Friday, February 27, 2009

DePaul vs. Villanova

Poor DePaul might have made a mistake leaving Conference USA for the Big East. They are winless at this late point in the season. They have a good team, but when playing what could be the best conference in the US, they just don't have the guns to do much.

The mostly freshman team rose to the occasion and gave #10-ranked Villanova all they could handle. DePaul led by 8 at half, and even when going down by 12, they battled back to be within two points with 50 seconds left. Unfortunately, Villanova made eight straight free throws which the Blue Demons were unable to overcome, even with a three point shot in the waning seconds. DePaul lost by two points. That would have been something to have upset a top ten team.

Allstate Areana charges a ripoff $11 to park, Our seats were good, but $35 is WAY TOO MUCH for a college game. But, this is in Rosemont, a town that tries to give Chicago a run for rip-off city.

The Chicago Rush Arena football team plays here as does the Wolves minor league hockey team.

Good Time, But Wrigley Field Rip-Off Prices. --RoadDog

Thursday, February 26, 2009

JSS: Northwest Suburbs-- Reunion-- Barnaby's

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

NORTHWEST SUBURBS-- Yesterday, I went to the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, having a $1.99 hot dog/fries combo at JJ Twiggs in Wauconda, Illinois. Free peanuts as well. Hard deal to beat.

Stopped at Half-Price books in Arlington Heights and bought five CDs and then picked up my new glasses (two pairs for $99) at For Eyes. Visited Amby and Frances' graves at Memory Gardens and then went to Wal Mart. That 10% sales tax in Arlington Heights it ridiculous. No wonder the townships in northwest Cook County are considering seceding, but remember, guys, the Confederate states tried that back in the 1800s, and you know what happened there.

REUNION-- Went over to Bob B's and we drove over to a great pizza place called Barnaby's near Rosemont, where we were joined by Mike R. We all used to teach together for many years at John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois. Mike and I are retired, and so is Bob, but he now is teaching at a Catholic school in Arlington Heights. We did a lot of reminiscing, including the two-month long strike in 1994 and the new Magee that just reopened this past fall.

BARNABY'S-- Barnaby's is a rustic place and at one time there were quite a few Barnaby's around Chicagoland, but only a few are left. Everyone sits at wooden booths and the smell of pizza and sandwiches is fairly heavy. You go up to different counters to get your drinks and food. When the food is ready, they call your number and you go up to get it. Some of the best pizza any where. I hadn't been to one in years, so was glad they suggested it.

Tomorrow, I'll Write About the DePaul-Villanova Basketball Game at All State Arena. --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Had a Pretty Good Mardi Gras, Anyway

Even though snow Saturday kept us from going out to Sycamore, Illinois, and lack of a band kept us from Lake Geneva, Wi, Sunday, we made up for it yesterday.

In honor of Lincoln's 200th, we went over to the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, Il, and saw the "Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America" traveling exhibit, which was there for just one day. Well worth seeing if it comes to your town in the next two years.

Then, we drove north to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and had a lunch of jambalaya and Bayou Pork at Popeye's (not the chicken chain) overlooking the magnificent Riviera Docks and Geneva Lake. Watched the ice fishermen and a duck wipe out on the ice.

Then, on to Donovan's in Twin Lakes with our bead booty from the Panama City, Florida, Mardi Gras parade a few weeks ago. We put the "throwed beads" (sorry Lambert's) on each patron and bartender in a solemn ceremony. Beads on, touching head, and, "You have been beaded. Now, go forth and Par-tee!!"

While driving to Woodstock, we saw a sign up at O'Leary's Bar at Ringwood Road and Il-31 saying they were having a Mardi Gras party, so went there. Joy, he owner, had ordered a $50 King Cake from New Orleans for the occasion and it was the best we've ever had. However, we didn't get the baby. They also had $2 Millers and $4 Hurricanes along with jambalaya and gumbo.

Good times and I may deejay there next Mardi Gras season to play some real N'awlins Mardi Gras music: second line, Cajun, zydeco, r & b, and Dixieland.

And listening to Radio Margaritaville right now.

Having a Good Time Up here on the State Line. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: Chicago's Northern Trust Corporation

Things That Just Burn My Butt.

How about these yo-yos taking $1.5 BILLION from the government for their questionable business practices and then turning around and having an extravagant golf affair and spending lots of money on ritzy hotels and big-name entertainment this last weekend.

This was for big-time clients and their own big-wigs.

AND!! after laying off 450 employees just this last December. I doubt any of these people were the ones that messed up to cause them to have to borrow. The ones who did were probably right out their enjoying the benefits of their stupidity.

They spent $100,000 for the group Chicago, and also had Earth Wind and Fire and Sheryl Crow.

They said it was an integral part of their marketing program and was paid for with operating revenues not tied to the bailout money. Hey, how about moving some of that "operating revenue" over to pay back the government.

Again, when is Big Business GOING TO LEARN!! Their indifference to the people is unfathomable.

AND!! they didn't even invite me!!!

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How About Some Good Old Lincoln DNA?

The Feb. 23rd Newsweek had an article about scientists using some Abraham Lincoln DNA to determine whether or not he suffered from some diseases.

The National Museum of Health and Medicine has a glass case housing parts of the man himself: blood from the handcuff of the surgeon's shirt, snippets of his chocolate brown hair, and a handful of bone fragments removed from his skull.

Scientists have been wondering about the president's health for years. Was he suffering from malaria, small pox, depression, even syphilis? There is also discussion about three rare genetic disorders: Marfan Syndrome, spinocerebellar ataxia 5 and multiple endocrine neoplasia 2B. These should be used in spelling bees, were they ever hard to type at just one letter at a time.


