Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mighty Unneighborly of Me

I good neighbor does not cause problems with the people living around him. I try to be a good neighbor.

But, this past Saturday, I found out that I wasn't all that neighborly. While cutting the grass, I saw a couple survey marker flags by the front and back of my lot.

The one in the front showed my ditch flower garden well on my side of it. However, the one in the back, by my burn pile, showed that I was about nine feet onto my neighbor Keith's yard.

My burn pile used to be more in the middle of my back yard, but seven years ago, when new neighbors built a house on that vacant lot behind us, I moved the pile because it is not very pretty and gets quite big before burning season in October and November (we can also burn in April and May).

I put it on the west end of the arboretum and over the years, its size has grown considerably as my growing things have gotten bigger.

Right now, Keith has a six foot fence around his swimming pool which blocks off the view of the pile for him. Now, he wants to move the fence out to his property lines, although he will need another one at the pool because of the drop off in the back.

I'm not crazy about a big fence right by my yard, but its his property. He says it is ok for the burn pile to be where it is, but I am going to move it to a spot by the northwest corner of the arboretum.

Neighbors Shouldn't Appropriate Other Neighbor's Yards. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO...If you know what Riverview was. (I wrote about it on today's history blog as there was an article in the Tribune about it.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Out Boating Again, Finally

Only, not in our boat. Our friends Kevin and Kelly took us for a downriver run today on an absolutely perfect day for boating.

We were hitting places on the Chain Crawl, a booklet where you have the 40-something places on the Chain of Lakes here in northeast Illinois and try to get to each of them over the course of the summer.

We went to six places today in McHenry and Fox Lake: Snuggery, TommyZ's, Vickie's, Oak Park, Castaways and the American Legion.

A nice way to get into the boating season.

Too Much to Drink. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO...If you realize that I-290, U-90, O-94 and I-294 are all fifferent roads.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bands, Songs, Cars and Bars

This past weekend to last night was another good one, with yardwork every day (and I do enjoy yardwork when the yard does not hurt me) and then plenty of time for libations and good times.

FRIDAY, June 24th-- Almost got to go boating, but ended up at Gasoline Alley's deck overlooking Grasslake and playing the jukebox.

SATURDAY, June 25th-- Car show at the local Dog 'N Suds with Affects band (50s-60s) set up in the parking lot, Fox Lake Lakefront Music Night at Nippersink Lake (but band on break), Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake to see the Wads (classic Rock Band) playing outside.

SUNDAY, June 26th-- Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots Summer Show, Gazebo Time, Ultimate Bloody Marys at Main Street in Twin Lakes, Wis., Soda (band) playing outside at Captain's on Fox Lake and more Gazebo Time.

MONDAY, June 27th-- Gambler Bar and Grill in downtown McHenry for drinks and burgers, Green Street Cruise Night featuring Pony Cars (saw a '67 Firebird, my favorite car), Centerfold band playing on trailer, old bookstore and pizza chips at TommyZ's on the Riverwalk.

If You Gotta Have a Weekend, This Ain't a Bad One. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO...If you drink "pop."

Monday, June 27, 2011

JSS: Peter Falk Dies-- Summer Show-- "Duke of Earl"

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. PETER FALK DIES-- Sad to hear of the death of actor Peter "Columbo" Falk. he was a great one. I always thought that an absolutely great TV detective show would have teamed Falk "Just One More Thing" Falk, Gorham of Criminal Intent and Monk together. They would have driven the bad guys absolutely nuts.

2, SUMMER SHOW-- This past Sunday, Bob Stroud did his annual "Summer Show" on his Rock and Roll Roots program on WDRV, the Drive here in Chicago. Always a great way to get you in the mood for the season (if we ever get it this year).

Three hours of summer songs and old commercials starting with the Beach Boys' "All Summer Long" and ending with Sly & the Family Stone's "Hot Fun in the Summer Time." I'll have the complete list on my RoadLog blog.

3. "DUKE OF EARL'-- Listening to the Surf, 94.7 FM out of North Myrtle Beach, SC, right now. They just played Gene Chandler's classic "Dike of Earl." Whenever I hear it, I can't help but think about the time Frank and I wanted to sing karaoke, and Frank wanted to sing this song. I told him there were more words than just "Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl." We could sing that just fine, but the other words were a lot more soul than a coupla white guys could handle.

He would not be denied and we got up there and...made fools of ourselves. But the audience loved our arguing as to who was going to sing the other words. And, of course, when we tried..."Boy, Was That Bad!"

Duke Me!! --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You carry jumper cables in your car...and know how to use them.

The Cleanest the Boat's Ever Been When We Took It Our of the Water-- Part 2


Kora received a call on her cell phone from Liz. I found out later that Liz had called me 11 times and I hadn't answered. My excuse was that the phone was on the bar downstairs at Margaritaville. I had called Mom earlier in the week and left it there. That was several days earlier. I'm not a phone person, either land, or, especially cell. Hey, I'm not even sure I know my own cell number.

Besides that, I don't really know how to operate my cell phone.

Kora followed me over to the Legion after the call.


I just figured that Frank and Liz would be at the Legion, so went there. But no Frank or Liz. Kora had forgotten her cell phone at her place. We were going to go in and call Liz from the Legion telephone, but neither one of us knew her cell number.

OK, maybe they went over to Rick's place on the channel where we keep the boat moored. So drove there. No Frank or Liz there either.

Maybe the boat broke down or maybe they went over to one of the places between the Legion and Rick's. Either way, I needed to go back home and get that wandering cell phone of mine (Liz programmed her number into my phone).

While passing over the bridge by the Legion, I saw what appeared to be the boat tied up to the dock, so stopped in and found it to be Da Boat I was looking for.


We got the boat back on the trailer again and drove over to the marina in Antioch, told them what was wrong and left it. Here's hoping we get out sometime this week.

Someday, Our Boat Will Come In. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You can locate "Illinoize" on a US map.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Cleanest the Boat's Ever Been When We Took It Out of the Water-- Part 1

Out of the water that is.

Yesterday, despite threatening weather, we decided the time had come to put that boat in the water. Plus, Frank was here and Liz tends to get a bit confused the first time she deals with the boat each season.

Stopped at the hardware store for a new power light, but the one we bought didn't work, so had to take it back. I was blocking some area between the truck and boat trailer and Navotney's is usually not very busy, but I sure brought in the customers and was in the way a lot. Plus, a big semi with a load of snowmobiles (snowmobiles?) came in. I was jealous of how easy he backed it in. You should see me backing the boat up. Not a pretty sight, but some find it hilarious.

I find it embarrassing.

Then to the American Legion where we got the Sons of the American Legion annual launch pass for $25.

After several attempts, I finally got the boat in the water.


Frank and Liz went out in the boat while I took the trailer over to Kora's where we leave it for the season. The subdivision association won't let us park it in the yard.

I had it in when Kora got a call that I needed to bring it back. Last fall, the steering had gotten bad and I told the marina to take care of it when they winterized the boat. It still was bad.

Hitched up the trailer again and then back to the Legion, but Liz and Frank weren't there.

More to Come. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You end sentences with an unnecessary preposition like "Where's my car at?" Or, "If you go to Jewel, I wanna go with."

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's Your Favorite Insurance Commercial?

From the March 16th Chicago Tribune "After Aflac, other mascots" by Rob Manker.

It used to be that you had to look forward to beer commercials for humor when it came to boring TV commercials, but the insurance companies have really jumped into the fray.

