Daisies. They're A' Bloomin' Now. I have several hundred of them.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Iowa's Lincoln Highway

Several years ago, we took a drive along the Lincoln Highway in Iowa from Clinton to Council Bluffs, but didn't see the half of it compared to what we saw this time.

We went on the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association's River to River Tour from Thursday to yesterday. Along the way, visited three wineries and acquired five bottles of wine. One of them is at the old auto dealership with the architecturally interesting canopies in Carroll. Glad to see they are keeping the structure,but finding a new use for it.

Sad to see Belle Plaine's Lincoln Cafe is closed because of a murder. Hopefully, they will get that all sorted out and reopen.

We got to go into the Page Hotel, now apartments, in Mechanicsville, where Anne Ramsey stayed while becoming the first woman to cross the US by automobile. They had the ledger and we saw her name. Now, that's touching history.

We spent nights at Missouri Valley, Ames, Cedar Rapids, and last night in Clinton.

Today, we leave for home along Illinois' Lincoln Highway until we get to Dekalb, where we then drive home by way of Huntley and Woodstock.

In about ten days we leave for a trip across Missouri on Route 66 on another motor tour.

Love the Road, But Always Good to Get Home. --RoadDog

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doing the Iowa Thing

The last five days we've been cruising the corn and soy fields, small and bigger towns and hills of Iowa. We've visited bars, played NTN, cruised US-20 and the Lincoln Highway, went to three wineries, and had some great food while doing so.

It's a long way across Iowa in both directions. Over 300 miles. Lots of friendly folks here as well.

Finished the Lincoln Highway Tour today in Clinton. Then, decided to remain the night and drive home tomorrow,

Drove out to see the Clinton Lumber Kings play the Quad City River Bandits in a Class A Midwest League game. We didn't get there until the fifth inning of the second game, and happily did not have to pay admission. Unfortunately, the game ended up as a hometown loss.

We then drove around the Mississippi riverfront, downtown, and ended up watching the first half of the Bear-Bronco game at Legends. Lots of Bear fans.

Great Time in the Hawkeye State. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the Road for Two Days Now--Keep Tradition Alive

Tuesday, we left home and drove US-20 out to Galena, Illinois, where we went for our honeymoon 36 years earlier. We stayed at the Ramada Inn west of town which is built on the site of the Palace Motel. It was an old mom and pop type place and kept up very nicely, even in the years that we revisited. Sorry it was torn down.

Liz's boss at General Finance in Evanston had suggested Galena, which was just getting popular with people and even suggested the Palace since we were right out of college and didn't have much money.

We went into various stores and ate at the Log Cabin, where we ate the day after the wedding. It's been operating since the 1930s and hasn't changed a bit. Always outstanding food.

Back to the Ramada and we split a bottle of Blue Nun wine. Liz's father started that tradition when he gave a bottle the day of the wedding back in 1973, and we've had once pretty much every year since.

We've Done It All Before. --RoadDog

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's a Generational Thing

Today's Chicago Tribune had an article called "Talkin' 'bout whose generation?" by Ann Powers.

She was comparing the generations based by decade, and saying that everyone is getting hit with the sixties thing because of the Woodstock thing.

She also had the top ten from August 21, 2009 and August 21, 1969. I know that yesterday I made myself sit through an American Top 40 show so I could at least have some idea what is being played for the younger folks these days.



There were some good songs in here as well as the other ones in the top 40.

HOWEVER, I must admit liking the 1969 ones better for some reason.



Oh, Well. That's Then, This is Now. --RoadDog

JSS: No Grayslake Summer Days-- 23rd Time Boating-- Hitting the Road-- Zits

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. NO GRAYSLAKE SUMMER DAYS-- Yesterday, we went over to Grayslake's (Il) Summer Days, but just missed the parade and found that the bands were Friday and Saturday. Had to console ourselves with excellent burgers at the Last Chance Saloon on Main Street. Lots and lots of western motif all over the walls and an outstanding half-pound stuffed bleu cheese burger.

2. 23RD TIME BOATING-- Did a Boat Float out in Mineola Bay in Fox Lake, our 23rd outing since July 16th. Getting our money's worth out of the boat in what is left of summer.

We usually don't go out on the weekends because of the numerous boats that do. But we lost Friday and Saturday to some extremely threatening weather that never did much, but still something you don't want to chance in an open boat.

3. HITTING THE ROAD-- Getting ready to hit the road for a trip west on US-20 through Illinois and Iowa, and east on the Lincoln Highway in a motor tour. This all in honor of our 36th anniversary.

4. ZITS-- One of my favorite comic strips is called "Zits." It is about a teenage boy growing up with his parents. Today's strip is particularly good.

The boy, Jeremy, has just gotten his driver's license, something he has been really anticipating for a couple years. Today, we see him pulling money out of his wallet and saying, "I have my driver's license , a 1962 VW van and a little under forty bucks in my pocket."

The next frame you see him hanging his head and sighing.

Final frame, he looks at his friend Pierce and says, "There's a certain melancholy that comes with achieving all of your life goals at a young age."

Pierce looks at him and says, "What are your plans for retirement."

Brings to Mind What the Blues Brothers Said When Leaving the Show. --RoadDog

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Woodstock: Forty Years On-- Part 3

Bob Stroud didn't just play just music from Woodstock, unfortunately. However, most of the show was Woodstock related.

AT THE HOP-- SHA NA NA-- If you were there, you just didn't know who was going to show up on stage. Quite a diverse talent pool. This is the summer of '69 and the height of hippiedom, long hairs are everywhere except on the stage. Who are those greasers anyway. Back to the 50s. (Where's Bowser?)
PIECE OF MY HEART-- JANIS JOPLIN-- with her new band. She was out of Big brother and the Holding Company by this point in time and had her Kosmic Blues Band now. (I always felt she should have made the cut to be in the film or at least on the soundtrack. She certainly epitomized the era.)


I SAW HER STANDING THERE-- BEATLES-- Not Woodstock, but it is live. So many things jump out at you when you hear Beatles live recordings. What an absolute machine Ringo Starr was there playing live. What a great rock and roll band this is. And McCartney's vocals are just ? (not sure what he said). What a great singer. (Wouldn't it have been something if the Beatles and Stones would have also been at Woodstock?)

