141, has to be some sort of record. I need to get myself a life.

Too Much NTN. --RoadDog

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Second City Celebrates It's 50th-- Part 3

Like I said, these are some of the people I regard as the funniest ever. Of the whole list, I'd have to say I liked John Belushi the most.

RICHARD KIND--1983-- Spin City

RYAN STYLES-- 1988-- Whose Line Is It Anyway

COLIN MOCHRIE-- 1988-- Whose Line Is It Anyway

MIKE MYERS-- 1988-- SNL, Austin Powers

ANDY DICK-- 1989-- News Radio

CHRIS FARLEY-- 1989-- SNL, Tommy Boy

STEVE CARRELL-- 1991-- The Office

STEPHEN COLBERT-- 1993-- The Colbert Report

SCOTT ADSIT-- 1994-- 30 Rock

DAVID KOECHNER-- 1994-- SNL, The Office

TINA FEY-- 1996-- SNL, 30 Rock

JACK McBRAYER-- 1999-- 30 Rock

JASON SUDEIKIS-- 2001-- 30 Rock

Some of these folks were from other Second City troupes other than Chicago.

A regular Font o' Funny. Congrats Second City. --RoadDog

The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

On the Radio Christmas 1978-- Part 2

The Top Ten Songs for December of that year.

10. TIME PASSAGES-- Al Stewart

9. (OUR LOVE) DON'T THROW IT AWAY-- Andy Gibb-- The Gibb Brothers era.

8. MacARTHUR PARK-- Donna Summer-- Move ober Richard Harris



5. MY LIFE-- Billy Joel

4. I LOVE THE NIGHT LIFE (DISCO ROUND)-- Alicia Bridges-- The Dusco Era

3. I JUST WANNA STOP-- Gino Vannelli

2. YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS-- Barbra and Neil

1. LE FREAK-- Chic-- One of the best-ever Disco songs.

Deck the Halls with Disco. --RoadDog

A rubber band gun was confiscated in algebra class because it was a weapon of math destruction.

$5, $5 Dollar Footlongs

That little tune can sure get in your head these days. It's all over TV. Once you get it in your head, you're good to go humming it for several hours. Stop it right now, I know what you're doing!! As Cousin Barn would say, "Nip It!! Nip it in the bud!!"

The November 10th Business Week had an article about the phenomenon which has pretty well put poor Jared out to pasture for Subway. It actually started five years ago when Subway operator Stuart Frankel had two small shops at either end of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital.

He noticed his stores did very little business on the weekends, so on those two days he sold foot longs for $5, about a buck less than they usually cost. Eventually the Subway Corporation adopted it and it is all over the place and has helped generate $3.8 billion in sales.


Subway is the fastest growing fast food place thanks to the low-cost franchising system. Currently, some 40 new stores open a week. Subway is in line to pass McDonald's in total stores early next year.

Top Subway brass were getting tired of Jared Foyle who lost 245 pounds on a diet of Subway sandwiches. They also envied the success of McDonald's Dollar Menu. This is why we have that incessant and irritatingly addictive song in our heads.

"Five Dollar, Five Dollar ____ ____." --RoadDog

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Second City Celebrates Its 50th-- Part 2

Continuing with the Tribune's list of Top Fifty Foremost Faces.

BETTY THOMAS 1973--Hill Street Blues

DAN AYKROYD 1974-- SNL, Blues Brothers


GEORGE WENDT 1975-- Cheers

SHELLEY LONG 1976-- Cheers

MARTIN SHORT 1977-- SNL, Three Amigos

JIM BELUSHI 1978-- SNL, According to Jim

Like a Who's Who of Today's Comedy. --RoadDog

I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian. Thanks Lulu.

On the Radio Christmas 1978

As you were getting ready to go out and buy that someone special (or yourself) that LP (album if you know what that is), these songs were tops over the airwaves.

These were rankings for the whole month according to Billboard as found in The Book of Hit Singles Top Twenty Charts from 1954 to Present Day by Dave McAleer.

#20. Straight On-- Heart-- the band with twenty Greatest Hits albums
#19. Alive Again-- Chicago
#18. Promises-- Eric Clapton
#17. Double Vision-- Foreigner
#16. Ooh Baby Baby-- Linda Ronstadt-- Covering yet another song.

#15. How You Gonna See Me Now-- Alice Cooper
#14. Strange Way-- Firefall
#13. Hold the Line-- Toto-- I very much overlooked group.
#12. How Much I Feel-- Ambrosia
#11. YMCA-- Village People-- Played this song about every time I deejayed. Never failed to get folks going.

Top Ten Coming Up. --RoadDog

The roundest knight on King Arthur's Roundtable was Sir Cumference who acquired his size from too much pi.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Second City Celebrates Its 50th-- Part 1

Chicago's own Second City comedy troupe is celebrating its 50th anniversary with all sorts of goings on this weekend. I have never seen them live and knew that I was familiar with some of their people like John and Jim Belushi, Tina Fey, and Bill Murray.

The December 6th Chicago Tribune had a whole section dedicated to Second City and a huge list of alumnae under "Second City's 50 Most famous Faces. I was familiar with a whole lot of them and there were a lot I've never heard of before as well.


JOAN RIVERS 1961-- The Late Show


ROBERT KLEIN 1965-- Comedy Tonight, Reign Over Me

PETER BOYLE 1967-- Everybody Loves Raymond, Young Frankenstein

BRIAN DOYLE-MURRAY 1969-- Caddyshack, SNL

HAROLD RAMIS 1969-- SCTV, Ghostbusters

JOHN BELUSHI 1971-- SNL, Animal Hose, Blues Brothers

JOHN CANDY 1973-- SCTV, Uncle Buck

BILL MURRAY 1973-- SNL, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day

SNL stands for Saturday Night Live

Lots More to Come. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: Push-- Not Into You-- Shopaholic-- Taken

Some More Short Movie Reviews from Earlier This Year.

PUSH-- 2-10-- Fox Lake $4-- Regular folks with some really extreme powers. Move over X-Men.

HE'S JUST NOT INTO YOU-- 2-13-- McHenry $4-- Chick-Chick Flick. Falling into and out of love.

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC-- 2-13-- McHenry $4-- Chick-Chick Flick. "Ugly Betty"...sort of.

TAKEN-- 2-23-- Fox Lake free-- Take Liam's daughter, pay the price. "I will find you and I will kill you." "Good Luck."

Slip-Sliding to the Movies in the Ice. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: Road-- Slumdog-- Defiance-- Mall Cop

Movie reviews-- Dog Scratch Style

Here are some others I saw this year.

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD-- 1-26-- Round Lake $7-- "Mad Men" Part 2. Smoking a lot in the 50s. Kate and Leonardo on dry land.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE-- 1-27-- Fox Lake $5.50-- How to "experience" your way to 20 million rupees. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," Indian-style. Who is the third musketeer?

DEFIANCE-- 1-27-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Living free is winning vs. the Nazis.

PAUL BLART: MALL COP-- 1-28-- Fox Lake $4-- Misfit with heart of gold becomes hero and, gets the girl. Kevin James is a REAL FUNNY GUY.

Sticky Floors and All. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: Paranormal-- Fourth-- Goats-- 2012 (Twice)

Movie Reviews, Dog Scratch-Style.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY-- 10-26-- Fox Lake $5.50-- What a $15,000 movie looks like. Blair Witch II. Boring, then a bit scary.

THE FOURTH KIND-- 11-6-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Did humans get abducted? You decide.

MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS-- 11-9-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Army goes hippie.

