Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crummy Day at the Beach

Rainy, cold and miserable today at Panama City Beach. No OD for us at all.

Drove into Panama City and ate at Po' Folks and played NTN at Joe's Corner Pub and now here at BW3, Buffalo Wild Wings.

Typing this from the last place right now. Really nice to have high speed internet again. Doing this at the motel (can only do it outside) is a real pain.

Supposed to Be Sunny in Florida. Not the Sunshine State Today. --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: Confessions of a Lost Soul in the Age of Technology.

This past Sunday's Zits comic strip definitely applied to me. Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman feel my pain through the father of Jeremy, a very typical hooked in teenager.

They're in a car driving to a restaurant. Jeremy is in the back seat with his handheld device.

Mom: "We're never going to find the restaurant!"
Jeremy: "I got it."

Jeremy: "It's 515 feet ahead on the right. It's a red brick building with a blue awning."

Jeremy: "The parking lot is right next door. There's an open space in the second row next to the 2006 silver BMW."

Jeremy: "And you're both going to order the halibut."
Dad: "Smart phones are getting a little too smart if you ask me."

This is plain scary. How do they do that. And, is it it a good idea to do that.

Brave New World for Some. Scary for Me. --RoadDog

Seeking the Warm-- Part 4 Panama City Beach, Florida

It's 2:48 pm and enjoying the sun and 60 degrees out here on the deck at the Driftwood Lodge. A little bit of cold in the breeze that comes by every so often.

The people from a couple doors down to our west are from Wyoming. he says that some evil scientist somewhere is at work messing up the good weather they usually have here. This sentiment is heard from everyone we meet. This global warming should be making it warmer, but you couldn't tell from these last two months here in Florida's panhandle.

This morning at McDonald's for breakfast, a big hangout for the senior set, we ran into a couple from Illinois who live in a small town off I-74 between Champaign and Danville. They used to stay at the Driftwood, but now are at the Calypso next door. a 22 story condo. They said it is a little more expensive but at least has a bigger layout with two rooms, a sitting area and two bathrooms. They stay a month at a time and I guess if we were to stay that long, we might want a bigger place. The room is ok for a week, but I'm not sure it would be so great for an extended time.

Still Better Than Back Home in Illinois. --RoadDog

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Them, Not Me: The Problem With Illinois

A local paper here in Panama City is called the Bullet. The last issue had a short article on the state or local towns putting in traffic cameras that locals could check to pick a better route to work in the morning.

When Illinois towns do that it is called a red light camera and installed with the idea of making money.

Then, there was a cartoon called "Advice from LeRoy and Bubba." It read, Limit US politicians to two terns: One in office. One in Prison. Illinois already does this."

Does Florida Know Something We Don't? At least we know how to vote and vote and vote.

Who'd Have Figgered? --RoadDog

Seeking the Warm 2010-- Part 3

Day three on the road, we had an even better hot breakfast at the Days Inn in Prattville, Alabama.

Drove I-65 south of Montgomery and took Al-97 to US-331 and took that the rest of the way to the Gulf of Mexico. I like the Alabama state road signs with the state outline on them. Wish Illinois would do that.

I thought Florama was a dumb name for a town until I discovered it was on the Florida-Alabama border. Sure made sense then. Good name.

Drove around DeFuniak Springs, Florida, definitely a town worth checking out again some time with a beautiful park around a lake near the downtown.

Took advantage of a Whattaburger near I-10. Discovered that next time we will split the meal. That is one big burger.

Arrived at Panama City Beach and checked in. Met Larry from Indiana who was next door to us last year.

Thinking We Finally Found That Elusive Warmth. --RoadDog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's Them, Not Me-- Pluggers

A funny Plugger cartoon in today's Montgomery Advertiser.

The caption reads: "A plugger takes his eight-track tape player with him to yard sales so he can test the tapes before he pays his money."

You see the plugger holding a box of 8-tracks, smiling, and saying to his wife, "I got one each by Bobby Goldsboro, Sam & Dave, and two by Johnny Rivers."

I can sure relate to this guy, even though I never really got into 8-tracks. I was more of a cassette guy. I have been known to look at garage sales for cassettes and CDs. And, of course, my favorite electronics store these days is the Salvation Army Thrift Store. At least here I understand the stuff.

I don't know what most of the stuff in Best Buy is anymore.

Bring Back My Cassettes!! --RoadDog

Seeking the Warm 2010-- Part 2

February 19th.

Late getting started, but a decent hot breakfast at the Super 8.

Stopped at the Alabama Welcome Center (with a 280 foot tall Jupiter Rocket) and got some brochures. One was about 100 places to get some really good food in Alabama.