WOODSTOCK-- JONI MITCHELL-- going down to Yasgur's farm again with an artist who captured the setting's surreal, dreamlike beauty. Her composition that sums the whole thing up. (She wasn't there either. This was released after the festival.)
THEME FROM AN IMAGINARY WESTERN-- MOUNTAIN-- One masterful guitar solo from one masterful guitar player, Leslie West.

It Definitely Wasn't in Woodstock, Illinois, As One Recent Dumb High School Graduate Thought. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Woodstock: 40 Years On-- Part 2

Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots salute to Woodstock on the 40th anniversary of it last weekend.

He took a break from the Woodstock part of the show at this point in honor of Gary Loizzo's birthday.

GREEN LIGHT-- AMERICAN BREED-- Happy birthday to a good friend of ours, Gary Loizzo, lead vocalist of Chicago's own American Breed and for any number of years, he has been the engineer and sound man of Styx. Here is the American Breed and their follow up to "Bend Me, Shape Me," in 1968. (After this, he played a Coca Cola jingle by the American Breed from the late 60s.)
PSYCHOTIC REACTION-- COUNT FIVE-- Even though it is old, it never gets old. Classic ne-hit wonder from 1966 and included in Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 2. We are hard at work on Rock and Roll Roots Vol. 11, assembling the 12 songs and getting the art work together and all of the other particulars so we can bring it to you in November. (Well worth giving any of the previous ten CDs a listen if you like music from the 60s and 70s.)

Back to Woodstock

EVIL WAYS-- SANTANA-- A band that was basically unknown at the time. Their debut album wasn't even out yet. From the San Francisco Bay area and by the time they got finished with their 45 minute set, everybody knew who Santana was. Santana wowed them. One of the highlights if you talk to anyone who was there the entire festival. "Evil Ways" would be included on their first album.

I PUT A SPELL ON YOU-- CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL-- Back-to-Back Bay Area bands. One established, one not. CCR obviously the established at this point in time. (Old Screaming Jay Hawkins song, done up Swamp-style.)

Birthday Break

(THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE NATION) INDIAN RESERVATION-- DON FARDON-- English singer's birthday this week. His one and only hit in the States. As you remember, Paul Revere and the Raiders would have a big hit with it back in 1971. This is from 1968.
STEPPIN' OUT-- PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS-- And, stepping out with a cobbler, no less. They made such recordings back in the day, 1965, 1966, and 1967. From 1965. ("My good loving's been getting abused.")

Let's All Do the Rain Chant. --RoadDog

Friday, August 21, 2009

Woodstock: 40 Years On-- Part 1

As I suspected, this past weekend, Bob Stroud revisited the Woodstock Music Festival, which was underway 40 years ago this weekend.

With the exception of some songs from people having birthdays and some live music, the main part of his show was devoted to music played at the festival or about it.

His comments follow the song and group/performer.

Come on in, my tie-dyed friend and join us at Woodstock, 40 years on as we travel back to Yasgur's farm and enjoy some of the performances that shook upstate New York 40 years ago this weekend. It is a Woodstock kind of a weekend right here on the Drive including the Rock and Roll Roots Program.

WOODSTOCK-- CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG-- Their version out in early 1970, right around the same time of Joni Mitchell's version. Of course, she the composer of the classic.
FREEDOM-- RICHIE HAVENS-- What better way to start our Woodstock 40 Years On presentation this morning on the Rock and Roll Roots Program than with the start of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival here on 97.1, the Drive. And, it started with the above-mentioned Richie Havens. Throwing Richie Havens out there almost by his lonesome to the hungry masses and warming them up. A couple hundred thousand people out there. Sounds like he got the gig done with "freedom."

COMING INTO LOS ANGELES-- ARLO GUTHRIE-- Just a little under two years before he hit the stage at Woodstock he made his mark with a recording called "Alice's Restaurant."
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS-- ARLO GUTHRIE-- 1972, a good old Steve Goodman song.

"Three Days of Music, and Nothing But Music." --RoadDog

Thursday, August 20, 2009

News and Observation" What's in a Name?-- Is It Candy or Food?

Some items in the news and comment.

1. WHAT'S IN A NAME?-- The August 2nd Chicago Tribune ran a list of how the seafood industry has been trying to "dress up" the names of sea critters to be more appealing to eaters. First is the original name, then the new name:

Patagarian toothfish-- Chilean Sea Bass
Goosefish-- Monkfish
Slimehead-- Orange roughy
Rock Crab-- Peekytoe crab

Great story with some of Liz's mom's old friends. Once at a restaurant, one looked at the menu and said he wanted some of that orange rugby fish.

Slimehead, anyone?

2. IS IT CANDY OR FOOD?-- Illinois has an array of new taxes taking effect September 1st, including paying full taxes on candy (instead of the reduced food tax). That means 10 and a quarter percent in Chicago (11% in the Loop). The August 2nd Chicago Tribune had an graphic about what is considered food and what is candy. makes you wonder.

he law says any sweet with flour in it is considered food. Without flour, it's candy.

Item, then what it's considered under the new taxes.

1. O-Ke-Doke cheese popcorn
2. Cracker Jack
3. Butterfinger Stixx
4. Good & Plenty
5. Snickers
6. Whoppers malted milk balls
7. Hershey's Milk Chocolate
8. Twix
9. Kit Kat
10. Pecan roll
11. 3 Musketeers
12. Twizzlers
13. Goetze's caramel creams
14. Chocolate-covered peanuts
15. Chocolate-covered pretzels
16. Yogurt-covered raisins
17. Butterfinger


1. food
2. candy
3. food
4. food
5. candy
6. food
7. candy
8. food
9. food
10. food
11. candy
12. food
13. food
14. candy
15. food
16. candy
17. food

Who'd have figured? Back when I was teaching, the food service in the cafeteria once classified catsup/kethup as a veregtable. Oh, well.