If he had this, another 90 relatives of his had it from his paternal aunt and uncle. If so, he would be a great example of someone overcoming physical challenges to achieve greatness.


Characterized by a tall, lanky body, long face, and deep-set eyes (Lincoln sure had these). If he had it, he outlived most and probably wouldn't have lived much longer.

One worry, however, is that the remnants could be damaged or lost (or stolen) in checking them.

I'm not sure where I stand on this question. It would be something to know, but then, there goes the mystery.

Oh, Well. Happy 200th A.L.. --Cooter

What Are All Those Awards?

The Oscars, and, then the Grammys (no -ies?), the Golden Globes, People's Choice? What are all these awards. Too many for me to keep track of.

The Feb.22nd Chicago Tribune had an article "Meet Oscar and his closest friends" by Chad Yoder and Jonathan Berlin which helped sort the whole mess out for me. They have it broken down into Award Show, Media Awarded, Years Running, Television Viewers, Location, How Winners Chosen, and Prestige-O-Meter and the Award itself.

OSCARS-- movies, 81, 32 million(2008), 6,000 members Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, If you get one, you're somebody. If you don't have one, you're figuring out how to get it.-- 13 and half inches and made in Chicago.

GRAMMYS-- Music and Recording Arts, 51, 19 million (2009), 20,000 members of Recording Academy, Showmore about the performances than awards.-- made of custom alloy, "gramium."

GOLDEN GLOBES-- Movies, TV, 66, 14.9 million (2009), 90 members of Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Like the Oscar's little brother.--more detailed globe this year.

EMMYS (What, no -ies), TV, 60, 12.3 million (2008), 13,000 members Academy of television Arts & Sciences, Definitely television's top awards-- woman holding an atom.

Screen Actors Guild-- Movies and TV, 15, 5.3 million (2009), two panels of SAG members, third brother competing for attention-- handmade of solid bronze. Anatomically correct male.

PEOPLE'S CHOICE-- Movies, TV, music, and internet videos-- 35, 9.4 million (2009), the public, The people have spoken, is anybody listening-- most stars have one by now.

I look at it as a way the networks can get by without using their own programming if they get to show it. It is interesting to see the folks getting the awards. Some are pretty lame. The best thing ever was Jethro Tull getting the first Heavy Metal Grammy. Jethro Tull, Heavy Metal? Come on. Even Ian Anderson had to hold back his smile.

So, That's How It Goes. --RoadDog

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras Tomorrow

Always a favorite time with me.

Didn't get to do anything over the weekend in regards to it, however, other than listen to New Orleans and Louisiana music in the vehicles.

We had planned to go to PJs Courthouse Inn in Sycamore, Illinois, for their annual crawfish festival featuring the Dekalb Footstompers on Saturday. This is a great time, but we haven't been there much the last several years because of the large crowds. The snow we got cancelled this.

Then, yesterday, we thought about going to Hogs and Kisses in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for their Mardi Gras party, but they weren't having a band as in the past. Up until a few years ago, they always had Hat Trick playing that great Cajun-style music.

Tonight, I plan on listening to Tom Marker do his Lundi Gras (Lundi means Monday in French) party on his Bluesbreakers radio show on WXRT in Chicago. This always puts me in the mood.

Tomorrow, we're thinking of driving over to Woodstock, Illinois, to view the traveling Abraham Lincoln exhibit and then going to Lake Geneva for the Mardi Gras meal at Popeye's, right across from the Riviera Docks on Geneva Lake.

Bon Ton Roulet, Baby!! --RoadDog

Beach Music Top Ten-- Feb. 21st

I listened to Fessa John Hook's Beach Top 40 Countdown this last Saturday. Here are his top ten.

10. Action Speaks Louder Than Words-- Men of Distinction
9. See See Rider-- Elmore James, Jr.
8. Left With a Broken Heart-- Rhonda McDaniels
7. Shout About It-- Gilda McElroy
6. Four Letter Word-- Castaways
5. Falling-- Rhonda McDaniels
4. Turn back the Hands of Time-- Royal Drifters
3. Any Other Way-- Sensational Epics
2. Nice While It Lasted-- Rick Strickland
1. Ten Kisses-- Terri Gore

I sure am happy that we have the internet today. Otherwise, I would have no fresh Beach Music.

Good Music If You Can Get It. --RoadDog

Sunday, February 22, 2009

John Travolta-- Starter of Fads

After watching the excellent musical Grease last night, I came to realize that John Travolta was the lynch pin for starting three different adult fads in the 70s and 80s.

The first was Disco in the movie "Saturday Night Fever." Sure, disco music was around for several years before "Fever," but, when that came out, BAM!! Full-fledged Disco Fever. Personally, I really liked the music. If you can't get on the dance floor (even without John's moves or wardrobe) you just can't dance.

Then, there came "Grease" and all of a sudden, the disco clubs were turning into Oldies Clubs. All of a sudden, the radio spectrum was full of oldies stations.

Lastly, there was "Urban Cowboy" and the big cowboy country music thing. Many of the clubs that had been disco, then oldies, now switched to country, complete with the mandatory mechanical bull. Lots and lots of sprained and hurt backs.

So, for about ten years there, old Vinny Barbarino, the Sweathog, had a lot to say about what we were listening to.

Hey, Up Your Nose with a ______ ____." --RoadDog

Academy AwardsTonight

I did better this year than last. I actually saw one of the best picture nominees, Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Last year, I hadn't seen one of them.

