Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tarnishing the Family Name

Came across an article in the Yahoo News about children of famous celebrities who have not liven up to expectations in the family trade.

Among those listed:

Lisa Marie Presley (married who?)
Juliane Lennon (subject of "Hey Jude" and with two hits on the charts in the 80s which I liked)
Nelson (could've been the hair)
Frank Sinatra, Jr. (Hey, I Like his music.)
Kelly Osborne (Well, the whole family)
Shooter Jennings (Haven't really heard any of his music, but if it's like his dad's, Waylon Jennings) it should be good.)

Always Hard to Follow in Their Footsteps. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: AIG Does it TO Us-- Bank of America's CEO-- Poor Newspapers

Things That Really Burn My Pancakes.

1. AIG DOES IT TO US-- hard to believe AIG, who has asked for and received millions of taxpayer dollars for their mess up, is now going to use $450,000,000 to give bonuses to their top people, many in the division that made the questionable loans. Most will receive over a million apiece. Pretty good deal for messing up the US like that. Unbelievable!! The unmitigated gall of them!!!

2. BANK OF AMERICA'S CEO-- The former Merrill-Lynch CEO (excuse me, didn't they mess up too) was forced from his job at Bank of America, after showing a $15.3 BILLION loss and wants another $20 billion from the government. He gave out BONUSES to Merrill employees days before the merger.

When he was hired by Merrill Lynch in December 2007, he received a $15 million signing bonus on top of his $750,000 annual salary.

He replaced another CEO who messed up the company and received a severance package of $160 million. These guys are really something else. When will the government wise up to the problem with American business?

3. POOR NEWSPAPERS-- Phil Rosenthal had a column in the Jan. 16th Chicago Tribune about the sad shape of American newspapers. Much of the problem is because of the internet. Most newspapers are really losing money big time. Layoffs and cuts are the order of the day.

It doesn't look good. I sure would hate to lose my daily newspaper fix.

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Top Ten Southern Rock Bands

Thye Jan. 24th List Universe had the top ten southern rock bands.

10. Creedence Clearwater Revival-- Also y favorite all-time rock band.
9. Charlie Daniels Band-- The Devil went you know where.
6. Marshall Tucker Band-- How do you do better that "Fire on the Mountain"?
7. North Mississippi All-Stars-- I consider them more of a blues band.
5. David Allan Coe-- If that ain't country, well....
4. Elvis ??
3. Little Feat
2. Lynyrd Skynyrd
1. Allman Brothers

Love That Southern Rock. Thanks Guys. --RoadDog

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This One's for Gayle

Liz and I got together with good friend Gayle yesterday and played the NTN at B-Dubs in Dekalb, Illinois, where she is teaching at Northern Illinois University, our old alma mater. We surely never had as fun of a teacher as she is.

We also got together with her and friend Jeff last Sunday in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin for those fantastic Main Street Tap Bloody Mary's ($3 in a pint glass and worthy of the name meal in a glass with all the fixings). We had a discussion as to the relative merits of Absolut or rail vodka in a Bloody Mary. Gayle maintains Absolut makes a superior Bloody while I say with all the stuff in one, you can't taste the difference. Tried hers and still maintain my idea.

We then went to Donovan's Reef (a true Florida bar in cheesehead land)and played NTN. We definitely got the name across national rankings with ten top twenties, including a couple number ones during lunch time trivia.

Gayle is a Mighty Fine NTN Player. No More Eagle Excrement Stories. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 24, 2009

NTN in the Quad Cities

Picked up two new NTN sites (Uptown Bar and Funky Moe's) while here at the end of the eagle-watching expedition. We also played at two others we'd been to before.

We really liked the Uptown Bar in Bettendorf and went there twice. Both times, a Lite pint and Busch NA was $4. No one else playing, however. Last night, it was the fall-back bar as Bleacher Bums and Funky Moe's were really packed with their 2-for-1 happy hour deals. We ended up playing live trivia put on by a local hard rock station and finished in a tie for first. The top two teams got a pony keg party at Uptown, but we had to give ours up because we won't be in town again for awhile. Too bad.


Yesterday, we went to Fargo Lounge in Moline to see old friend Dennis, but, unfortunately, he wasn't there. We don't get to see his name often since the switch. He used to completely dominate the rankings back when. We also checked out the new Jumer's Casino and Hotel, quite nice, but we miss the old river boat.

We had been to Bleacher Bums in Davenport before, but were unable to play NTN because the Final Four was on. They wouldn't change any TV. Found out they'd dropped it for a couple years, but had just gotten it back. The bartender played along with us, so that is a good sign. Hopefully it will catch on. A pint of Lite and NA cost $5.25, but were 2-for-1 during happy hour.

Funky Moe's is the former Pluckers where we'd played before. Last year, they were closed for work, but had to change the name because a place in Texas had the name copyrighted and were threatening to sue. Nothing has changed, including the shortest bartenders we've ever seen. Sure enjoyed the 2-for-1 happy hour which bought Lite and NA to $1.50 apiece.

We didn't go to BW3 as if you've been to one B-Dub, you've been to them all, and we've been to this one before.