Chicago and Illinois Is as Chicago and Illinois Does. --RoadDog

It's Thursday in Antioch

Hopefully, the rain will stop this morning and we'll be able to get some boating in.

Plus, tonight, nearby Antioch, Illinois, is having their It's Thursday party, a great way to get people downtown to enjoy the free music at the wonderful band stand they have. Plus, some local organizations can raise money, not to mention merchants benefitting from all the people coming by before the show.

Tonight, they have the Booze Brothers, a tribute band to the Blues Brothers. I really like that kind of music.

I've been to the last two shows. This last Thursday, it was Mr. Myers playing Caribbean rock, reggae, and Buffett music. We've been following them since the mid-70s when they started in Dekalb at Andy's, a favorite drinking place of ours.

The week before that it was the 50s-60s sounds of the Fairlanes and a classic car show.

Unfortunately, nearby McHenry also has the city band playing standards in the gazebo at Veterans Park on Thursdays as well.

Decisions, Decisions. --RoadDog

JSS: Dadburn Beetles-- Thanks, We Needed That-- Boated to 27 Bars-- Stroud Crowd to Woodstock

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. DADBURN BEETLES-- Still battling those voracious appetites of the Japanese beetles, making daily sweeps. Thousands of the varmints have died, but more appear to take their place. At least they didn't eat all the leaves off the mountain ashes like last year.

Hopefully the Home Shield will kick in soon to take care of the home-grown beetles. Unfortunately, they can't do anything about the fly-ins.

I REALLY HATE those guys.

2. THANKS, WE NEEDED THAT-- We had a steady rain both Sunday night/Monday morning, and again last this morning. We were needing it. Glad I cut the grass yesterday.

3. BOATED TO 27 BARS-- Last Wednesday, we went to bars 26 and 27 by water on the Chain of Lakes area. Old Bridge and Bimbo's were both on the Fox River in McHenry, Illinois. Our objective is to hit every place between Illinois Highway 173 and Broken Oar, way south on the Fox River. We believe there are still about 6 or 7 places we haven't been to.

Since returning from the Mediterranean cruise, I have stayed home except three trips to Wisconsin. This area is a great place to spend a vacation, and we HAVE to live here.

4. STROUD CROWD TO WOODSTOCK-- As I expected, Bob Stroud had a Woodstock 40 Years On show on his Sunday Rock and Roll Roots Show. I'll be showing the songs he played with comments later this week.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Where Were You August 2, 1969? --Part 5

Should Really Finish This Before the End of the Month.

BREAK AWAY-- BEACH BOYS-- we had the final album that summer made by the Beach Boys for Capitol Records titles "20-20," but it didn't contain their final 45 they would record before they left for the greener pastures with Warner brothers. And, it was aptly titles "Break Away" and one of the very best from the pen of Brian Wilson.
GET TOGETHER-- YOUNGBLOODS-- brand new. It had originally been out two years before, in '67 and only a minor hit. Now, it is becoming a Top ten smash. (Great way to sum up the sixties.)

MARAKESH EXPRESS-- CROSBY, STILLS & NASH-- their debut single.
MY PLEDGE OF LOVE-- JOE JEFFREY GROUP-- feel-good song of the summer. Out of Cleveland, Ohio.

MY CHERIE AMOUR-- STEVIE WONDER-- a "B" side in the Top Ten

EVERYBODY KNOWS MATILDA-- DUKE BAXTER-- some stations thought this too racy. One hit wonder, debuted on WCFL this week.


And the Number One Song

HONKY TONK WOMAN-- ROLLING STONES-- By August 2, 1969, Brian Jonesd not only kicked out of the Rolling Stones, he was dead, but yet the Stones continued to roll with the #1 song in town.

Great Music That Summer. --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Songs from Today's Date: Through the Yars

Once a month, I like to take a look back at the songs that were number one on this date through nthenyears.

These are the #1 songs for August b18th:


Any Memories? --RoadDog

Always Really Considered This to Be the Start of the School Year

Today was the first day the kids came to school. I never really counted non-student attendance days as a REAL school day.

I was thinking about it as I sat in the sun room writing in my journal and listening to Tom Marker's Bluesbreakers radio show which I had recorded last night and then out on the deck, still a-writing away, enjoying the sun and breeze, and listening to Wendy Rice's Saturday Morning Flashback to the year 1970. Lots more memories.

Then, I went out to the gazebo and blogged away.

Poor old me then had to go out boating on an absolutely beautiful day. After floating for several hours, we went to the Aquarium on Nippersink Lake for 75 cent drafts and a huge order of cheese curds.

Now, would I rather do what I did today, or be sitting with my students in a classroom?

Now, That's a Hard One to Call. --RoadDog

Monday, August 17, 2009

National Vinyl Record Day-- Part 2

I had an entry this past Wednesday, August 12th, about a day in honor of the 33 rpm, long playing albums I grew up with, but most rank just ahead of those old 8-tracks.

I miss my old record stores more than I miss the LPs. I actually like the CDs a lot better than the old albums for many reasons other than the higher cost of them. Now, unfortunately, CDs are on their way out as well.

What I really miss are the old Mom and Pop record stores. I could spend hours in those places talking records with the owners, workers, and like-minded customers. Unfortunately, they are also a dying breed.

In the past three years, I've lost Full Cyrkle Records in Crystal Lake, Illinois; The Record Rack in Goldsboro, NC; and just recently, Record Revolution in Dekalb, Illinois.


Several months ago, however, I came across Half-Price Books in Palatine, Illinois, which, although a Chain, might as well be a mom and pop store. They not only have CDs (both new and used), but also cassette tapes and LPs.

Then, even better, while boating down to McHenry, Illinois, last Wednesday (National Vinyl Record Day, I found another mom and pop record store, but haven't checked it out as of yet.

Lose Some, Get Some Back. --RoadDog

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Woodstock, Yardwork, NTN, Mar's

Even with threatening weather the whole time, we had a good time today.

Starting with Bob Stroud and his Rock and Roll Roots Show n the Drive, 97.1 FM, who did Woodstock Going On 40, a real trip back 40 years ago to something I missed, but sure enjoy listening to and watching the movie. After all, it was not held in Woodstock, Illinois, as I thought.