Of course, there was the Gilbert Gottfried incident for Aflac after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which was the reason for this article.


AFLAC-- the white duck
GEICO-- the Gecko, Cavemen, Kash (the money clip), the Fake Rod Serling Guy
ALLSTATE-- Mayhem and Dennis Haysbert


STATE FARM-- Eddie Matos
NATIONWIDE-- Bob Wiltfong
METLIFE-- Snoopy

The last three aren't in the running at all with me.


Overall, All State because of Mayhem. That guy is hilarious!!

Three Funniest individual commercials:

1. Geico's Woodchucks chucking wood.
2. Aflac's duck and Yogi Berra
3. AllState's Mayhem tree "Shakey, Shakey, Shakey"

I'll write more about these commercials, along with Facebook fans on my history blog at

How About Your Favorites? --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...Stores don't have sacks. They have bags.

Weather's Stopping Me from Seeing Bands

Another crummy-looking day outside. I just saw our neighbor behind us, Joanne, cutting the grass with long pants and a sweatshirt on. Overcast, windy, temp in the 50s, and threatening rain.

I don't even want to talk about the grass which is so high, I might need a combine to cut it. I hate when it gets ahead of me, something I don't usually have to worry about except in the spring and fall.

And, the boat's still sitting in the driveway. Come on, Uncle Al, we need a break from all your global warming!!

And then, there are all the concerts I'm missing this week.

Tuesday, MR. MYERS, a Caribbean Rock/Reggae/TropRock group was playing in Libertyville.

Wednesday, SODA was outside at Lindenhurst.

Thursday, the MODERN DAY ROMEOS were outside in Antioch

Today, RHYTHM BONE and MODERN DAY ROMEOS are at Waucondafest.

Time for Summer to Get Here! --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...Your school classes were canceled because of the heat.

Going Back to the Summer of 1971-- Part 6

FREEDOM-- JIMI HENDRIX-- The guitarist Robin Trower of Procul Harum and so many others studied so carefully.
WHAT'S GOING ON-- MARVIN GAYE-- Title track of his new album.

BROWN SUGAR-- ROLLING STONES-- the #1 Song in town.

Stroud also introduces segments after commercials with snippets of other songs on the radio.

CHICK-A-BOOM-- DADDY DEWDROP-- 1971 was filled with timeless music. Then, there's a smattering of songs that didn't much matter if we ever heard them. This was one. (Hey, Bob, I really like this song!!)

DON'T PULL YOUR LOVE-- HAMILTON, JOE FRANK & REYNOLDS-- (A guilty pleasure of mine.)

We're About Two Weeks Away from the Second Segment, July 3rd. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...Your school classes were canceled because of the cold.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Going Back to the Summer of 1971-- Part 5

Continuing with Bob Stroud's annual Roots Salute to Summer, this time the Summer of 1971. His words after the song, mine in parentheses.

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY-- ROD STEWART-- From his third release out a couple weeks now.
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER-- ARETHA FRANKLIN-- brilliant rendition by the Queen of Soul. (You want Soul? You can't handle this much Soul!!)

KEEP PLAYING THAT ROCK AND ROLL-- EDGAR WINTER-- From the greatest soul to white trash. From his White Trash album.

THAT'S THE WAY I ALWAYS HEARD IT SHOULD BE-- CARLY SIMON-- Brand new song from an artist who was new to most of us anyway. In the top ten, her initial hit from her debut, self-titled album.
CHANGE PARTNERS-- STEVE STILLS-- Hit-bound from his upcoming album, Stills II.

CHICAGO-- GRAHAM NASH-- From his first solo album, Songs for Beginners. (Another CSN guy.)

A Few More Songs to Come from Early June 1971. --RoadDog

Summer, What Summer?

It may be officially summer right now, but someone needs to tell the weather that little bit of information.

It's been cool and rainy all week.

Monday, we were planning on putting our boat in, finally, and then going downriver on a friend's boat. We had a few rain showers and it threatened so badly all day, both those were cancelled.

Tuesday, the weather wasn't too bad when we had the new air conditioner installed. Afterwards, I went to the "Super 8" movie and at some point during it, we had a several minute deluge. Then, while we were at Fire Wood for tacos and beer, a fast-moving storm came through knocking out power and delaying the Cubs-Sox Crosstown Classic game at Comiskey Park in Chicago. I understand some people in the Chicago area still don't have electricity.

Wednesday, it rained off and on all day. We even lost electricity twice. I was trying to do some yardwork in between showers, but finally gave up. I'd get out for ten minutes, be forced in by rain which would end in a few minutes, sun come out, go out again, repeat the process.

Today, it is raining off and on again with temps in the mid-60s.

Needless to say, the boat is STILL NOT in the water. Maybe tomorrow.

Come On Summer!! --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO...If you measure distance in minutes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome to Summer!!

It ain't summer until Bob Stroud plays summer songs on his Ten at Ten show closest to June 21st, which was yesterday. He usually also devotes his Sunday Rock and Roll Roots show to summer songs as well, so imagine this Sunday that will be the theme.

You can hear ten at Ten Monday-Friday as well as Rock and Roll Roots at

Here are the Ten at Ten Summer Songs:

SCHOOL'S OUT- Alice Cooper-- (The name of our boat plus the word "Forever." A great name for a boat belonging to a couple ex-teachers.)
HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME-- Sly & the Family Stone

SUMMER IN THE CITY-- Lovin' Spoonful
MARGARITAVILLE-- Jummy Buffett-- (Still looking for that lost chigger of ____.)

Now, If the Weather Would Just Cooperate. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You are annoyed by people who do (from the earlier entry).

Going Back to the Summer of 1971-- Part 4

And the best part of going back these 40 years, we get to do it again the first Sunday of the next three months.

MIDNIGHT MAN-- JAMES GANG-- From their Thirds album, side 2. Joe Walsh's last go around with the group. (Our new US Representative from our district is Joe Walsh, unfortunately one of those Tea Partiers and we all know who they are for now. Every time I hear his name, I can't help but think of the other Joe Walsh, the one who is a musician.)
MOVE OVER-- JANIS JOPLIN-- Five months old and still getting lots of spins. Lead-off selection of her Pearl album.

CAN'T YOU HEAR ME KNOCKIN'-- ROLLING STONES-- Sticky Fingers was just a few weeks old. Side one. Great 7 minute jam.
LOVE'S MADE A FOOL OUT OF YOU-- COCHISE-- A bit of a rarity, although it was in the Top Ten here in Chicago. Written in 1958 by Buddy Holly who originally recorded it as well. Bobby Fuller Four also had a hit with it in 1966. (I sort of remembered the song, but not the group.)

LOVE HER MADLY-- DOORS-- From their current release, LA Woman.
GET IT ON-- CHASE-- the late-great Bill Chase. (One really fine horn band!!)

IT DON'T COME EASY-- RINGO STARR-- (Old Ringo could sure pick a good one to sing with his limited ability.)
BEWARE OF DARKNESS-- LEON RUSSELL-- A real Indian beat to a George Harrison tune because it is in the hands of a good pal of George's. From his Leon Russell and the Shelter People album that was in our collections. Later on in the summer, leon was appearing with Harrison on the stage at Madison Square Garden in the Concert for Bangladesh.