The biggest disappointment was the Old Chicago located next door to the Ramada where we stayed. They are trying to do the city of Chicago's rip-off prices one better. Get this, an NA and pint of Lite was $7.98!!!! And, that included a tax that was added. That was entirely ridiculous. Their idea of a drink special was a buck off a Wheatland beer. I didn't ask, but I'm sure that would bring the price down to $4 or $5. Needless to say, we won't be back here. That is especially sad since we can walk there. I don't like to drive when I'm drinking.


The Quad Cities: Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Rock Island and Moline, Illinois, evidently is a hot spot for live trivia. The QC Times listed at least three live trivia fund raisers this weekend and Uptown has a regular weekly one on Tuesdays, then there was the radio one yesterday.

Great Time NTNin' in the Quad. --RoadDog

Attention Parrot Heads Around the Quad Cities

Well, it won't be JB "hisself," but, it's the next best thing, a tribute band and four members of the Coral Reefers, including long-time guy Michael Utley (since 1972).

The tribute band has a great name, Boat Drunks (now that's appropriate. The event is called Havana Day Dreaming, and is being put on to raise money for a good cause.

From what I understand, Patti Blagojevich will not have anything to do with it, so ALL the money will be going to charity.

It will be held in Davenport, Iowa.

Neat name for a band seen on the QC Times, Huge Heffner.

Too Bad We're Hitting the Road. --RoadDog

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's Them, Not Me-- Mrs. Blago-- Up and Down

1. MRS. BLAGO-- Can you believe this? Pattir Blagojevich lost her $100,000 a year job as a fundraiser for a homeless agency. I think the homeless could have done a lot better with that money than the governor and his wife. She would HAVE to BRING a LOT of Money in to cover that salary.

2. UPS AND DOWNS-- Can you believe that stock market going up and down like it has been doing? If those boys and girls can't learn how to play together better, their toys should be taken away from them. Come on guys, this is ridiculous.

Don't Look Back, Someone May Be Gaining. --RoadDog

Off to See the Eagles-- Part 3-- Saw the Eagles, Well, Some

November 20th-- We saw two bald eagles at the Dubuque Lock & Dam, way less than usual, however, there was a lot more ice than usual.

Took US-52 to Bellevue, Iowa, and saw 7 more eagles. One was nice enough to alight in a tree close to us so got some really great shots. Word to the wise, never stand under an eagle. When they do what they do after eating all those fish, it is one huge white mess. Fortunately, we weren't in that spot, but have a new respect for that part of their behavior.

Next stop, Clinton, right on the old Lincoln Highway. No eagles along the levee and still ice locked. Also, no Mississippi Belle II casino boat. Found out later that it has been replaced by a land-based casino south of town called the Wild Rose.

Ate at our favorite Clinton restaurant, J & D Steakhouse. For $5.99 each, we got a big butterfly pork chop, soup, salad, baked potato, and big piece of garlic bread.

Drove out to the Wild Rose Casino and found they had nickel Blackjack games at the bar. Played an hour and a half before they absconded with my buck. Big gambler that I am.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Off to See the Eagles-- Part 2

January 19th-- Drove in a light snow to Galena and were happy to find the Log Cabin Restaurant on Main Street open, so had dinner there. We ate here during our honeymoon back in 1973 and have returned many times since then. "Where Steak is King" is their motto and, no kidding on that point. We both had the $22.95 24 ounce T-Bones, along with their great home-made hash-browns, salad (with great Greek house dressing) and relish tray. The Log Cabin has been there since 1937 and present family in their second generation running the place since 1975.

Checked into the Swiss Inn on US-20 in East Dubuque. This is a great old mom-pop place with 12 units and a bar. We always have a great time in the bar with a Cheers-type clientele. Major topics tonight were NFL teams never winning the Super Bowl, Pro teams not ending with the letter S, and college teams not ending in S or having a color in their name. Kept us going for a long time.

One guy comes to Dubuque once a month or more for business and always stays there because of the friendly people. We are getting to know some of the people although we usually only go there once or twice a year. Plus,, its a big room with two double beds for $54 including tax. Not bad these days.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Off to See the Eagles-- Part 1-- When Do I Go Out to Pasture?

Yesterday, we drove to East Dubuque, Illinois, right across the Mississppi River from Dubuque, Iowa.

We stopped on McHenry to return a Tom Tom GPS home charger. Figured since they were going out of business, it was a good thing.

Then, went across Il-31 to Wal Mart to buy some VHSC tapes for the camcorder and micro cassettes for the dictaphone. Not good, they only had one two-pack of VHSCs and no longer sell the micro cassettes. Seems like everything I like and regularly use is going the way of the dinosaur. Can I be far behind? Decided to go ahead and buy a five-pack of 120 minutes cassette tapes, another thing on its way out.

Stopped in Belvedere, Illinois, and bought a four pack of VHSCs and again, Wal Mart didn't have the dictaphone tapes.


Played NTN at two new places in Rockford, Buffalo Wild Wings (or BW3 as we call it from the old days) and Don Carter Lanes. We had a #17 at BW3. Almost 10% sales tax in Rockford!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Them, Not Me: Burris-- Tuskegee Airmen-- Chelsey Sullenberger-- Obama Train Trip-- Goodbye Circuit City

Just Some Other Stuff.

1. BURRIS-- I still can't believe he was seated in the US Senate. Anyone appointed to such a position by our governor has to be suspect, even though I don't think he did anything wrong, other than use poor judgement.