Did some yard work in the front yard: weeding, trimming, and transplanting.

Then, we drove to Wisconsin and stopped at Mar's, but it was too crowded. Went to Donovan's and played NTN with two top twenties.

Back to Mar's and sat outside listening to Geo-Don play on the deck. Great music and we had an added bonus when members of Hot Sands from Gulf Shores, Alabama, came in for several songs.

Came home and had a bonfire out on the Grand Strand, the lower patio.

I'll Take another One Just Like This One. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oops! Missed It-- Beginning Fourth Year of Retirement

Yesterday was the FIRST DAY of my fourth year of retirement.

What better way to celebrate than boating, floating, reading, old cars, and McDonald's.

Karen told me Thursday that the Round Lake teachers went back to school on Friday. She used to teach next door to me for many years at Magee and is about to finish her last year of teaching.

Now, when you're teaching, your first day of retirement BEGINS the first day that everyone else has to go back to school. Yes, you retire at he end of the school year in June (or May if you're lucky), but then you start summer vacation. Since you do that all the time, it really doesn't count. It counts when THEY have to go back AND YOU DON'T!!!

In the morning, we boated over to McDonald's in Fox Lake for breakfast, read the Tribune in the lagoon and fed the ducks. Then we floated in Nippersink and Fox Lakes while listening to Bob Stroud do his Ten at Ten bit (Ten songs from a selected year at 10 AM) on 1969 in honor of Woodstock.

Read some magazines while floating.

Came home and listened to the Woodstock album, all three LPs. Then went to Borders and bought the National Lampoon Roadtrip book.

Later, I went over to Richmond, Illinois, for their Cruise In. In the past it has been downtown, but it has moved out to the Dog 'N Suds. A deejay from 103.9 FM was actually spinning records on a turntable, none of that laptop business that most deejays use nowadays.

Not a Bad Way to Celebrate the Beginning of Year Four. Retirement, I Highly Recommend It. --RoadDog

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a Woodstock Tribute Near Woodstock

It's tribute bands doing a tribute to some of the bands that performed at the original Woodstock of 40 years ago this weekend. And, they are performing in Woodstock, as in Woodstock, Illinois. Interesting enough, this is where 18-year-old me thought the festival was all those years ago. I went, I looked, but couldn't find it.

The real one actually took place on a farm near Bethel, New York. And not at Woodstock, New York!!

This Woodstock happens at Galt Airport, near suburban Woodstock and takes place tonight and tomorrow. Organizers have scoured the United States and say they have found the best tribute bands of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, the Who, CCR, Grateful Dead, Santana, and two CSNY groups.

It costs $20 for tonight and $30 for Saturday, or $40 for both. On Wednesday, one of the CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) groups gave a free concert in Woodstock's square (so prominently featured in the movie "Groundhog Day."

I have to work tomorrow, so again will miss my "Woodstock."

Oh, Well. Better Luck Next Time. RoadDog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Farewell John Hughes

I was sorry to hear last week that film writer and director John Hughes died at age 59. He wrote and/or directed several of my all-time favorite movies.

Among them:
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Breakfast Club (1985)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Planes, Train & Automobiles (1987)
The Great Outdoors (1988)
Uncle Buck (1989)
Christmas Vacation (1989)

Of course, I was a big John Candy fan.

I wrote more on today's date on my Dead Page in the history blog.

Vinyl Record Day-- Part 1

I just saw it today, but yesterday, the Chicago Tribune said was Vinyl Record Day, celebrating Thomas Edison's invention of the phonograph which some say took place August 12, 1877. This date is questioned by historians and many folks under thirty wonder what a vinyl record is. Can you download it?

Although i really like CDs, I still miss the old LPs (Long Playing). And, they were considerably CHEAPER, something I especially like. I started deejaying playing 45s and lps on turntables. But, I didn't like carrying a whole album if I was just going to play one song. So, I switched to cassette tapes, which I still use even though they are increasingly hard to find.

Lately, I have been playing the "Easy Rider" and "Woodstock" albums in honor of the 40th anniversaries of those two events. Before that, it had been awhile since I played one which was probably Jaime Brockett's "Ballad of the USS Titanic" where he put his own spin on what caused that ship sank.

What Are You Going to Do With 297-a-half Feet of Rope? --RoadDog

I must still have ten or twelve turntables and a thousand albums and who knows how many 45s. I really should count them some day.

Monday to Wednesday-- Boating, the Brew Crew, and Boating Again

MONDAY-- It was boating time. Floated around then went to Baja Benny's on Fox Lake for their 75 cent draft special. We met up with the Kevin and Kelly and were planning on going across the lake to Captain's Quarters for their $2 rat and fries special and $2 domestic bottles, but the weather got threatening, so put the boats up and met over at Hello Folks in Fox Lake for their $1.50 pint special, NTN (with about seven Top Twenties), and the $2.99 Italian beef and fries. Stopped at the Legion on the way home for their 50 cent draft special.

We like to do things on the cheap as much as possible. Have a good time, but do it cheaply.


Drove around Kenosha during the afternoon. I'll need to go back as there is a lot to do there. They have done a great job on their lakefront, but the fog sure rolled in. Met a teacher buddy (also retired) Paul for dinner at the Golden Corral. Met up with two other retired teacher buddies, Mike and Bob, and we carpooled it to Miller Park in Milwaukee for the Brewer-Padre game.

Huge traffic jam on I-94 north of Racine when it went from three lanes to one. Great planning guys. Big wait at parking as well. Between the two, we didn't get to our seats until the middle of the second. Good game until the sixth, when the Brew Crew got blown out.

More on this trip at RoadDog's Roadlog: http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot.com


I had the best boating experience of all, boating on someone else's boat, yesterday. Kelly and Kevin drove down he Fox River to McHenry and we went to two new bars that we hadn't visited yet this summer: Old Bridge and Bimbo's. With these two, we have now been to a total of 27 different bars by boat on the Chain of lakes and Fox river this summer. We estimate there are about another five we haven't been to.