2012-- 11-18-- Fox Lake $4-- The Mother of all Disaster Movies. So good that I saw it again on 12-7.

Too Much Salt on the P-Corn. --RoadDog

Friday, December 11, 2009

JSS: VA Hospital Christmas Dinner-- Making Mashed Potatoes-- Stayed Home All Day-- More Nasty Snow-- NTN-Buzztime at Donovan's

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. VA HOSPITAL CHRISTMAS DINNER-- Today, I spent several hours helping out at American Legion Post 703s annual Christmas dinner for the patients and staff at the North Chicago VA Hospital, just a way to say thanks. There we around 60 attended and they got turkey with all the trimmings, desserts. ice cream, cookies and lots of pop. Quite a few got up and sang karaoke. I believe they really enjoyed themselves.

2. MAKING MASHED TATERS-- John was looking for a volunteer to make mashed potatoes for the veterans and I volunteered. I am definitely not known for cooking anything in anyway. But, hey, it was for the veterans.

I ended up making three big pans of the stuff and learned not to raise the blender up while it was still spinning.

3. STAYED HOME ALL DAY-- Yesterday, we ended up staying home all day as the snow was really drifting badly. I had had a real lot of fun driving home the short distance from the theatre in Fox Lake the day before.

We did get the train set up under the Christmas tree (not much fun) and the Christmas village as well.

4. MORE NASTY SNOW-- Before going to the Legion, I cleared the snow drifts off the driveway. I had figured it would be fairly fast since it was light snow. Well, it wasn't so light and it took nearly an hour. AND, NOT ONE SNOWMOBILER VOLUNTEERED TO HELP.

5. NTN-BUZZTIME AT DONOVAN'S-- After the Legion, we went over to Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and got some Christmas cheer and played NTN-Buzztime. We had a pretty good run with seven top twenties. $1.50 a pint, pretty good deal these days.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And I Am Told I Have Too Many Records

I have quite a large collection of albums, 45s, cassettes and CDs, but back in 2008, there was a really large collection offered for sale with a price starting at $3 million.

The March 7, 2008, Chicago Tribune had an article "For the audiophile who has everything" by Sean D. Hamill.

Paul Mawhinney had been trying to sell his collection from his Record-Rama store north of Pittsburgh for over a month. And, this is NO LITTLE COLLECTION. He refers to it as "The greatest collection collection in the world," and with the 3-million plus albums, singles , CDs, tapes and 8-tracks which he has spent his lifetime collecting, he has a good case for the claim.

I have never counted, but probably have around 4,000, many as a result of the nearly 27 years I spent deejaying.

He says the Library of Congress says he has twice as many as them.

And, his is organized. He claims that he can find anything in a minute.

I can sort of do that as well.

Way Too Much Time and Money In This for Me. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: A Nobel Peace Prize

I found it really hard to believe that President Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize so soon after he was elected to office, especially when he hadn't yet really done anything to deserve it. I guess it was all part of the change he was promising.

He really should have turned it down at the time. Now he goes to get it. Right after he announced sending all those new troops to Afghanistan. It's time for the US to say we've done all we can do over there and leave.

I will try to avoid reading or hearing anything about it; not likely though.

I heard one funny line about Obama winning the Heisman Award because he attended a college football game.

Too Bad. --RoadDog

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The "Woist Kinda" Snow

Woke up this morning and had to go out and play in the worst kind of snow there is--wet and heavy!!! And about five inches of it to boot.

It took me about three times as long to clear the driveway and front sidewalk as usual. My snow blower is good on a regular snow up to six or seven inches, but struggles with the wet stuff. My usual walking up and down the driveway would not suffice. I had to start from the middle and walk to the sides and stop often to clear the sludge out.

I tell you, I'm getting TOO OLD for this.

And, NOT one single snowmobiler stopped to help me. It's the LEAST they could do so they can have THEIR fun.

The Dog and the Aching Blacktop. --RoadDog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top TV Shows of the Decade

The December 4th Chicago Tribune had an article on the top ten TV shows of this decade, whatever you call it.

YEAR, show, average number of viewers. ** means I saw it.

10. 2000-- Michael J. Fox's final episode on "Spin City," 32.8 million**

9. 2005-- "Everybody Loves Raymond" final episode, 32.9 million**

8. 2000-- Niles reveals his crush on Daphne on "Frazier," 33.7 million**

7. 2000-- "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" episode, 36 million**

6. 2006-- A thrilling "Grey's Anatomy" post Super Bowl show, 38 million**

5. 2007-- "American Idol" kicks off its sixth season, 28.1 million

4. 2000-- Dr. Carter fights for his life on "ER," 39.4 million**

3. 2003-- "Joe Millionaire" season finale, 40 million

2. 2000-- Richard Hatch wins "Survivor," 51.7 million

1. 2994-- The "Friends" gang says goodbye, 52.5 million**

I spend too much time watching TV, but never watch any reality shows.

Must Get Myself a Life. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches: Couples-- Zombies-- Citizen-- Stepfather

A quick look at the movies.

1. COUPLES RETREAT-- McHenry $4-- 10-9-- Fantasy island, Part 2. "Da Plane, Da Plane!!"

2. ZOMBIELAND-- $4 Fox Lake-- 10-14-- Who'd have thought killing Zombies would be so much fun? Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray, too!!

3. LAW ABIDING CITIZEN-- $5.50 Fox Lake-- 10-16-- Best be careful who you mess with. Charles Bronson has nothing on this guy. Definitely meaner than a junkyard dog, right, Leroy!!

4. THE STEPFATHER-- $4 Fox Lake-- 10-21-- One of the creepiest movies I've seen in years.

Put Some Extra Butter on That Overpriced Popcorn. --RoadDog

JSS: Dadburn Snow's Back-- One Down-- " 2012" Again

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. DADBURN SNOW'S BACK-- Just got in from shoveling about two inches of heavy snow with another 11 forecast. I still think that the lousy snowmobilers should have to come over and clear my driveway and sidewalks before they go out and have fun. Why should I have to suffer so they can have fun?

2. ONE DOWN-- Last Friday, I watched the first of my Big Three Christmas movies, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." "It's a Wonderful Life" is on this Saturday. Of course, "A Christmas Story" will be on the 24-hour marathon Christmas Day.

3. "2012" AGAIN-- Yesterday, I went to the Fox Lake Theatre and saw "2012" again. I still consider it the "Mother of all Disaster Movies." I still didn't see all the destruction. I have heard the so-called "critics" have panned it, but they obviously are on a different planet.

I's Go See it Again. --RoadDog

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Them, Not Me-- Sure Hits Home for Me

Recently, one of my favorite comic, Zits, had a strip that I couldn't agree more with.

FIRST PANEL: The dad is watching as Jeremy and Pierce are on their blackberries or I-Pods or whatever.

JEREMY-- "The next big thing is..."

PIERCE-- I've heard they're coming out with..."

SECOND PANEL: Dad is still watching with somewhat of a bewildered look on his face. Jeremy and Pierce are walking off, still deep in conversation.

JEREMY-- "Pretty soon everybody is going to be..."
PIERCE-- "It won't be long before..."
JEREMY-- "So Much faster than..."
PIERCE-- "It's right around the corner."

LAST PANEL: Jeremy's dad looks to his wife and says "I'm sick of the future."

My feeling exactly, Dad.

Time to Slow Down. --RoadDog

Pearl Harbor Day 2009

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the surprise Japanese attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This plunged the US into World War II the following day following day after President Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech.

This battle has been of great interest to me since reading Walter Lord's "Day of Infamy" book back in 7th grade. Today, I have several books on the subject and write about it a lot in my history blog. Look up Pearl Harbor on the labels.