2. TUSKEGEE AIRMEN-- I was really happy to see the Tuskegee Airmen have been incited to Washington, DC, for Obama's inauguration. If any group in the US deserves this honor more than them, I don't know who they might be. Imagine putting your life on the line and then returning home to be treated like a second-class citizen.

3. CHELSEY SULLENBERGER-- Congratulations for turning what could have been a major calamity into a no-loss adventure by landing that plane in the Hudson River.

4. OBAMA TRAIN TRIP-- Still in keeping with his effort to emulate Abraham Lincoln, President-elect Obama left DC and then took a train back to the town as Lincoln did in 1861.

5. GOODBYE CIRCUIT CITY-- Definitely one of my favorite places to spend money, so it will save me some of that in the future. I've long wondered whether they're building too many stores, perhaps they are. However, I worry that this will cause electronics prices to go even higher with less competition.

Don't Look Back, they May Be Gaining. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 17, 2009

JSS: Staying Home-- Big-Time Cold-- Historical Society/SCV

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. STAYING HOME-- Did not go anywhere the last three days, Wed-Fri,and didn't even go outside Thursday and Friday because of the extreme cold and to top that, I had my own cold. I had three newspapers half-covered by snow this morning when I finally went out. Definitely a hard winter.

2. BIG-TIME COLD-- To say it's been C-O-L-D around here is an understatement. It never got over zero degrees Thursday, and yesterday morning, at 7:30, it was the coldest I've ever seen, at -19 degrees. And, that was not counting the wind chill. It did "warm" up to 2 degrees before it got cold again at night.

We had to bring all the pop in from the garage (some of it had already frozen) and we've been closing all the blinds at night to conserve a little heat. Definitely a HARD winter.

3. HISTORICAL SOCIETY/SCV-- My cold was better today and it was windy, but around 15 degrees, so ventured out to get those papers, the mail, and a meeting at the Fox Lake Historical Society where we heard about the Chamber of Commerce's Centennial Celebration plans. They are trying to compile a list of all business in the village both today and in the past.

In a bit, I head out for the Camp Douglas Sons of Confederate Veterans Lee-Jackson Dinner in Northbrook. Always enjoy seeing the expressions on the other people's faces in the place when they see all that Confederate Gray.

Need to Find Some Warmth. --RoadDog

Cop Comment: ""Yes, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."

Time Warp-- Jan. 11, 1977-- Part 2

Continuing with he songs in your radio in Chicago back on Jan. 11, 1977.

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC-- WILD CHERRY-- Out of Ohio, one-hit wonders. (One of the all-time great dancing songs. If this doesn't get the folks out on the dance floor, nothing will.)
NIGHT MOVES-- BOB SEGER-- title track of Seger's new album
YOU ARE THE WOMAN-- FIREFALL-- first top 40 hit for this new band

TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT-- ROD STEWART-- (Talk about your dirty songs!)
MADEMOISELLE-- STYX-- Tommy Shaw had just joined the band, from their "Crystal Ball" album
WALK THIS WAY-- AEROSMITH-- most recent release


MORE THAN A FEELING-- BOSTON-- from their debut album from late in 1976. Tom Scholz and Brad Dolp. (My students couldn't understand why an old guy like me could know this was going to be a great album.)
STAND TALL-- BURTON CUMMINGS-- the voice of the Guess Who, this launched his solo career.
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT-- MANFRED MANN-- The Number 1 song in Chicago.

Introducing the segments, Stroud played parts of "Rubberband Man" by the Spinners, and "Disco Duck" by Rick Dees which he said if this is not a case for DJs not to make records, he's not sure what is.

Sure Brought Back Some Memories. Could That Have Been 32 Years Ago?-- RoadDog

Cop Comment: "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkee doodoo."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Time Warp: January 11, 1977-- Part 1

Bob Stroud divides his Time Warps into two hour and a half segments five years apart.

In 1977, I was in my 4th year of teaching and second year in our new house in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. It cost the princely sum of $33,000 and had a full basement and about 1100 square feet.

We had a garage built for around $3,000 and the whole thing was ruled by our mutt, Brandy. I was in the Jaycees and having a great time. It was like a college fraternity. I was also on the RLB Planning and Zoning Commission.

We had some of the greatest neighbors you could hope for.

HELLO OLD FRIEND-- ERIC CLAPTON-- George Harrison's old friend.
THIS SONG-- GEORGE HARRISON-- Eric Clapton's old friend, (even after he stole George's wife)
I WISH-- STEVIE WONDER-- from what many might argue as the album of the year "Songs in the Key of Life"

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE-- STEVE MILLER-- current release and title track of their LP
DREAMBOAT ANNIE-- HEART-- out of the Pacific Northwest, very big debut and title selection of their new LP
SOMEBODY TO LOVE-- QUEEN-- current release from Freddie Mercury and Queen

Cop Comment: "The answer to the last question will determine whether you're drunk or not, Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

Sure Was a Lot Healthier Back Then. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: Road Salt Rip Off-- Blago Gets the Bucks-- Got Burgers?

Things that burn me and one that doesn't.