We also revisited After the Fox, Snug Harbor, and going back, the Aquarium on Nippersink Lake.

The deals on Wenesday:

Old Bridge-- $2 domestic, $1 PBR drafts
Bimbo's-- none
After the Fox-- $5 pitchers
Snug Harbor-- $3 Long Island Ice Teas, half-price appetizers (recommend the Caribbean rings and Margaritaville Nachos
Aquarium-- $1.25 12 oz drafts, 25 cent wings

Hey, cheaper is nicer!!!

Tough Life, But Somebody's Got to Do It. --RoadDog

Another Great Day here in the Midwest

Sitting out in the gazebo just a two-fingered-typing away on the the old laptop and listening to Uncle Billy Smith on 94.9 the Surf out of Myrtle Beach, SC. Ain't the Internet something? I was just out on the east patio having a cup of coffee and reading yesterday's Chicago Tribune. I'd have read it yesterday, but boating got in the way. The sacrifices I have to make.

Planning on doing some boating later today, then going over to Sequoit Lodge in Antioch for dinner and NTN before getting together with two old Magee teacher buddies, Paul and Karen, for the Antioch It's Thursday concert with Mr. Myers, a great Caribbean rock band we've been following since the 1970s. The Sequoit Lodge bills itself as a North Woods experience, and it is.

Tentative plans for Friday are boating and Richmond, Illinois, for their classic car drive in. Saturday, it's deejaying at the local American Legion for their picnic and perhaps a bonfire out on the Grand strand here at home.

Sunday, perhaps the 25 cent wings at Chopper's on Il-173 and then a band at Mar's Trading Post Inn in Wilmot, Wisconsin.

Love These Midwest Summers. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where Were You August 2, 1969?-- Part 4

Remember Way Back Then. Well, Here We Go.

POLK SALAD ANNIE-- TONY JOE WHITE-- top ten. (Some of that Swamp Rock, you know.)
FEELIN' ALRIGHT-- THREE DOG NIGHT-- brand new album, their second, "Suitable for Framing" and the lead off track was the old Traffic classic done up Three Dog night style with horns by Chicago. The single would later be the "B" side of the single "Celebrate."

GOOD OLD ROCK AND ROLL-- CAT MOTHER AND THE ALL NIGHT NEWSBOYS-- paying tribute to an era gone by, an era that Elvis originally got his start, produced by Jimi Hendrix. (When I was just a little boy, you know my one and only joy was listening to that good old...." Where did they go? See below.)
JAILHOUSE ROCK-- JEFF BECK-- Some of the most beautiful noise ever put to vinyl. This is Jeff Beck's version and you can find it on his second album that was out in the Summer of '69 "Beckola" with Rod Stewart on lead vocals on this track."

LAUGHING-- GUESS WHO-- Played the "B" side earlier, the "A" side.
IN THE YEAR 2525-- ZAGER AND EVANS-- Back in 1969, the year 2525 seemed really far off, now here in 2009, it doesn't seem so far off. Your classic one-hit wonder. Back-to-Back RCA Victor 45s (with "Laughing")


Boston, Philadelphia, Pa, deep in the heart of Texas, La Jolla, New Orleans, and Frisco Bay.

If Man is Still Alive and Woman Can Survive, They may Find.... --RoadDog

Bands, Old Cars, NTN, Name That Tune, and a Festival (or Two)-- Part 4


Sunday, after listening to Rick Jackson's Country Hall of Fame on WMIL, 106.1 FM, and then Mitch Morgan's 35 Country Top Countdown in the gazebo, we went to St. John's Parishfest in Johnsburg, Illinois.

Liz went to school with one of the members of New Odyssey from first to eighth grade and had just gotten back in touch with him after her mother's death (he had seen the obituary). They call themselves "Three Guys and Thirty Instruments" and put on one of the best shows around. They played all 30 instruments during a Beatles medley and did a great show on a group of drums during "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida."

Great food and reasonable beer at $1.50 a cup. We were joined by Sue and Paul who had just come back from a 24 day trip out west to the national parks.

Unfortunately, New Odyssey were late starting and had to stop several times because of rain, before he second half of the show was canceled.

A Mighty Good Time This Weekend. --RoadDog

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bands, Old Cars, NTN, Name That Tune, and a Festival (Or Two)-- Part 3



After leaving the steak fry, we drove over to the Ingleside Dog 'N Suds for their weekly drive-in party with old cars, deejays, and bands. Never been to one, but always wanted to so this was a perfect time.

Your vehicle had to be 1973 or older to drive into the parking lot, and they were in all the stalls and parked all over, even in the parking lot of the car wash across the street. No Firebirds, but two Camaros. Big crowd on hand, many who had brought their own chairs.

Big lines to order food and, of course, that magnificent root beer. We'd been there for lunch on Thursday when they have a 99 cent Charcoburger, one of the best burgers you can get anywhere. I love my root beer in a glass mug, so always get the 16 ounce. Bigger ones come in paper cups. Normally, I'd order the bigger sizes.

The sixteen-piece Lakes Area Swing Band was playing Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, and other Big Band standards. Really great music as well.

Having Way Too Much Fun in the Area, and Then There Was Sunday. --RoadDog

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bands, Old Cars, NTN, Name That Tune, and a Festival (Or Two)-- Part 2


SATURDAY-- After some yardwork, I went to nearby Lakemoor, Illinois, for their annual Lakemoorfest. Had a mandatory ear of corn and listened to the hard-rockin' Liberty Teeth band. You had to love the bass player in his kilt. High energy and a lead guitarist who had no idea where the stage was. A bit on the loud side though.

Ran into Jerry, the "Mayor of Tom's Cafe" (he was almost always there when Tom's was open) in Johnsburg. I do that quite often at the area festivals. Several folks were having a pulled pork sandwich which was really tempting, but I knew we were going to go to the Spring Grove Annual Firemen's Steak Fry later.


Drove over to Horse Fair Park in Spring Grove to support our gallant fire folks and had a great steak dinner, complete with corn picked today donated by Stade Farm, baked potato, cole slaw, roll, pop, and dessert. Couldn't even finish it despite not trying the puled pork in Lakemoor.

