Saturday, January 30, 2010

Heading Back to Woodstock, Illinois

Going back for Day 2 of the Hog's celebration with a viewing of the movie in the theatre featured in it, a chili cook off at the Opera House and a symposium on the movie there as well. In between, there will be a walking tour of movie-associated sites.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to go into the Cherry Street B&B where Phil stayed as well as the Tip Top Cafe where a lot of the movie took place. I have never been into either place.

Last night, I enjoyed a great Italian buffet, an oldies band and bachelor auction at the Moose Lodge where the movie's event took place. There was even a guy there that bore quite a resemblance to Chris Elliott, the camera guy from the movie.

Hopefully it won't be as C-O-L-D!! Out There as it was last night. We are getting snow right now as well.

The Dog Gettin' the Hog. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: A Chicagoan eats their pizza in squares, not triangles. Nor will they ever call it a pie. Even if a big pizza pie hits you in the eye like a moon in the sky!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Groundhog Day Celebration in Woodstock, Illinois

I have been lookingh forward to this annual event while freezing here in the Midwest. Something else to get me through these rotten "Global Warming" winters we've had these last three years.

It kicked off yesterday with a wine/beer tasting event in Woodstock. I didn't go as I had already been doing my own beer/Crown Royal tasting at Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.

In just a little bit, I head over to Woodstock to get my Dog On after stops in McHenry at Borders, Binny's (for some Rebel Yell Bourbon or perhaps some Royal Crown Whiskey) and Vinyl Frontier to look at used CDs.

Tonight, we have the "Awakening of the Groundhog" at 6 pm, followed by the "Shake Off the Winter Blues Charity Dinner Dance" at the Woodstock Moose Lodge, where the dance and bachelor auction were filmed in the movie.

Today or tomorrow, I hope to check out the new restaurant where the Tip Top Cafe was and the bed and breakfast where Bill Murray stayed which id being converted into a real B&B.

I have a ten question test about the movie on my history blog:

"Don't Drive Angry." --RoadDog

"Do You Want to Throw Up Here are in the Car?" "I Think Both."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: NTN CEO--- Smokin' Dubai

Things that just really toast my foot.

1. NTN CEO-- Or should I say Buzztime. I am a big fan of this interactive game played at bars and restaurants across the US and Canada. Every trip involves stopping at new places and playing.

I do not like the direction the company is heading and the way they are forcing us old folks to change so we can get the youngsters aboard.

Now, I see that the CEO resigned for personal reasons, after eleven months on board and after he has probably wrecked the company with his "vision." I just hope he gets to leave with no more than the poor workers he canned a few months ago.

This is SO CEO of him.

2. SMOKIN' DUBAI-- a friend sent pictures of these villas by the sea and the huge building they're building in Dubai. I see all this wealth and can't help but wonder where they're getting all this money from.

Any ideas?

And remember what happened when humans built the Tower of Babel.

Hey, I'll Be Your CEO!! And, I Know. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: You know the difference between the "Loop" and "Downtown." Not sure that I do, but, I'm a suburban kind of guy. I thought they were the same.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fans' Top Ten Movie Stars

According to a recent Harris Poll. (ranking last year) ** one of my favorites

#10 Julia Roberts (6)
#9. Morgan Freeman (9) Great job in "Invictus) as usual. **
#8. Meryl Streep (NR) Hilarious in "It's Complicated."
#7. John Wayne (3) Not bad for a dead guy.
#6. George Clooney (NR) The new Clark Gable? **
#5. Tom Hanks (7) Got to love the guy. "Angels and Demons."
#4. Sandra Bullock (NR) No surprise after "The Blind Side."
#3. Denzel Washington (1) Starting to really like this guy. Fine in "The Book of Eli."
#2. Johnny Depp (8) Love his characters **
#1. Clint Eastwood (2) Just keeps getting better. especially when he teams up with Freeman. **

Going to the Movies Today. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: It's "kitty corner" not "katty corner!!"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who'd Have Figgered? Super Bowl Shuffle-- What Gray Hair?-- Poe Is Me

My take on some news.

1. SUPER BOWL SHUFFLE-- Looking forward to the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks. One of the commercials will have a reunion of that great Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX Shuffling Crew. My all-time favorite 1985 Bears team. It will be great to see those guys twenty-five years later.

2. WHAT GRAY HAIR-- The Jan. 20th Chicago Tribune had a picture of the back of President Obama's head from two months ago and the back of his head on inauguration day. Considerably more gray hair looking at the photos. Is there a lot of stress in this job or what?

3. POE IS ME-- The same paper had an article about the no-show of the mysterious visitor who has placed roses and cognac on Edgar Allan Poe's grave on his birthday every year since 1949. People were waiting and watching. Guess that scared him (or her) off.

"We Are the Bears Shuffling Crew." Looking forward to seeing the Punky QB and Da Coach Will Be Handling the Turntables. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: You understand that no Chicagoan can be BOTH a Cubs fan AND a Sox fan. I like both, but Sox the most. That must be why I live in the suburbs.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bubble Wrap-- Part 2

Is there such a thing as bubble wrap etiquette? Emily was mum, but the virtual bubble wrap site had a list so you don't embarrass yourself.

*** DON'T POP someone else's bubble wrap without permission. This could lead to BAD things happening to your person.

*** Don't pop the wrap in quiet public places (like libraries) unless you want it confiscated.

*** Don't pop it in stores where you buy it. They get cranky when the rolls are all limp.

*** It is always good form to offer to share your bubble wrap.

*** Giving wrap to children results in good karma points.

*** Chicks dig bubble wrap. When dating, always bring some along.


I'll add a couple things:

1. Make sure you keep track of where you horde it.

2. Is there an expiration date on them?

3. Go into a store with the big bubble wraps, get a hold of the pa system and open fire.

Poppin' in My Head. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: You visit friends "down south" and laugh when they complain about traffic of prices. Thanks Lulu.