I find it interesting that both the place where the war began and ended for the United States would both be located within a half mile from each other. The USS Arizona and USS Missouri are both there on Battleship Row. The explosion of the Arizona was one of the major moments of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrender of Japan took place on Missouri.

Right now, the Missouri isn't there. Last month it was moved to dry dock for repairs. However, December 5th, a new USS Missouri joined the US Navy, a nuclear attack submarine.

A Day to Always Remember. --RoadDog

Saturday, December 5, 2009

NTNin' Down Da Road

Of course, when I'm on the road, I always keep an eye out for a place to play NTN, especially now that my playing days are numbered what with this switch to e-mails only.

I didn't play at any place on my way to NC, or while I was there. Goldsboro doesn't have any sites and the short time I was in Greenville was taken up by the East Carolina game against Southern Mississippi.

I did play at four places on my way home:


BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings)
J.P. Henry's


Quarter Mile Pub

This brings my total of NTN sites visited to 140 for the year and 854 overall. I doubt that anyone else has been to as many. These are all different sites.

Spendin' Too Much Time Playing NTN. --RoadDog

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top of the Charts This Date-- Part 2

More Number Ones from This Date.

1969 NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE-- Steam-- As a White Sox fan, this is a theme song that too many others have copied. Sorry to see Sox organist Nancy Faust is retiring after this year. She was the one who started it.
1959 MACK THE KNIFE-- Bobby Darrin

1949 MULE TRAINER-- Frankie Laine
1939 SCATTER-BRAIN-- Frankie Msters (See Below)

1929 TIP TOE THROUGH THE TULIPS-- Nick Lucas-- (See Below)
1919 OH! WHAT A PAL WAS MARY-- Henry Burr


Born 1904, Died 1991. had a dozen hit records between the 30s and 40s. Big Band leader noted for singing and guitar playing. Scatter-Brain became his theme song. Featured what he called bell tone music where the chords were staggered to give a different sound.


Born 1897 Died 1982. Called the "Grandfather of Jazz Guitar." Very popular from the mid 20s to early 30s. Of course, when I think of "Tip Toe Through the Tulips," I immediately think of Tiny Tim. Lucas became friends with Tiny Tim and sang this song at Tim and Miss Vicki's wedding on the Tonight Show. Sold over 84 million records.

Give Me That Good Old Music. --RoadDog

Top of the Charts This Date

Using Josh Hosler's website, these are the top songs on the charts for December 4th on selected years.

2009 EMPIRE STATE OF MIND-- Jay-Z & Alicia Keyes
1999 SMOOTH-- Santana and Rob Thomas (was it really that long ago?)
1989 WE DIDN'T START THE FIRE-- Billy Joel-- Great history lesson. How'd he sing so fast and even a better question, how'd he remember all those words? Want to do something fun? Try singing this at karaoke.

1981 PHYSICAL-- ONJ-- getting down and dirty. What would John T. say?
1979 BABE-- Styx
1978 LE FREAK-- Chic
1977 YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE-- Debbie Boone-- Oh well.

1976 TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT-- Rod Stewart
1975 FLY, ROBIN, FLY-- Silver Connection-- real early disco
1974 KUNG FU FIGHTING-- Carl Douglas-- Everybody was doing what?
1973 TOP OF THE WORLD-- Carpenters

1972 I AM WOMAN-- Helen Reddy-- I always think of the "Coach" episode where the women's basketball coach puts the cow in Hayden's office with a placard "I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo."
1971 FAMILY AFFAIR-- Sly and the Family Stone-- one of my favorite groups of the era and one of my fraternity Delta Sigma Phi's party albums (Greatest Hits).
1970 I THINK I LOVE YOU-- Partridge Family-- I sure liked this one. Singing it in my head right now.

Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog

JSS: Big Ten Wins, Finally-- Christmas Movie Favs-- Welcome to the Cold-- 2,191 Miles

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. BIG TEN WINS, FINALLY-- With the Illini coming back from 21 points down, I'm happy to report the Big Ten finally has its first win against the ACC in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, with the Midwest taking 6 of 11 games. That's close, but it's a WIN!! Some mighty good college B-Ball this early in the season.

I am also an ACC fan, especially of Carolina, Duke, NC State (don't tell my dad) and Wake Forest. But these ten straight challenge losses were getting a bit old.


2. CHRISTMAS MOVIE FAVS-- Too bad Classic Cinemas Tivoli Theatre is so far away in Downers Grove, but they are running holiday classic movies on the big screen, including my three all-time favorites: It's a Wonderful Life (3) this weekend, A Christmas Story (1) Dec. 14th and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (2) December 17th.

I'll be watching them on TV, however. I did buy a DVD of Christmas Vacation as well.

3. WELCOME TO THE COLD-- Temp was at 24 degrees this morning, going to a high of 28. Monday, it was almost 70 in NC and I caught some rays. Guess I have gotten back to the North. How long till Summer 2010?

4. 2,191 MILES-- That's how far I drove the last 15 days. Love the road, but really like home as well.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Great Show, But All Pledged Out-- Willie & the Wheel

Just finished watching PBS' Ed Sullivan Rock and Roll Classics Show on Chicago's WTTW. I had seen it in NC this past Saturday. Great show with the Beatles, Stones, Mamas and Papas, Turtles, Young Rascals, Beach Boys and many others.

The ONLY bad thing was that this is Pledge Time. So, there was about 45 minutes of performers and an hour and a half of pleading. I'm already a member and sure hate to sit through all that.


Congratulations to Asleep at the Wheel and Willie Nelson for getting a 52nd Annual Grammy nomination for Best Americana album for this year's Willie & the Wheel Album. Some really great music on it. I bought a copy the week it was released.

Waiting to see if ol' Kanye will rush the stage while Brother Ray is up there.

It's a Music Thing. --RoadDog

Just Got Back-- Got My McRibs

Arrived home about two hours ago after two days on the road with about 1050 more miles under the wheels.

Rained most of the way, and yesterday some serious fog as I was climbing the mountains into Virginia on I-77. A smattering of snow as I neared home.

I was able to get my McRibs last night and this evening. Last night it was at the McDonald's in Zanesville, Ohio, and earlier today they were at the one in Gibson City, Illinois.

The Gibson City experience was one of the slowest ever. There were two customers ahead of me and I ended up waiting about ten minutes before placing my order. Had it not been a chance to get at that delight, I would have been so out of there. The things I will endure for one!!!

Then, while eating, a train caused a backup on Il-47. As I left. another train blocked traffic north of town, then stopped and backed up. Curses on you Frank.

Full and Glad to Be Home. --RoadDog

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bears Hibernate at Night

Another NIGHT Game for my Chicago Bears and apparently another loss coming up. I don't think the Bears have won a single night game they have played this year, and there have been a lot of them.

Vikings lead 36-10 with six minutes left.

The one nice thing is that HOPEFULLY next year there won't be as many night games.

Are the Bears going to win any more games this year?

The $30 million quarterback still isn't earning his money.

About Ready to Stop Wasting My Time Watching the Sad Bears. --RoadDog

Thanksgiving in North Carolina-- Part 4

TUESDAY, November 24th

Afterwards, I went to Berkely Mall, which has met upon hard times in these Bog Box Days. It is still anchored by the Big Three: Penney's, Sears and Belk's, but unfortunately, there are lots of empty stores. This year, they moved Santa from the center of the mall to a vacant store and have a really neat Leonard Bearstein and Friends animated orchestra playing Christmas songs. There are probably 25 Bears playing instruments and singing. Who needs Glenn Miller?