We saw that in Decatur (a short distance off I-65) there was a place called Big Bob Gibson's BBQ so went there for lunch. They are noted for their bbq chicken with white sauce and pies. Judging by the fact we lucked out and got parking space when somebody left, the place is quite popular with the locals. They were right about the food.

Drove on to Birmingham, where we ate at Pete's Famous Hotdogs which was in a pretty bad part of town. Still full from Big Bob's, we split a special dog, and it was worth every bite.

Drove around through some neat old neighborhoods and played NTN at Billy's, On Tap and Loco's. Then drove south of town to Alabaster where we found a BW3 in the biggest SHS shopping area we've ever seen after a lot of looking and driving around. Played NTN there as well.

Then, drove to Prattville where we got a room and went to a couple bars for drinks.

It's supposed to be in the 60s today. Back home it will get to the low thirties.

Finding Our Warm. --RoadDog

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Shooting at NIU

I see that there was another shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. This one apparently was by one of the dorms and took place outside. One person was wounded and the suspect is in custody.

Classes are still scheduled for today.

But, this coming so near the second anniversary last weekend of that horrible St. Valentine's event, just gives cause to think.


Seeking the Warm 2010-- Part 1

We left home yesterday and took Il-47 south to I-74 and then east into Indiana to In-63. Then that south to Evansville, Indiana.

Had our traditional stop at McDonald's in Yorkville, Il., where we ate breakfast. It now takes about 30-50 minutes longer to drive from Woodstock to Yorkville because of traffic and development. Once past Yorkville, Il-47 opens up considerably and you can make great time.

Terre Haute takes a while because there is no bypass on 47. Evansville also is a drive through and an excessive number of traffic lights.

Crossed the Ohio River to Kentucky and then got on the Penneyrile Turnpike and made great time at 70 mph to Hopkinsville. Here, you have to get off and drive about 15 miles to hook up with I-24.

Took that to Nashville where we hooked up with I-65. Taking the interstates through Nashville, you have to be very careful about all the times it they fork. If you're in the wrong lane, you definitely have a problem.

We had planned to have those GREAT tacos at Jack-in-the-Box, but found this was one we had visited before that was 2.3 miles off the exit. I wish they wouldn't put up places that far off it. Getting back to I-24, I stupidly went west instead of east and this took us around ten miles out of our way.

We stopped in Franklin and ate at a Golden Corral , played NTN at Johnathan's and drove to Columbia where we spent the night.

Half Way to the Warm. --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dekalb, Illiniois-- Part 2

February 5th continued.

Parked south of the railroad tracks, and of course, had to wait for a fast-moving freight train to go by before crossing over to Lincoln Highway.

We stopped at Andy's, our favorite bar when we were at Northern. Then walked over to Lord Stanley's (used to be the Shamrock) when we were there. Absolutely packed and no place to sit down. So walked the half block to Otto's, but left when we found out it didn't open until 6:30 pm.

We then decided to check out a new place called Upper Deck and then went across the street to an Irish bar called O'Leary's.

Then, it was back to the motel where we parked and walked next door to Fatty's where we played NTN and watched games on the TVs. Also had a great pulled pork sandwich with some of that great Cajun fried potato salad.

Sure Did the Lincoln Crawl Today. --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Movie Scratches: Spy-- Groundhog-- Bones-- Tooth

Taking a Dog's Wag at the Movies.

The number movie I've seen, date, name, where, price and summary.

9. 1-27-- THE SPY NEXT DOOR-- Fox Lake $4-- Don't like kung fu, but do like Charlie Chan who doesn't menace. A bit too much Disney smarm, though.

10. 1-30-- GROUNDHOG DAY-- Woodstock Free-- Watching the movie in the theater that was in the movie. Always funny.

11. 2-1-- LOVELY BONES-- Fox Lake Free-- Don't know what to make of it. Should have been Academy Award-worthy.

12. 2-8-- THE TOOTH FAIRY-- Fox Lake Free-- Wonder how they kept serious faces when filming this? Absolutely hilarious. Stay through the credits.

What Kind of Salt Do i Want? --RoadDog

Dekalb, Illinois-- Part 1

Drove into Dekalb February 5th near the end of our trip out to see the bald eagles along the Mississippi.

We met with the Dean of the College of Education at Graham Hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Since Liz and I are both graduates of that college and taught all those years, we have decided to follow my dad's path and set up an endowment (his is at East Carolina).

We must have talked for two hours about our time at Northern back in the late 60s/early 70s and teaching experiences. He is originally from South Carolina.

We then got a room on the Lincoln Highway at the Magnuson Inn (we like it because it is right next to Fatty's, a place we like to tip a brew or two and play NTN. Plus, it is the unofficial home for Huskie athletics.