Happy 50th Love of My Life-- BUBBLE WRAP!!!

Today is a special day for me and many others, the 50th birthday of that fun of all-time-fun thing-- Bubble Wrap.

I love it, love it, love it.

I also horde it, bringing it out just on special occasions. I don't know if I'm more excited about the object I get in the mail or the bubble wrap if it comes with it. Liz just sighs.

I have NEVER yet dropped to the level of going out and buying it though!!!

GREAT SITE to find out about the stuff and do your virtual popping:

Get to Popping Before I Get Them All. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS, Things that mean you're from Chicago: You have no problem pronouncing Des Plaines.

JSS: Soxfest-- Great Games-- Christmas Lights--

JSS-- Just Some Stuff.

1. SOXFEST-- I missed it, but no big surprise since it was in Chicago and I don't go there because of the Chicago rip-off.

However, along with current players, they had some of my all-time favorites: Floyd Bannister, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso, Ed Farmer, Billy Pierce and Hawk Harrelson.

From my all-time favorite team, the 1967 ChiSox, Bill "Moose" Skowron, Gary Peters and Joel Horlen.

From my second all-time favorite team, the 1983's: Harold Baines, Greg Walker and Ron Kittle.

My all-time favorite Sox player is Harold Baines WHO SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME!!

2. GREAT GAMES-- Watched both NFL games yesterday at home in Margaritaville. Both were great, but especially the Viking-Saint one. My favorites won both games. I'll be pulling for the Saints in two weeks, but I am a big Colts fan.

Old Favre took a lickin' but kept on tickin'. Wonder if he will be back next year or "retired?"

3. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- Rained for much of yesterday morning and melted enough snow that I took advantage and went out to take the rest of the Christmas lights down from the front yard. They had been covered with a snow-ice mixture.

Just Some Stuff-- RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: Distance is measured in minutes, especially from the city.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Past Movie Scratches

A short take on some older movies I have seen on TV since the beginning of the year.

LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING-- Ring, ring, who's got the ring.

RESIDENT EVIL-- Da Birds and Da Zombies

MEN IN BLACK-- Real Big Bug Problem.

LORD OF THE RINGS: TWO TOWERS-- Battles, counting orks, dwarf tossing and wise old trees. Who could ask for more.

LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING-- It's humans and the dead versus orks, elephants and other humans for final domination.

Still Have Analog. --RoadDog

Chicagoisms: You don't pronounce the "s" at the end of Illinois, and get perturbed at folks who do.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Even a Tyrant Has to Listen to Music

The Jan. 20th Chicago Tribune reports that the London Daily Telegraph reported on the favorites of the world's ruthless leaders.

Tyrant first, favorite artist second:

ROBERT MAGABE-- Cliff Richard
OSAMA BIN LADEN-- Whitney Houston
KIM JONG II-- Eric Clapton

I wonder how they found old hidey-cat Osama to find out what he was listening to?

Even Bad Boys Gotta Have Their Music. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: Thanks Lulu. These are things that set Chicaguh folks apart from the rest. A "living room" is called a "front room."

Going Back to December 27, 1979, for One Final Look-- Part 2

Songs not played by Bob Stroud according to Dave McAleer's December 1979 Top Twenty list.

PLEASE DON'T GO-- KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND-- A slow song by the band?

STILL-- COMMODORES-- Great slow-dancing song.


LADIES NIGHT-- KOOL & THE GANG-- Okay, girls, calm down. Way too much estrogen.
ROCK WITH YOU-- MICHAEL JACKSON-- Back before the weird.

SHIPS-- BARRY MANILOW-- Don't remember this one.
WE DON'T TALK ANYMORE-- CLIFF RICHARD-- A rare hit for the guy here in the US.


BETTER LOVE NEXT TIME-- DR. HOOK-- Never heard of this one.

Back in the Days of 45s and Albums. --RoadDog

REDNECKISMS: You know you're in a redneck motel when you call the front desk and say, "I gotta leak in my sink" and the clerk replies to go ahead. Thanks Lulu.

Going Back to December 27, 1979, for One Final Look-- Part 1

Fron Dave McAleer's
The Book of Hit Singles: Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day."

A few musical notes first.

*** In 1979, the value of record sales in the US dropped 11% to $3.7 billion (with albums accounting for 90%. The number of platinum and gold records dropped by 50%. It was believed that the decrease in disco sales and increase in home taping were thought to be the cause.

This is when they were about to come out with the compact discs, which, as we know, replaced albums.

*** A survey showed that 50% of the highest rated American stations were FM.

*** Eleven fans trampled to death at a Who concert in Cincinnati.

*** Major "Disco Sucks" campaign under way. Hey, the music was great, but the culture some tried building around it was what really sucked.

*** Rap, which had been a New York-only craze, had its first hit, "Rapper's delight" by the Sugarhill Gang."

Rap, What's That? --RoadDog

REDNECKISMS: The minimum drinking age for rednecks has been raised to 32. They are trying to stop high school drinking.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: Blago-- Maddie-- Mikie

Things That Really Burn My Foot.

1. BLAGO-- Our former Gov. appearing on "The Apprentice." We will now be able to compare hair between the two to determine the world's worst. It would seem Blago is really enjoying himself for a guy in so much trouble.

2. MADDIE-- I see the Chicago Tribune is doing some investigating on Illinois' Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. It appears that something is amiss. Who'd have figured a politician from Chicago with something amiss?

I'd almost vote 'publican even though I like our representative in the General Assembly, just to get Maddie out of that position of power.

3. MIKIE-- It would seem Chicago's Mr. Sell-Myself, MJ, is upset that Jewel and Dominick's infringed on his trademark and business interests with ads congratulating him on Hall of Fame (these also included their products). I guess they didn't arrange to pay him in advance.

Really, It's Them, Not Me. --RoadDog

REDNECKISMS: A redneck must have invented the toothbrush, otherwise it would have been called a teethbrush.