1. ROAD SALT RIPOFF-- In many places around here the cost of road salt has just about doubled thanks to a second hard winter in a row. We have good capitalists taking advantage of the situation to make a lot of bucks, even at the cost of people getting hurt or worse. Time for the government to stop bailing out the GRBs and start protecting regular folks. Step in and set a reasonable price where they can make a reasonable profit, but, hey, we need that salt. Getting mighty slippery driving around here.

2. BLAGO GETS THE BUCKS-- Something in the paper about a company building roads in Illinois and making a $10,000 donation one day after the governor proposed adding more express tollway lanes. Things that make you go Hhhmmmnnn.

3. GOT BURGERS?-- I see that the Chicagoland Freeze Area is getting five new burger chains: Sonic, Fatburger, Meatheads, Five Guys and The Counter. I hear they have really good burgers!!

Cop Comment: "Warning? You want a warning? Okay, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket!!"

Guess Which Thing Didn't Burn Me. --RoadDog

Top 15 High School Movies

And, I've seen most of them. Today's List Serve of List Universe had the top 15 high school movies ever. Not sure of the criteria they used to choose them, however.

* Haven't seen to my knowledge.

#15. Mean Girls*
#14. Mr. Holland's Opus
#13. Election*
#12. Heathers*
#11. Sixteen Candles
#10. Back to the Future
#9. Ferris Buehler's Day ff
#8. Carrie
#7. To Sir With Love
#6. Napoleon Dynamite
#5. Blackboard Jungle*
#4. American Graffiti
#3. Breakfast Club
#2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
#1. Grease

Bonus-- Rebel Without a Cause

My Top Five:

#5. Back to the Future
#4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
#3. Grease
#2. American Graffiti
#1. Breakfast Club-- I didn't think just showing those six kids would be too good, but, wow. I especially liked the strange one's snow storm.

Cop Remark: "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want on the ticket, huh?"

Good Old H-I-G-H School. --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time Warp-- January 11, 1972

Continuing with Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Time Warp to this date. His comment after the group. Mine in parentheses.

I'D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING-- HILLSIDE SINGERS-- Go ahead and reach for that Coke. On TV all the time in a Coca-Cola commercial. On a hill somewhere, I think it was in Italy. The New Seekers also had a version of this one. (Hey, don't look at me, I'm a Pepsi/Dr. Pepper guy.)
THE WITCH QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS-- REDBONE-- Hey, it was a very paranoid time.

LET'S STAY TOGETHER-- AL GREEN-- one of the biggest R&B hits by the Rev. Recorded down Memphis way.
SUNSHINE-- JONATHAN EDWARDS-- Well into the top ten.
BRAND NEW KEY-- MELANIE-- solo artist

BLACK DOG-- LED ZEPPELIN-- current 45 from the "IV" album. (Can anybody say "Stairway To ...)
DAY AFTER DAY-- BADFINGER-- From the album "Straight Up." Badfinger and Harry Nilsson were recording in the same studio, just down the hall from each other. Badfinger was working on "Straight UP" and Nilsson on his "Nilsson Schmilsson" album. The story goes that Nilsson walked down the hall to get them to come back to his session so they could see what he was doing with their song "Without You." They had no idea he was recording one of their tunes.
WITHOUT YOU-- NILSSON-- One of two Badfinger songs in the radio.

STAY WITH ME-- FACES-- Might as well face the music and dance with the Faces. Bonafide hit with Rod Stewart out front.
ROCK & ROLL-- DETROIT-- Pile-driving version of the old Lou Reed and Velvet Underground song, this time with Mitch Ryder who was out front of his new group just called Detroit (No more Wheels)
AMERICAN PIE-- DON MCLEAN-- The Number One Song in Chicago as we approached the 13anniversary. Number one on both surveys (WLS and WCFL)

He introduces each segment with part of a song. Two of them were the Jacksons" "Sugar Daddy" in the Top Ten and from Gary, Indiana,and the Osmonds "Down by the Lazy River." (Sure gagged through these two and am glad he didn't play all of the song.) Temptaions' "Superstar" and they've been with us eight years now. Chicago's own Chi-lites had "Have You Seen Her?"

Sure Brought Back memories. --RoadDog

Funny Cop Comment: "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than that one you just ran through."

It's Them, Not Me: Good Idea at the Time-- Good Old Newspapers-- Burris/Blagojevich-- Big Oil Again...Thanks Guys-- George gets a Reprieve-- ...

Things of Interest and That Burn Me.

1. GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME-- A real big stink going on at a housing complex in Algonquin, Illinois, where the association decided to put in a pet waste container and plastic bag dispenser in October. Good idea, but not within 25 feet of a lady's door. After getting no satisfaction from her association, she took matters in her own hands and removed it and ended up getting charged with a Class A Misdemeanor and had to pay $300. Oh, well, the best-laid plans.

2. GOOD OLD NEWSPAPERS-- Newspapers are in their final gasps, what with the Chicago Tribune filing for Chapter 11, and changing its format, well, some of it, for the second time since the end of September. Then, I see that the Detroit papers are going to three- a week hard copy editions. The rest will be on the internet. I sure will miss putting my hands on good old newsprint, drinking that cup of coffee, and listening to my tunes. The Day is Coming, and coming too soon for me.

