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

Friday, July 29, 2011

It Wasn't Sweet, It Was Sweat

A friend of ours who grew up in Wisconsin and taught with me in Round Lake many years, Marcy Eaker, has retired and moved to Las Vegas, but is still a big fan of Wisconsin teams wrote on her FaceBook page yesterday that her Milwaukee Brewers, by the sixth inning, looked like they were about to sweep our Chicago Cubs at Miller Field.

She ended by saying, "Sweet."

Well, Marcy, it was a sweep, but definitely wasn't sweet. IT WAS SWEAT!!!

We were at the game and I have never sweat more than I did in the first four innings. I like the idea of retractable domes, especially in this area, but I found a definite drawback yesterday. The structure of the dome seriously cuts into breezes and wind when it is open.

On top of that, humidity was at max and then there were the 40,000 people in the place adding body heat. My hair was wet from the time we got to our seats until about the 7th after they had closed the dome and turned on the air conditioner.

Making it worse, was another poor performance from the Cubs, losing 4-2.

But You Don't Have a Fukudome to Kick Around Anymore. --RoadDog

GROANERS: What do fish say when they hit a concrete wall? Dam!!

From Driest to Wettest in One Week

Like they say about Chicagoland weather. If you don't like it now, wait 15 minutes and it will change.

The first three weeks of July, we had a continuing drought from the end of June and everything was drying up. Yards in the subdivision, except for those who keep theirs watered, were brown and you had better get out and water those trees, bushed and plants. Since we're all on wells in our subdivision, I worry about them doing that. Grass will come back (except over the septic fields). (At least it was great boating weather.)

It was one of the driest Julys in history, even the July 11th Derecho gave us only a smattering of rain.

Then came last Thursday-Friday night and the storms began. We've been hit my deluges most every day since. I even had to cut the grass this past Tuesday, something I hadn't done for a couple weeks. I might have to cut it again today.

"First Day in August, Last Rain Was in May" From the song "Rainmaker." --RoadDog

GROANERS: How do you get Holy Water? You boil the hell out of it.

Goodbye Borders, I'll Miss You-- Part 1

It was one of my favorite stores to spend time browsing in and a very nice one to teachers. Twice a year, they would have weekends where teachers got a 25% discount on everything. As a teacher, I appreciated a corporation saying thanks to my efforts.

I especially liked their bargain books which had some really great coffee table type books for music and history. Plus, ever since Woolworth's left us, I have been getting my journals from Borders. I've been keeping a journal since 1978 and used to use Woolworth's Daily Aide Journals.

Then, there was their excellent local sections and all those Acadia books as well as a big history one. And, before the demise of CDs, they had a very deep and eclectic collection along with listening posts, very important when getting a group you're not familiar with.

I was saddened to learn at the beginning of the year that Borders was closing my McHenry store in March. I had spent many hours in that store.

No More From There For Me. --RoadDog

GROANERS: How do crazy people go through the forest? They take the psycho path.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Match the Song with the Band

From the Brevity Daily Calendar. If you like the Far Side, this one is pretty good.

Get those minds going this morning. This being summer and all with the sun and all.

1. "The Warmth of the Sun"

2. "Sunny Afternoon"

3. "Here Comes the Sun"

4. "Tequila Sunrise"

5. "Blister in the Sun"

a. Beatles

b. Violent Femmes

c. Kinks

4. Beach Boys

5. Eagles

Answers below.

I wasn't sure about #5, but the process of elimination got it.

1. d
2. c
3. a
4. e
5. b

I Are So Smart. --RoadDog

GROANERS: How do you catch a tame rabbit? Tame way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Going to See the Cubs Tomorrow

Liz and I are going to Milwaukee tomorrow to see the Cubs play the Brewers.

It is a bus trip sponsored by the Spring Grove-Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

For $65 apiece, we get a breakfast pizza at Tammy's, the bus trip, drinks on the bus, a two-hour tailgating party and drinks on the way home.

I call that a good deal, even if I am more of a Sox fan than Cubs. However, I will be pulling for the Cubbies.