A Look Back at the 2000s and 2009 Movies

I am taking a look back at the major (and maddening) economic events of 2000-2009 and the top-grossing movies of 2009 on my history blog.

You can read them at

Go to January 21st. There will several more days worth of the top ten economic events, plus lots on the discovery of the wreck of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur which was sunk by a Japanese submarine during World War II.

Still Burned About Most Economic Things in the Last Decade. --RoadDog

For Your Sanity: Health nuts are going to feel stupid one day, dying in a hospital of nothing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almost Forgot to Mention

It's A Doggone Thing

A couple days ago, I had a list of the top ten dogs in pop culture. As long as the college students were doing their load the ballot box thing, I have a couple mascots to present.

How about Victor E. Huskie of alma mater Northern Illinois and UGA at the University of Georgia (where I attended one year)? Those would be two fine additions.

McRib is Back

This morning, I tried a McRib that I bought yesterday. It was cold, but guess what? Cold is just as good. I REALLY love those McRibs!!!

One Mighty Fine Sammich. --RoadDog

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he gets.

Movie Scratches: Morgans-- Sherlock-- Air-- Complicated

A Dog's Short Take on Today's Movies.

1. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE MORGANS?-- Jan. 4th-- Fox Lake Free-- "Crocodile Dundee" in reverse. Funny despite Hugh Grant.

2. SHERLOCK HOLMES-- Jan. 6th-- Fox Lake $4-- Battling the Evil Lord Blackmore and Moriarity makes an appearance. Follow up?

3. UP IN THE AIR-- Jan. 13th-- Fox Lake $4-- Ten Million Mile Road Trip in the Air. Reality Check. Surprise ending.

4. IT'S COMPLICATED-- Jan. 13th-- Fox Lake $4-- How's a girl to choose between Steve and Aleck? Absolutely hilarious

Alec Baldwin's One Really Funny Guy? --RoadDog

Keeping Your Sanity-- Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

JSS: Won $7!!-- Cold and Dreary-- Eagles Groundhogs and Snow Sculpture on Docket-- Then Warm-- What Happened?

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. $7!!!-- Well, that might not seem like a lot, but that is the first money I've won in the Illinois Lottery since it began back in the 70s. Monday, I went to Hello Folks in Fox Lake, where I usually buy the tickets while playing NTN, and turned in a ticket from March 2009 and found out I won $7. Sure glad I turned it in or it would have been no good in a couple months.

I also must admit that I don't buy more than maybe ten times a year. With my luck, I know there is no chance of winning, but it sure is neat to dream about it.

2. COLD AND DREARY-- This winter is really getting to me. It's cold, dreary and not a lot of sun. I am not a winter fan, but have been playing an inordinate amount of NTN and have seen six movies si far.

3. EAGLES, GROUNDHOGS AND SNOW SCULPTURE ON DOCKET-- Hoping to break up this Drear with a road trip out to the Mississippi River to see the bald head eagles. Magnificent creatures. Then the next weekend, we have the Groundhog Day celebration in Woodstock, Illinois, where the movie "Groundhog Day" was made. That same weekend is the Snow Sculpture competition in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

4. THEN WARM-- Next, a trip to Panama City Beach, Florida, where I see they have 70 degrees this week. Sure could use that.

5. WHAT HAPPENED? Watching some college hoops last night. Wisconsin won and, surprisingly, NIU beat dastardly Toledo, something that doesn't happen very often. Surprisingly, Duke lost to NC State and North Carolina was trounced by Wake Forest. What's with UNC this year?

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

Keeping Your Sanity-- Pick up a box of condoms at the pharmacy and ask the clerk where the fitting room is.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1979? --Part 2

DON'T DO ME LIKE THAT-- TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS-- first single release from "Damn the Torpedoes." (Pride of Gainesville, Florida, but an acquired taste as he can't really sing, but somehow it all works out.)
JANE-- JEFFERSON STARSHIP-- And, when Jane Byrne was mayor of Chicago.

BAD CASE OF LOVING YOU-- ROBERT PALMER-- (I wonder if a doctor can treat it?)
DREAM POLICE-- CHEAP TRICK-- Top Ten (Rockford, Illinois' pride and joy. Two rock stars, two nerds.)

ALL I EVER WANTED-- SANTANA-- a hundred miles an hour from 30 years ago. From new release "Marathon." (Always wonder the name of the song.)
HEAD GAMES-- FOREIGNER-- off new album and title track. (I always confuse these guys with Bad Company for some reason.)

TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME-- SUPERTRAMP-- (A whole new sound on the radio. Liked it.)
GOOD GIRLS DON'T-- KNACK-- Follow up to "My Sharona" from debut album. (Liked this one just as well, especially since I was really getting tired of "My Sharona" which was being played ALL OF THE TIME!!)

TUSK-- FLEETWOOD MAC-- back with a double vinyl release following up "Rumours." far more experimental, far more quirky than "Rumours." Purposefully so.
POP MUZIK-- M-- A pop and rock wonder. A one-hit wonder that goes to #1. There are not many in the history of rock and roll. The label listed the artist as "M," but actually an Englishman by the name of Robin Scott.

BABE- STYX-- The number one song in Chicago from their new album "Cornerstone."

Good Music Back Then. --RoadDog

It's a Doggone Thing


To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the American Kennel Club had online folks vote for their favorite dogs in culture. They received 71,000 votes. Here's the top ten.

What do you think the Number One Was?

10. Brian Griffin from "Family Guy." (About the only sane one on the show, other than the wife.)

9. The song "Who Let the Dogs Out" I can agree with this one. That is a neat song. Everybody bark now.

8. Georgetown University's Jack the Bulldog. Looks like the college students loaded into this one.

7. The song "How Much is That Doggie in the Window?" You know, the one with the waggly tail.

6. The painting of dogs playing poker. a personal favorite since I have two copies.

5. Pound Puppy Toys. What?

4. Eddie from "Frazier." that was one fun-nee dog-gee. That bit with Eddie watching while Niles had the meltdown iron his pants was one of the best-ever in comedy. Then there were the Frazier-Eddie stare downs.