Sat with a couple and had a great conversation. He turned out to be one of our District 4 County Board Members, John Hammerand. He agreed that property taxes were ridiculous and says he always votes against tax increases.

Good crowd on hand for the event, and, at $17 a pop for dinner, I'm sure some money was made. Hint, though: Perhaps it would be possible to have two containers for the steaks, one for the more rare and one for the more done. Good steak though.

Wait, Not Finished Yet. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bands, Old Cars, NTN, Name That Tune, and a Festival-- Part 1

After some serious boating Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, it was time to enjoy other good things in the area.

THURSDAY-- After working in the yard, we went out and relaxed on the boat. Just floated, read newspapers, and listened to the radio. This is definitely one of our favorite things to do on the boat.

Then, I drove to the It's Thursday (Very creative name) party in Amtioch, Illinois. They have a band shell behind Main Street (Il. Highway 83). A 50s-60s band, the Fairlanes, were playing in the free concert and did quite a few songs you don't hear oldies bands doing. A classic car show was going on in conjunction with it. Old cars and old music, just the thing for an old guy like me.

One of these days I'll have to remember to bring a sweatshirt as it gets cool. Before the end of their show, I went to the Sequoit Lodge and found that they had just installed NTN-Buzztime, so, of course, played it. This is a true North Woods kind of place with an August special of $1 Bud Light pints everyday. This site gives me a total of 108 new sites for this year. Some day, I'll have to get a life I guess.

FRIDAY-- No boating because the weather folks were right, it rained. Just don't like boating in the rain. I took the '85 Firebird out and did some shopping at the the big boxes out on Il- Highway 31 in McHenry.

Even though I no longer teach, I just can't get away from those back-to-school sales. How can you beat 70 page spiral notebooks for 5 cents apiece?

We got together with Kevin and Kelly and drove to our home base for NTN, Donovan's Reef (named after the Lee Marvin/John Wayne movie) in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and had seven top twenties, including two double-doubles. We all got our free drinks for getting more than 12,000 on Countdown. I notice Countdown still goes through the motions of acting like there might be some chance that the magic number to get the players plus bonus will be something other than 9,000. It's always 9,000.

Also, hard to beat the Friday special: $1.50 pints and bottles all day.

Came back to Margaritaville, our basement bar, and played Name That Tune off the Ultimate Juke Box.

And Saturday Wasn't Bad Either. --RoadDog

Where Were You August 2, 1969-- Part 3

As in 40 years ago!!! Bob Stroud going back to what was on the radio and in our record collections all those years ago. This is his monthly Rock and Roll Roots Time Warp on Sundays from 7 to 10 AM on Chicago's WDRV-- 97.1 FM (96.9 FM here near the Wisconsin border. Bob's comments following. Mine in parentheses.

SOUL DEEP-- BOX TOPS-- brand new, latest from Alex Chilton and the Box Tops. (More blue-eyed soul!)
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE-- PLASTIC ONO BAND-- the real thing. (Song of choice for campus anti-war demonstrations at NIU. Well, not the real Beatles, but one of 'em anyway.)

BIRTHDAY-- UNDERGROUND SUNSHINE-- little garage band out of Minnesota in the top ten. Their version of the Beatles song. (Never heard it that I know of.)
SOMEBODY TO LOVE (lIVE)-- JEFFERSON AIRPLANE-- There was a strong showing by the San Francisco contingent 40 years ago. New albums by Sly & the Family Stone, Grateful Dead, and the Jefferson Airplane. The Airplane album was live and recorded at the Fillmore West. It was recorded in the fall of 1968 and called "Bless Its Pointed Little Head

DID YOU SEE HER EYES-- ILLUSION-- An east coast band that called themselves the Illusion, they were a one-hit wonder. An edited version of this album cut was the hit. (Definitely the l-o-n-g version. I was only familiar with the radio version.)

I'D WAIT A MILLION YEARS-- GRASS ROOTS-- debuting this week, forty years ago. (One of the really underrated groups ever.)
SOUTH CALIFORNIA PURPLES-- CHICAGO-- their debut album was all over the place in the summer of 69. One of the big albums that summer. "The Chicago Transit Authority. Jerry Kaft? never sounded better. (Named after Chicago's mass transit system, the CTA.)

Never Heard of Underground Sunshine. Must Be Some Sort of a Psychedelic Thing. --RoadDog

Friday, August 7, 2009

Where Were You August 2, 1969?-- Part 2

RUBY, DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN-- KENNY ROGERS AND THE FIRST EDITION-- huge hit. (I give this the reward for having the longest name and group name. Does it ever end?)
ONE-- THREE DOG NIGHT-- a former #1 hit for the group written by Harry Nilsson and a track off their debut album, and at this point in time, they had just released their second album, "Suitable for Framing" and we're going to hear some things from it later on in the show.

THIS WHEEL'S ON FIRE-- BYRDS-- Lead off track from their "Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde" album written by Bob Dylan. Yet, another Bob Dylan track that many of us had first heard on the debut album of the Band "Music From Big Pink" in 1968. (Never heard this version before.)
LAY LADY LAY-- BOB DYLAN-- brand new from his album "Nashville Skyline. (Liz was going to get this single for me, but when her mom saw the title, she couldn't. I wonder why? Something about a Generation Gap, perhaps? Liz did buy it later when her mother wasn't around. My favorite Bob Dylan song of my favorite album by him.)

WORKIN' ON A GROOVY THING-- FIFTH DIMENSION-- New single. Follow up to "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In."
PRE-ROAD DOWNS-- CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH-- One of the big albums of the summer was the debut of CSN. This is the tune that closes side one. In an interview not too long ago, Graham Nash let out the secret that there is one other voice on the record besides himself, David Crosby, and Steven Stills, and that is Mama Cass from the Mamas and Papas who they sneak in on the line, "Be sure to hide the roaches." If you listen closely, you can hear her voice. (Wish Bob had said this before the song so I could have been listening closely. I live it when Bob provides a little tidbit like this.)

BABY, I LOVE YOU-- ANDY KIM-- In the top ten with his remake of the classic Ronettes hit.