Next stop was an old florist called Van Roeckel's. It's not Christmas in Goldsboro until you go here to look at the Christmas trees and stuff.


My mom is a member of this commission which has collected buildings from throughout Wayne County and have assembled a turn of the century village on the site of Waynesborough which eventually moved to higher ground to avoid flooding from the Neuse River. My dad was also very involved in this organization when he was alive.

Not Finished with Tuesday Yet. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in North Carolina-- Part 3

SUNDAY, November 22nd Continued

Visited my dad and grandparents graves at Willowdale and Wayne Memorial cemeteries and drove to Warsaw to visit with cousin Graham and wife Vicki. He is recovering from surgery and was glad to see us.

MONDAY, November 23rd

Highlight of today was Wilber's Barbecue out on the US-70 bypass. Always something to watch the jets from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base flying overhead. Those F-14s are fast and LOUD!!! Then, every so often, you see those huge fuel tankers looking almost as if they are not moving.

Of course, there are those who maintain that Wilber's is the best Carolina bbq and I definitely know of none better. I regard the interior as the perfect place to eat Carolina bbq with cole slaw, hushpuppies and tea.

TUESDAY, November 24th

Went to the Wayne County Council for the Arts and bought tickets for tonight's Jazzy Christmas show to be performed at the 1920s Paramount Theater in downtown Goldsboro.

They have several galleries featuring paintings and photographs as well as one showing the work of children. One seven year old boy's painting was every bit as good as one you see hanging in one of those big city galleries.

Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving in North Carolina-- Part 2

I've been fighting off one wild kitten ever since arriving. He goes by the name of Sam I Am, and is about three months old and thinks he owns the place. Might feet are particular targets of feline fury. Quite a character.

Saturday, watched all sorts of college football games. East Carolina won, as did Tennessee, but Northern Illinois and Georgia lost.

Sunday, went to adult Sunday School at the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro. I sat in on Dad's old Sunday School class, something I always enjoy because those men sure remind me of him. Dad died 11 years ago this month.

After an excellent sermon about God's thorns by Dr. Phillips, it was a race to beat the Madison Street Baptists and Presbyterians to get a table at the Lantern Inn for lunch. It's not fair, because both of those churches are much closer. Talk about your religious strife?


Had some really fine meatloaf including two sides, roll, drink and dessert for $7.25. Even if they did put the dessert out first. Hard not to eat it.

We then drove to Warsaw, North Carolina, to visit with cousin Graham and Vickie. He has just come back from some serious operations in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is recovering. The last time I saw him was right after the Mediterranean cruise which promptly ended when the ship's engine room caught fire off the Suez Canal.

Three More Days to Catch Up With. --RoadDog

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving in North Carolina

This past Friday, I cruised along the National Road in Ohio, crossing the famous Y-Bridge in Zanesville and viewing both S-Bridges between there and Cambridge.

Got gas in Cambridge and drove across gas rip-off state West Virginia, always twenty to thirty cents more expensive, and got gas at Wytheville, Virginia, always the cheapest, at $2.42.

I was too late for Snappy Lunch in Mt. Airy, Andy Griffith's hometown and inspiration for Mayberry. Had my heart set on one of their famous pork chop sandwiches. Had to "settle" on Golden Corral. Oh well!!


It was getting to be rush hour when I got to Winston-Salem, and I-40 is not much fun because of traffic at any time, but really bad at this time. Happily, it was easy going until I got to Raleigh, then, rush hour more than made up for the earlier part.

It took quite awhile to get through this stretch.

US-70 was an easy drive after that.

Home for the Holidays. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Made It to North Carolina

Arrived in Goldsboro last night after two days on the road.

It rained most of the way on Wednesday through Illinois and Indiana. Finally stopped in Ohio. Great news, McRib sandwiches are back at McDonald's!! Saw them advertised at the place in Gibson City, Illinois and again at the one in Zanesville, Ohio. I love McRibs!!!

Gas prices were $2.60 most of the way except $2.42 in Wyhteville, Virginia.

Spent several hours at David Wickline's 66 Roadhouse Bar and Grille north of Columbus (off I-270). He signed his book "Images of 66" and showed me around his place with all its Mother Road stuff. I especially liked his Twin Arrows and Cadillac Ranch as well as the US flag made out of license plates.

Not only that, but he also has a very reasonably priced menu and lots of road food from both 66 and other routes he has drive. I had my first-ever onion burger and a great appetizer called CFB, Country-Fried Bacon. Highly suggest it.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Trip Back to the Sixties-- Part 2

While the next group was getting ready, Bob Stroud talked to the crowd. Last week, at the first CD release party in Oakbrook, Jim Peterik of the Ides of March and Survivor and the Buckinghams also performed. They couldn't be with us today because the Ides were opening for Foghat and the Buckinghams were playing in Las Vegas.

He explained how he went about putting together his Rock and Roll Roots albums. First he gets about 500 suggestions from listeners. Then they are voted on with the top 40 being sent out to have licensing researched. This year, the two biggest vote getters were the Flock and the Family, both from Chicago also.

He also said that they were looking for the Troggs' "Every Day and Every Night" but can't find a licensing contact. Left Banke will not allow "Pretty Ballerina" to be licensed for some reason.

Of interest, he received an e-mail from a former member of the Exports, whose "Car Hop" instrumental was also included on the CD. They were out of Lynnwood, Illinois and two of the members still live in the area.

A Little Background Music, Please. --RoadDog

A Trip Back to the Sixties-- Part 1

As in Chicagoland Sixties Rock and Roll.

This past Saturday, Nov. 14th, Liz and I went to the Mt. Prospect Borders Store for Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 CD release party and were transported back in time to when the Chicago music scene was really hot.

We had plenty of great groups, and four of them played a concert for an appreciative overflowing crowd. That would be the New Colony Six, Cryan' Shames, Mauds and Jim Sahms of the Shadows of Knight.

My favorite 60s Chicago band, the New Colony Six opened the show with Bob Stroud singing "My Pledge of Love" by the Joe Jeffrey Group, one of the songs on the CD (I listed the songs and Bob's comments last week).

They then played:

I Confess
Can't You See Me Cry (a song on the new CD)
Things I'd Like to Say (where they were joined by Ronnie Rice)
I Lie Awake
Little Girls (a song by the Revelles)
I Will Always Think About You (Liz and my song from when we first started dating back in high school in 1967)
I'll Always Love You

It's Them, Not Me: "Chicago, As Gouge City"

Thus read the headline in today's Chicago Tribune. Looks like they finally figured out something I've known for a long time. And, that is that Chicago is a MIGHTY GOUGING CITY.

This comes to light after two major trade shows have recently pulled out of Chicago's McCormick Place. And the reason? Chicago has just become way too expensive.

We were told of the $345.39 charge for four cases of Pepsi.

And, then there is the ripoff parking charges and the new astronomical charges for street parking. This is the big reason I rarely ever go to the city any more.

Then, there are the red light cameras, parking sticker only street parking, and, oh yes, the 10%+ sales tax.

And, I used to visit and spend lots of money in Chicago, but no more.

I Really Choose Not to Be Ripped Off. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JSS: NTN'n-- Mall Rats-- Sliding Home-- Part 2

4. NTN'N-- After the concert, we went to three new to us NTN sites. We had a meal at Duffy's on US-12 in Palatine and watched college football while playing the game.

Next, we looked all over for Fox and Hounds in Arlington Heights because NTN Sitefinder had it in the wrong place. Looks like a nice place, but they refused to put the game on so we took our business elsewhere.