3. Scooby Doo I didn't much care for him.

2. Texas A & M's Reveille mascot. College students again!!


1. Snoopy, of course. Old Joe-Cool and the Flying WW I Ace.

Personally, I vote for our old dog, Brandy.

What a Mutt!! --RoadDog

Monday, January 18, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1979?-- Part 1

We were finishing up the 70s and getting ready to go into a new decade. We were living in our home at 1013 Morningside in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. We moved in during 1975.

I was half way through my seventh year of teaching at John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake and Liz was in her fifth year teaching and at Ellis Elementary School in Round Lake Beach. We were quite spoiled as I had a three mile drive to school and Liz a half mile.

I was also working on my master's degree at Northern Illinois University.

As usual, Bob Stroud's comments are first. Mine are in parentheses.

COOL CHANGE-- LITTLE RIVER BAND-- By the end of the 70s, there was a bit of change in the music. (Not to mention it is quite cool these days in Chicago.)
DON'T BRING ME DOWN-- ELO-- From new album "Discovery." (And, they were ALBUMS back then.

HEARTACHE TONIGHT-- EAGLES-- co-written with Bob Seger. Glen Frey, Don Henley, J.D. Souther from the album "Long Run."
DREAMING-- BLONDIE-- a new-wave-punk thing happening.

How Do You Beat Electric Light Orchestra? --RoadDog

How About That NTN-Buzztime


This past Friday, my big wish finally came through. We got to play the games that "Seen Its" play, where we have seen the game before. We always hate it when we play a really hard game and then see all those perfect or near-perfect games coming up on the individual boards. Of course, they do pretty well on the site boards as well.

Friday, we got the playing field leveled, but you wouldn't know judging from our first game. We had seen the questions and answers, but couldn't remember the answers. We did better on subsequent Countdowns where we actually remembered.

It would be nice if Buzztime would make sure that no games are total repeats. You'd think that with technology available they could find a way to rotate questions better than "Seen It."

Time for a Change. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So, Who Were Vanity Fare and Shocking Blue

Earlier this month, in my "What Were You Doing December 27, 1969? entries, i mentioned the songs "Early in the Morning" by Vanity Fare and "Venus" by Shocking Blue.

I did some more research, compliments of Wiki, on these two groups.

VANITY FARE-- I had a hard time bringing this one up...and I found out why. I have always misspelled the name Vanity Fair. Wikipedia said that was a common mistake. I looked back to January 7th and sure enough, I had spelled it Fair.

They were a British group formed in 1969 best remembered here in the US for 1970's "Hitching a Ride." Their first hit in the UK was a cover of the Sunray's "I Live for the Sun." Their biggest British hit was "Early in the Morning" which went to #8 in August 1969 It went to #12 here in early 1970. "Hitching a Ride" sold over a million copies and went to #5 in the US and #16 in the UK.

They are still performing in the UK and are taking part in Solid Silver 60s Show from this March to May along with members from the Searchers, Swinging Blue Jeans and Troggs.

SHOCKING BLUE-- A Dutch rock band from The Hague. Their one really bug hit was "Venus" which went to #1 in February 1970. By 1973, the group had sold 13.5 million songs before they disbanded in 1974 after lead singer Mariska Veres left to pursue a solo career. That was her singing you heard on "Venus." She died in 2006.

So, Now We Have the Spelling Figured Out, But Still Think Mariska was Singing Some Different Words. --RoadDog

What Am I Doing Here?

Even though we now have a "heat wave" going on, with temps in the mid-30s (hey, we went from Christmas Eve to two days ago where it never got above freezing), I'm not ready to clear the snow off the deck and catch some rays.

However, I know where I'd like to be as I sit here listening to Ray Scott's Beach Music Top 40 Countdown on the Surf, 94.7 FM out of North Myrtle Beach, SC. They are having the Mid Winter SOS Party there this weekend with lots of bands, shagging (the dance), and drinking along Ocean Boulevard and Ocean Drive. Lots of Beach Music bands and deejays in town.

About fifty miles away, the 145th anniversary of the fall of Confederate Fort Fisher is also being observed near Wilmington, NC. This fort is what got me interested in history and particularly Fort Fisher. All sorts of things are going on there as well.

Oh well, it would be hard to be in two places at the same time, plus, we are considering going out to the Mississippi River for our annual bald eagle watching trip.

Listening to the Beach music and writing about Fort Fisher in my Civil War Blog will have to suffice.

What's the Number One Song, Ray? --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: When leaving the zoo, start running for your car screaming, "Run for your lives!! They're loose!!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

What Were the Brits Listening To December 27, 1969?-- Part 6

Across the Big Pond, British folks were listening to these songs that we had here in the States in December. From Dave McAleer's book.





Some songs they had that I'm not familiar with:




I have heard of all these performers, however.

A Great Era for Music. --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: Put decaf in the coffee pot for three weeks in the office. Then switch to expresso.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1969?-- Part 5

When Stroud takes his commercial break, he comes back with a song from that date and plays a little of it.

He had four songs from 1969:

La La La (If I had You-- Booby Sherman-- teen heart throb

Walking in the Rain-- Jay and the Americans-- a cover of an old Ronettes song, sung by Jay Black.

I'll Never Find a Love Again-- Dionne Warwick-- from Bacarach and David

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head-- B. J. Thomas-- From "Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid" soundtrack.

Other Top Twenty songs from December 1969.

From The Book of Hit Singles Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day by Dave McAleer.


Getting Ready for the Seventies. --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: When the money comes out of the ATM, scream, "I WON!! I WIN!!"

Oh Boy, McRib is BACK!!!!