3. BURRIS/BLAGOJEVICH-- Sad to see the US Senate giving a seat to Burris. Being appointed by a person so-tainted as Blagojevich makes you wonder about his intentions. Good to see the impeachment was so conclusive. Now for the trial and let's hope it doesn't go along party lines like it did with Clinton.

4. BIG OIL...AGAIN, THANKS GUYS-- Like they haven't made enough off us in the last several years. We finally start getting some relief from their greed, and now they are gleefully causing the price to go back up EVEN though the price of a barrel is still dropping. Now, mind you, I don't have any problems with the $2 price of gas and think that is fair, just don't use that the price of a gallon of gas goes up as the price of a barrel goes up bit on us.

Plus, they make money when it goes up or down thanks to their up like a rocket/down like a feather bit.

5. GEORGE GETS REPRIEVE-- George, the 140 year old, 20 pound lobster, is free to slink along the ocean bottoms again. (The age is guesstimated by his weight.) The City Crab and Seafood Restaurant in NYC gave him his crawling/scooting papers, and released him near Kennebunkport, Maine, where no lobster trapping is allowed. PETA is happy...and so is George.

6. I-TUNES-- I don't use it, but like the idea where they will no longer charge just 99 cents per music download. Now, it is just 69 cents for oldies, and 99 cents or $1.29 for the others. Hey, when I was buying 45s way back when, they cost 99 cents. WHAT, something has gotten cheaper. Now, if I just knew how to download or had one of those IPODs.

7. GOOD SAMARITAN-- You'd better think twice before doing someone a good deed in California.A woman is suing a good samaritan for pulling her out of a wrecked car and causing damage that left her paralyzed. While I'm sorry to hear of her injury, the guy was just trying to do the right thing. Let the insurance handle it.

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

Cop Comment: "If you run you'll only go to jail tired."

JSS: Goodbye Randhurst-- Old Forty Fives-- Miserable Weather-- As the Newspapers Ride Off

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. GOODBYE RANDHURST-- Sad to see that one last sale is being held Friday and Saturday of remaining Randhurst Mall items. This was the first big mall in Chicagoland and a big hangout for all my buddies while at Palatine High School in the late sixties. Sad to see it go.

2. OLD FORTY-FIVES-- Came across a great website called Old Forty-Fives while looking at a cruise place in the local area. They had a fun video to the old Statler Brothers song "Do You Remember These." Every time they mentioned something, and they mentioned a lot, you saw a picture of it. Their website also had about ten other great videos. I watched several.

That will take you to the Statler Brothers song. Drop the DYRT.htm for the whole site. Worth a look.

3. MISERABLE WEATHER-- Just got in from clearing off the driveway again, this time only about three inches, but it is mighty c-o-l-d around here. It was zero degrees this morning and only 9 degrees right now. Then, there's the wind. Temps the next couple days will be at and below zero with -30 degree wind chills. Then, there is more of that awful white stuff forecast.

4. AS THE NEWSPAPERS RIDE OFF-- I see the Chicago Tribune is coming out with a tabloid edition for people who buy it at stores and boxes. It is sad to see newspapers on their way out. It seems that everything I like is going away these days.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Cop Comment: "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them awhile."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time Warp: January 11, 1972

Bob Stroud went back 37 years this past Sunday to January 11, 1972 and the same date 1977.

Thirty-seven years ago!! Has it been that long?

Back on that date, I was a junior at the University of Georgia and trying to get a Delta Sigma Phi chapter started on campus. I had pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon in the fall, but just had to try to get the old Delta Sigs started. I understand, there now is a chapter there. I did get a few friends together and had a local called Sigma Tau Epsilon

I was now living at a new dorm as I had expected to transfer back to Northern Illinois, but that had fallen through. My roommate turned out to be the son of the state's governor. His name was Jeff C and his father was one Jimmy Carter. I got to meet him at the governor's mansion in Atlanta.

My hair was starting to grow out after being pretty-well scalped at Quantico, Virginia, during my six week stay there in the USMC OCS.

These songs sure brought back some memories. Stroud's comments follow. Mine are in parentheses. ()

LOOKING FOR A LOVE-- J. GEILS BAND-- from their second album, basically our introduction to this great band out of Boston who would be with us for the next decade and after. (Became a major favorite for me after their "Centerfold" album.)
NEVER BEEN TO SPAIN-- THREE DOG NIGHT-- brand new and hit bound. Their previous song, "Old-Fashioned Love Song" was just dropping off the charts. (Great Blue-Eyed Soul from these guys.)
WHITE LIES, BLUE EYES-- BULLET--brand new band from England, their one and only hit. (Still one of my favorites.)

SCORPIO-- DENNIS COFFEY-- What's your sign? Instrumental by Detroit session guitarist.
RESPECT YOURSELF-- STAPLE SINGERS-- Take a step back and respect yourself, from Chicago. (Music with a BIG message. I'm surprised they weren't invited to play at Obama's inauguration.)
ANTICIPATION-- CARLY SIMON-- her second hit, the first was in 1971. (It's "Slow Good." Always reminds me of that ketchup (or is it catsup?) commercial.)

More to Come. --RoadDog

Cop Comment: "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Can't Get a Break

Snow, snow Go Away, Come someone else.