Last stop was at Flatlanders Brew Pub in Lincolnshire. We also had a hard time finding it because the Sitefinder again didn't have it in the right place.

5. MALL RATS-- As long as we were in the area, we stopped in Hawthorne Mall and walked it. We haven't been here in years, but used to go there often. Quite a few different stores,but no FYE as I was looking for a copy of Little Steven's Underground Garage's Halloween A-Go-Go. They did have a place called Woody's that had more neat Christmas stuff than I've ever seen. Proud to report that I got out of there WITHOUT BUYING anything.

6. SLIDING HOME-- Felt obligated to stop at the White Castle on Il-60 and get our Slider Fix even though we weren't super hungry. we also stopped at two Walgreens where I bought five ten pack bricks of cassette tapes. Got to stock up as they are getting hard to find.

A Pretty Good Day. --RoadDog

JSS: Tunes and Reads-- Gone-- 60s Trippin'-- Part 1

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

Saturday, the 14th, Liz and I took a ride to the our high school stomping grounds in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.

1. TUNES AND READS-- Went to Half Price Books in Palatine and bought the book "Sea Wold of the Confederacy" and two CD collections: "Jazz Joint Stomp: 44 Big Band Classics" and "Born to Hustle: 49 Top Ten Rhythm & Blues Chart Toppers" from 1950-1955. All for $16 and $1.60 since we were in the Land of the 10% Sales Tax.

2. GONE-- Then paid our respects to Liz's parents at Memory Gardens. Sadly, Randhurst mall, where we spent so much time in high school, is no more. The whole middle has been torn down, but the anchor stores are still there.

3. 60S TRIPPIN'-- We went to Borders Books by Randhurst and saw Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 CD release party. He had four big-time Chicagoland 60s bands: New Colony Sox, Mauds, Shadows of Knight and Cryan' Shames. Also bought the CD while there. We really went back to those days we were hanging around Randhurst. I'll have a separate entry on the bands.

How to Spend a saturday Afternoon. --RoadDog

CMA Award Show

Finally got around to watching the Country Music Award show from last Wednesday. As usual, great show.

For some reason, Kanye West was a target. Liked Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley singing that great old song that went:

"Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be Kanye.
Let them pick guitars and drive them old trucks,
'Cause Cowboys have manners and they don't interrupt."

Then, after awhile, Little Jimmy Dickens came out on stage and interrupted Brad paisley saying that Taylor Swift had the best video.

I wonder what brought all that out?

That Zak Brown Band out Charlied the Daniel on that rendition of "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." That was some pickin' and fiddlin'.

And, i saw the new face of Outlaw Country with Jamey Johnson who thought they'd never let a guy like him up on stage. He then did that great duet "Somewhere Between Jennings and Jones" with Kid Rock.

Brooks and Dunn did their final CMA performance as they call it quits.

About the only drawback was that there were too many slow song performances.

HALL OF FAME: Roy Clark, Charlie McCoy and Barbara Mandrell.


Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally

Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

Then, Taylor Swift pretty well swept with album, music video, female vocalist and Entertainer of the Year.

And Kanye Was Nowhere to be Found. --RoadDog

2009 Trop Rock Music Awards

I was wondering what you call Jimmy Buffett-type music. I guess that has been answered, it is called Trop Rock. A whole lot of country music can now be classified Trop Rock.

Anyway, the 2009 Trop Rock Music Award Winners have been announced.

Most of the bands I was not familiar with. However, I do know Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 out of the Florida Keys and they did VERY WELL, taking four honors: Band of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, CD of the Year for "I'm Living On an Island" and Song of the Year, same title.

I've seen them several times at Blarney Island and Captain's Quarters here on the Chain of Lakes in northeast Illinois.

Internet Radio station winner was Sandbar Radio.

Came across a great name for a band called Boat Drunks. Good One!!

Time to Fire Up That 'Ol Johnson There, Guys. Margaritas All Around!! Congrats!! --RoadDog

Congratulations to the Cammy Award Winners

This past weekend, the Carolina Beach Music Association had their annual awards show. Some of the Winners for 2009:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR-- "Build Me Up" by the Band of Oz
INTERNET RADIO STATION-- Endless Summer (unfortunately no longer broadcasts)
GROUP OF THE YEAR-- Tie: Band of Oz and Holiday Band
FM RADIO STATION-- 94.9 WVCO, the Surf

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: Chuck Jackson and John Pope

I am thinking about going next year.

Give Me That Good Old Beach Music. --RoadDog

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Some Stuff: Christmas Lights-- Burn Pile-- Good Old Friends-- Key Lime Cove

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- Finally finished putting up Christmas lights and decorations outside. I will be gone the next two weeks to NC and wanted to get them up while we still had some decent weather. Not much fun in freezing temperatures or rain.

I have lights and decorations on the deck, gazebo and all across the front of the house. I probably have around 45 strands of lights, green garland, and two large wreaths.

2. BURN PILE-- We had another dry week so I was able to finish the burn pile. I actually had that good old burning leaf smell this time. That IS THE SMELL OF AUTUMN, but I doubt that we'll be able to do it for much longer.

3. GOOD OLD FRIENDS-- Liz and I got together with some long-time friends of ours, Kip and Susie and Paul at the Gurnee Golden Corral which was having a military appreciation night where they were letting past and present military personel eat for free. That is a nice way to thank them for our freedoms.

I worked for twenty years with Kip and Paul at Magee Middle School in Round Lake.

4. KEY LIME COVE-- Afterwards, we went over to this new indoor water park in Gurnee. A real taste of the Keys all the way up here. Played NTN in the lounge and decided that if we were ever to spend a night or two here, during the school week would be the time. No screaming kids. The poor life guards had to be bored and outnumbered the swimmers by a considerable amount.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Interesting Stuff: Kurtis and Jackson-- Largest Cruise Ship-- Packer Fans Greet Favre-- Almost Got Away With It-- Funny, Funny Political Cartoon

Interesting Stuff. Some interesting stiff on the news.

1. KURTIS AND JACOBSON-- Sure enjoyed watching WBBM-Channel 2, Chicago's CBS TV, news last night when they had the return of the two anchors from 1973 to 1989. Walter Jacobson and Bill Kurtis were brought back on a one-night news show at 10 PM in an effort to shore up the stations beleaguered ratings.

I say, bring them back full-time. They haven't missed a beat. Brought back memories.

2. LARGEST CRUISE SHIP-- Yesterday, I saw pictures of the world's largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas. That is ONE BIG BOAT!!! It cost $1.5 billion, has 16 decks and is 40% bigger than the next largest cruise ship.

Also, it is five times larger than the Titanic, has 2,700 cabins, can carry 6,300 passengers and has a crew of 2,100. First cruise is December 5th.

Attsa Some Bigga Boata, But Too Big for Me.

3. PACKER FANS GREET FAVRE-- Brett Favre wasn't exactly welcomed a month ago when he was so brash as to show up in Lambeau wearing Viking colors. Some of the better signs:

"Favre, You Broke My Heart" with a picture of Favre in the Godfather movie. Fedro Favre.

"True Legends Don't Wear Purple."

"We'll Never Forget You, Brent."

A plane flew over the stadium pulling a sign, "Retire for Good, Judas."

4. ALMOST GOT AWAY WITH IT-- On Nov. 5th, US Customs and Border Patrol agents opened a shipping container and discovered a 1965 VW bus inside. Old car, but, it was stolen 35 years ago in Washington state. It was headed for the Netherlands.