We then drove out to Greek Row and went to Tequila Roadhouse and played NTN. We were very pleased to find all the Route 66 stuff around the bar.

Then, we drove past the old Delta Sig House on Greenbriar and the first one on Augusta on our way downtown to do the Lincoln Highway Crawl as in days of yore.

Wettin' the Old Whistle, One beer at a Time. --RoadDog

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where Were You January 24, 1968? -- Part 5

Some other songs that were popular at this time that were not played by Bob.

CHAIN OF FOOLS-- Aretha Franklin

I SECOND THAT EMOTION-- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

HONEY CHILE-- Martha & the Vandellas

SPOOKY-- Classics IV
MONTEREY-- Eric Burdon & the Animals

INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS-- Strawberry Alarm Clock

No Doubt About It, Some Mighty Fine Music on LS and CFL Back Then. --RoadDog

Traveling the Lincoln Highway to Dekalb

February 5th, we checked out of the motel and drove I-74 north to I-80 and took it around eastward to I-88 and took it to Dixon, Illinois where we got off and onto the Lincoln Highway which we took the rest of the way to Dekalb.

We have on more than one occasion not made it to I-88 and headed off to parts unknown.

West of Dixon, I-88 turns into a tollway, but for some reason you can exit at Dixon without paying money.

We were very happy to see a bald eagle flying out in the fields west of Franklin Grove. That sure made our day. We had an excellent lunch at Lincoln Way Cafe in Franklin Grove and I visited the Lincoln Highway Headquarters.

The Beacon Inn in Rochelle is now a Chinese buffet and sadly, they took the lighthouse off the sign out front.

Cruisin' Some Old Two Lane Highways. --RoadDog

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where Were You January 24, 1968?-- Part 4

NOBODY BUT ME-- HUMAN BEINZ-- (A Great Frat Rocker.)

JUDY IN DISGUISE (WITH GLASSES)-- JOHN FRED AND HIS PLAYBOY BAND-- No one really knew what he song was about, but every one likes it. By the late great John Fred. (Always loved the violins in this one.)

BEND ME, SHAPE ME-- AMERICAN BREED-- The number one song in Chicago by a group born and bred right here in Chicago. Gary Lorizo. (Some great Garage Rock if there ever was any.)

Bob Stroud always introduces the next song after a commercial break by playing a little bit of a popular song of the time. The following are the ones he played.

COME SEE ABOUT ME-- JR. WALKER & THE ALL STARS-- covering an old Supremes hit.
WOMAN, WOMAN-- GARY PUCKETT AND THE UNION GAP-- first of a half dozen hits for them.


I'll be taking a look at some other popular songs from January 1968 next.

Bend Me, Shape Me, Anyway Way You Want It. --RoadDog

HEARD IN 1955: Who would ever have though gas would be 25 cents a gallon?

JSS: Spring Fever?-- SCV-- NTN-- Earthquake

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. SPRING FEVER-- Temp today in the upper twenties, sunny and NO wind! As such folks had a little touch of the spring fever. Just can't take much of this global warming. I saw folks in tee shirts, believe it or not. And Woodstock Willie, our local groundhog didn't see his shadow.

2. SCV-- Drove 36 miles to des Plaines for the Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting over breakfast at the Silver Stallion. Always good to get together with kindred spirits and talk the Civil War, history in general and current events.

3. NTN-- I went to new NTN sites #6 and #7 for the year. One was at Splinters in Palatine where I had a #1 ranking on the 10,000 point game with a perfect score, but a couple really good guesses. That happens sometimes.

Then, drove west to Cheeseburger in Paradise in Algonquin which just got the game. I had a #18 there. Old Jimmy would be so proud.

4. EARTHQUAKE-- We've talked to quite a few people in the area about the earthquake we had Wednesday morning. Quite a few didn't feel anything and slept through it. However, a lot of people did feel it, surprisingly quite a few were up for some reason at 4 am.

Just Some Stuff. --RoadDog

HEARD IN 1955: If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help in the stores.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Where Were You January 24, 1968?-- Part 3

More Songs From Stroud. These were what were playing on our radios 42 years ago in Chicago. That would be on the twin AM giants: WCFL and WLS. Sure miss them.

GREEN TAMBOURINE-- LEMON PIPERS-- one hit wonder in the top ten, or, as Barney Pip (local dj legend) used to call them, the lemon Pippers. (Big-time psychedelic music.)
I THANK YOU-- SAM AND DAVE-- brand new. (One of my favorite soul bands. I got to see them at the Cubby Bear by Wrigley Field once.)