Most of the heavy December snows melted, but we've gotten at least 14 inches since last week with a blizzard forecast and 2-4 inches of new stuff, plus more this week and then, the C-O-L-D!!!

The 2008-2008 winter season is on pace to be one of the worst, but still has a ways to go to beat the 1978-1979 winter, which dropped 89.7 inches with 100 consecutive days of snow cover. It started with 31.4 inches in December as well as a 7.6 inch New Year's treat. Then there was the Jan. 11-14th 21-inch fun time.

I didn't have a snow blower, but was young enough to just get sore (and had a much-smaller driveway). I was, however, running out of places to throw the snow. I had to really oomph it up onto the piles. Seemed like it snowed every day in January. Kind of like now.

I believe this was also the year part of the roof of the local K-Mart in Round Lake Beach, Illinois collapsed under all that accumulation.

This morning, it was a winter wonderland out there and I spent time in the study enjoying the scene. Evidently, it must have rained last night and frozen tot he trees. All those beautifully outlined bare limbs along with the snow-dappled evergreens as well as snow-covered shrubs is something to see. Almost makes winter worth, but....

Enough Already!! --RoadDog

Cop Comment-- "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that is the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Look Back at 2008

Just catching up with the last of my journal for the year.

In 2008, we visited 106 new NTN sites, a new record for us. They were in Wisconsin (2), Illinois (25), Missouri (11), Mississippi (10), Alabama (10), Florida (18), Ohio (11), Tennessee (4), North Carolina (8), Kentucky (3), Indiana (3), and South Carolina (10).

The biggest group came in Feb-March on out "Search for the Warmth" trip down to the Gulf Coast, where we stopped at 57 places in 16 days. We also added 19 more in a 14 day trip September to October to NC, SC, and Tennessee (cumulating with the NIU-Tennessee football game).

Whenever on the road, we look up the sites and try to stop at as many as we can. That involves a lot of riding around and looking for the places as sometimes we have wrong addresses or they aren't on a major road. Lots of stops at gas stations for directions. Sometimes, we just give up.

Just Looking Back. --RoadDog

Just Got Back-- Part 2-- Cruisin' 66

Well, not so "Just Got", but eleven days ago. Back on Jan. 1st, I posted about a two day mini-cruise Dec. 30th and 31st.

On the 31st, we cruised Route 66's Red Carper Corridor from Pontiac to Joliet. This has a lot of the things that make the Mother Road such a treat to drive. In Pontiac, here is the old Il-4 bridge, the Rt. 66 museum, swinging bridges, one of the most beautiful court houses you'll ever see sitting in a square, the classic Bob and Ringo's bar (with all the neat stuff on the walls), the Old Log Cabin restaurant from the 20s) and the Meramec Caverns barn north of town.

Then, Odell has the 1930s Standard Oil station, the tunnel, and several Route-66-related businesses. Dwight and Odell both have Burma Shave-type signs welcoming you to the communities. Dwight had several 66 restaurants, the windmill, the Ambler-Beckler gas station, and Route 66 shields on the road.

I didn't cover all the Route 66 and other items of interest in Pontiac, Odell and Dwight either.

And Some Folks Say There's Not Much to See of Route 66 in Illinois. This is JUST 20 Miles.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some New Illinois Rules

The start of 2009 brings in some new laws here in Illinois.

The biggest one is the new one where if you get a DUI, you have to blow into a tube in order to start your car. After you have, from time to time you'll have to blow again while driving (in case someone blows into it for you). Good idea, but is someone going to get rich off this, Rod?

Schools are now required to teach internet safety from 3rd grade and higher at least once a year. At some point, this should be a parental thing. There is not enough time to teach what is needed now as it it.

Parents of habitual vandals can be fined up to $30,000 in damage. Good idea. Parents need to take more responsibility for heir children's actions.

New sprinkler systems must be made to turn off when it is raining. That always gets me to see sprinklers doing their thing in a downpour. Do you really need to water in a deluge?

Inmates who throw feces or urine at prison workers will be charged with a Class 2 felony, which will add 3 to 11 years to the sentence. That's just nasty. Makes sense to me.

As far as last year's no smoking in bars and restaurants, I've heard some bar owners are reporting an increase in business after an initial fall off. Casinos, however, report a double digit drop (didn't say if it were in customers or profit). I wonder if the economy has anything to do with it?

Be Careful Here in Illinois. --RoadDog

That's a Real Snow Job

And I'm getting very sick of it. We had two inches earlier in the week, five inches yesterday, and another eight inches today. More is forecast for next week and then we get hit with the added benefit of extremely cold temperatures.

It's been a rough winter so far. I have to mix my gas for the snowblower with oil. The first two years I had it, I went through just one gallon. Last year, it was one gallon, and I've just gone through a gallon this year.

Someone needs to teach that snow not to fall on roads, driveways or sidewalks. If not that, let's have the snowmobilers come over and clear the white stuff off before they go out and have fun.

Looks like I may have to move up our "Search for Warmth" southward tour.

Sick and Tired of All This White Stuff. --RoadDog

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Them, Not Me-- Good Old Calvin Knew

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune ran a Sunday comic strip from fifteen years ago that pretty-well explains HOW we got into this current state of economy. It was the ever-classic Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson. How he could have predicted so well that long ago during great times is any body's guess.