5. FUNNY, FUNNY POLITICAL CARTOON-- In the Nov. 13th Chicago Tribune. It shows a Michael Jackson-looking character complete with glove and white face wearing a Cubs jersey with Sammy Sosa's number being taken aback when a little kid looks at him and says "Say It Ain't So, Sammy!..."

That's a Good One!! --RoadDog

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some Really Good Tunes in the Rock and Roll Roots Series

Bob Stroud featured his whole show last Sunday on the new tracks on Vol. 11 as well as ones from previous albums, excuse me, CDs.

Right now, he has had 133 cuts.

Here are the other tracks he played and you will see what a remarkable and eclectic group of songs they are:

L.A. Goodbye-- Ides of March
What a Wonderful Thing We Have-- Fabulous Rhinestones
Pushin' Too Hard-- Seeds
Shakin' All Over-- Guess Who

Little Green Bag-- George Baker Selection
I Love You-- People
Spooky-- Classics IV
Crimson & Clover-- Tommy James & the Shondells

Two Hangmen-- Mason Proffit
Five O'Clock World-- Vogues
Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne-- Looking Glass
Expressway to Your Heart-- Soul Survivors

Race With the Wind-- Robbs
Kind of a Drag-- Buckinghams
Time Has Come Today-- Chambers Brothers
Sauvecito-- Malo

Best Thing-- Styx
Happy Together-- Turtles
It Could Be We're in Love-- Cryan' Shames
Itchycoo Park-- Small Faces

Go All the Way-- Raspberries
Soul Drippin'-- Mauds

Mighty Good Stuff, Maynrad. --RoadDog

Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 is Out!!-- Part 4

Tomorrow is the final Record Release party at the Mount Prospect, Illinois, Borders store by the late-great Randhurst Shopping Mall. We'll be there. This will be a real trip back to those days of yore when, as students at Palatine High School, we used to hang out at Randhurst.

Of course, about a year ago it was closed and much of it torn down.

The groups appearing:

New Colony Six
Cryan' Shames
Shadows of Knight


CAN'T YOU SEE ME CRY (NEW ACOUSTIC VERSION)-- NEW COLONY SIX-- We usually have 12 tracks, but this year there is a hidden bonus track courtesy of our good friends at the New Colony Six and particularly Ray Graffia who wrote the song back in 1964 and its original version is on this album (track 3). here is an acoustic version all these years later to show how timeless it is.

WILDFLOWER-- SKYLARK-- A Canadian group that featured a keyboardist by the name of David Foster who would go on to become one of the biggest producers in the music business, working with everybody. Closer to home, he did a couple albums with Chicago in the 1980s and even co-wrote one of their biggest hits (and perennial wedding song) "You're My Inspiration."

But, this is a young David Foster in 1973 with a Top Ten hit. (Who voted for this clunker? I rank it right up there with "Feelings." Gag Me!)

FACE THE AUTUMN-- THE FAMILY-- The most requested song we got this year, making its CD debut, yet another area band and another local hit from 1967.

Good Times in Mt. Prospect Tomorrow. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches:

A quick look at some new movies done RoadDog-style. The numbers are date seen and price paid.

I have now seen 49 movies at the theater this year.

JENNIFER'S BODY-- (9-23) Fox Lake, $4-- Talk about your sloppy eaters, BFFs and what a rock band will do to get ahead!!

LOVE HAPPENS-- (9-23) Fox Lake-- $4-- Healer, heal thyself.

PANDORUM-- (9-28) Fox Lake-- $5.50-- Dark and Hard to hear. A real "Alien II."

SURROGATES-- (10-2) McHenry-- $4-- Sign me up with the Dreads!! Technology addiction gone too far or is that amuck?.

THE INVENTION OF LYING-- (10-6) Fox Lake-- $5.50-- Funny, Funny, Funny! Laughing out loud and smiling. A take on religion. Don't want no fat kids with pug noses.

See You at the Movies. --RoadDog

JSS: Most-Expensive Coffee-- Most-Expensive Keg-- Another Waste of Time

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. MOST-EXPENSIVE COFFEE--EVER!! Wednesday, after the Veterans Day Ceremony by the Fox Lake, Illinois, train station, I went to a new local business, Koffee Kafe, and ordered a medium (16 0z.) cup of something beginning with the letter "M" for $1.95. I didn't know that extras cost more, and by the time I got it, the price was $3,95!! I've never spent that much for a cup of coffee in my life.

I have never been to a Starbucks, or is that FiveBucks? So prices like that are shocking. I must admit it was probably the best coffee I've ever had, though. And that includes McCafe which are great too.

However, yesterday, I got a 20-oz. cappachino from the local Mobil station for $1.38 and that was very good as well.

2. MOST-EXPENSIVE KEG--EVER!! Also, after the ceremony, I went to the Legion and paid John for the keg we drank Sunday. It cost $85!!! I haven't bought one for a long time, but seem to remember that last time it was around $65. Our governor's new "sin taxes" are a real pleasure. Thanks, gov!!

3. ANOTHER WASTE OF TIME-- Da Bears lose again, with their fourth straight sorry effort. $30-Million Dollar Boy Jay had four interceptions before I fell asleep in the fourth quarter. I think he must be going for the NFL record for interceptions. For this output, we could have just as well had Gross Rex.

Who's idea is it to have football on Thursday night anyway? Well, at least we now know another NIGHT that the Bears don't play on.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 is Out!-- Part 3

Continuing with the tracks on Bob Stroud's new CD. All these songs were suggested and voted on by his listeners.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE MIND-- AMBOY DUKES-- Band out of Detroit, Michigan, around for just a couple years and there one big hit. (Was that Ted Nugent singing and playing guitar on the track?)

MY PLEDGE OF LOVE-- JOE JEFFREY GROUP-- One hit wonder out of Cleveland, Ohio. Is it just me, or is this not one of the feel-good songs of 1969?

RUBY TUESDAY-- ROTARY CONNECTION-- Another local band. The "B" side was their version of Sam and Dave's "Soul Man." (A great song that should be included on the next volume.) Their awesome psychedelic version of this Stones song.

CAR HOP-- THE EXPORTS-- The tune I consider to be the oldest song in the Rock and Roll Roots series. This one dates back to late 1964. Surprisingly enough, it didn't chart on Billboard's Top 100 charts nationally, but here in Chicago it was top ten. An instrumental. Criminally enough, it is the first instrumental ever on the series. (Never heard this song, but it is good with some car hop sounds at the beginning.)

Taking You Back, Way Back. --RoadDog

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

JSS: Big Game-- OD Time-- No Springfield Trip-- Veterans Day

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. BIG GAME-- Everyone's getting up for the "Big Game" this Saturday between the Johnsburg Sea Hawks and Richmond-Burton Rockets. This is Round Three of the state football playoffs and both schools are natural rivals because of their close proximity.

Kids in our subdivision and Spring Grove go to Richmond-Burton and our house is just two miles directly north of Johnsburg High. When it is not windy we can hear the game clearly.

However, we won't be able to go because Saturday we're going to Mt. Prospect for the Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 CD Release Party.

2. OD TIME-- Sun and unseasonable warmth since Saturday so have been catching some rays out OD (On Deck). Not too many more chances to get this.

3. NO SPRINGFIELD TRIP-- Due to next week's trip to North Carolina, we had to cancel plans to meet up with Lulu and Ken and other Route 66ers in Springfield to pay our last respects to noted Route 66 artist Bob Waldemire, who is dying from colon cancer.

4. VETERANS DAY-- A big salute to all those who have served in the military to keep our freedoms and way of life. In about thirty minutes, at 10:30, I'll be off to Fox Lake for the American Legion ceremony by the train station.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

The Drive's A to Z: the Beginning and End

It all ended yesterday between 9 and 10.