I have since seen "Slumdog Millionaire." Both of these are really fine movies. Last year, I saw all five nominees and all of them were excellent.

I don't know why, but thye theaters around here just don't carry these kinds of movies. Too bad, because they are really good ones. I guess they just don't consider these to be money-makers with the general public.

Brad Pitt in "Benjamin Button" was the only one of the best actor nominess, and I saw three of supporting actors: Robert Downey, Jr in "Tropic Thunder," Heath Ledger in "Dark Knight," and Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road>''

Best actress just Angeline Jolie in "The Changeling," and Taraji P. Henson in "Benjamin Button."

Overall, of the movies nominated for any Oscar, I saw:

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire
Tropic Thunder
The Dark Knight
Revolutionary Road
Hellboy II: The Golden Arm

Pulling for
Benjamin Button" Best Picture
Brad Pitt-- Best Actor
Heath Ledger-- Best Supporting Actor
Angeline Jolie-- Best Actress
Taraji P. Henson-- Best Supporting Actress

We'll see. I probably will just record the show and watch it later. I find I can cut any awards show down to about an hour if I do this as I can cut out the parts I don't care to see.

I've Become a Real Movie Hound. --RoadDog

Saturday, February 21, 2009

JSS: "85 Bird-- Another Bird House-- Grease Marathon-- College B-Ball--

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. '85 BIRD-- Put the '85 Firebird, now 24 years old, up for the winter. I don't like to aggravate the rust situation by driving it in this slop. This year, we dropped most of the insurance. Why pay it when the car is parked in the garage. However, I do turn it on from time to time and even drive sround the subdivision, just to keep the engine in shape.

2. ANOTHER BIRD HOUSE-- I hadn't planned on it, but I ended up buying another Walgreen's birdhouse. my fourth in four years. This one is of a sunset celebration bar like you'd find in the Florida Keys. Poor little birdies, all those houses and nowhere to live.

3. GREASE MARATHON-- ABC Family network is showing both Grease movies tonight. It's been a real long time since I've seen the first one and I am not sure that I ever saw the second one. Fast Times at Rydell High. Greasers, Hot Chicks, and a Musical too. Was the Scorpion leader the bully from "A Christmas Story?"

4. COLLEGE B-BALL-- Since I wasn't going anywhere because of the snow, I watched some pretty good college basketball today. Marquette defeated Georgetown and Maryland rallied to tie Carolina at the end of regulation and went on to win in overtime.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Bet It Not Snowing in Panama City

Just remembered why I'm not crazy about Midwest winters after Mother Nature dumped eight inches of snow on us today. Great for the skiers and snowmobilers, but not for us who have to clear off the driveways and sidewalks. AND, today I had to do it not once, but twice.

At first, I thought I'd be able to simply shovel it off, but soon learned otherwise. Thank goodness for snowblowers. I got plenty of use of it today.

Then, I think that just two Saturdays ago, we were lying out on Panama City Beach enjoying sun and seventy degree weather. How things change.

Snowmobilers Should Clean Off My Driveway Before Having Their Fun. --RoadDog

Friday, February 20, 2009

Moss Weaver

I'd never heard of this job before, but while on vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida, a few weeks ago, I came across an article in the Feb. 8th News Herald about a woman named Dawn King, 52, living in rural Citrus County who takes Spanish moss and turns it into yarn and then weaves it into blankets, which she says Confederate soldiers used during the Civil War. She continues that in the old days, it was used to stuff mattresses, pillows and furniture as well as insulation.

At one time, there were dozens of moss weavers in Florida, but that is now down to just herself.

And I Thought It Just Hung Off Trees and Looked Scary. --Cooter

No More Lakehurst

Today, I took advantage of the weather before we are scheduled to get socked with 6-8inches and drove to Waukegan, Illinois to play NTN-Buzztime at the new Buffalo Wild Wings. It is located by Illinois Hwy-120 and US Highway-41 and it seemed familiar.

I asked the bartender if this was where Lakehurst had been, and he said it was, but that was before his time. Thanks, guy, I needed that. Lakehurst was the place to go back in the seventies and eighties and I went there often when I went to the Consumer Co-op in Waukegan and when I deejayed at Toby's in North Chicago. But, I hadn't been there in years.

The opening of Gurnee Mills, about five miles away spelled the end for the mall. There is nothing left of it that I can discern.

That is the second shopping mall I've lost, the other being Randhurst in Mt. Prospect.

I Don't Need to Be Spending Money Anyway. --RoadDog

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top Songs in Chicago: Feb. 8, 1976

Bob Stroud usually skips five years on his monthly time warps, but on Feb. 8th, he jumped ten years into the future. Definitely some good stuff. Again, since I didn't hear it, these are my comments.

BAD BLOOD-- Neil Sedaka-- definitely back.
EVIL WOMAN-- ELO-- what a sound
SQUEEZE BOX-- Who-- X-rated rock. Was it an accordion or something else?
MY LITTLE TOWN-- Simon & Garfunkel-- brief reunion
TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT-- Eagles-- early in their career.

DECEMBER 1963 (OH WHAT A NIGHT)-- Four Seasons
DREAM ON-- Aerosmith-- first really big hit by the Glimmer Twins.
OVER MY HEAD-- Fleetwood Mac-- going in a different direction from early days of group.
FOX ON THE RUN-- Sweet-- great party band
SATURDAY NIGHT-- Bay City Rollers-- dig that tartan. Can anybody spell Saturday and yell Night?