HELLO GOODBYE-- BEATLES-- The "A" side of their current hit (Did they ever have just a one-sided hit?)
I AM THE WALRUS-- BEATLES-- The "B" side. (Was Paul dead? He was "spotted" along Route 66 a couple years ago.))

WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN-- DONOVAN-- a groovy little tune (The Don Man getting psychedelic. Imagine that?)
TOMORROW-- STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK-- their follow up to "Incense and Peppermint." "What hookah were they smoking to come up with that name?)

The Memories, the Memories! --RoadDog

HEARD IN 1955: Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 7 cents a letter?

Warning: Snowblowers and Twine Don't Mix!!!

I found this out the hard way Tuesday night as I was started clearing off about six inches of snow with the snowblower.

I had just fired the blower up and had made one complete walk down the center of the driveway and was clearing the snow off up by the doors when I saw what appeared to be a snakey looking thing moving rapidly toward the blower. It was hard to see because of the darkness and shadows. (At least that's my excuse).

Almost immediately, the snowblower blade stopped moving. Tried it again and no movement still.


Brought it into the garage and found a lot of twine all balled up around the blade.

I started pulling at it with my hands but had no success. I had Liz bring me a pair of scissors and managed to get a few strands out, but not many. I was beginning to think I was going to have to take it in for repairs, not a good thing with the snow deep on the ground and still falling. And then, there was the thought that if I did clear the twine out, maybe it wouldn't start at all.

After an hour, I actually got the last strand out. I have never seen anything get so hopelessly entwined in anything as bad as this.

I went inside for a couple hours and then went back out and was very happy when it started and worked!!!

Watch Out for the Twine! --RoadDog

HEARD IN 1955: I'm going to quit smoking as priced are getting too high. Twenty cents a pack is ridiculous!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

JSS: Spaghetti-- Lousy Snow-- Olympics-- Mardi Gras

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. SPAGHETTI-- I took advantage of the stay-at-home snowstorm day Tuesday to make spaghetti for the first time ever. People who know me, know that I don't cook anything. But I've been wanting to make some of this for awhile and had purchased what I need.

Sure glad Liz caught me before I put 16 ounces of spaghetti in the hot water. We sure would have had way too much to eat for two people had I done so

2. LOUSY SNOW-- Spent three times (four counting the incident which I will write about tomorrow)out clearing off the snow Tuesday and Wednesday morning clearing off the ten inches of that lousy white stuff. This makes three straight years of hard winters after we'd been spoiled with mild winters dating back to 1979.

Lousy snowmobilers. Hope they're enjoying the snow, I'm sure not. And to think I felt sorry for them.

3. OLYMPICS-- I'll be writing about Canadians in my history blog because of these starting tonight in Vancouver. I usually don't watch Olympics, but always like the opening ceremonies, especially with the nations walking around the track.

Anybody besides me think they have come up with too many made-up events just because they otherwise wouldn't have enough to show?

4. MARDI GRAS-- Found out a special Mardi Gras party is being planned for Donovan's Reef (our favorite hangout) in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, for this Tuesday, Mardi Gras. This will have all the music, food, beads and drinks you associate with the event. We already have a room in the motel out back.

Bon Ton Roulet, Baby. --RoadDog

HEARD IN 1955: It won't be long before $1,000 will only buy a used car.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movie Scratches: Leap-- Eli-- Extraordinary-- Legion

The Dog's Take on da movies, short-style.

5. LEAP YEAR-- JAN. 20TH-- Fox Lake $4-- Fallin' in love and road trippin' cross Ireland.

6. THE BOOK OF ELI-- Jan. 20th-- Fox Lake $4-- Mad Max moves to US with a Biblical theme. Have we found a new Jack Nicholson?

7. EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES-- Jan. 25th-- Fox Lake $5.50-- A real rough one, especially the breakfast. Makes you hate Big Drug. Academy Award?

8. LEGION-- Jan. 27th-- Fox Lake $4-- Saving humanity at the diner. Watch out for granny.

Twizzles Good. --RoadDog

HEARD IN 1955: If things keep going the way they are, it will be impossible to buy a week's worth of groceries for $10.

Who'd Have Figgered?-- What Earthquake?-- Miss Me Yet?-- End of the Dreaded Ketchup Packet as We Know It

Just some news of interest.

1. WHAT EARTHQUAKE? I saw a Tribune alert that we had a small 4.3 earthquake here in Illinois at 4 am this morning with epicenter in either Sycamore or Gilberts. People all over said they felt it. I slept through it, evidently.

2. MISS ME YET?-- Folks aren't quite sure where the billboard in Wyoming, Minnesota, came from with a picture of George Bush and the words "Miss Me Yet?" I don't think I could ever miss that guy.