Lovin' It. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You don't pronounce the "S" at the end of Illinois.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blues Guy Big Bill Broonzy-- Part 1

From the June 17th Chicago Tribune "Honoring Big Bill, with music, book" by Jessica Hopper.

I'm sitting here right now listening to "Good Time Tonight" by Big Bill Broonzy on prerecorded cassette tape from the Roots N Blues series. As I read the article, I seemed to remember that I had some of Big Bill's music. I did. Twenty songs recorded from 1930-1940. The sound quality is quite amazing considering what most blues songs from that era sound like. Most of the songs were recorded in Chicago, his home after he came north in the Great Migration.

There is also a good bio on the cassette cover.

This past Friday, the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago had a tribute show to him with a special concert. They've had one every year every year since the school's founding in 1957 (Broonzy died one year later).

In addition, this is also the book release party of his definitive biography. Local author Bob Riesman has spent much of the last decade researching Broonzy's life and has written"I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy."

I am a big blues fan (except when they jam too much) and have a large collection of blues albums, cassettes and CDs. Most Mondays, I'm listening to Bluesbreakers with Tom Marker on WXRT. I still miss Mr. A who had a night show on 96.9 Fm before it became the Drive, WDRV.

Loving That Blues. --RoadDog

And, Lastly, LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Beware of anybody with a flag trying to get you to park in their yard. Even better, RUN!!! Or Drive quickly away.

Every Blooming Thing: Those Great Japanese Lilac Trees

Just when you thought lilac bloom season was over, along comes the blooms of the Japanese tree lilac which goes to make the other Japanese yard import, those rotten beetles, somewhat more bearable.

Every morning these days, I get delayed for at least five minutes while I look out the bedroom window at the gorgeous specimen we have blooming that striking white. Just can't get enough of it.

The regular lilacs and Miss Kims have long since lost their blooms, but now we get one last blast. And...I have one more Japanese tree lilac out by the arboretum which is just now getting buds, so I'll have another couple of weeks of enjoyment, but now it will be from the deck.

A Welcome Addition to the Yard. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Parking elsewhere could cost you $2500 in damages. Plus, if you don't get damage, there is always the chance of real expensive parking tickets or, even worse, towing. Those Lincoln Park Pirates are still out there, right, Steve Goodman?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Week in My life

JUNE 12th-- Sunday-- Breakfast at St. Bede's, yardwork, Average Joe Band at Captain's Quarters.

JUNE 13th-- Monday-- Pick up boat from winter quarters, breakfast at Kaitie's in Hebron, trimming and yardwork, pizza at Dill Pickle in Spring Grove.

JUNE 14th-- Tuesday-- Shopping, trimming and yardwork, then on to McHenry and tacos and beer at Firewood, more beer at Gambler's, even more beer at Twisted Moose.

JUNE 15th-- Wednesday-- Yardwork, brats and NTN at Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wi., beer nuggets and beer at Tommy's in Spring Grove.

JUNE 16th-- Thursday-- Trip to Chicago by train, USMC at Soldiers Field, charcoburgers at Dog 'N Suds in Ingleside, grass cutting.

JUNE 17th-- Friday-- yardwork, pick up boat, Spring Grove Fish Boil for Fish hatchery at Horse Fair Park, beer at the Tank on Long Lake.

JUNE 18th-- Saturday-- yardwork, Round Lake Beach Beach fest, shopping, boat work, more yardwork, Rhythm Kings band at Captain's Quarters in Antioch.

JUNE 19th-- Sunday-- newspapers and radio in the gazebo, yardwork, on to Twin Lakes and Bloody Marys at Main Street, pork roast and beer at Donovan's, Cover Story band at Captain's Quarters.

OK, it was eight days!

If This Be Work, Make the Most of It. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If you go to Wrigley Field pay the $50 to park in the Cubs lot. See why in the next entry.

The Big Man's Left Us

Sorry to hear that E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons died over the weekend. Last week, I had heard that he was hospitalized in serious condition.

This morning, on WXRT, I heard Lynn Brammer talking about it. He said that a horse named E Street Shuffle had won his race at Mammoth Race Track in New Jersey at 3-1 odds and ridden by a jockey named Elvis. He then played Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" that featured Clemons on sax.

He was a favorite of mine and I have most of Springsteen's albums as well as even one from 1983 that Clemons did called Rescue by Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers.

Last Monday, we lost Carl Gardner, lead singer of one of my favorite groups, the Coasters.

Both obituaries are are in my history blog,

So Long Big Guy, We'll Miss You. --RoadDog

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ten Dad Songs

I just posted these songs on my RoadLog, but since this is such a major music blog, I'm going to type it up again.

These songs were played on Bob Stroud's Ten at Ten on WDRV-Fm in Chicago.

CAT'S IN THE CRADLE-- Harry Chapin
COME TO PAPA-- Bob Seger
DADDY, YOU'RE A FOOL TO CRY-- Rolling Stones
FUN FUN FUN-- Beach Boys-- (Until Daddy gets the keys to the T-Bird away, anyway.)

SUGAR DADDY-- Fleetwood Mac
MY FATHER'S EYES-- Eric Clapton
FATHER TO SON-- Cat Stevens
WALK LIKE A MAN-- Bruce Springsteen

And, let's not forget those two father-daughter dance songs "Daddy's Little Girl" and "Butterfly Kisses."

It's a Daddy Thing. --RoadDog

To Our Dads

This Father's Day, Liz and I are without ours, as we have been since 1997.

My dad died in 1997 at age 69. He would have been 83 this year. I was really hoping to get to enjoy his company after my retirement, but it was not to be. He is the reason I am such a Civil War buff and newspaper reader among other things. he is the reason I still have the junior in my signature.

He worked most of his career with the Quaker Oats Company, which is how I ended up in Illinois (the home office is in Chicago).

However, he was not into music at all and was always after me while growing up for buying too many records. I sure liked to rub it in with how much money I was making off those worthless records while I was deejaying.

Liz's dad, Ambrose, would have been 100 this coming July. I really got along with him and have missed him since he died in 1986 at age 75.

He owned a small corner store in Chicago and worked for General Finance Corporation before retiring.

Sure Miss You and Still Thinking About Both of You.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

JSS: Never-Ending Yardwork-- 1967 Beach Music-- Boat- Good Times in the Area

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. NEVER-ENDING YARDWORK-- All I can say is that I planted way too many things without the understanding that as I get older, it gets harder.

Finished the bush trimming this week and am now working on weeding and thinning out plants. And, there are a LOT of them.

2. 1967 BEACH MUSIC-- Right now, I'm listening to the font of knowledge when it comes to Beach Music, the "Fessa John Hook on Cashbox as he plays back the Top 40 songs of 1967.

He just played "That Lucky Old Sun" by C.W. McCall, "I Want to Marry You" by Little Frankie.

3. BOAT-- It's in the driveway right now, yet another step closer to getting in the water. Monday, I picked it up at the barn in Hebron, Illinois, where it spent the winter. I dropped it off at Midwest Marine that day and picked it up yesterday.

I wasn't too happy about all the bird droppings on the mooring cover when I picked it up, but this past week's rains washed much of it off.

Hoping to launch at the Legion in Fox Lake on Monday.

4. GOOD TIMES IN THE AREA-- SUNDAY was breakfast at St. Bede's in Fox Lake and the Average Joe Band at Captain's Quarters. MONDAY had half-price pizza at the Dill Pickle in Spring Grove. TUESDAY we met up with the usual suspects in McHenry and had 50 cent tacos and buck pints at Fire Wood, buck bottles at the Gambler and $1.50 bottles at the Twisted Moose.