Lay, Lady Where? --RoadDog

Every Bloomin' Thing: Early August

This time of year, a lot of yards are without much color, but not mine. I have the color wit a capital "C." My objective is to always have color year round.

Unfortunately, there are flowers that I have that I have no idea what they're called. I should take pictures of the ones I don't know and take them to a nursery.

Here is a list of flowers blooming right now:

dianthus-- various colors
purple coneflowers-- purple
black-eyed susans-- yellow
tall phlox-- various colors, bur mostly purple
some kind of a white perennial
some kind of a tall yellow sunflower-type plant
hosta flowers (blue)
chrysanthemums-- yellow
daylillies-- various colors, but mostly yellow and red
tickweed-- yellow
daisies-- white (but starting to fade out)
plumgant-- blue

And there are lots of each flower all over the place.

I've been doing a lot of transplanting of hostas as well.

Love That Yard. --RoadDog

Lousy Japanese Beetles

Even if I do say so, the yard is ablaze with color from one end to the other. Helps make up for the leaves of the plum bushes, burning bushes, apple tree, weeping cherry, golden raintree, crabapples, mountain ashes, and birches that the lousy Japanese beetles love to munch on so much.

I do a "beetle sweep" at least twice a day. Many of them have died while gorging or procreating. At least they had "smiles" on their little buggy faces. Actually, they're easy to catch while procreating as it takes a little while to get "unhooked" as it were.

Best times to get 'em or early in the morning or late in the evening when they are more sluggish.

I smash them between my fingers or on my palm or drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

I propose sending the Japanese our mosquitoes in trade for their wonderful export.

The Only Good Japanese Beetle is a Dead Japanese Beetle. --RoadDog

It's Them, Not Me: The Summer of the Kid Movies

Is it me, or are there an inordinate amount of movies out this summer geared for the kid market? It seems that is all there is.

Anytime I go to the movies or drive by, there are L-O-T-S of kids standing in line, many without parents. Have parents found a cheap alternative to babysitters?

What happened to adult movies, and I'm not talking about the Triple X variety, but ones that would bore kids, you know, without the cuteness and constant action?

Here's a list of guaranteed-to-please-a-kid movies playing at the Round Lake Beach Regal Theaters:

Aliens in the Attic
G Force
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

By the way, I enjoyed Transformers and Harry Potter. I have nothing against kids' movies.

Well, It Won't Be Long before the Little Rugrats Are Back at School, Except for the Home-Schooled Ones Who Can Go to the Kids Movies Anytime. --RoadDog

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Events of 1969

The July 19th Chicago Tribune ran an article by Rob Mankel titles "Wal*Mart >", actually a star between the two words.

It had twelve other things occurring in 1969 and how they stacked up against the Moon Landing. Things like Nixon being sworn in, "The Brady Bunch" premiering, Beatles releasing "Abbey Road," Arpanet debuting and others.

Today, I gave my observations on my history blog at http://cootershistorything.blogspot.com.

If You're Interested. --RoadDog

Boating Update

Went downriver yesterday and visited five bars for the first time this season. That brings us to 25 bar/restaurants on the Chain of Lakes that we've visited this summer since putting the boat in July 16th.

We are half way through the 30 times I want to go out at a minimum.

Ate lunch at the Broken Oar and had half price appetizers at Snug Harbor, which just opened a month ago and will definitely be one of the big spots to go to on the Chain.

It was another great day to be out on the water.

Rick and Frank went with Liz and I.

Out on the Chain and Feeling No Pain. --RoadDog

Where Were You August 2, 1969?-- Part 1

This past Sunday, Bob Stroud did his third installment of his Time Warp back to the Summer of 1969.

By now, I was really getting ready to start my freshman year at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. I had a chance to go to any college I wanted in Illinois and this was the one I chose. I liked it because it was far enough away, but close enough to home in Palatine, about an hour.

I had already been to an orientation program on campus and was really looking forward to it. As they say, "It's not for knowledge that I come to college, but to raise hell while I'm here."

As usual, quotes are Stroud's and those in parentheses are mine.

You're just in time to stop on in and follow us back to the Summer of 1969 as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of August 2, 1969. This is what your radio sounded like.

GREEN RIVER-- CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL-- Speaking of two-sided hits, this was a new one in your radio from Creedence Clearwater. On the "A" side, "Green River and their new album would be out in about three weeks as well. This would be the title track from their third album. We'll hear the "B" side a little later in the show. (CCR always will be my favorite group.)
UNDONE-- GUESS WHO-- Doing it up with Guess Who on the Time Warp. There was a new two-sided hit. There's the "B" side. The "A" side we'll hear a little later. (Blue-eyed soul from Burton Cummings and crew.)

Break-- Coming back, Stroud played part of "Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet" by Henry Mancini. "Music to the soundtrack. This was a movie basically about a boy named Romeo and a girl named Juliet.

A BOY NAMED SUE-- JOHNNY CASH-- There was also a song on your radio 40 years ago about a boy named Sue by J.C., Johnny Cash. It was brand new from "Live at San Quentin. And, I'm a jock named Bob, this morning a Boss Jock. ("...Bill or George, anything but Sue!!" When I was deejaying, I really gave any girl in the audience named Sue a hard time with this one.)

More to Come. --RoadDog

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's Them, Not Me: Gas Gouge Again

Disgusting news, but those wonderful speculators are back driving the price of gas up again.

It was $2.50 here in the Fox Lake area (45 miles northwest of Chicago) just a little over a week ago. Today, the two wonderful Phillips 66 stations in Fox Lake raised their price to $2.70 from $2.64!!! They are always the first to raise prices these days, but when they do, you have to get gas fast from the others because they'll be going up soon.

I understand the price of oil has been going up, but just wait until the time comes to drop gas prices. It will be s-o s-l-o-w.

The government is trying to stimulate the economy, but these spikes hurt the economy. There should be some way to rein these speculators in.

Since we're nearing the end of the summer driving season, prices should be dropping, not going up.