3. END OF THE DREADED KETCHUP PACKET AS WE KNOW IT?-- I really hate those things. Most of the time, you can't open them without using your teeth and even then, you get it on you. Give me a cup and squirt it in anytime. I also prefer dipping. Heinz is coming out with the answer to our prayers: easy peel and with a bowl. Can't get it soon enough.

Whoever Came Up With Those Sadistic Little Packets Should Be .... --RoadDog

Roy says: Why do women have smaller feet? It's an "evolutionary thing" so they can stand closer to the sink.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Where Were You January 24, 1968?-- Part 2

IF I COULD BUILD MY WHOLE WORLD AROUND YOU-- MARVIN GAYE AND TAMMI TERRELL-- (This is where I tuned into the show. What a great pairing!)
ITCHYCOO PARK-- SMALL FACES-- brand new-- (One of my favorite 60s songs. "What did you do there?")

SUSAN-- BUCKINGHAMS-- Chicago's own in the Top Ten-- (But, I think they had moved out to California by this time. Too bad.)
THERE IS-- DELLS-- an intensely soul creation done right here in Chicago by Chicago's own Dells. One of my favorite records from 42 years ago. (A great song that should have charted higher.)

SUMMER RAIN-- JOHNNY RIVERS-- from the West Coast-- (How about that, Johnny doing a non-cover song!!)

SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE-- CREAM-- our first good dose of a trio called Cream. Played the single mix the way we heard it on the radio. (I first heard these guys in North Carolina while hanging out with my friends on summer vacation. I can still remember this group while cruising in Ronnie's car.)
IT'S WONDERFUL-- YOUNG RASCALS-- Here's a song that contains everything except the hooka, but the hooka had to be in there. This is the last single release as the Young Rascals. They would drop the Young for their first new hit of 1968 which would be "It's a Beautiful Morning."

Take Me Back. --RoadDog

Roy says: How many men does it take to open a beer? None, it should already be open when she brings it to you.

Herman's Hermits-- Part 3

*** For part of 1965, only the Beatles were more popular than Herman's Hermits. They matched the Beatles by having three songs in the Top Ten at the same time. Noone even made the cover of Time Magazine in 1965.

*** They sold over 50 million records and had seven gold albums and were one of the most popular groups in the mid-60s.

*** On his 21st birthday, Peter Noone married Mireille Strasser, a young French woman he met while vacationing. The remain married to this day.

*** The band broke up in 1971 and Noone pursued a solo career. He still tours with a new band called Herman's Hermits. I would have minded seeing him January 29th.

"I'm Henry the Eight, I Am..." Go Ahead and Finish It. --RoadDog

Roy says: The laundry mat is a bad place to meet women. A woman who can't afford a washing machine will probably never be able to support you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Boy Scouts

Today marks the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest organization for boys in the United States, the Boy Scouts of America.

I was a member for about two years. My brother Bob was involved and still is in an adult capacity. My nephew Andy even made it to become an Eagle Scout, the highest honor a boy can achieve.

I must admit, I never made it past Tenderfoot, even with the length of time I was in. This primarily because I never learned how to tie knots and I am still quite bad at it. This was one reason I put off getting a boat for a year or so, because I knew I'd have to learn how to tie a knot.

After a lot and lot and lot of practice, I finally got one figured out.

I wasn't much of a fan of the meetings but REALLY LOVED THOSE CAMPOUTS!!!

Congratulations BSA!! --RoadDog

Why Is It? That the third hand on a clock is called the second hand?

Herman's Hermits-- Part 2

Continuing from Feb. 3rd.


*** The drummer was a hairdresser, one guitarist a telephone engineer and a student on the other. The bass player was an engraver. Peter Noone was at student at the Manchester School of Music and Drama and had been on a British TV series.

*** The band was signed to a record deal by Mickie Most, who made Noone the focal point of the group because he thought Peter looked like a young John F. Kennedy.

*** Their first hit was "I'm Into Something Good" which was recorded in 1964 when peter was 17. Then came "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter," "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am," and "There's a Kind of a Hush."

*** "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am" was originally recorded back in 1911 by British music hall star Harry Champion. It was written by Fred Murray and R. P. Weston and the Herman's Hermits recording was the fastest-selling song in history to that point.

Weston also wrote the Henry VIIIth song about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London called "With Her Head Tucked Underneath her Arm." Anne was beheaded.

More to Come. --RoadDog

All of us could learn a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Where Were You January 24, 1968?-- Part 1

Bob Stroud Time Warped us back to Jan. 24, 1968 two weeks ago.