WEDNESDAY we went to Donovan's in Twin Lakes, Wi., for $2 brats, $1.50 pints and NTN (12 Top Tens) and then stopped at Tommy's in Spring Grove for buck bottles and beer nuggets. THURSDAY was Chicago and the Marines at Soldiers Field then the 99 cent Charcoburger special at Don 'N Suds. FRIDAY, it was the Spring Grove Fish Hatchery Door County Boil to raise money at Horse Fair Park and then $1 bottles at the Tank in Long Lake along with a bonfire.

Too Much Fun. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If it's rained six inches in the last hour, the Western Open is in the second round.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Enjoying the Surf Right Now

Most mornings on the old 'pute, I listen to Allen Vick on WNCT-AM out of Greenville, North Carolina, playing Beach, Boogie and Blues, but obviously he must be on an extended vacation these past two weeks.

Instead, I have been enjoying North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina's 94.9 FM, the Surf, which is back on the air after being off for three months. They play Beach Music and are evidently now owned by WNMB, which plays oldies.

I used to listen to it all the time when they had my favorite Beach Music Deejay, Billy Smith, but unfortunately, he died. I didn't much like T-Bear who replaced him.

However, now they have Skipper Summers who I like now that I've heard him several times. It's be a hard call who I listen to now in the morning slot.

Ted Bell comes on the Surf at 10 am, 9 am my time, and Freakin' Deacon is on in the afternoons. He is a real experience.

Gettin' My Beach When I Can. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If it's 60 degrees in April, it's opening day at Comiskey. (I don't call it by that other name.)

Yard Wildlife


This morning, sitting out on the front porch enjoying my breakfast pizza, the "Frontyard" chipmunk scampered across the sidewalk. I've seen him (her?) several times the last several days. I call him the "Frontyard" chipmunk as he is the only one I've seen in the front. The others are "Backyard" chipmunks and I have several of them. I guess they are not as uppity as "Frontyard."

This is the first year I've seen a chipmunk in the front yard.


While working up close and personal with the flowers and weeds, I occasionally get frightened when something close to my fingers suddenly hops away. Thanks, Mr. Toad. Now, if we could just get them to eat those lousy mosquitoes.

And then there are the doves which scare me even more when they suddenly bolt because I've come too close. And, they bolt into the air with that tell-tale sound from their wings. Now, that'll get the old heart racing.


Yesterday, while working on the west side of the house, I had an even bigger bird bolt, a female mallard duck. I don't know if she was just resting or hat eggs in a nest, but I won't be looking.

We have had a mallard nest in the yard before. I'm never sure how she gets the chicks to water as we are not near any here on the bluff.


Lately, whenever I put out birdseed, it only takes those hungry little birdies a few hours to go through it. Then, they have to wait a day until refill time.

Be Still My Beating Heart. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If it's 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, it's opening day at Wrigley Field.

Going Back to the Summer of 1971-- Part 3

Some more songs from that great college year for me. And, Bob Stroud will feature the Summer of '71 three more times, the first Sunday in July, August and September.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE-- JOHN LENNON-- A different take. (Here we have three songs by former Beatles)
TOO MANY PEOPLE-- PAUL McCARTNEY-- Lead-off track of one of McCartney's best solo albums only a few weeks old at this time. Name of the album? Ram. (One of my favorite Sir Paul songs.)
HERE COMES THE SUN-- RITCHIE HAVENS-- his cover of a George song. (Always remember him doing this in the "Woodstock" movie.)

IF-- BREAD-- from new album, Manna. (The masters of smarm doing a big smarm. But, I still like them.)
FEELING ALRIGHT-- GRAND FUNK RAILROAD-- Their version of the classic Traffic track. From Survivor.

INDIAN RESERVATION (LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE INDIAN)-- RAIDERS-- They had dropped the Paul Revere this point. Hit bound. Two and a half years earlier, an English singer by the name of Don Fardon scored a top 40 hit with the same tune. (But, the Raider version went to #1, talk about your anti-British thing.)
IT'S TOO LATE-- CAROLE KING-- "A" side of first song. Blasted Tapestry album into the stratosphere. Climbing the charts.

By the way, a happy 69th birthday to Paul McCartney, turning 69 tomorrow. Sunday, Bob Stroud will be featuring McCartney live in honor of it on his Rock and Roll Roots show on WDRV in Chicago. Last Sunday, WXRT's Terri Hemmert featured nothing but Paul on her Breakfast with the Beatles show.

We Still Love Old Paul, Even If He Isn't 64 Anymore. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If it's 100+ degrees, it's Taste of Chicago.

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 2

I found out the young people, recent high school graduates were all Marine Corps recruits and would in a short time be at basic training at Camp Pendleton, California (Gomer Pyle's home base).

These were squared away boots, already well on their way to being Jarheads. A devoted group of drill instructors stayed close to them, barking orders. Each of these wore tee shirts with "Pain is just weakness leaving the body." Looking at these incoming people shows that the Corps will continue to be the best fighting arm of our military. Like another tee shirt said, "The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle."

A couple boots still had long hair for a bit longer. The coming fodder for Marine barbers who don't worry about style. There were a few girls as well.

The recruits got together for a talk from a wounded Marine from Afghanistan, but I was too far away to hear what he was saying.


I got my first personal look at the new Soldiers Field and it is impressive. The seats are much closer than what they used to be, where you almost needed binoculars just to see the field, let alone the players.

More to Come. --RoaadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...The Eisenhower (Ike), the former Congress Expressway, is our daily version of NASCAR.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Marine Corps Thing-- Part 1

Last week, friends Kevin and Kelly mentioned that they had been invited to Soldier Field in Chicago for a Marine Corps day involving a new class of recruits and change of command for the Chicago Recruiting Station.

This morning, we left way to early, at 6:14 via the Chicago Metra train from Fox Lake, Illinois, to Chicago's Union Station ($14 round trip) and then we did the CTA ($5 round trip with transfers) to Soldiers Field for the event.

The drill instructors had the new recruits doing PT, Marine Corps for Physical Training. Boy, did that bring back some memories as they exercised and did the shouts. I was a member for six weeks back in the summer of 1971, 40 years ago.

I was at Quantico, Virginia, in PLC, Platoon Leader Class. Six weeks between sophomore and junior year, six more the next summer and when I graduated I would be commissioned a second lieutenant and then go to basic training for six months and then, most likely to Vietnam.

Fortunately, the war ended right before I graduated, so I didn't have to go.

More to Come. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...The wrought iron on windows in Englewood, Lawndle and Austin are not ornamental.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going Back to the Summer of 1971-- Part 2

Forty years ago! Has it been that long?

DON'T KNOCK MY LOVE-- WILSON PICKETT-- still making his presence known in the seventies, the Wicked Pickett.
DRAGGING THE LINE-- TOMMY JAMES-- solo at this time. Starting to climb the charts with what was to be his biggest solo hit.

NEVER-ENDING SONG OF LOVE-- husband and wife team
FLIGHT 609-- CHICAGO-- Everybody was striving for that Crosby, Stills and Nash vibe, including Chicago from their newly released third album, Chicago III.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN-- CSNY-- From their newly-released double live album, Four-Way Street.
YOURS IS NO DISGRACE-- YES-- Lead off track from their new album released in February. The first two albums sort of got by us, but not this one with new guitarist Steve Howe.