Well, now that the Bears and Packers are out of the playoffs, at least that sandwich of all sandwiches, the McRib, has made its way back to us here in the Chicagogoland area.

While listening, I think, to Wxrt's Flashback Saturday, I heard them say that the McRib was back in the area and immediately started salivating worse than old Pavlov's digs.

This is my all-time favorite item from McDonald's. However, some of the local McD's do not carry it, so I was a bit apprehensive when I approached the one closest to us in Fox Lake yesterday. Nothing outside on the windows and they don't have an advertising sign like some other places.

I went inside, and there was "my precious" up on the board. Now, it costs $2.19 and a meal $4.77. I made it large and it came to $5.76 with tax and worth every single mouth-watering bite.

I had a sneak preview while driving back from North Carolina at the beginning of December, when I got one in Zanesville, Ohio, and another in Gibson City, Illinois. Now, I have it at home!!!

Joy! Joy! --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: Skip down the hall and see how many looks you get.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: The Problem with Ex-Illinois Governors

Things That Can REALLY Burn You Up.

Believe it or not, but some guy nominated former Illinois Governor George Ryan for a Nobel Peace Prize for halting executions in the state as he left office. The only thing is, he currently resides in a federal jail cell. Well, I guess if the president can get one for being elected, George should be considered.

Then, Ex-Gov Rod was caught saying he was "Blacker Than Barack Obama." Well. I guess he is HAIRIER than the president.

Also today, someone has decided that there is often a correlation between people with lots of body piercings and tattoos with their getting in trouble. Who'd ever have "figgered" that?

No Kidding? --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: Order a diet water when you eat out...and keep a straight face.

Another Big Reason Why I Don't Much Care for Winter and Snow

Yesterday, I attended the wake of a friend of ours from Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. Mike was 71 and spent winters at his condo in Clearwater Beach, Florida. He had worked in Chicagoland but had always vacationed in Twin Lakes where he and Maryanne bought a house just up the street from Donovan's.

This year, they had decided to remain in Twin Lakes to have Christmas with family and were planning on leaving for Florida on January 9th. However, we received 12 inches of snow on the 7th and he was out clearing his driveway on Friday the 8th when he had a massive heart attack.

We often played NTN with him at Donovan's and he will be greatly missed. He was one of the friendliest guys you'd ever want to meet.

Worthless Snow. --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1969-- Part 4

Well, here we are getting ready to move into the next decade, the seventies. Good times back then.

SHE-- TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS-- newest 45. No to be confused with the Monkees hit from a few years earlier. (Not really familiar with this one.)

COME TOGETHER-- BEATLES-- The "A" and "B" side of the newest Beatles release.
SOMETHING-- BEATLES-- (What, the Beatles with a two-sided-hit? That's like CCR having a two-sided hit.)

SHE BELONGS TO ME-- RICK NELSON-- one of my favorite songs from 40 years ago today by a guy who used to go by the name Ricky nelson. These days, he was Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band covering Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me." (Little Ricky growing up. No more slicked back hair.)
WHOLE LOTTA LOVE-- LED ZEPPELIN-- from "#2" about a month old.

EVIL WOMAN-- CROW-- First hit. (One of the great garage rock bands of all time. Little Steven would definitely agree with me.)
I WANT YOU BACK-- JACKSON FIVE-- killer song production. First time out in the top ten. Graham Parker did a great version of it in the late seventies. (My favorite Jackson Five/Michael Jackson song.)

SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER-- The Supremes-- a rather turbulent time. This song kind ofbrought people together. Diana Ross's swan song with the Spremes. (Number 1 in Chicago.)

Getting Ready for the Seventies with Some Great Sixties Songs. --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: Ten days in advance, tell your friend you can't attend their party because you have a heahache.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1969-- Part 3

Continuing with my freshman year in college.

SOMETIMES IN WINTER-- BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS-- the "B" side of "And When I Die." Playing the "B" side because, after all, it is winter officially, and it has been that kind of winter out there lately and this song kind of hits the spot in these surroundings. A great Steve Katz song, the guitarist of the band. (Does this have anything to do with "Global Warming?")
VENUS-- SHOCKING BLUE-- From the Netherlands, our first taste of the band. (Did she say Venus or ____? Our first and only taste of them since they were a one-hit-wonder.)

FORTUNATE SON-- CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL-- one side of a two-sided hit, the other was "Down On the Corner." (CCR, what can I say?)
THESE EYES-- JR, WALKER & THE ALL STARS-- The two number one soul pockets in the US, Philadelphia and Detroit. Motown and their version of the Guess Who.

A BRAND NEW ME-- DUSTY SPRINGFIELD-- Late great. Written by Gamble, Bell and Chicagoan Jerry Butler, the "Iceman."
UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK-- BAND-- their latest from the newly released second album simply called "The Band." (My second favorite late sixties, early seventies band.)

JAM UP AND JELLY TIGHT-- TOMMY ROE-- getting all Bubbly Gummy on us. Current hit in the Top Ten. 1969 was a big year for him. Began it with a #1 hit "Dizzy." (Another under rated performer.)
HOLLY HOLY-- NEIL DIAMOND-- (My second favorite Diamond song after "Solitary Man.")

So. What Were You Up To? --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: In memo line on your check, write "for marijuana."

The Surf's Top 40 Beach Music Songs of 2009-- Part 2

Now, the Top Twenty.

20. BACKSEAT BLUES-- Clint Horton

16. FOUR LETTER WORD-- Castaways
14. TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME-- Royal Drifters
13. 1 2 3 KIND OF LOVE-- Band of Gold

11. HEAVY LOVE-- Fantastic Shakers
10. GIRL, I LOVE YOU-- Paul Craver
9. HEY CUTIE-- High Tide

8. GOT IT BAD FOR YOU-- Holiday Band
7. LIFE IS A BEACH-- 58 West
6. PLEASE DON'T ASK ME-- Fantastic Shakers
5. EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE-- Gold Rush and Jerry Shooter

3. BUILD ME UP-- Band of Oz
2. HOW CAN I TELL YOU-- David Terry
1. AIN'T NO WOMAN LIKE YOU-- Fantastic Shakers

There, you have the Top 40 Beach Music Songs for 2009. If the new music doesn't do it for you any longer, give Beach Music a listen.