What Gives? --RoadDog

JSS: Out Boating-- 1965 Crown Royal-- 2009 Camaro

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. OUT BOATING-- Yesterday was the 14th time out in the boat since we put it in July 16th. Objective is at least 30 boat trips for the season. This is a big part of our summer vacation this year, but since we're retired, it's not really a "summer" vacation.

2. 1965 CROWN ROYAL-- Very impressed with this, but yesterday we visited Frank's daughter and son-in-law on a channel off Pistakee Lake. In their bar, they had a bottle of Crown Royal, with the tax paper still on it, dated 1965. They said that someone who had given up drinking had given them three bottles of the stuff. Mike insisted on us having a shot and who was I to turn that down. G-o-o-d Stuff, Maynard. They also have a bottle of CR from 1971 and 1985. Hope I get invited back.

Hey, anybody out there giving up drinking, if you have any old stuff, get in touch.

3. 2009 CAMARO-- Or is it a 2010? Yesterday, we boated over to the Fox Lake American Legion and saw Larry standing outside as we went up to the door. He pointed out into the parking lot to his new vehicle, a 2009 Camaro!!! Wow!! I've been salivating over these since I saw pictures of them a year ago. Someone definitely earned their money in design.

He let me sit in it. Talk about your surround-envy!! I could definitely see taking an old road cruise in one of these.

1965 Crown Royal, Boating, and New Camaros. Oh Dear. --RoadDog

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sometimes You just Can't Win

First off, Saturday, I was planning on going boating earlier in the morning, but the weather was too threatening and storms were forecast.

I decided to take the 1985 Firebird down to the Fox Lake Jewel to get gas since I had 20 cents off on gas because of purchases. On the way down, the Citgo in Fox Lake was $2.50. When I got to Jewel, it was $2.60, so decided to go back to Citgo.

Stopped at Aldi and had several items, but the line was so long I put them back. No groceries for me.

I then drove back to Citgo and found they were now at $2.60 as well. Being low on gas, I decided I'd best fill up and it was $2.80 as the 'Bird takes premium.

Then, with all the threatening weather, it hadn't rained, so I went out, and guess what happened? I was fairly soaked by the time I got back to the house.

Let's see: no boating, no groceries, missed out on the cheaper gas, and then got all wet.

Well, at least the Sox beat that rich team from New York.

Oh Well, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose, and I Lost Today.

Too Bad We Have to Meet This Way-- Part 1

This past Friday, July 31st, Liz and I attended the funeral of a really good friend in Round Lake. Barb and her then-husband Don, were great friends of ours when we moved to Round Lake Beach in 1975. We essentially had the four corners where Morningside met Beverly tied up. Don and Barb lived next to Floyd and his wife on the northwest corner, Barb and John lived across from us in the northeast corner, we were on the southeast corner, and Pam and Angelo lived next to us. Hank and Flo lived on the southwest corner.

We did all sorts of things, mostly partying, together. We were even on the same bowling league. Barb, Don, Liz, and I on one team, and Barb, John, Floyd and his wife on the other.

We hadn't seen any of them for years, however. Too bad, it had to be under these circumstances.

We did get to see Barb's first husband, Don, John, Pam and Angelo's son Angel (who married Don and Barb's daughter Tracy), Tracy, and Barbie.

On Any Other Circumstance. --RoadDog

Saturday, August 1, 2009

OK, a Partial Cheesehead, Then

This last Thursday, I went with Kip and his wife Susie, and Paul, to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for the annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field. Kip owns one whole share of Green Bay Packer stock. He is, how shall I put it, a rabid Packer fan.

I, myself, now back the Pack, UNLESS they're playing Da Bears. I used to be among the many folks around here who absolutely hate all things Packers, but during the Magic Man season of 1989, we happened to be in Wisconsin a lot for games, and I eventually became a Packer Backer. Liz always has been one, since her dad was from Green bay.

This was a long drive, and I had to get up at the ungodly 4 AM hour to go to Kip's for the drive. We had to be there at 10 AM.

We drove past the packed grounds of the EAA in Oshkosh. I've never seen so many tents and RVs in one place.

I'd say Lambeau was almost one-fourths full. You had to have a ticket to get in. Unfortunately, it was raining off and on, and we had to sit outside.

The Packers are doing alright financially, but had to overcome three major problems last year: 1. Brett's retirement (or was it?); 2. the economy; 3) the 6-10 season.

Kip personally attempted to bail out Green Bay's economy in the various Packer stores we went to. We had a huge brat and some of the best-ever fries at the Stadium View Bar and Grille, before driving back.

I'd say we put on close to 450 miles that day.

Da Pack. --RoadDog

40th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival-- Part 2

Last night, at Waukegan, Illinois' historic Genessee Thaeter (built in the 1920s and a real show place), there was a concert by some of the survivors of Woodstock. I mean survivors of both the event and the these 40 years.

Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane (featuring Grace Slick) were there as well being MCed by none other than "Fixin'-to-Die Rag" himself, Country Joe McDonald.

I would have liked to see this show.

However, the actual weekend of Woodstock, August 14-16th, will be observed August 14th and 15th at Galt Airport outside of Woodstock, Illinois. Both nights will feature some of the best tribute bands around for various acts from 40 years ago.

I am thinking seriously of going to the Friday show.

Missed the First One, Perhaps I'll Make the Tribute One. --RoadDog

40th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival

"Morning Maniac Music," Right Grace?

This month marks the 40th anniversary at a music festival I really wish I'd gone to, but I doubt that my parents would have let me, as I was just 18 at the time and still living at home.

That music was something else, and what a movie. I'm sitting here right now listening to the soundtrack. Alvin Lee and Ten years After are playing "I'm Going Home" at the moment. This is my second sound track, as I literally wore the first one out.

That's three albums worth of music. I look forward to the day that it comes out on CDs. I've got a few scratches on the lps.

Neil Young has just joined Crosby, Stills, and Nash for "Sea of Madness" and I have to get up to turn the record over. I've been spoiled by CDs.

Love That Music. I'll be having Woodstock entries in my Cooter's History Thing Blog, http://cootershistorything.blogspot.com.

"It's a New Dawn." --RoadDog