Take Me Back. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Although many expressways (they are not freeways) have posted speed limits of 55, the minimum acceptable speed limit is 85. Anything less...get the heck out of the left lane.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

JSS: Frasier-- Trimming-- Boat-- Adirondack Chairs

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. FRASIER-- Yesterday, I had to watch a couple episodes of "Frasier" that Liz and I particularly like. One was when Frasier was dating a gym teacher who, when she got after a girl for not being able to climb a rope, reminded him of his high school gym teacher who made his life miserable. The other one was when he a Niles were trying to learn how to ride bicycles.

Classic TV at its best!! In doing James Arness' obituary on my history blog, I saw that Kelsey Grammer had tied Arness for most years playing the same character on a TV show, twenty. Grammer did it on "Cheers" and "Frasier."

2. TRIMMING-- One more day to go on the hardest job I do in the spring/summer, trimming the bushes. Yesterday. I did the area by the deck, southwest corner of the house and arboretum. I only have Frances' Back 40 left today.

3. BOAT-- Yesterday, i also picked up the boat in Hebron and drove it over to the marina for summerizing. Hopefully we'll get it back today.

4. ADIRONDACK CHAIRS-- Today, I'm going over to Menard's in Volo to buy some of these great chairs. They are on sale for $13 apiece with a $3 rebate, so $10. I'm getting two for myself and four for friends since I have a truck.

You wouldn't want to try to get one of those into a car.

These are rosin, so don't fall apart. Mighty comfortable chairs, but, as I get older, mighty hard to get out of after you sit down.

Give Me a Boat and an Adirondack Chair and I'm a Happy Camper. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...A trip across town (from the lake to the West Side) will take a minimum of two hours.

The Problem with Hostas-- Part 2: Not!!

Other than sometimes coming under slug attack, these are remarkably effortless plants, other than having to dig them up and divide them every 4-5 years.

It is amazing how much nurseries charge for them, however. Especially when they are so easy to transplant.

I have a favorite story about one of my hostas. I had dug one up and, having no place to plant it, threw it on top of my burn pile. I came back a month later and found it growing. Something that wanted to live that badly just had to be planted; which I did.

This week, I will be digging up some more and taking them over to the Kellehers to put around their gazebo over on Fox Lake. Last year, they planted some of my hostas around their huge old cottonwood tree and they're coming in fine.

I have several others that are going to have to be moved because they have gotten too big. I have three major hosta areas as well as many scattered around the flower beds.

One Great Plant. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If you stop and ask for directions on Chicago's West Side, you'd better be armed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

End of An Era for Me: Goodbye CDs

Last week, I was at the Super K-Mart in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, checking out their plants and electronics.

They are completely remodeling their electronics section. It was still a mess, but I did not see where they were going to sell CDs anywhere, other than a mini-section. Maybe there will be a bigger section so I'll have to go back, but, I know CDs are on their way out in this new down-load-it age.

My old record/CD club folded and was taken over by the Your Music site, which featured CDs for $6.99 (including p&h), a huge improvement over the clubs where you paid almost as much for shipping and handling as the CD.

I found out two months ago that they were closing down at the end of June.

I held out as long as I could against CDs, but had to come over once they stopped making LP albums. However, I came to really like the convenience of CDs like getting all the songs on one side as well as remote control and being able to skip around without lifting the tone arm.

I remember WXRT having an April Fool's bit back in the '90s about them finding that CDs deteriorate after a certain time which alarmed me until I remembered what day it was.

At my age, I guess when the last CD goes by, that will also be the last new music I buy as well. Oh well, I have plenty of old albums, cassettes and CDs to listen to to keep me occupied.

I Guess the Real April Fool's Trick Is About to Happen. --RoadDog


JSIS: Funny Hats-- Bananaomics-- Empire Carpet Guy-- CEO GRBs-- 69%!!

JSIS: Just Some Interesting Stuff

From the May 16th Time Magazine.

1. FUNNY HATS-- Time had a two-page spread on the hats worn at the royal wedding last month. with 25 pictures. It was kind of like the Kentucky Derby. The caption said that "Women at the wedding adorned their heads with elaborate creations, from traditional hats to the fanciful headpieces known as fascinators." They asked readers to be the judge of the sublime to the ridiculous. And not a single baseball cap amongst them!!

2. BANANAOMICS-- I hadn't noticed, but evidently the cost of bananas has been going up as fast as the price of gas. I like bananas, but this very well may stop me from eating them.

3. EMPIRE CARPET GUY-- Elmer Hauldren,89, better known as the Empire Carpet Guy, died. How many times have I seen his commercials? It was strange to see the commercials in other parts of the country. What was that phone number again? "1-800- 5-8-8, 2-300, Em-pire." I imagine he suffered knee problems from getting up and down from the carpet all those years.

4. CEO GRBS-- CEO pay is rising again, a WHOLE LOT faster than what the rest of us are getting. In 2010, the average worker (you and me) pay went up 2%. CEOs went up 23%. Now, the average CEO pay of the top 200 companies is $11.4 million.

5. 69%!!--- No these aren't swear words, but probably should be. This is the increase in ExxonMobil's first quarter earnings from the same period the year before. That's $11 BILLION, making it one of their best quarterly profits ever.

I can hardly wait until second quarter profits come out at the end of this month.

CEOs and the Oil Axis of Evil, There Oughta Be a Law. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...First Ave., LaGrange Road, NW Highway all mysteriously change names as you cross intersections.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Problem with Hostas-- Part 1: Not!!

Actually, of all my plants, I have the least number of problems with that rugged little plant called hosta. This is one reason why I'm getting more and more of them, both ones and buy and ones I divide.

All my friends readily agree with me. This is a must for any yard.

I always hear that they are a shade plant, but they also grow well in the sun. They get bigger, but don't "take over" like so many other perennials.

About the only problem is that they have to be divided every so often, but then you have even more of them.

I never planted any when we lived in Round Lake Beach as any plant I had, had to have big flowers on them. Hostas have small blue spikes which just didn't fit the bill.

The first hostas I got were divisions from Irma Dunjin, a fellow teacher. Her transplants make up the largest number of hostas I have. I have them around the two sunburst honeylocusts in the front yard, the utility pole, the east sidewalk and in several locations in Frances' back 40.

It is a striking plant.

A Hosta a Day keeps the Weeds Away. --RoadDoh

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...All old ladies with blue hair in Buicks, Caddies or Lincolns, have the right-of-way. Period!!

Going Back to the Summer of 1971-- Part 1

Last Sunday, Bob Stroud did his annual trip back 40 years ago to summers that really had an impact on my generation and me in particular. He has been doing this since 2007, when he went back to the Summer of '67.

These are the songs were playing on the radio or in our record collections back on June 5, 1971.

These trips bring back a flood of memories for me. On June 5, 1971, I had finished my sophomore year at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb and was getting ready to move my stuff to my parents' house in Dunwoody, Georgia. I was going to the University of Georgia for my junior year.

I also had a six week training session with the USMC at Quantico, Virginia, for their PLC, Platoon Leader Class. That war in Vietnam was just NEVER going to end and with a draft lottery number 22, I was on my way when I graduated, so I decided to go as an officer.

As usual, Stroud's quotes after the song. Mine in parentheses.

I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE-- CAROLE KING-- "B" side of her new album, just out three months now, but starting to really sell.
YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND-- his version of a Carole King song from his Mudslide Slim and the Blue Horizon album.