GOLDEN YEARS-- David Bowie
YOU SEXY THING-- Hot Chocolate-- some really different music
DREAM WEAVER-- Gary Wright
SKY HIGH-- Jigsaw
ISLAND GIRL-- Elton John

SING A SONG-- Earth, Wind & Fire
LOVE HURTS-- Nazareth-- way too sad.
WHO LOVES YOU-- Four Seasons-- Anybody got a lollipop?
ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT-- Kiss-- the Kiss Army strikes. Always thought it was a good thing it was the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964, rather than these interesting lads. Just imagine what would have happened if our parents had seen these guys. The emergency rooms would have been overflowing.
50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER-- Paul Simon-- Number 1 song in town.

Don't Come Back, Jack. --RoadDog

From a Cop: "You don't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here."

Buying Books That I Don't Need-- But the Price WAS Right

I have "sworn off" book purchases for the most part. I have lots and lots and lots of books that I haven't read, and it is not likely that I'll ever get around to reading. But, I just hate getting rid of even one. Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll read it.

However, in the last five days I have bought SIX books at that Half-Price Books store in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As Flip Wilson would say....

They are all on three of my favorite subjects: old roads, music, and the Civil War. That was mean to put them out for mostly $5 or $6.


(Earlier today I was listening to the Surf, 94.9 FM, out of North Myrtle Beach, SC, playing that great Beach Music. Now, I am listening to The Beach, 95.1 FM, WBPC, Panama City, Florida, which plays Beach Music and some pretty obscure oldies. Isn't the internet wonderful?)

THE BOOK OF HIT SINGLES: TOP 20 CHARTS FROM 1954 TO THE PRESENT DAY-- $5-- paperback-- A list of both UK and US Top 20 charts by month over all those years. Brings back the memories.

HEART AND SOUL: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK MUSIC STYLE IN AMERICA 1930-1975-- $6--hard cover-- Lots of pictures of black performers and groups as well as information. Some of the greatest music ever made: Joe Tex, Jackie Wilson, Billy Ward & His Dominoes featuring Clyde McPhatter and Jackie Wilson, Solomon Burke, Isley Brothers, Falcons, and O.V. Wright on just four pages.

More to Come. --RoadDog

From a Cop: "I'm glad to hear the chief of police is a personal friend of yours, so you know someone who can post your bail."

National Music Charts February 1966

Yesterday, I took a look at Bob Stroud's top songs in Chicago from Feb. 8, 1966. Today I will look at the top 20 in the national charts for the month.

"lightning Strikes" by Lou Christie was #1. It wasn't on the UK top 20.

Others listed that weren't on the Chicago list:

#2 MY LOVE-- Petula Clark
#6 CRYING TIME-- Ray Charles
#10 DON'T MESS WITH BILL-- Marvelettes
#19 SHE'S JUST MY STYLE-- Gary Lewis & the Playboys

I'm not real sure about #16.

Gary Lewis & the Playboys was a very under rated group that sure released some fun songs. Should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Loved the Deep "Don't You Know That She's..." --RoadDog

From a Cop: "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Movie Scratches: Seven Pounds-- Valkyre-- Strange Case-- Gran Torino

For the last several years, I have been keeping track of movies I watch in the theater and keeping a short remark on them. I do this also with TV movies. I am going to start making entries on the blog for it.

1. SEVEN POUNDS-- Should get Academy nomination. Is there any role Will Smith can't play? (No Nominations--shows what I know)

2. VALKYRE-- "There are no problems in the world that can't be fixed with explosives."

3. STRANGE CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTONS-- "I've been struck by lightning seven times." Going backwards. Should get Academy nomination. (It did.)

4. GRAN TORINO-- Another great Clint Eastwood movie. Not the ending I was expecting, however. Surprised the PCers let him get by with his talk.

Hey, Get Me a Popcorn. --RoadDog

From a Cop: "How big were those 'two beers' you said you had?"

It's Them, Not Me: Things That Really Burn Me

I sometimes get this blog mixed up with my RoadDog's Roadlog Blog and that is what happened today. I wrote about those repulsive Viagra, Cialis, Exten-Se, and now Trojan Vibrator commercials on TV, especially American Movie Classics.

I also wrote about the goats being killed here and in Florida and Illinois' junior senator.

You can see what I wrote at today's date .

I am starting to get a little peeved at Big Oil, AGAIN, for SOME reason. That will be soon.

Don't Look Back, They may be Gaining.

Things That Really Burn My Butt. --RoadDog

From a Cop: " In God we trust, all others we run through NCIC."

Bob Stroud's Rock & Roll Roots-- Feb. 8, 1966

These were the top songs in Chicago back on Feb. 8th, 1966. Of course, that would mean those on your radio from WLS and WCFL, both AM stations. All comments are mine as we were still in Panama City Beach, Florida, on the 8th.

GOING TO A GO-GO-- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
HOMEWARD BOUND- Simon & Garfunkel
LISTEN PEOPLE-- Herman's hermits
JENNY TAKE A RIDE-- Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels

NIGHT-TIME-- Strangeloves-- Can't remember this one.
WELL RESPECTED MAN-- Kinks-- I was just enjoying that on a new Kinks GH CD yesterday.
MY WORLD IS EMPTY WITHOUT YOU-- Supremes-- Come girls, move those bodies and arms in unison!!
I SEE THE LIGHT-- Five Americans-- Can't remember this one.
LIES-- Knickerbockers-- Perfect garage rock!!
CALIFORNIA DREAMING-- Mamas and Papas-- I really liked Mama Michelle. Wow!!