Calvin is playing the role of a GRB and running a lemonade stand charging $15 a glass. Good old Susie comes up to it and is outraged.

Susie: "How do you justify charging $15?"
Calvin: "Supply and Demand."

Susie, looking around and seeing no one else: "Where's the demand?!! I don't see any demand!"
Calvin: "There's lots of demand."

Susie: "Yeah?"
Calvin "Sure! As the sole stockholder in this enterprise, I DEMAND monstrous profit on my investment!"

"And as president and CEO of the company, I DEMAND an exorbitant annual salary!"

"And as my own employee, I DEMAND a high hourly wage and all sorts of company benefits! And then there's overhead and actual production costs!"

Susie: "But it looks like you just threw a lemon in some sludge water!"
Calvin, looking smug: Well, I have to cut expenses SOMEWHERE if I want to stay competitive."

Susie: "What if I got sick from that?"
Calvin: "'Caveat Emptor' is the motto we stand behind! I'd have to charge more if we followed health and environmental regulations."

Susie, walking away: "You're out of your mind. I'm going home to drink something else."
Calvin: "Sure! Put me out of a job! It's your anti-business types who ruin the economy."

Calvin now looking extremely mad.

Then seen walking to his mother.

Calvin to his mother: "I need to be subsidized."

Funny, but not so funny if you know what I mean.

How Did Bill Watterson Know That Long Ago? --RoadDog

Top Beach Songs of 2008-- Part 2

Here they are, the top twenty.

#20. Hey, Mr. DJ-- Lonnie Givens
#19. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer-- Ruby Hayes
#18. Carinna/Jacqueline-- James Hunter (two different songs)
#17. There Goes My Baby-- Kenny Vance
#16. Mama's Drinking Liquor Again-- King Tyrone (Now, there's a title for you.)
#15. (Missed it)
#14. Said I'm Sorry-- Sonya
#13. Sweetheart-- Dion DiMucci (Is this the Dion of "Runaround Sue?)
#12. Natural Born Lover-- Louann Barton
#11. Runaway Soul- Ruby Foster

#10. Beautiful Girls (Shag Mix)-- Sean Kingston
#9. Junkyard for the Blues-- Miranda Louise
#8. Shadow Shaggin'-- Tommy Black
#7. Just a Kiss Away-- Jakie Gore
#6. How'd You Learn to Shake It Like That?-- Anna Popavak (from Yugoslavia)
#5. So Long Since I Felt This Way-- Russell Thompkins, Jr (of the Stylistics)
#4. Got It Bad for You, Baby--
#3. Don't You Wish It Were True? --John Fogerty (Good Old CCR Music)
#2. I Had to Fall in Love-- Part Time Party Time Band
#1. All the Way from Philadelphia-- Three Tenors of Soul

Now here's one great lineup. Those of you getting tired of the same-old, same-old should give a listen to this stuff.

It's the Endless Summer Around Here (despite the five inches of snow we got here in northern Illinois today.

Listen to the Fessa, the Fessa Knows. --RoadDog

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Top Beach Songs of 2008-- Part 1

Yesterday, Fessa John Hook at his Endless Summer site, counted down the top 40 songs of 2008.

#40. Little Red Rooster-- Curly Bridges
#39. Just to See Her-- Darryl Tooks
#38. Groovin'-- Jackie Wilson
#37. You Know I'm No Good-- Amy Winehouse
#36. Standing in the Rain-- Al Green
#35. Rio de Janeiro Blues-- Randy Crawford
#34. Last Good Time in Town-- Eagles
#33. Memories & Souvenirs-- Donny and Marie Drexler
#32. Do Do-- Dave Fields
#31. Mercy-- Duffy

#30. Why Am I Crying-- Rhonda McDaniels
#29. Out of My Head-- Shamille Chauffety
#28. Big, Blonde & Beautiful-- Queen Latifah
#27. Sho Do Wop-- Mr. David featuring Sir Charles
#26. I Wanna Love You-- Dr. Woo & Friends (how's this for a name?)
#25. Turn Back the Hands of Time-- Royal Drifters (the old English Drifters)
#24. Falling-- Rhonda McDaniel (her second chart entry)
#23. Money Honey-- Craig Woolard Band
#22. It Only Hurts When I Cry-- Raoul Malo
#21. Most of Those Pretty Young Girls-- Wee Jams

Give the Fessa a listen at Endless Summer network at

You'll be tapping those toes and moving that....

Top Twenty Coming. --RoadDog

Friday, January 2, 2009

Top Words of 2008

The Dec. 31, 2008 Chicago Tribune came out with a list of "Break-out words from last year. Obviously, a lot had to do with the economy.

Here they are:

LEVERAGE-- It just means no cash!!

SUBPRIME-- Not that tasty new item from Quizno's either. Quickly fell into ill repute. All folks who sold this should be in jail.

TOXIC, as in TOXIC DEBT-- Catch-phrase of the GRBs. Actually, pretty much all of these words so far are. GRBs are those wonderful folk who caused all of this: Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Wall Street Brokers, Real Estate Agents, CEOs and Upper Management, and Commodities Traders, and Boards of Directors. Did I miss anybody?


BAILOUT-- "If you're an ordinary Joe, this word means that your cousin posted your bons. If you're a gazillionaire on Wall Street, it means that the American taxpayer did the honors." Well put Julia Keller.