THE CHANGELING-- DOORS-- From the album L.A. Woman. Side 1, Cut 1.
JOY TO THE WORLD-- THREE DOG NIGHT-- one of the biggest-selling singles of the year. Just making its descent down the charts. (When I was deejaying, I'd always ask the people, "Hey, what was the name of that bullfrog we used to get drunk with?" And, they always knew. Do you?)

A Great trip Back. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Car horns are actually "Road Rage" indicators.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Hot Was It? How Cold Did It Get?

Earlier this week, it was hot. I mean hot enough to start sweating while sitting and doing nothing. Believe me, it wasn't much fun working out in the yard Monday to Wednesday.

Then Saturday, we were sitting out at the Kellehers' End-of-the-School-Year Party on Fox Lake and being very thankful for the wind. Otherwise, people would have begun melting.

However, that night, some really bad storms rolled in, causing much wind damage north of us. With it, came the cold. When we drove to Donovan's since I wasn't able to work in the yard, we had to be wearing jeans and sweatshirts. I mean, it was VERY Cold and that wind just bit through you.

The Milwaukee stations said there was a 40 degree difference between the temps at 4:30 Wednesday and Thursday.

Today, it has been raining and is still cool as I get ready to go out to the Legion and help with the VA hospital fishing tournament.

When Will Summer Get Here...And Stay? --RoadDog

Living Near Chicago...If somebody actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.

Beach Music Top 40 for 2009-- Part 1

From Fessa Hook, the final authority on all things Beach Music.

If you're tired of the kid stuff they're playing on what passes for top 40 today, you should give a listen to a Beach Music station, and here we're not talking Beach Boys beach music, but that east coast stuff you can dance the shag to.

40. DOOT DOOTSIE WAH-- Little Isidore
39. I WANT TO SHOUT ABOUT IT-- Fiona McElroy
38. FALLING-- Rhona McDaniel
37. BOOGIE DOWN BRONX-- Angel Risoff

35. 10 POUNDS OF PARTY-- Fabulous Kays
34. OCEAN DRIVE-- Gary Brown
33. THAT'S WHAT YOU DO-- Rev. Bubba D. Liverance
32. TILL YOU COME BACK TO ME-- Magnificents
31. UHH!-- Calabash Blues & Boogie Band

30. HARD HEARTED WOMAN-- Jerry Wilson & the Jewels
29. I AIN'T NEVER-- Little Richard
28. TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME-- Royal Drifters
27. LOVE THAT GIRL-- Raphael Soadiq
26. 1955-- Morry Socket & the Splendid 20s

25. NICE WHILE IT LASTED-- Rick Strickland
24. DON'T EVER BE LONELY-- Mark Roberts & Breeze
23. ANY OTHER WAY-- Sensational Epics
22. MATTER OF TIME-- Tommy Black & Blooz
21. WHY'D I DRINK SO MUCH-- Mike Goodreau

If you want to see the Top Twenty songs, go to the June 20, 2011, entry at my history blog:

It was supposed to be a June 20th entry on this blog, but, oh well.

Good Stuff. Give It a Listen. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...All unexplainable sights are explained by the phrase, "Oh, we're in Cicero."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

JSS: Nasty Job-- Beach Music-- Expensive Week-- Pit Bulls

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. NASTY JOB-- This week, I am doing one of my least favorite yard jobs, trimming the bushes. It wouldn't be so bad except I really over planted. One of these days I am going to have walk around and make a count of the bushes. Too bad they can't just stay the size and form you cut them.

2. BEACH MUSIC-- This past Saturday, I enjoyed listening to the Surf's premier Beach Music Top Twenty Countdown. They used to have a countdown before they went off the air last January. Ted Bell hosted it. The #1 song was "The Bop" by Miss Judy. Charlie Brown's "On the Beach" show also made its return.

Also, one of my favorite beaches, Carolina Beach near Wilmington, North Carolina had their annual Beach Music festival featuring the Fantastic Shakers and the Coastline Band.

3. EXPENSIVE WEEK-- I never wanted money anyway. Later today, I have to go pay my first property tax bill, $4400 (the second payment is the same.)

Yesterday, we found that our air conditioner needed replacing, so that's another $3800.

4. PIT BULLS-- Yahoo Today featured an article about pit bull dogs and how at one time they were kept to protect children. Too bad the idiot squad got ahold of them and ruined the breed's reputation.

Money? Who needs Money? Oh Yes, Big Oil. Wonder What They're Profits will be at the End of the Month? --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Construction on the Northwest Tollway is a way of life and a form of entertainment.

The Sporting Event New Nutrition Plate

This past week, the USDA came up with a new way to measure nutrition to replace the food pyramid.

The June 5th Chicago Tribune's Main Event in the sports section took a tongue-in-the- cheek look at the proper levels of consumption at sporting events.

It was in the form of baseball's home plate and divided into portions:

Frosty Beverages-- beer featured, but also pop (as we in the Midwest call it).
Melty Cheeses-- pizza and nacho cheese.
Encased Meats-- brats and hot dogs
Cold Sweets-- ice cream
Sweets-- Cracker Jack's, of course.

ESTIMATED CALORIES: Somewhere north of 10,000 (mostly empty calories, too!).
VEGETABLE AND FRUIT INTAKE: Minimal (unless you count ketchup--and we do).

Of course, all this doesn't figure in whether you're able to afford to ATTEND the game or eat and drink once you're in. I hear beer at Wrigley Field is $7 this year. I remember writing in my journal back in April 1981 that after my first trip to the ballpark that year, that they had raised the price of beer to $1.50 and I couldn't afford to drink there anymore.

Eating Healthy at the Ballpark? --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...We had so much fun on the Northwest Tollway, that we added the Elgin-O'Hare and the I-355 to the congestion. (Incidentally, the Elgin-O'Hare does not go to either place.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Top Ten Misused English Words

From the June 6th List Universe. For their explanation of why the word is misused, go to their site.

10. refute
9. instant
8. enormity
7. less
6. chronic

5. literally
4. panacea
3. disinterested
2. decimate
1. ultimate

These words are musised.

The Enormity of This Chronic Panacea is Instantly the Ultimate Whodah. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...When you're the first one waiting to drive through an intersection, be sure to count to five before proceeding until all the drivers running the red light get through.

Going Back to 1970-- Part 3

From Wendy Rice's May 28th Saturday morning Flashback on WXRT, Chicago's Finest Rock, 93.1 FM.

ROADHOUSE BLUES-- Doors-- from Morrison Hotel.
BLUE POWER-- Eric Clapton-- first solo effort after leaving Derek & the Dominoes.

NATURE'S WAY-- Spirit-- from the Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
APE MAN-- Kinks-- Ray Davies & Co.

THANK YA FA-LETTIN'-ME-BE-MYSELF-- Sly & the Family Stone

NEWS OF 1970-- Chicago 7 Trial from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. In April, the US invaded Cambodia, sparking a huge anti-war protest. In May we had Kent State and rioting at colleges across the nation. There was a 100,000 person anti-war protest in DC.

Apollo 13, "Houston, we have a problem."

Eighteen-year-olds given right to vote.

OHIO-- Graham Nash
WAR-- Edwin Starr
MY SWEET LORD-- George Harrison
GALLOWS POLE-- Led Zeppelin

BORDER SONG-- Elton John
ALL RIGHT NOW-- Free-- (One of my all-time favorites.)