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO BE SO NICE-- Lovin' Spoonfull-- Diggin' John Sebastion's cool glasses. Play that mini-harp thing.
IT'S MY LIFE-- Animals-- Eric Burdon had gotten his name out front yet.
BARABARA ANN-- Beach Boys-- Boy, do I like this one. Ya just gotta love it.
THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING-- Nancy Sinatra-- One tough babe. Loved those high boots.

WE CAN WORK IT OUT-- You know who.
DAYTRIPPER-- Flipside of you know who.
SANDY-- Ronny & the Daytonas
THE SOUND OF SILENCE-- Simon & Garfunkel-- a second hit on the charts for the duo.
FIVE O'CLOCK WORLD-- Vogues-- Loved that bit on the Drew Carey Show.

I FOUGHT THE LAW-- Bobby Fuller Four-- More great garage rock.
UPTIGHT (EVERYTHING'S ALRIGHT)-- Stevie Wonder-- and then Bill Cosby followed up with "Little Old Man"
I CONFESS-- New Colony Six-- My favorite 60s Chicago band and what a great song.
LIGHTNING STRIKES-- Lou Christie-- This would have been the number one song in Chicago.

The Chart February 1964-- Beatlemania Hits US

Yesterday, I stopped at a new favorite (but expensive for me) place to go down in Arlington Heights, Home of the 10% SALES TAX, Half Price Books, at the corner of Dundee and Rand Roads. It costs at least $30 for me to go into that place. And there's more, there's more, I'm still not satisfied.

Anyway, I bought a book by Dave McAleer titled the Book of Hit Singles, Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day (2001). He uses both British and US charts. US charts are based on Billboard, to me STILL THE CHART.

2. YOU DON'T OWN ME-- Lesley Gore
3. UM, UM, UM, UM, UM-- Major Lance
4. SHE LOVES YOU-- Beatles
5. OUT OF LIMITS-- Marketts
6. HEY LITTLE COBRA-- Rip Chords
7. JAVA-- Al Hirt-- On the pop charts?
8. FOR YOU-- Rick Nelson
9. DAWN (GO AWAY)-- Four Seasons
10. ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART-- Dionne Warwick
11. SURFIN' BIRD-- Trashmen
13. CALIFORNIA SUN-- Rivieras-- Good old surfing music from an Indiana group
14. TALKING ABOUT MY BABY-- Impressions
15. THERE I'VE SAID IT AGAIN-- Bobby Vinton-- The "Blue Guy" does something else.
16. STOP AND THINK IT OVER-- Dale & Grace
17. NAVY BLUE-- Diane Renay Blue, Navy Blue, I'm as blue as i can be."
18. A FOOL NEVER LEARNS-- Andy Williams-- On a pop chart?
19. PLEASE PLEASE ME-- Beatles
20. SEE THE FUNNY LITTLE CLOWN-- Bobby Goldsboro

The Beatles had THREE songs in the top twenty. They had knocked January's No. 1, "There, I've Said It Again" by Bobby Vinton down to #15. The next month, they had the top three songs and #10.

Of interest, the only Beatles song in the UK's top twenty was "I Want to Hold Your Hand" at #12. Number 1 in Britain was "Needles and Pins" by the Searchers. The British invasion had not fully arrived in the US. Other groups in the UK's top twenty were Gerry & the Pacemakers, Dave Clark Five, Manfred Mann, Dusty Springfield, and the Hollies.

Bringing Back Some Memories. --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Good Deals and Some History


On the way to Arlington Heights, I stopped in Wauconda at Lindy's Landing. It is on the site of an old public beach called Phil's Beach. Back when I was growing up in Palatine, Illinois, a major high school destination was Honey Hill, located near Phil's Beach.

I played NTN at Lindy's and enjoyed the view of Bang's Lake. The restaurant has three stories of open space and lots of windows. Their half pound black angus burgers are $2 off on Tuesdays.

J.J Twigg'S

I then went over to J.J. Twigg's, also in Wauconda, for the first time in several years. The decor in north woods AND they have complimentary peanuts along with some of the best pizza in the area. Every day, there are food specials, and for lunch Mon-Fri, they have $1.99 hot dogs and hamburgers, both coming with fries.

J.J. Twigg's at one time was owned by Frank Costello's brother. Frank used to own big hangout for us on Fox Lake, Costello's Pub and Grub. One of the other owners of Twigg's also opened a place called Risky's in Lake of the Ozarks. We went there to play NTN coming back from a Route 66 jaunt a few years ago and were surprised when we saw the J.J. Twiggs logo on a peanut bucket and found out it was one and the same.

Some Good Eating in the Neighborhood. --RoadDog

A Long Overdue Eye Exam

Today, I got an appointment to have my eyes examined at For Eyes in Arlington Heights. I don't even remember the last time I had one and currently my glasses are way too strong to use.

I quit wearing glasses many years ago when I started to having pain in my eyes when I drove long distances. At the time, my eyesight was 20-200 in the left eye and 20-80 in the right. My problem with eye tests was that I have a hard time making out the letters. I can see them, but just can't tell what they are.

They put me through the paces and found that the reason my glasses are no good is that they are about eight times too strong. Both eyes are 20-40.

For Eyes has a good deal. The exam just cost $49 and I got two pairs of glasses for $99.

Good Deal in the Neighborhood. --RoadDog

Good Times In Twin Lakes, Wisconsin


This past Sunday, Liz and I drove up to Twin Lakes and went to Main Street Tap for those ultimate Bloody Mary's. They come in a pint glass and have a spear of about twelve different items such as cheese, sausage, pepper, cocktail onions, olives, etc, a piece of celery, pickle, scallion, and shrimp. All this for $3. Definitely not a bad deal.