ABC-- Jackson 5
Abacab-- Genesis
Abracadabra-- Steve Miller Band
Absolutely Right-- Five Man Electric Band


You've Got Another Thing Coming-- Judas Priest
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away-- Beatles
Yours is No Disgrace-- Yes
Ziggy Stardust-- David Bowie

You can still see the entire list at the radio web site

Hopefully I Won't Miss Most of It the Next Time. --RoadDog

Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 is Out!!-- Part 2

Looking forward to the record release party this Saturday at the Mt. Prospect Borders store. The new album features four songs by local Chicago acts: the Flock, New Colony Six, the Family and Rotary Connection.

3. CAN'T YOU SEE ME SMILE-- NEW COLONY SIX-- They'll be out at Oakbrook with us today (for the first record release party). A Top Ten Hit (Chicago), summer 1968. Written by Ray Graffia. (My favorite Chicago 60s band followed closely by the Cryan' Shames.)

4. SUMMERTIME BLUES-- BLUE CHEER-- originally hit the radio back in 1958 by the late great Eddie Cochran. Ten years later it was back in your radio by this trio out of San Francisco. (How to do a Heavy Metal song.)

5. GIMME, GIMME GOOD LOVIN'-- CRAZY ELEPHANT-- Back in the late '60s, Jerry Kastenetz and Jeff Katz who were movers and shakers behind a genre of music known as Bubblegum. They produced hits for the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Ohio Express amongst many others, including this band who really wasn't. They were really studio musicians. Their one and only hit from 1968. (One of my favorites, but, hey, I really liked that good 'ol Bubblegum Music.)

6. CAN'T YOU SEE (THAT I REALLY LOVE HER-- FLOCK-- Another local band from the '60s that called themselves the Flock. This is one of their most-requested songs on this album and never been on compact disc before, but now it is. The Flock's first local hit from the late '66 early '67 making its CD premier. (I have to admit that I had never heard it.)

Three Days to Mt. Prospect.

Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Anniversary of Importance to Me: USMC 234th

Today marks the 234th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps, which almost became my profession because of the Vietnam and Cold War.

I had a draft lottery number of 22 which meant Vietnam had I not gone to college, which I was always planning to do since I wanted to be a teacher. That war in Vietnam didn't seem like it was ever going to end. It started while I was in junior high and lasted all through high school and college.

I knew that after I got out of college I was going so figured I would go as an officer. I signed up for the Marine OCS, Officer Candidate School, where I would go to training for six weeks between sophomore and junior years and another six weeks the following summer.


The summer of 1971, I went to Quantico, Virginia, for the six weeks and have to admit that I didn't do anything right for the first three weeks, but then began to figure the military stuff out.

I went my first two years to Northern Illinois and junior year transferred to the University of Georgia. I decided to move back to Northern for senior year, but had to go to summer school at UGA in order to graduate on time. I called the Marines and thought I had it worked out, but, a few months later got a paper saying I had been honorably discharged. At the time, fall 1972, we were winding down the War in Vietnam, so I guess they didn't need me.

So, for six weeks, I was a Marine. I am still most fond of that branch of the military, America's Best Fighting Machine.


And, speaking of the Corps, it was also this date 55 years ago, November 10, 1954, that the Iwo Jima Memorial, inspired by the famous Associated Press photograph of the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi during World War II, was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Arlington, Va..

Ooo-Rah!! --RoadDog

Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11 is Out!!-- Part 1

This past Sunday, Bob Stroud released his eleventh effort in the Rock and Roll Roots Series. Each year, he has listeners suggest songs they'd like to have on the new CD, then they vote. He then takes the top vote-getters and gets licensing for it, then in November, releases it with two record parties at Borders stores in the Chicago area. One is right after the his Rock and Roll Roots Show on WDRV and the other is the following Saturday.

These songs are often more obscure, some never released on CD, and always there are a few groups from Chicago's Golden Age of Rock and Roll in the 1960s. Along with giving listeners a preview of the new songs, the rest of his show is rounded out by previous songs on the CDs. With 12 songs on a CD, this total is now 132 with a bonus 13th song on this year's effort.

As usual, Bob also gives you a little history of each group. His words follow with mine in parentheses.


1. LITTLE GIRL-- SYNDICATE OF SOUND-- Out of San Jose, California just like the Count Five featured on Roots Vol. 5, and, like the Count Five, a one hit wonder, but this was a stone cold garage classic. (Frat Rock if I ever heard Frat Rock!!)

2. LAY DOWN (CANDLES IN THE WIND)-- MELANIE-- At Woodstock in '69 and while performing on stage wrote what she saw and what would become a hit for her the following year in 1970. This is the rare, seldom-heard long version. (This song was playing on the campus radio station during Northern Illinois' Kent State Riots in 1970, right when the police crashed through the student lines by the Field House. I was watching from my room in Lincoln Hall. Always brings me back to that event.)

More to Come. --RoadDog

The Drive's A to Z-- The Letter "Y"

Woke up this morning and found that the Drive was still playing their famous A to Z where they take 2000 of their tracks and put them in alphabetical order. This is expected to be the last day, ending some time this morning. They started a week ago Monday. I'm even listening to this instead of my usual Beach Music.

The variety and years you get when you put them in alphabetical order is amazing.

Songs Played in the Last Hour:

You Really Got Me-- Kinks
You Really Got Me-- Van Halen-- these last two songs were the first hits for both groups.

You Shook Me-- Led Zeppelin
You Shook Me All Night Long-- ACDC
You Wear It Well-- Rod Stewart
You Won't See Me- Beatles
You Wreck Me-- Tom Petty
You'll Accompany Me-- Bob Seger
Young Americans-- David Bowie
Young Lust-- Pink Floyd

As they say, it's like a Drive Dictionary of Music. I'll Be listening to the end.

Sure Wish I'd Been Listening to It During the Whole Week. --RoadDog

An Anniversary of Importance to Me: Berlin Wall 20th

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the opening, and thus end, of the Berlin Wall. I never thought I'd see that. There was always going to be a wall and an East and West Germany. There was always going to be a cold war. I was amazed at how fast events led up to the opening of it and then the collapse of the Soviet Union after that.

I will always remember the people standing on top of the wall and thinking they would have been shot for doing that just 24 hours earlier. Then, there were the guys with sledgehammers wailing away on it and the big celebration when one section fell.

A year later, I found out the owners of the Black Bear Lodge, a German restaurant in Ingleside, Illinois, were going back home for a visit. I asked them if they could bring me back a piece and they said they would. I was teaching in nearby Round Lake and thought my 7th graders would appreciate actually touching something that was that important in history.

They brought it back and what I got was about a one inch square piece of concrete in a a leather bag for $10, a bit steep I thought for something so small. The next 16 years I taught, the kids got to actually hold it and I think get an appreciation of the significance of something so small.

This Cold War that it represented also had a big part in the next anniversary I'm going to write about.

A Real Piece of History. --RoadDog

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Party, Lousy Game

Yesterday, we had the first of our two football games with 26 attending, including several who had never been here before.

We had a keg of Miller Lite, complete with a new tapper as we wore the other one out. The main food was a couple Aldi spiral-cut, pre-cooked hams and fixins', plus almost everyone brought something to pass around.

Margaritaville, our basement bar was full of the bar lights, mirrors and stuff I've gotten over the years, mostly from the '80s.

And, we couldn't have asked for a nicer day. That fall we didn't have in October was here, finally, in November.