That date, I was a junior at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois. I was on the school paper, the Cutlass as a sportswriter. I had been going steady with Liz since December. We were living at 1148 Anderson drive in Winston Park subdivision where we had moved in 1963.

I was working at the Burger King on Northwest Highway near Hicks (now Photos) for $1.25 an hour and all the Whoppers I could eat.

I missed the first five songs as I overslept. As usual, Bob's always informative remarks are included. Mine are in parentheses.

EXPLOSION IN YOUR SOUL-- SOUL SURVIVORS-- (Didn't they also do "Expressway (To Your Heart))?

DIFFERENT DRUM-- STONE PONEYS-- (Were the Stine Poneys the early Eagles? Only their hairdresser knows for sure. I had a crush on that Linda Ronstadt gal. Was she ever hot or WHAT? And them, that voice!)
GOIN' DOWN-- MONKEES-- (Not familiar with this title. I'll have to give it a listen.)

I WONDER WHAT SHE'S DOING TONIGHT-- BOYCE AND HART-- (Wrote some songs for the Monkees, probably the one before this.)

Going Back 42 Years. --RoadDog

Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you $30?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Super Kind 'O Day

Getting ready to drive up to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin for the ultimate Bloody Mary at Main Street and $1 pints and NTN at Donovan's.

We plan on watching the game this evening in Margaritaville, our downstairs bar.

1. DA BEARS-- Definitely looking forward to seeing the 1985 Chicago Bears reprising their "Super Bowl Shuffle" on a commercial. They still remain my favorite all-time team.

2. DA CARDS-- I also have heard about a commercial about a small sports card shop in Chicago. That will be a unique approach.

3. DA FLIP-- Came across an article of interest about the coin flips before the game. Coin toss winners have a 20-13 record and it has landed heads 22 times, tails 21.

The NFC has won the toss 29 times of the 43 and an amazing 12 straight times, a 1 in 8,192 odd. Red Grange was the first honorary flipper.

4. WASN'T INVITED-- Sadly, I wasn't invited to the White House Super Bowl party. Can you believe that. Oh, well, yesterday I was definitely in the "Front Row" at the NIU-Miami

5. COLTS OR SAINTS?-- I'm a long-time Colt fan, but the Saints have been so Ain't for so long ya gotta like 'em. Who to back, who to back?

I'll Back Da Bears Super Bowl Shuffle. --RoadDog

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Relaxin' Drinkin' Kind of Day

Yesterday, we took a break from major driving and just lounged around the pool. Since we were the only ones there the whole time, it was our own private kind of spa. Definitely enjoyed the hot tub, but the pool, whirlpool and mushroom waterfall were way too cold for me.

Since there were no people, that also meant no little screaming kids. Have you ever noticed what happens when kids hit water? Instant scream!!

Caught up on my journal and read some magazines.


At 3, we went back to the room here at the Ramada in Bettendorf, changed, and went bar-hopping.

First stop was at the Uptown Bar (the last time here they had NTN, but had dropped it) where they had $1 bottles from 3-5. Also, the last time there, we had participated in a live trivia game and had won.

Then west to Bleacher Bums to play NTN, but they had dropped it again, so we left. Our little plug for NTN. We always leave without purchasing anything if they have just dropped it. Kind of makes a statement. The NTN Buzztime site finder still had them listed as having it.

Then, we went to Rivals, which used to be Pluckers. They also once had NTN and have since dropped it. We'd had so much fun, we figured to go back anyway. Pints were double bubble, 2 for $2.25.

Last stop was back at the Old Chicago next to the Ramada. Always like to drink right by where I'm staying. Less chance of DUIs going home.

I usually don't like to go here as they are way too expensive on food and drink and don't have much in he way of deals on either. We got in on the last couple minutes of their happy hour and got $1 off pints and an unbelievable loaded fries for $2.99.

Played NTN quite a bit with some guys who were new to it, but having a good time. Local NTN legend ZOG, who has 32 million Players Plus Points came in later on.

We also split a three course dinner for $11. The entree was delayed for so long, the bartender was nice enough to let us eat it for free.

A Good Time Out Ioway Way. --RoadDog

The Problem with Education

Yesterday, February 4th, we stayed around Bettendorf and Davenport.

We had our own private pool area all afternoon. Wrote in my journal and read the US News and World Report issue about the problem with schools. It is always made to seem as if this is critical in the US. I agree that in some schools it is.

However, blaming teachers is off base. When I started teaching back in 1973, the quality of teachers was much lower than when I retired in 2006. I was impressed with the dedication of the new teaching corps.

It is NOT the quality of teachers so much as the problem lies with parents. Too many to not encourage their children to get ahead by attending to school chores.