Then, it was on to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes where we played NTN and had a nice run, with about 12 top twenties, including several double doubles. We had been told on Thursday that two people were going to reopen the kitchen and today, it was open. We ordered two of the best Italian beefs we've ever had. It's great to have the food back. That, and $2 regular domestic pints, and winning one by scoring over 12,000 points on a Countdown game made for a free one and our Sunday drink made for inexpensive drinking.

Mighty Good Time. --RoadDog

Monday, February 16, 2009

JSS: SCV Meeting-- Cemetery--- Randhurst-- Half-Price Books--

JSS-- Just Some Stuff. This past Saturday.

1. SCV MEETING-- Drove 40 miles to the Silver Stallion in Des Plaines, Illinois, for the monthly Camp Douglas meeting. We had the two members of the King family who joined at the Lee-Jackson dinner in January. They drove in from Rockford and I was surprised to find that they joined because of the son, who is in his teens and found out about the organization.

2. CEMETERY-- Stopped at Memory Gardens in Arlington Heights to pay my respects to my in-laws, Frances and Ambrose Klaus. They now have the date of Frances' death on the plaque, 2008. They definitely keep this cemetery and perfect condition. Had to clear an inch of snow off the marker and took an evergreen bough from the cover over the grave.

3. RANDHURST-- I also saw that the outside of the old shopping mall, Randhurst, still stands. They are tearing down this place I used to spend so much time hanging out at in high school. The distinctive flat dome still stands as well.

4. HALF-PRICE BOOKS-- I saw a sign for this place in a shopping area by Rand and Dundee Roads and went in. They definitely have great prices on books, like they say, half-price. Not only that, but they also have record albums and CDs for sale, reminding me a lot of the rapidly disappearing mom and pop record stores.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Great Things to Do At Panama Beach, Florida-- Souvenirs

They have some really great places to buy souvenirs, but no Wings which are so prevalent along the east coast. The one Alvin's Island, which looks like an island from the outside is probably one of the biggest souvenir places I've ever seen. It just goes on and and on. Then, there are those noisy and energetic parrots that provide entertainment. They also have a very sleepy live shark.

At Sharky's on the beach, you can get a live lobster as a souvenir, if you can catch it. I think they'll even cook it for you. But you have to catch it with a claw like you see for the plush animals...and these can move.

There are several "Everything's a Dollar" stores which have a lot of junk, but some really nice things as well if you take the time to look. And, like they say, everything's a buck and a few even less.

Shipwreck Shirts is more of an upscale souvenir place.

The Wal Mart is huge, and being replaced by an even larger one later this year. They also have a huge souvenir selection and more Mardi Gras beads and stuff than I've ever seen outside of New Orleans.

The liquor store attached to Donovan's Reef sells some really tropical looking Donovan's Reef shirts.

Spending Mo Money. --RoadDog

Ten Memorable Movie Swimming Pool Scenes

The Feb. 10th List Universe had the list of the ten top swimming pool scenes in movies.

10. Harold and Maude (1971)-- haven't seen this one myself.

9. Mommy Dearest (1981)-- HAVEN'T SEEN IT EITHER

8. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)-- Now this was a hilarious and embarrassing. Christie Brinkley actually did not take off her clothes as the movie would lead you to believe.

7. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)--

6. Meet the Parents (2000)-- Gaylord Focker goes animal and spikes, but what about that skimpy bathing suit he had to wear?

5. Back to School (1986)

4. Bathing Beauty (1944)-- all that synchronized swimming.

3. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)-- the dance floor over the swimming pool opens and they mostly all go in for a swim. The pool still exists at the Beverly Hills High School in California, not New Bedford. The people were paid $25 each to jump in.

2. Caddy Shack (1980)-- the Baby Ruth in the pool looked like you know what. It was worse than Jaws.

1. The Graduate (1967) Taft Hotel was actually the Ambassador where Bobby Kennedy was assassinated 6 months after the movie's release.

Another Great Job, List Universe. You Sure Get Folks to Thinking. --RoadDog

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sad Anniversary at NIU

One year ago, five students at Northern Illinois University were killed at Cole Hall, shocking both the student body and people across the nation.

Today, the university sponsored many activities for remembrance including a short service at the site a short distance east of Cole Hall that will become a permanent memorial in the future, featuring five large granite stones with the names of the slain and the individual words that are used in connection with the event "Forward, Together, Forward, Together, Forward", one word on each stone. Twenty trees will be planted around the site, plus there will be benches in front of the stones for reflection.

As of yet, nothing has been done with Cole Hall, which sits empty. Room 101, where the killings took place, will never be used again, but the other lecture hall will. I think part of Room 101 should be turned into a museum of the event with the signature papers and items left at the temporary grave markers set up by the student center.

Tonight, there will be a candlelight vigil held.

One can only wonder what the family of the killer are thinking on this day.

A Sad Remembrance.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The End of an Era??

Yesterday, I turned down an offer to deejay a wedding, and Wednesday, I played what might be my last junior high dance at Santa Maria. I've been playing there since 1984, a long time. I wouldn't be surprised to find that some of the kids are the children of former students I played for. Now, the student council person I've worked with for so many years, Barb, is retiring as well.

I kind of knew this day was coming. It is getting hard to keep up with the new music and I am hopelessly behind on the technology. Hey, I still use cassettes. Some deejays still use CDs, but many now have the music on a laptop.

Plus, my equipment is getting old and cranky with its own little glitches. I'm guessing the newest items are from the mid-nineties, and the speakers from about 1990. Plus, all that stuff isn't getting any lighter.