Good Old Beach Music. --RoadDog

To Keep You Sane: Sing along at the opera.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1969?-- Part 2

We were getting ready to go into the decade of the seventies and these were the songs we were listening to as compiled by Bob Stroud on his Rock and Roll Roots Show on WDRV, the Drive, in Chicago.

As usual, his comments first (how can he know that much stuff?) and mine following in parentheses.

As we get ready to say goodbye to the first decade of the 2000s, this morning on Rock and Roll Roots, we are going to time warp you back to when we said goodbye to the 70s and first off, the 60s. The date is December 27th and this is what your radio sounded like in 1969.

NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE-- STEAM-- one hit wonder from a little studio band, it was in the top ten on this date. It is a song that still hasn't run out of steam, especially here in Chicago. We're kissing the first decade of the 2000s goodbye. (My White Sox song brought to us by Sox organist Nancy Faust, who will be retiring after this season after 40 years on the job. We'll miss her, a real Sox tradition. Whenever I hear another team's fans singing it, I think, "Hey, that's our song!!)
HEAVEN KNOWS-- GRASS ROOTS-- (Still one of the most under rated groups ever. They had some mighty good stuff.)

EARLY IN THE MORNING-- VANITY FAIR-- Seeing as it is early in the morning (about 7:10 AM), we are going to go back and catch the first of two hits by an English band called Vanity Fair. In 1970, they had their second hit, "Hitching to Ride."
WONDERFUL WORLD, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE-- JIMMY CLIFF-- a big reggae hit, one of the first. (Way before I knew what reggae was. I didn't really get into this music until the 80s. It is now a favorite.)

Loved My WLS and WCFL. --RoadDog

The Surf's Top 40 Beach Songs of 2009-- Part 1

Twenty-four hours a day with 12 by deejays. Sure am going to miss the best of the Beach Music Deejays, Uncle Billy Smith who died this past fall. He was the Voice of Beach music.

Check out the live feed at Especially if today's mostly hip-hop and rap pop music just isn't your thing.

40. ROLL WITH ME HENRY-- Flashbacks
39. HOT STUFF-- Jay Proctor
38. DON'T EVER BE LONELY-- Mark Roberts & Breeze

36. I LOVE ONLY YOU-- William Dell & the Wee Jams
35. NICE WHILE IT LASTED-- Rick Strickland
34. CUZ IT'S YOU-- Gary Lowder
33. LOVE THANG-- Tim Clark Band

32. GIVE IT UP-- Castaways
31. LEFT WITH A BROKEN HEART-- Rhonda McDaniel
30. LADIES NIGHT-- Out of Towners

28. I GO CRAZY-- Chairmen of the Board
27. YOUR LOVE LOOKS GOOD ON ME-- Castaways & Bo Schronce
26. CHANCES ARE-- Chairmen of the Board
25. RED SHAGGIN' SHOES-- Fabulous Jelly Rolls

24. EVERYDAY LOVE-- North Tower
23. I'VE GOT NOTHING TO LOSE-- Magnificents
22. GRAND STRAND GIRL-- Tim Cashion
21. MOTOR UNDER THE HOOD-- Holiday Band

Lovin' my Beach Music.

Top Twenty Up Next. RoadDog

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where Were You December 27, 1969?-- Part 1

On December 27th, Bob Stroud did a Time Warp back to the changing to new decades years of December 27, 1969 and 1979.

December 27, 1969, I was a freshman at Northern Illinois University and home for Christmas Break (yes, that's what we called it back then). I was at my parents' home on Anderson Drive in Palatine, Illinois. I was working the holidays at my old high school job, serving up Whoppers at the Burger King on Northwest Highway in Palatine and getting paid, I think, $1.50 an hour.

Liz and I were still going together but it was becoming strained as she was attending Harper College.

My speech teacher at Northern had let me use his Volkswagen Beetle after I drove him to O'Hare for a flight back home. My brother had gotten the keys and taken it out for a ride and lost control in the snow and broken a front headlight which Dad was nice enough to have fixed. Sure had a hard time getting Bro to admit it.

Music Up Next. --RoadDog

To maintain your sanity: At lunch, sit in your parked car with sun glasses and point a hair dryer at passing cars and see how many slow down.

Sick and Tired

I'm really getting sick and tired of this winter. Not only is the Bowl season a disappointment with teams I supported posting a 3-16 record, but, it has been C-O-L-D and way too much S-N-O-W.

The week around Christmas was snow and snow. This last week it is cold and then more cold.

It's not supposed to get above freezing for at least the next week and I don't remember the last time it was above it.

Now, I hear 6-9 inches of the white stuff on the way tomorrow!!

I'd go south (something you can do when retired) but its not much warmer there, with even freeze warnings in Miami.

Might As Well Stay here and Freeze. --RoadDog

BUMPER STICKER of the year: If you can read this, thank a teacher. If it's in English, thank a soldier.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: Oil Boys At It Again

I filled up with gas yesterday at $2.68 a gallon. Other stations in Fox Lake, Illinois at $2.70 and $2.72.

The last time the Big Oil Boys (GRBs) kept it this high was before the summer assault on our wallets back in 2008 when they got the price of a gallon over $4. Are they planning for $4.50 or more this summer.

The reason given for oil prices going up is that the economy appears to be improving. To my way of thinking, these Big Oil Boys had as much to do with the downturn as the investors.

Hopefully, they learned that once they hit the $4 barrier, people will seriously cut back on driving, causing the prices to drop again. Did they learn anything last time? Probably not as their greed and avarice know no boundaries.