QUESTION-- Moody Blues

BIG YELLOW TAXI-- Joni Mitchell (I also liked the one by Melanie. Now this song always reminds me of karaoke at Donovan's reef in Panama City Beach, Florida.)

Good Stuff Maynard. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will get rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot.

Monday, June 6, 2011

When It Gets Hot and the Power's Out...Some Go to the Bar

This past Saturday was a really hot one around here. I spent the day mostly working in the yard, but did take a break to go get some prescriptions and check out Jewel's flowers here in Spring Grove.

When I got back, I opened the refrigerator and noticed that the light was off. Liz said everything was out, the power was down. And, we didn't even have a storm. I imagine just too much usage because of the heat.

The house started to get warm and Liz said power wasn't expected for three-four more hours.

We decided to go to Donovan's Reef for Cocktails and ended up staying there much too long. The power was on when we got back at 8.

But, the Power Made Us Do It. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.

Fessa Hook's Beach Music 1971 Top 20-- Part 2

10. TAKE ME GIRL, I'M READY-- Jr. Walker & the All Stars
9. PAY TO THE PIPER-- Chairmen of the Board

7. GIRLS IN THE CITY-- Esquires

6. STONED LOVE-- Supremes
5. THIS LOVE IS REAL (I CAN FEEL...)-- Jackie Wilson
HM A BRAND NEW ME-- Aretha Franklin

4. TREAT HER LIKE A LADY-- Cornelius Bros. and Sister Rose
3. CAN'T FIND THE TIME-- Rose Colored Glasses

Not Much, But Still the Beach. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...The Morning rush hour is from 5 to 11 am. The evening rush hour from 2 to 8 pm.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fessa' Hook's 1971 Beach Music Top Twenty-- Part 1

I've been listing the songs Wendy Rice played last Saturday on her Flashback show to 1970. Here are the Top Twenty Songs in the Beach Music world for the following year. Fessa Hook describes this as the 4th Wave of Beach Music and says other describe it as the Dark Ages of Beach Music. Things were so bad, he could only come up with a Top Twenty for the year.

You can hear these songs at Cashbox.

HM. MASS ANN-- Delaney & Bonnie and Little Richard
19. TEARS OF A CLOWN-- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

17. NOBODY LOVES ME LIKE YOU DO-- Georgia Prophets with Billy and Barbara
17. DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TIME-- Georgia Prophets with Billy and Barbara
16. BRING THE BOYS HOME-- Freda Payne

15. THERE IT GOES AGAIN-- Barbara & the Uniques
14. SPANISH HARLEM-- Aretha Franklin
HM. SOONER OR LATER-- Grassroots

13. DEEPER AND DEEPER-- Freda Payne
12. SWEET MAGIC-- Presidents
11. FLIM FLAM MAN (HANDS OFF THE MAN)-- Barbra Streisand

Some of these I've heard, but quite a few I haven't.

Taking Me Back. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...All directions start with "I-94." I-94 has no beginning and no end. It just IS.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How About 'Dem Gas Prices!!! Up, Up and Away

I read in the newspaper yesterday that gas stockpiles are up, the dollar is stronger, demand in the US is down and prices are finally starting to drop.

Now, that is everywhere but in Chicago where it has gone up 21 cents this past week. Chicagoland already had the highest gas prices in the country before this increase WHEN EVERYWHERE ELSE IT IS DROPPING!!! I guess the powers that be just want there to be NO DOUBT who pays the most.

Last week, gas was "down" to $3.96 in Fox Lake. Monday, I noticed the Phillips 66 had jumped to $4.08 and they're always the bellwether of price increase. I filled up at the BP, which was still $3.96. Tuesday it was also $4.08.

This morning, both stations were at $4.18. Gas at the Mobil station on Rollins Road was $4.26 and gas in Round Lake Beach was $4.24. Gas at the two stations on US-12 was up another penny in the afternoon.

I know we are told the reason for this spike is because of a reformulation of gas for summer driving because of environmental concerns, but sometimes the environment has to be sacrificed to reduce people's suffering.

Yesterday at the doctor's office, I was watching that channel that has nothing but business and they were talking to people in the oil commodity pit somewhere. Sadly, all I could think of were that I was seeing a bunch of really evil people in a feeding frenzy intent on making their fellow man suffer so that they can make some money.

When gas gets down to $2.50, I will consider it reasonable and fair. Not until then.

This Is Ridiculous. --RoadDog

Arrrrgh! It's a Pirate's Life for Me

Tuesday I got the chance to get out to see "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." I really enjoyed it, despite what the critics said. As usual, Johnny Depp excels at playing the quirky, funny. awkward social misfit.

I'm even going to get Liz out to see the movie. It will be her first time in a theater in about 25 years, but she REALLY likes Captain Jack.

The movie set a new record, making $256.3 million worldwide. The previous #1 was "Harry Potter: Half Blood Prince"'s $236 million.


**Edward Scissorhands (1990)
**Ed Wood (1994)
**Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
**Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
**Rango (2011) Ok, just his voice, but what a great job.

Love That Johnny. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...There is no such thing as a high-speed chase in Chicago. Everybody drives like that.

Going Back to 1970-- Part 2

Some More Songs from Wendy Rice's WXRT 1970 Saturday Morning Flashback.

Music Festivals Losing Money in 1970

BOX OF RAIN-- Grateful Dead-- (Love them when they do album cuts, but not when they jam live.) From one of two albums released from that year: American Beauty and Workingman's Dead.
SPIRIT IN THE DARK-- Aretha Franklin
THE LETTER-- Joe Cocker
TARKIO ROAD-- Brewer & Shipley

The Sad, Sad, Sad 1970 Chicago White Sox-- 56-106 record, 42 games out of first. Starting outfield hit 22 home runs. Andy the Clown and his blinking red nose wandering around yelling "G-O Y-O-U W-H-I-T-E S-O-X!!" The one bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.
TEARS OF A CLOWN-- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

TWO OF US-- Beatles
ANGEL-- Jimi Hendrix

You paid $1.59 for a 30-pack of Pampers. Tina Fey and Kelly Ripa born.

Bringing Back Some Memories. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. In Chicago, it's "Hold On and Pray."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Going Back to 1970-- Part 1

This past Sunday, Wendy Rice of WXRT, 93.1 FM in Chicago, did her Saturday Morning Flashback Show back to 1970. As usual, great music and information about the songs and events happening back then.

Here is a list of songs she played. Some of you older folks might remember some of these. I turned 19 that year, attending Northern Illinois University.

DOMINO-- Van Morrison-- two albums by Van Morrison in 1970.
THE SHAPE I'M IN-- Band-- From album Stage Fright.
LAKE SHORE DRIVE-- Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah-- An all-time great song about a famous Chicago road. Local boys.

MAYBE I'M AMAZED-- Paul McCartney & Wings-- first solo hit after leaving you-know-who.
QUINN THE ESKIMO-- Bob Dylan (before Manfred Mann did it. Before Manfred Mann got it.
COME AND GET IT-- Badfinger
SWEET BABY JAMES-- James Taylor (How do you get better music than this? Couldn't help but sing-a-long with it.)

OOH CHILD-- Five Stairsteps-- Great Chicago Soul.
WHY DOES LOVE HAVE TO BE SO SAD-- Derek & the Dominoes

Taking me Right Back. --RoadDog

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...If your road map is a few weeks old, throw it out and buy and new one. If you live in Naperville, throw it out if it is more than a day old. What with all the building.