Unfortunately, our team, Da Bears, were in hibernation. There was not a team on the field. Multi-million dollar Jay, heir to the Rex, was ineffective for a third week in a row. And Lovie was on the sideline showing no emotion as usual. At least with Ditka, Da Coach, you always knew if it was a good or bad play, even if you didn't see what was going on on the field.

People were losing interest. I, myself, missed almost the whole third quarter. If the Bears weren't going to play, why should I waste such a perfect day. A lot of people out on the deck, gazebo and walking around the yard.

After the game, we had Name That Tune until 8 PM and finished off the keg.

Good Times at Margaritaville (the basement) at Key North (our house).

Like I Said, Great Party-Lousy Game. --RoadDog

Missed the First Part of A to Z

Actually, I must admit that I didn't know about the A to Z until Friday, when pal Coz told me about it while at Donovan's in Twin Lakes. Then, I was too busy with preparing for yesterday's party to listen much. Si, I semi-made up for it today while actually catching some rays out OD. Wow, catching rays in early November, something that doesn't often happen.

List of "Turn" Songs:

Turn it On Again-- Genesis
Turn Me Loose-- Loverboy
Turn the Page-- Bob Seger
Turn to Stone-- ELO
Turn to Stone-- Joe Walsh (not familiar with this one, but didn't hear it.
Turn, Turn, Turn-- Byrds
Turning Japanese-- Vapors

Now, This Is Some GOOD Stuff. --RoadDog

The Drive A to Z

All day, I have been listening to Chicago's WDRV, 96.9 FM, who are doing their A to Z, always a great listen. They are playing 2000 songs alphabetically and started at 6 AM last Monday with the Jackson 5's "ABC" and expect to finish today.

Right now, Booby Skafish is playing the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb," which means they've reached the "Us." They just got into it. All day it was the letter "T." Just went to Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure."

The "Time" Songs:

Time-- Pink Floyd
Time for Me to Fly-- REO Speedwagon
Time in a Bottle-- Jim Croce
Time is On My Side-- Rolling Stones
Time of the Season-- Zombies
Time Out of Mind-- Steely Dan
Time Passages-- Al Stewart
Time Waits for No One-- Rolling Stones
Time Won't Let Me-- Outsiders

Go to the website and see the complete massive list.
You can listen to it as well.

Now, That's Some Variety. --RoadDog

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Watching John Fogerty playing all those great songs on Live, By Request on PBS. How do you beat John Fogerty playing both those new songs and the classics when he was with CCR?

I'm very glad he no longer refuses to play the old stuff. For an older guy, he doesn't miss a step rocking and rolling. The fan favorite by vote was "Have You Ever Seen the Rain." Well, he never got to play "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida"ike he promised. Last song "Down On the Corner,"

To my knowledge, I have all of his albums.

I already belong to WTTW so all the pleading gets a bit old.

CCR Fan Forever. --RoadDog

Stax Records, Those Good Old Soul Records-- Part 2

Booker T' and the MGs were like a four piece orchestra said Donald "Duck" Dunn, "Booker played so full, Steve was so precise and Al was the heartbeat of Stax. I just tried to complement the lyrics or stay out of the way of the lyrics. It worked."

Also, odd for the times, Booker T and the MGs were a racially-mixed group. Jones and Jackson were black and Cropper and Dunn white. According to Mavis Staples, "That was because was just so open, no boundaries, no rules at anytime."

Rob Bowman, who wrote the story of Stax in his book "Soulsville, USA" added The day-to-day workings at Stax were a manifestation of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream where white and black came together organically to make music.

However, Otis Redding's tragic death in a plane crash in 1967 and then King's assassination a few months later shattered the dream, causing office problems and local youths threatened musicians.


Booker T & the MGs split in 1971 and Stax changed direction toward Isaac Hayes, who had been a songwriter for the label. He became a superstar after "Shaft." Then, the Staple Singers came along with their gospel-tinged music.

Otis, My Man!!! --RoadDog

Cleaning and Burning

Listening to John FM right now, out of the Georgia-SC Low Country, playing that good old Beach and Boogie and getting me going for a long day of cleaning and burning and running around for tomorrow's Bear-Cardinal Party for which we expect about 30 fans.

Always a good way to get me to cleaning and straightening up the basement which tends to get a bit cluttered when I'm left to my own devices. Just ask my wife.

Beside cleaning the basement and bar area, I also have to do the same in the sun room and my study. My excuse is that I spend too much time researching and writing the four blogs even though I really enjoy them.

Since we haven't had rain for a week (after the rainiest October in history), I hope to get out today and get after the rather large burn pile.


Then, I have to go shopping for the hams at Aldi ($1.49 lb. pre-cooked, honey-glazed and spiral-cut), chips, dip, buns, sandwich fixings and cups. Also have to get some Sunny D for the world famous "Shotters" which we drink after every Bear TD and qb sack and anytime we want a rally or get bored. I'm hoping to hear many cheers for "Juice! Juice! Juice!"

I also have to get a new tapper from Bob for the half barrel we'll attack tomorrow.

Let's See, Beer, "Shotters," and Food, Did I Forget Anything? --RoadDog

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stax Records, Those Good Old Soul Records-- Part 1

This could actually go with my history blog, but since I do music in this one, here it shall be.

And, it's old news as I just found the article from the October 31, 2008, Chicago Tribune by Aaron Cohen "All-star reunion of Stax 'family'"

It was about an upcoming concert for an Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. I would have liked to have been there. It will feature the backbone of the Stax sound, session band (and performers in their own right) Booker T. and the MGs and Mavis Staples of The Staple Singers.

In case you're wondering what MGs stands for, it's Memphis Group. Plus, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn and guitarist Steve Cropper were in the famed Blues Brothers band. The group was rounded out by leader Booket T. Jones on keyboards and drummer Al Jackson, Jr who was murdered by intruders in his house in 1975. Not only did they have their own hits like "Time is Tight" and "Green Onions," but that's them you hear backing the singers on most Stax recordings and that music is tight.

Stax only lasted 20 years and never was a large company, but BOY, that music they put out sure gave me lots of enjoyment while growing up. They started in Memphis in the late 50s (along with Sun Records).

According to Cohen "the company's name still conveys different meanings. Fans of '60s R&B hits identify Stax with relentlessly upbeat singers Otis Redding (my favorite all-time soul singer) and Sam and Dave. To a '70s urban audience, the company signifies the sophisticated soul of the late Isaac Hayes (you know, the "Shaft" man)."

Man, That's Some Great Music. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sherman's Lagoon Tells It Like It Is

This past Sunday's comic strip of Sherman's Lagoon pretty-well summed up a big problem in today's world, especially of us scared-of-new technology folk.

FRAME 1-- Turtle, "I'm pretty proud og myself. I finally bought one of those fancy phones last week."

FRAME 2-- Sherman, "Should've waited. Their new model came out yesterday. Twice the megapixels for half the price."

FRAME 3-- Crab, "That phone is so yesterday. The one I got this morning blows it away. Ten times the megapixels."

FRAME 4-- Fish, "You all missed the boat. They came out with completely new technology five minutes ago."

FRAME 5-- Fish, "Megapixels are out. Gigapixels are in."

FRAME 6-- Sherman, "This is all leaving me feeling very inadequate. I need a new phone." Crab, "Me too."

Frame 7-- Everyone but fish and turtle leave.

Frame 8-- Turtle, "I just wish somebody would call me."
Fish, "P can't help you there."

It would be nice if we could put a moratorium on technology for awhile so us old behind-the-times folks can get caught up.

What's a Megapixel? --RoadDog