Looking Like a Greedy Repeat. --RoadDog

To maintain your sanity: Page yourself over the intercom without disguising your voice.

Movie Scratches: White-- Blind-- Twilight-- Dogs-- Avatar-- Avatar-- Invictus

Wrapping up the movies I saw during 2009.

WHITE OUT-- 9-18-- Fox Lake $5.50-- a real frigid who-dun-it, coming out of the cold.

BLIND SIDE-- 12-9-- Fox Lake $4-- The feel-good movie of the year.

TWILIGHT: NEW MOON-- 12-9-- Fox Lake $4-- One boyfriend's a werewolf, the other's a vampire. What's a girl to do?

OLD DOGS-- 12-14-- Fox Lake Free-- "Don't call me grandpa." Robin and John find the joys of fatherhood. Hilarious.

AVATAR-- 12-18-- Fox Lake $5.50 + $2 3D glasses-- Go to the bathroom before it begins and don't drink too much. I'll have to see it again

AVATAR-- 12-23-- Round Lake $7.50 (non-3D)-- "Dances With Wolves" goes to space. Liked it better regular than 3D.

INVICTUS-- 12-23-- Fox Lake $4-- Forging a country with rugby.

I've already seen my first movie of 2010, "Have You Heard About the Morgans?" Funny.

Welcome to Commercial Fest before Previews. --RoadDog

To maintain your sanity: Every time someone asks you to do something, ask them if they want fries with that?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Words That Should Be Banned in 2010

Jan. 1, 2010 Chicago Tribune.

The Lake Superior State University's Word Banishment Committee has issued its annual list of words and phrases that should be dropped from common usage.

Ten years ago, it included: Y2K, You the Man and Ask for it by name.

Last year: maverick, staycation, back in the day and it is what it is.

THE 2010 LIST (well, some of it)

In these economic times
stimulus toxic assets
too big to fail
teachable moment

For full list:

How About Download? --RoadDog

Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but criminals can in prison?

Number One Songs This Date

January 4th. Source: Josh Hosler's

2010 TiK ToK-- Ko Sha (Never heard of it)
2000 Smooth-- Santana/Rob Thomas-- Mr. Sixties Woodstock guy still putting out the hits.
1990 Another Day in Paradise-- Phil Collins (used to be in Genesis, but now solo)

1980 Please Don't Go-- KC & Sunshine Band (slow music from the dance kings
1970 Raindrops keep Falling on My Head-- B.J. Thomas Great song to ride a bike to.

1969 I Heard It Through the Grapevine-- Marvin Gaye Let's get those raisins moving
1968 Hello, Goodbye-- Beatles

1967 I'm a Believer-- Monkees-- the wife's ringtone
1966 We Can Work It Out-- Beatles

1965 I Feel Fine-- Beatles That's three Beatle Number Ones this date in the sixties
1964 There! I've Said It Again-- Bobby Vinton (Pre-Beatlemania)

1963 Telstar-- Tornadoes-- Doing our space thing.
1962 The Lion Sleeps Tonight-- The Tokens Let's all do that high-pitched refrain.

1961 Are You Lonesome Tonight-- Elvis Presley-- gag me.
1960 El Paso-- Marty Robbins-- country topping the pop.

1950 Rudolph, the red-Nosed reindeer-- Gene Autry (Sounds like a seasonal thing.)
1940 Scatter-Brain-- Frankie Masters

1930 Great Day-- Paul Whiteman
1920 Oh! What a Pal Was Mary-- Henry Bur

1910 Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet-- Haydn Quartet
1900 I'd Leave My Happy Home for You-- Arthur Collins-- Affairs way back then?

Had a very Shiny Nose. -- RoadDog

Wouldn't It be Nice if whenever we messed up our life, we could somply press CTRL ALT Delete and start over again.

Movie Scratches: a 2009 Summary

Finishing up 2009 at the movies today.

I ended up seeing 54 new movies at the theater, mostly at the Fox Lake (Il) Theatre. I went a total of 57 times (saw three of them twice: Star Trek, 2012, Avatar) and ended up spending $244.

The Breakdown

$4-- 26
$5.50-- 20
Free-- 6
$3-- 1
$6-- 1
$6.50-- 1
$7-- 1
$7.50-- 1

I'm shooting for at least 40 movies in 2010. I have friends who will not see them until DVD, but I like to see them on the Big Screen with all that surround-sound.

Obviously, most of my showings are matinee. I like them because they're cheaper and usually far less crowded. I've seen several shows when I am the ONLY person in the theater. My OWN PRIVATE SHOWING. I really like that.

Most times, however, there are between one and five others.

I especially like the Senior Wednesdays at the Fox Lake Theatre where I pay $4. Those days quite often end up as a two movie day. Plus, at the theatre, you get to see a two-week movie for free every time you pay for seven tickets, a nice bonus.

Give Me Those Cheap Tickets. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 2, 2010

JSS: Hey, It's a Palindrome-- Three and Sixteen-- Mighty Cold

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. HEY, IT'S A PALINDROME-- Today's date is a palindrome. 01012010. That's 01-02-2010. Backwards or forwards, the same thing. According to today's Chicago Tribune, there will be 12 palindromic days this century. This was the second. The first was 10-02-2001. When is the next?

2. THREE AND SIXTEEN-- I don't know why I continue to watch the college bowl games. After Northern Illinois lost earlier today, teams that I was pulling for are a combined 3-16. Only Georgia, Penn State and Wisconsin were winners. Everybody else lost. That is just as bad as it was last year.

3. MIGHTY COLD-- Another harsh winter here in the Midwest. Lots of snow and plenty of cold. High today was 4 degrees. Highs for the next five days are 13, 15, 18, 20 and 21. So, we have a heat wave on the way.

Freeze Me Timbers, or, At Least Shiver Them. --RoadDog

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

Movie Scratches: Enemy-- Potter-- District-- Wife

A quick look at the year's movies.