JOE, THE PLUMBER-- enough said

OBAMABOT-- derogatory term for those who were so completely enamored of the president-elect.

CHANGE-- We'll see.

****ING-- Thanks Gov.!

Great job on this list, Julia Keller!! Very Funny.

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

What Are the Top Songs of New Year 1960s Style?

The Billboard charts had these songs as #1 on Jan. 1 of each of the sixties years. As you might guess, it was a bug thing.

1969-- I Heard It Through the Grapevine-- Marvin Gaye
1968-- Hello, Goodbye-- Beatles
1967-- I'm a Believer-- Monkees
1966-- We Can Work it Out-- Beatles
1965-- I Feel Fine-- Beatles
1964-- There! I've Said It Again-- Bobby Vinton
1963-- Telstar-- Tornadoes
1962-- The Lion Sleeps Tonight-- Tokens
1961-- Are You Lonesome Tonight?-- Elvis Presley
1960-- El Paso-- Marty Robbins

Must Be Getting old. I remember all of these. However, I really didn't start listening to music until 1964 after that little old BUG group came around.

I'd Give It a 97. It was Easy to Dance and Had a Good Beat. --RoadDog

Reflections on 2008-- A Look at Better Times in 2009

Not the greatest year at all. My fried Ed sent me this which I forwarded to many. It was just too good and sums up the year quite well.

The blacks are happy, Obama won the election.
The whites are happy, OJ is finally in jail.
The Democrats are happy, Bush is leaving.
The Republicans are happy, the Democrats will finally quit saying Bush shouldn't have been elected in 2000.

The year 2009 will be even better. Immediately after his inauguration, Barack Obama will balance the budget, revive the economy, solve the real estate problem, solve the auto industry problem, stop fires and mudslides in California, ban hurricanes and tornadoes, reverse global warming, stop identity theft, find Osama, and achieve world peace. And...on the seventh day, he will rest.

Happy Days are Around the Corner. --RoadDog

Uncle Bo also sent a hilarious look-back on 2008 by Uncle Jay. Mighty funny stuff and a great sum-up of the year that was. It is on You Tube.

As Ernie Banks would say, "Things will be fine in 2009."

It's Them, Not Me: Interest Rate Drop Hurts Me-- Newspaper Woes-- Sonic Opens-- NO Hall for Ron

Some Thing That Burn Me. As Ricky would say, "You've got some 'splainin' to do"

1. INTEREST RATE DROP HURTS ME-- Not too happy to see the interest rates drop to as low as .25%. That's good for the GRBs who got us into this mess to begin with, but not for little old me with all my CDs. Guess what else dropped? Really tired of carrying these guys on my back.

2. NEWSPAPER WOES-- Well, the Chicago Tribune, my favorite newspaper filed for Chapter 11, and I see the Detroit papers are going to be printed just three days a week. One of my favorite things to do is to sit down with a paper, drink a cup of coffee, and read. For how much longer? Curse you computers...Wait, I'm on one right now.

3. SONIC OPENS-- The 3500th Sonic restaurant opened at the beginning of December in Algonquin, Illinois. It is the first one in the Chicagoland area. The few times I've been there, the food, drinks, and ice cream were great. Hopefully we'll get one closer to the Wisconsin line. We'll file this under "Good News."

4. NO HALL FOR RON-- Another sad time for former Cub (and even White Sox) great Ron Santo, who was again denied a place in baseball's Hall of Fame. He deserves it with that wonderful career. Unfortunately, he played for the hapless Cubs and not getting into a World Series really hurt his chances. Back when I was in high school. he once gave me a ride home and had coffee with my parents, one of the highlights of my life.

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

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Just Got Back

Yesterday, we got back from a mini trip downstate and to Indiana.

We left Dec. 30th and drove to Pontiac, Illinois. Along the way, we played at NTN sites in Plainfield (BW3 and Sports Den), a BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings) in Shorewood, and Heroes West in Joliet.

The main objective was the Riviera in Gardner. This great place, which has operated since the 1920s and reputed stop off place for Al Capone and his brother, is closing Jan. 1st. Unfortunately, it was way too crowded, so we didn't get to eat or talk with the Krafts who have owned it since the early 1970s (see Dec. 31st blog.

Went to Pontiac and drove around that beautiful court house and got a room at the Super 8 out on I-55. Ate at the Baby Bull on Route 66. Two high school basketball teams were also dining there (one from up by us, Warren High School in Gurnee). A big tournament was going on. Listened to a close game between Peoria Manuel and Schaumburg.

Several teams were also staying at the Super 8.

More to Come. --RoadDog

Third Year of This Blog

This is the third year I've been doing this blog. It all started with a May 9, 2007 entry called "Hittin' the Road-- Part 1" about a trip out to Franklin Grove along the Lincoln Highway. The blog essentially started as an attempt to get my other blog, RoadDog's Roadlog, going. I couldn't get it to come up and tried this as an experiment. I eventually got the other one going, but this one remained as my second of what is now four too many blogs.

In 2007, I had 299 entries and last year 430. So this is my 730th entry.

This is primarily a me log. The others deal with the road, Civil War, and History (primarily World War II). Civil War

Spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME On This. --RoadDog