Like the Old Coot on 66, Ernie Edwards, said when closing his Pig Hip Restaurant, "The equipment is getting old and so am I."

The End of An Era? Perhaps. --RoadDog

Top Disco Hits-- Part 2

Continued from yesterday.

9. You're My First, the Last, My Everything-- Barry White-- 1974-- just sex on vinyl

8. Don't Stop 'Till You get Enough-- Michael Jackson-- 1976-- Before he went strange

7. Dancing Queen-- Abba-- 1976-- their biggest hit

6. YMCA-- Village People-- 1978-- still a great song to get people of all ages going, despite the gay aspect. Put those arms down, NOW!!

5. Celebration-- Kool and the Gang-- 1980-- Not bad for a throwaway song. If this doesn't get the folks out on the dance floor, I'm no sure what else will. I'd like to know how many weddings have had this song played.

4. Play That Funky Music-- Wild Cherry-- 1976-- Grew out of a black audience member yelling to the band, "Play some funky music, white boy!" Their only hit, but a good one.

3. Last Dance-- Donna Summer-- 1978

2. I Will Survive-- Gloria Gaynor-- 1978-- probably one of the all-time greatest disco hits.

1. Staying Alive-- Bee Gees-- 1977-- A big surprise with the song that kicked it all off.

Brought Back Some Memories. --RoadDog

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top Disco Hits

The Jan. 27th List Universe had a LIST of the top fifteen Great Disco Hits.

I liked the music, but wasn't too keen on the lifestyle and culture folks tried to build around it.

As a deejay, if you're having problems getting people out on the dance floor, just put on most any of these in the list, and, if they are going to dance, this will get them going.

15. Funkytown-- Lipps, Inc.-- 1980-- Could be classified Nu-Disco. I like this and "Double Dutch Bus" which I normally play together.

14. Get Down Tonight-- KC and the Sunshine Band-- 1975-- First of five No. 1s. I would put all five of them on the list. Another sure fire way to get folks on the floor.

13. Turn the Beat Around-- Vickie Sue Robinson-- 1976. I liked the girl from Miami Sound Machine's version as well.

12. You Should be Dancing-- Bee Gees-- 1976-- How did that guy hit those high notes?

11. Brick House-- Commodores-- 1977-- Down Right Dirty id you ask me. She's built like a what? Some say a "brick ____house." A great follow-up to "I've Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. And, speaking of dirty dancing...not as bad as #9.

10. Heart of Glass-- Blondie-- 1979-- also ushered in the New Wave Sound.

Top Nine Tomorrow. --RoadDog

Happy Birthday, A.L.

Well, it was 200 years ago, today.

Even though I'm essentially Southern and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I have to give credit to the man. He was one amazing man. To have kept the country together during one of the worst times in its history is an amazing feat in itself, especially in light of the problems in his private life.

His sense of humor as well as ability with words, before presidents had full-time speech writers, is par excellence. Then, there was his rise from extremely humble beginnings to the nation's top office. Truly a self-made man.

Even though I was born in North Carolina, I have lived all but 11 of my 57 years in the Land of Lincoln.

We were even thinking of driving down to Springfield, Illinois, today, but have just gotten back from a 12 day trip to Florida's panhandle and a six day trip out to the Mississippi River to see the bald eagles. Time to stick around the house for awhile.

Happy Birthday, Abe. --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Perfect Beach Motel

What was to be a two night stay in Panama City Beach, became a five night, and eventually nine nights.

We liked the Driftwood Lodge that much!! The price was right. Our room was just 50 yards from the Gulf of Mexico with chairs, loungers, and picnic tables right outside the door, along with a mini fridge, and microwave.

The price, at $55 a night most of the time was on the mark as well. Of course, it is considerably higher come summer, but this was off season.

The pool was heated to 80 degrees and there was a hot tub next door at the Osprey Motel, also owned by the same family. Speaking of family, the Driftwood has been owned by the same family for over 50 years with the second generation running it today.

The only drawback was the lack of a good wifi signal. They have it, but you have to be up by the office to really get good reception. We could just barely get it out in front of our room, and even then, on a few occasions, I lost a lengthy blog entry which didn't make my day. There was no reception at all in the room.

We got to know our neighbors, the couple from Indiana and the one from Ohio. They'd both been there since the beginning of January and were staying to the end of the month. Lots of other friendly people staying at the Driftwood as well, many coming back many times over the years.

We'll Be Back. --RoadDog

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Must Go Home, But...

It's 3:50 PM and sitting out at a picnic table watching the waves of the Gulf of Mexico roll in onto an incredibly white beach about 50 yards away.

Unfortunately, tomorrow this time, I'll see the other lanes of an interstate as we head for home. What originally was to be two-three days in Panama City Beach, ended up being nine. Oh, well, someone has to sit here and make sure those waves continue to roll in, and I'm just the guy to do it.

We will be back next year!!! And for longer.

The palm trees and sea oats along the small dune nicely frame it. Listening to a great Beach station, 95One play a mix of Beach Music, well-known oldies, and not so well-known oldies. Our neighbors here in cabana row, Larry and Beth from Indiana are getting ready to fire up the grill. Then, there's that great Donovan's Reef across the street. I can handle it.

On the Road Again, I Wish I DIDN'T Have to Get on the Road Again, This Time. --RoadDog

Friday, February 6, 2009

Speaking of Karaoke

I continue to find things I can sort of sing and things I ought not even try to sing.