PUBLIC ENEMY-- 7-15-- Fox Lake $4-- Great 30s scenery. Almost makes you forget Captain Jack Sparrow.

HARRY POTTER: THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE-- 7-15-- Fox Lake $4-- Love and Wizards while the Prof gets it.

DISTRICT 9-- 8-17-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Humans victimizing aliens. Who is worse? The Nigerians or NMU?

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE-- 8-17-- Fox Lake $5.50-- Now he's here. Now he's not. Who is that naked guy in the corner?

Don't Spill Your Drink. --RoadDog

You might be Taliban if you consider TV dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

How Rich Are You?

Came across an article where Americans were ranked according to how much they earn.

If you earn:

$32,079, you are in the top 50%
$66,532, you are in the top 25%
$160,041, you are in the top 5%
$410,096, you are in the top 1%

Wonder where the "Robber Investors and Bankers Were?"

Sure Didn't Think I Was Doing That Well. --RoadDog

Points to Ponder: How come we choose from just two people to run for president, but over fifty for Miss America?

January 2, 1980

From my journal.

First day back at school.

Things a mess in the Mideast. Iran still a pain. Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and turned it into a puppet country. Iranians attacked Soviet embassy in Teheran, but Khomeini sent his troops in to protect it., which he sure didn't do with our embassy.

Chicago schools opened as well, but may have to close by Friday is they can't make the payroll. Teachers have decided not to work without pay. Teachers have to pay their bills like everyone else.

Some Things Just Don't Change. --RoadDog

Points to Ponder: Some people are like a slinky...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

January 1, 1980

Going back 30 years to 1980.


I noted that this was the 4th year of the journal and that this was the fourth decade Liz and I had lived in. (This is now the seventh decade!!!) I was hoping we'd get a break from prices going up like they had during the last five.

Gas had gone up from 33 cents to a current $1.10 a gallon. Home prices had gone up 50% since we bought our house in 1975.

Some events from the seventies:

1973 graduated college, bought first car (1973 Ford Pinto ($2200), got married and started teaching.
1975 bought house in Round Lake Beach for $33,000.
1977 bought Chevy Mailbu
1974 bought used Pontiac Tempest

We slept until 2 PM. Liz got up before me and took down Christmas decorations and cleaned up from last night's party.

Watched bowl games and charged the Tempest battery.

Oh, to Be 28 Again. --RoadDog

Points to Ponder: Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

New Years Eve 1979

Taking my monthly look-back.

We had a small New Year's Eve party for the neighbors that was kind of a flop. Two couples didn't show up because of sickness and no baby-sitter, but we still think it was because we had dropped out of bowling league with them.

Neighbor Pam had been drinking all day and gotten sick and gone home with Angelo and another couple, so just four of us left at midnight. Played bumper pool and watched TV.

At 3:15 AM, we went to breakfast at a local place. Quite a few drunks in there, but this was 1980 before all the DUI business, Today, there is absolutely NO WAY, I'd be drinking and go out for breakfast that late.

We ended up staying up until 6:30 AM. "Goodbye 70's. Welcome 80's."

Don't Do That "No" More. --RoadDog

Points to Ponder: Don't join dangerous cults. Practice safe sects.

Talking About the Journal

Last night I started work on the 2010 Journal, which marks the 33rd year I've kept it. I started it with a square dancing trip (yep, Square Dancing!!) up to northern Wisconsin back in August 1977 and have kept it ever since. Back in the 80s, I got so busy with deejaying, I missed one summer, but started again. I thought that would be it. Sure wish I had started this back in the 60s.

It, however, is getting rough to do because of the four blogs. I do summarize what I do every day and usually get around to writing it out in more detail. Eventually, something is going to have to go, but not sure yet what it will be.

These journals are a real trip back in time and bring back memories of things and people I would otherwise have forgotten. I'm thinking of finding a library, hopefully Northern Illinois University, to donate it to. I believe it would be helpful to some historian in the future to see what the regular folk were doing during the 70s, 80s, 90s, whatevers, and new whatevers.

I will be taking looks back to thirty years ago, 1980 (has it been THAT LONG?) at the beginning of each month. That also gives me a chance to correct spelling and punctuation as even some really easy words are misspelled.

Journals, or diaries if you will, are a pain, but years later a definite pleasure to bring back those old memories. When I taught language arts, I had the kids write a one hundred word summary of what they did every weekend for a writing assignment. Hopefully some of then kept their history and maybe even continued.

Hoping to Keep the Journal Going. --RoadDog

Thoughts to Ponder: Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Day New Year, New Decade

Writing this right now at 7:39 while watching "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" the first of the trilogy. Ring, ring. Who's got the ring. Why, it's a Baggins.

Spent New Year's Eve watching probably the worst band ever play at Donovan's last night, True Devotion. This band obviously had never played together more than a couple of times. They seem to be talented, but should never have taken an $800 paycheck for a New Year's Eve party.

Liz was loaded for Bear, and I'm not talking Chicago Bear. She even asked a couple members if they'd ever played together before.

For breakfast, I went to Country Kitchen and had a delicious gyro omelet for $5.75and talked with Trov, Cruz, Keith, Rich and others.

Then, I went back to Donovan's and Barb treated me to two of her fantastic Bloody Marys. We played NTN with Barb, Jeff and Marcia and had about 16 Top Twenty rankings in NTN-Buzztime. We had about the same number last night.

Way too bad about Northwestern's loss to Auburn which was fortunate to have injured the Wildcats' field goal kicker. At least Penn State won. Way to Go Papa Joe!!!

However, staying up past 11 PM is hard for me any more, so was quite worn out by the time we got back home. We had stayed up until 3:30 AM. Quite a battle to stay awake through TNT's Lord of the Rings. Missed a fair amount of it.

Kicking Off a New Year. --RoadDog