Plus, we are trying to teach kids higher orders of thinking before they are ready. Any engineer will tell you that you can't build a structure until you have a solid foundation. If you don't, it will fall down. We are not giving our kids that solid foundation, and, instead, rushing to construct the building.

That solid foundation is the four "R"s: Reading. 'Ritin'. 'Rithmetic and 'Rememberin'.

Don't Get Me Started. --RoadDog

Groundhog Days 2010-- Part 2

Continuing with this past Saturday, Jan. 30th.

Between the popcorn at the movie and the chili, I was quite full of all that good-for-you stuff.

Took a walk around the square. One store had photos from the filming of the movie displayed as well as autographed pictures of some of the actors in it.

Ran into my new friends from Michigan at the souvenir store I had told them about last night. Then, I went over to the Swiss Maid Bakery and had one of what they called Bill Murray's favorite sugar frosted smiley-face cookies that he had every day while on site. I hate smiley-faces, but couldn't help but feel kinship to Bill chowing down on it.

Bob Hudgins, the site manager from movie, again gave the walking tour. While looking for a site to film it, they had decided not to use the real Punxsutawney, Pa., for the movie because they had decided a square like in Woodstock would better project Phil's being stuck on one day than a linear main street with buildings along a street like in Punx.

They looked as far west as Mineral Point, Wisconsin and around sixty other towns. Bob had done work in Woodstock earlier where a few scenes from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" were filmed and took Harold Raimis to the square. After climbing to the Opera House Tower and looking at the square below them, the choice of Woodstock was instantaneous.

I've been on the tour many times now, so left them by the theater and alley where the old man died.

I went back to Stage Left and we had the symposium when the people on the walk returned. This one was on favorite quotes from the movie. The leader had people from around the country vote on their favorite lines and the drink for world peace one came out number one.

Personally, I like "Do you want to throw up here or in the car?" "I think both." What you going to do with Ralph?

The guy who played the lead guitar in Phil's band was there.

At the conclusion of the symposium, I just had to stop at McDonald's for a McRib meal for some reason.

A Good Day, Even If It Wasn't in the Virgin Islands. --RoadDog

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Great Day for Eagle Watchin'

Yesterday, we drove the short distance from Clinton, Iowa, to the Quad Cities.

Our first stop was in Princeton along US-67. In the past, we've seen lots of eagles here, but today, just one. But this one was something else, perched on the tree by the Mississippi. We got some great shots, both video and camera, when a lady at the house by the tree came out and invited us to go out onto her deck for an even closer look. Was that ever nice.

We saw two others flying a short distance down river.

None were in LeClare, but as we got nearer to Bettendorf, we started to see more. We got a great shot of one just south of the I-80 bridge. Then, we hit the jack pot by the Bettendorf lock and dam. We must have seen at least 20 there.

The sky was the bluest blue, temps in the 30s and not much wind. Great eagle watching westher.

Seeing Our Baldies. --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Herman's Hermits-- Part 1

We spent last night in Clinton, Iowa at the Frontier Best Western. They had a local paper in the lobby called Clinton County Tidbits and it had an interesting article on Herman's Hermits.

They were one of my favorite groups of the sixties. As a matter of fact, Friday Peter Noone the front man of the group, was playing at Waukegan, Illinois' historical Genesee Theater along with the Grass Roots and Buckinghams. I had to choose between that and the Groundhog Day Dinner Dance.

I think that the very first album I ever bought was either the Herman's Hermits Greatest Hits or Beatles' Rubber Soul. I had to choose between the two and HH won, believe it or not, but they had more big hits on their album.

Some interesting facts:

*** The singer of the Heartbeats failed to show up at a show, and 17-year-old Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone was invited up on stage to sing a couple songs. The Manchester group invited him to join the band. The name was changed to Herman and the Hermits, but usually called just Herman's Hermits.

*** Peter changed his name to Sherman when someone mentioned that he resembled Mr. Peabody's boy on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. However, the name was misunderstood and Herman it became (you know those British accents).

More to Come. Who's Got a Lovely Daughter? --RoadDog

A New Record for Me

I was amazed at the Academy Award Best Movie nominations. I HAD actually seen some of them!! Now, I realize that they have expanded it to ten movies, but even then....

I actually saw Avatar (twice, once 3D and once regular), The Blind Side, District 9, Inglouious Basterds and Up in the Air.

Of the ones I saw, I would have to go with The Blind Side for best, but also could live with Avatar and Inglourous.

Hopefully, the local theaters will rerelease the other five: An Education, The Hurt Locker, Precious, A Serious Man and Up. I'd also like to see Crazy Heart.