As the Late-Great Steve Goodman (Whose Birthday Would Have Been This Week. I Found Out When Bob Stroud Played "Lincoln Park Pirates" On His Rock and Roll Roots Show Sunday) Would Say, "Go Cubs Go." --RoadDog

GROANERS: How do you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on it.

OK, It's Official, I'm a Debit Guy Now

And not because I wanted to be, but monetarily, it is better that I be one. My bank has a deal where if I use the debit card or checks 12 times in a month and have one electronic deposit or payment plan, I will get 3.01% interest for up to $25,000 and .50% for money above that. Sure beats getting .15% in the regular banking account.

So, I didn't want to, but....

Of course, I had a hell of a time getting both into the bank account and the bill payment account. Even though I signed up for it before July 4th, I was only able to get into the whole debit thing starting this last Monday. Nothing with this new technology is EVER EASY for me.

'However, I used the old debut card three times Monday, three times yesterday and four times today, so reaching my twelve times each month shouldn't be a problem.

However, it does cut into my GM Card earnings, but 3.01% is just too much of a deal in these days of minuscule interest, all to help the GRBs make more money.

GROANERS: It's SO H-O-T. How hot is it? It's so hot that two baseball players are fighting over a fan.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Summer of 1971: July-- Part 5

Finishing up the music played by Bob Stroud back on July 3rd on his Rock and Roll Roots Show on the Drive, WDRV FM here in Chicago.

By the way, Stroud today, on his Ten at Ten Show on the Drive is doing the year 1968. I'll be listening.

INDIAN RESERVATION-- RAIDERS-- Formerly Paul Revere and the Raiders, climbing the charts with this John Loudermilk classic. (Don Fardon had sung it before the Raiders.)
FUNKY NASSAU-- THE BEGINNING OF THE END-- One-hit wonder. (I hadn't heard this in many, many years.)

GET IT ON-- CHASE-- the late-great Bill Chase and his band, Chase. (Wonder where they got the name? Talk about your great horn songs.)

NATHAN JONES-- SUPREMES-- Another girl group who had a handful of hits after Diana Ross left. Top Ten. Good piece of semi-psychedelic Motown. (Who says you need Diana?)
RIDERS IN THE STORM-- DOORS-- New single from their latest album, L.A. Woman.

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND-- JAMES TAYLOR-- (Can you get any more laid-back, James?)
RINGS-- CIMARRON-- one hit wonder. "I got James Taylor on the stereo."

IT'S TOO LATE-- CAROLE KING-- the #1 song in town. from one of the defining albums of the Summer of '71 called Tapestry. (I sure have this album in my collection.)

The next show about the songs that were playing 40 years ago in the Summer of 1971 will be August 7th at 7 am CDST on the Drive, www.wdrv.com.

Sure Brought Back Some Memories. --RoadDog

THE VERY LAST FUNNY THING TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."Could you write a note to my wife saying that my head is not up there?"

Monday, July 25, 2011

If You Think You're Getting a Lot of Weekends This Month...You Are

If July seems to be giving us an inordinate number of weekends, it is.

This coming weekend will be the fifth of the month! That's a lot of good times.

This is a rare month with five Fridays (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th), five Saturdays (2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th) and Sundays (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st).

That's what we need, more months with five weekends.

Wait a minute, I'm retired. Every day is a weekend day.

Oh, Well. Something I Just Have to Live With (and Quit Calling Me Those Names!)-- RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"

Staying Home and Having Fun

Thanks to those GRBs, we're staying close to home this summer, but having a real good time. We may have to go away just to get some rest.

JULY 13TH-- WEDNESDAY-- Castaways deck and Jim Seig singing. Chef DaVito's.

JULY 14TH-- THURSDAY-- Boating. Electric Harbor Tiki Bar, Bald Eagles. Antioch. The Lodge, Pirates Over 40 (Jimmy Buffett) band.

JULY 15TH-- FRIDAY-- Boating, Bald Eagles. Party at Sue and Paul's on Long Lake.