I have to put "Chantilly Lace" in the "Can" column along with Sam the Sham's "Little Red Riding Hood" and "There's a Tear in My Beer." Neither of the first two were great singers and lots of talking through it. For some reason, I don't do badly on Hank Williams, Jr. An even if I don't do great on these, folks are singing along so loudly, mess-ups aren't noticed as much.

Two in the "Can't" column would be "American Pie" by Don McLean and "Signs" by the Five Man Electric Band. The last one is a definite no.

The guy running the karaoke can't sing much either and won't start until he has at least three victims signed up.

On Wednesday, we had a guy named Tommy singing some mighty good country. Last night, one guy got up and sang two of the best renditions of country songs I've ever heard, but was told that he sings in the band at Tootsies at Pier Park. A girl got up and did "Redneck Woman" just as well, and she was at Tootsies as well.

One black guy was absolutely great singing anything, including Hootie & the Blowfish.

And, speaking of karaoke, The Beach, 95.1 FM, just played Patsy Cline's "Crazy." Two people did that last night including Phylis. We couldn't get Donovan's "Mayor," Gary, up to sing no-way, no-how. But, he sure did trip the light fantastic out on the dance floor the night before.

Had a Great Time. --RoadDog

Going for the Warm-- Part 4-- Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach, Donovan's and the Lodge

Drove and drove a really long way east and then south to Port St. Joe, Florida's Constitutional City (something about it being made there) and played NTN at the Thirsty Goat which is part of an old Beach hotel dating back to around 1900.

Then went to nearby Mexico Beach and played at Mango Marley's, a Beach Bar in every sense of the word from the logo "Floribbean Food, Fun and Rum", picnic table seating and bar.

We'd considered staying in Mexico Beach, but found no motels within walking distance. Drove back to Panama City Beach and checked out a bar we'd seen called Donovan's Reef (same name of the place back home that we hang out at) and found it to be a locals type place, AND, there were three motels right across the street, two of which were mom and pop, two story places right by the water.

Got a room at the first place we stopped, the Driftwood Lodge. We are right off the beach in what they call cabana rooms. Not bad for $60 a night plus tax. Then, it dropped to $55 Sunday.

We Are Finally Beachin' It. --RoadDog

Sittin' Out By the Gulf-- Finally Warm

Jus' sittin' here on a brilliant blue morning at 9:13, looking at the different hues of the Gulf of Mexico and that incredible white sand about 50 yards away. It finally GOT WARM after two pretty bad cold days. Still have my Sox jacket and blue jeans on, but plan to get into shorts and tee soon.

Temps forecast in the upper sixties the next three days. Just saw on weather bug that it will be in the 40s and even a 50 degrees tomorrow back home, so imagine everyone will be out running around in shorts and tee shirts.

Listening to the Beach 95 One who are just now playing General Johnson of Chairman of the Board's "When Can I See You Again." This is a mighty good oldies/Beach station that not only plays the Beach stuff about a third of the time, but also a huge selection of oldies, about hald of which are not the same-old, same-old ones played by most Oldies Stations. Right now, "Dirty Water" by the Standells. Great Garage Rock.

Is It Five O'Clock Somewhere? --RoadDog

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going for the Warm-- Part 3

Third Day.

There sure isn't much from Dothan, Alabama to Panama City, Florida, other than a nice four lane road, which keeps dropping from 65 to 35 going through what apparently passed as small towns in Florida. However, there was a really nice Florida Welcome Center with very helpful workers and free orange juice. Welcome to you know where.

Ate at a great barbecue place upon arriving in Panama City called Smitty's. A bit expensive, though and a ripoff at $5 to add a salad bar to your meal. Loads of model planes from WW I to today hanging from the ceiling and pictures of planes on the walls. I imagine it is for Tyndal AFB which is located here.

Scoped out Panama City Beach which is a good drive from PC and found a motel near some bars that might be of interest.

M0re to Come. ---RoadDog

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going for the Warm-- Part 2

Friday, we continued on I-65 into Alabama, stopping at the Tennesseean Truck Stop for a delicious catfish buffet. We'd never driven this stretch of I-65 south of Nashville before.

Drove past Birmingham and to Montgomery. Let me say this about US-82 on the south side of Montgomery. We took it from I-65 to US-231, and this was some of the slowest, most-congested, traffic light-infested driving I've ever had the pleasure.

You'd think the city planners could do a better job of lining up the signals and especially not stopping traffic on 82 to allow a few cars from side streets to get on. This was horrible.

Drove to Dothan, Alabama, after finally getting the hell out of Montgomery. Played NTN at five sites. Evidently, in Alabama, i9f you don't serve a certain amount of food, you have to be a private club. We have three memberships to show for our efforts.

Still Heading South. --RoadDog

Going for the Warm-- Part 1

Thursday, January 29th, we decided we'd had enough of all this global warming and headed southward to the Florida Panhandle, Panama City and points west.

Had fun with the snow that had fallen in Indiana the day before, standing in ice sludge to pump gas in Crawfordsville (but great $1.64 a gallon) and even more fun maneuvering along the snowy and icy streets of Columbus. Played NTN at Fourth Street Bar.

Then drove I-65 past some of nature's painting, snow on the trees until we got to Louisville, when it turned to ice. Going through Kentucky, the trees were bent over tremendously and some were right on the the edges of the road. Stopped at Horse Cave for gas, but the station and McDonald's had lights, but was closed. The McDonald's at Cave City was open only to drive through, but a gas station was open.

Drove to White House, Tennessee and visited with my nephew, his wife, and kids, then spent the night in Franklin, Tennessee.

On Da Road. --RoadDog