Has It Already Been Five Years Since I Retired?

Yesterday, Liz and I went to the Magee Middle School and Round Lake Middle School joint last day of class parties at Dockers in Fox Lake, Illinois.

It is hard to believe that just five years ago, I was celebrating my very last day of teaching when they had it May 26, 2006. I thought years were flying by the last half of my teaching (33 years), but nothing as fast as it has been going since I retired. A month starts and, bam, it's over. Hey, this year is almost half over. Didn't we just have New Year's Eve?

Although, technically, my sixth year doesn't begin until they have to go back to school in August. Hey, I had the summer's off anyway.

Retired, and DEFINITELY Enjoying It. --RoadDog

Today, I start a new Last Words. These deal with living near Chicago. Some of you folks from elsewhere may not understand some of the stuff, but Chicagoans will.

LIVING NEAR CHICAGO...First you learn to pronounce the city name. It is Chi-caw-go, assuming you live north of Roosevelt Rd.. Otherwise it's Chi-ca-ga.

Every Bloomin' Thing: Early June

The yard has gone to white and purple. The hundred or so daisies are blooming as are the purple wild phlox and the creeping phlox still has blooms on it. Also the purple and gold irises are blooming. Unfortunately, they took a beating in yesterday's high winds. We also had garbage day (usually Tuesdays, but a day late for Memorial Day Monday). Plus, the purple lilacs are still blooming.

The two sunburst honey locusts are budding out in their splendid gold. The Japanese lilac trees are getting ready to bloom white as are the Miss Kim lilacs. The ajuga plants are with blue flowers now as well.

Yesterday, I did some work on the northeast flower garden and west end of the arboretum. I also transplanted hostas.

A bit cool today, but supposed to get into the 80s the next two days.

Lovin' My Yard, Even If the Bones Are Getting a Bit Sore. --RoadDog

EVER WONDER...If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport a terminal?

Number One Songs This Date, June 1, 2011-- Part 2

These songs were rannked number one on the Billboard Charts, this date going back to June 1, 1901.

1979 HOT STUFF-- Donna Summer-- The Queen of Disco, and what a great song. Doesn't get much tougher than this.
1978 TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE-- Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams
1977 SIR DUKE-- Stevie Wonder

1976 LOVE HANGOVER-- Diana Ross-- Goes Disco.
1975 THANK GOD I'M A COUNTRY BOY-- John Denver-- My brother, sister, Liz and I played this song many, many times at the old Silver Dollar Saloon in Carolina Beach, NC, back then.
1974 THE STREAK-- Ray Stevens-- It was a new craze back then and Ray cashed in. Hilarious. "Don't look Ethel!!"

1973 MY LOVE-- Paul McCartney & Wings
1972 I'LL TAKE YOU THERE-- Staple Singers
1971 BROWN SUGAR-- Rolling Stones
1970 EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL-- Ray Stevens-- (makes two #1s on this list for Ray)

1961 RUNNING SCARED-- Roy Orbison
1951 HOW HIGH THE MOON-- Les Paul & Mary Ford-- (#1 the day I was born.)
1941 MY SISTER AND I-- Jimmy Dorsey

1931 (THERE OUGHT TO BE) MOONLIGHT SAVING TIME-- Guy Lombardo-- (You've got to love this play on words.)
1921 MY MAMMY-- Paul Whiteman-- (Would probably be considered racist and pi today.)
1911 COME, JOSEPHINE, IN MY FLYING MACHINE-- Ada Jones, Bill Murray & American Quartet-- (And those flying machines hadn't been around long at this point, either.)
1901 TELL ME, PRETTY MAIDEN-- Harry McDonough & Grace Spencer

"Yes, They Call Him the Streak...He's So Proud of His Anatomy." --RoadDog

EVER WONDER...If "con" is the opposite of "pro," is Congress the opposite of progress? Real Good One!!

Oops! Missed That Milestone: 2,000

Sometime back in April, I passed a bit of a blog milestone, number 2,000. That's a lot of two-fingered typing and research.

This blog started back in 2007 when I was unable to to get logged into my RoadDog's Roadlog Blog. I was testing and came up with this one.

It has since come to be one about general stuff I do and music of all sorts. I also have one place on it where I get the chance to blow off steam, "It's Them, Not Me." Quite often, of course, these are directed towards Big Oil and others intent on making us pay more to drive, and not just a little more, A WHOLE LOT MORE.

My history Blog, Cooter's History Thing, has over 1600 entries.
The Road Blog has 1,926 entries.
The Civil War Blog has 1,610.

I'll have to look up the other two blogs to see how many they have.

Spending Way Too Much Time Doing These Confounded Blogs, But Enjoying It. --RoadDog

EVER WONDER...Why they're called apartments when they're all stuck together?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Number One Songs This Date: June 1, 2011-- Part 1

From Josh Hosler's Number One in History website.

New Month, New Look Back.

2001 LADY MARMALADE-- Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink
1991 I DON'T WANNA CRY-- Mariah Carey
1990 VOGUE-- Madonna

1989 ROCK ON-- Michael Damien
1988 ONE MORE TRY-- George Michael
1987 YOU KEEP ME HANGIN' ON-- Kim Wilde

1986 LIVE TO TELL-- Madonna
1984 LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY-- Deniece Williams

1982 EBONY AND IVORY-- Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
1981 BETTE DAVIS EYES-- Kim Carnes
1980 FUNKYTOWN-- Lipps, Inc.

1970s Coming Up. --RoadDog

EVER WONDER...Why sheep don't shrink when it rains?

Allen Vick's Beach Boogie & Blues Show WNCT-AM

Most every morning, I tune into Allen Vick's Beach Music show on WNCT 1070 AM, from 6-10 am EST, out of Greenville, North Carolina. Great music and local news and weather; my family lives in Goldsboro, Mt. Olive, Kenansville and Warsaw.

Yesterday, I enjoyed Allen talking about his mother which reminded me of my own to an extent. His mother had been very anti anything and anybody having anything to do with computers, just like my mom.

However, his mom got a laptop and high speed access and now is Ms. Computer Head and can't get enough of it. She is even into Facebook. My mom, however, still abhors anything to do with computers. She says she wants to learn, but won't take the time. She'd rather see her friends and family face-to-face.

Plus, Allen believes that modern music is pretty bad (like myself), but his wife is into the new stuff and lets him know when there is a song that could be classified as Beach and he played one by Train.

My wife doesn't like hardly anything after the 1960s.

Myself, I liked most everything in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Starting in the 90s, it dropped to about 50 per cent and still stays there now.

So. Allen Vick Might Be My Brother from Another Mother. --RoadDog

EVER WONDER...Why they don't make the whole plane out of the stuff they use to make that indestructable "black box?"

Some More Beach Music Songs from 1962

From Fessa John Hook's Yearly Beach Music Shows. You can hear these songs and other Beach ones at Cashbox Magazine.

These were John's Honorable Mention ones. Good, but just didn't crack the Top 40.

ROCK-A-BYE YOUR BABY-- Aretha Franklin
UPTOWN-- Crystals

EXACTLY LIKE YOU-- Aretha Franklin

CONTRACT ON LOVE-- Little Stevie Wonder
JUST YOUR FOOL-- Little Walter

Good Stuff, Maynard. --RoadDog

EVER WONDER...Why they sterilize the needle before a lethal injection?