Loving My Movies. --RoadDog

No Hog, But Eagles

Yesterday, we drove to Woodstock in a snow storm and arrived just a little too late for Woodstock Willie's groundhog forecast. He did not see his shadow (we would have been very surprised had he seen it) so that means an early spring. The other hog out in Punxsutawney had seen his even though friend Denny G. who was there said it was overcast.

We then had snow all the way to Rockford, along with lots of slush and spray compliments of the many trucks on the road.

Drove out to Dubuque,Iowa, on the Mississippi River and went to the lock and dam where we saw six bald eagles. Continued south on US-52 to Bellevue where we saw three more. There were none in Clinton, Iowa, where we spent the night.

Heading to the Quad Cities today.

For a more detailed account, go to

Mighty Impressive Birds!! --RoadDog

Monday, February 1, 2010

Groundhog Days 2010

Saturday, Jan. 30th, I went to the "Groundhog Day" movie celebration in Woodstock, Illinois. I have been to this many times and will continue to go often as I have a lot of fun.

I was disappointed that the new restaurant where the Tip Top Cafe wasn't open, nor was the site of where Bill Murray stayed at the Cherry Street B&B. The new owners of the formerly private home had hoped to have renovations complete in time for Groundhog Day as they are going to turn it into an actual B&B. Oh well, gives me something new to do next year.

At 10, I went to the showing of the movie at the Woodstock Theatre which was the Alpine Theater in the movie. Always lots of laughter and even cheering when the place is in the two shots that featured it. This is a free movie.

Afterwards, we had the Chili Cook-Off at the Opera House, Pennsylvanian Hotel in the movie. This year, there were twelve entries, some of which featured some heat. Always a filling event, but, as usual, with crowd problems.

More to Come. --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: You know you're from Chicago if you've had green beer during St. Patrick's Day.

Good Times in the Area

Yesterday, after listening to Bob Stroud do his Rock and Roll Roots show featuring the top 15 Kinks songs in honor of Dave Davies' birthday, we hit the road for a little good timing in the area.

First, we headed over to Antioch, Illinois, and went to the Sequoit Lodge on the main street which bills itself as a Northwoods Lodge and lives up to the boast.

Sunday mornings they are packed for their great breakfast and even live entertainment from 10 to noon. Where else are you going to get live entertainment (always better than dead) at that time? Plus, this past weekend, they had pints of Miller Lite and Bud Light for 50 CENTS!!

After the duo finished playing, we got NTN boards and played trivia for awhile and had four top twenties.


We had planned to stop at Choppers on Illinois 173 on the way back for their $4 pitchers and 25 cent wings, but their parking lot was full.

So headed north into Wisconsin to the village of Wilmot and went to Mar's Trading Post Inn which dates back to the 1840s and is a real Wisconsin bar. We had $1 pints and $1.75 Bloody Marys.

What Pro Bowl? --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: You know that the "Primary" is the "Official" local election.

Number One Songs This Date

Thanks to Josh Hosler at

A great way to see all number ones from any date.

2010 TIK TOK-- Ke$ha
2000 I KNEW I LOVED YOU-- Savage Garden

1989 WHEN I'M WITH YOU-- Sheriff
1988 COULD'VE BEEN-- Tiffany
1987 OPEN YOUR HEART-- Madonna

1986 THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR-- Dionne and Friends-- Is that all there is?
1985 I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS-- Foreigner
1984 KARMA CHAMELEON-- Culture Club-- Weird guy, but boy could he(?) sing.

1983 DOWN UNDER-- Men at Work-- Anybody got a Vegemite sandwich?
1982 CENTERFOLD-- J. Geils Band-- A classic, anytime, anywhere.
1981 CELEBRATION-- Kool & the Gang-- How many weddings?
1980 ROCK WITH YOU-- Michael Jackson-- before he went weird.

1970 VENUS-- Shocking Pink-- Dis she say what I thought she said?
1960 RUNNING BEAR-- Johnny Preston-- Romeo and Juliet, Indian-style.
1950 I CAN DREAM, CAN'T I-- Andrews Sisters

1940 SCATTER BRAIN-- Frankie Martin-- Too bad.
1930 THE MAN FROM THE SOUTH-- Ted Williams
1920 DANDANELLA-- Ben Selvins Novelty Orchestra-- Wonder what's so novel about them?

1910 PUT ON YOUR OLD GRAY BONNET-- Haydn Quartet
1900 MANDY LEE-- Arthur Collins

I Wanna Hear "Tip-Toe Through the Tulips." --RoadDog

CHICAGOISMS: You're from Chicago if you own celery salt and know what to put it on.