JULY 16TH-- SATURDAY-- McHenry Fiesta Days Art in the Park and Drinking Party, Town Club outside bar, Polish Legion bar, Gambler bar, Back to the Legion, After the Fox bar on the Fox River. Enjoying the gazebo and front porch at home and Fire on the Strand.

JULY 17TH-- SUNDAY-- Lodge in Antioch, Judson Brown entertaining. American English (Beatles tribute band), Antioch's Taste of Summer festival. Captain's Quarters on Fox Lake, Rhythm Kings band

JULY 18TH-- MONDAY-- Boating, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Hello Folks bar, Legion.

JULY 19TH-- Tuesday-- Boating. Blueberry Hill bar, McDonald's (by water), Lagoon Lounge, Fire Wood bar, Twisted Moose bar.

Lotsa Food and Drink Specials, Festivals and Bands. --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."Hey, Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."

Back on the Blog Again

Last time I was on the internet was Thursday. Friday, we had really bad storms and turned everything off to avoid an electrical charge. Saturday there were more storms, but not bad enough to turn off the ol' 'pute. However, out internet service was down, then we were gone the rest of the day.

Sunday is my usual "Day Off" from these dumb old blogs, so I took it.

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."If your hand don't fit, you must quit."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Summer of 1971: July-- Part 4

Continuing with those great songs from Summer, 40 years ago, as per Bob Stroud on his Rock and Roll Roots show on the Drive in Chicago, WDRV FM. Part 3 of his four parter is on August 7th.

DOUBLE BARREL-- DAVE AND ANSIL COLLINS-- Putting the reggae in your rock. Top Ten and coming out of nowhere.
MOONSHADOW-- CAT STEVENS-- New 45 out from an upcoming album called Teaser and the Firecat. (Definitely a new sound for us to enjoy. I was a big fan until he went all religious on us.)

WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW-- BOB DYLAN-- New 45. Wasn't available on any album except on his upcoming greatest hits.

ANGEL-- JIMI HENDRIX-- From Cry of Love, an album released in early 1971, a posthumous release as Hendrix had passed away in late 1970 so he never heard the final product. (Still mad that we had to lose him that early on and for that stupid reason.)
HIGH TIME WE WENT-- JOE COCKER-- (OK, another one who can't sing well, but makes it work with song selection.)

BITCH-- ROLLING STONES-- A horn thing from the Stones from Sticky Fingers.
GO DOWN GAMBLING-- BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS-- Our money was on BS&T and their new album BS&T 4.

Still Have Nine to Go. --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."Hey, now I know how a muppet feels."

My Experience With the "Derecho"-- Part 3

Next, we drove to Fox Lake to check our boat.

All the stoplights into Fox Lake were not working so lines forming at the stop signs. All businesses dark in town. Rick and Chris were sitting outside in the yard and said their power was still off. He had just finished picking up limbs and branches that had fallen, but there were still lots of smallwe twigs all over the place and part of his graden was wrecked.

Liz had read on the Fun on the Fox website that someone had reported a tree down and across the channel where we dock our boat by Rick's place, but we didn't see it when we walked out. The boat was fine.

Wwe had been thinking of going to Hello Folks down the street from Rick's. It was open, but only bottles being served and, of course, NTN was out.

Decided to drive over to McHenry which wasn't hit as badly. Trees and limbs down all the way along US-12. Strangely, it was hit and miss all over. There would be spots with major damage and spots with no damage at all.

All McHenry had power. We ate at the Gambler then I walked over to the weekly car show and listened to one of my favorite 50s-60s bands, The Rockin' Fenderskirts for a set. they even have an upright bass.

Next Time You Can Keep Your "Derecho!" --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC DURING YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out." And do the hokey pokey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just Finished My Two Sweats for the Day

It is supposed to be 98 degrees today, maybe 99, maybe even 100. The last time it was this hot for this long in the Chicago area was back in 1995 when all those folks died from the heat. We were down in New Orleans at the times enjoying their special brand of heat. But we're here for this.

Took the boat out this morning for a float and it was mighty nice with the southerly wind, but then I sweated profusely when I got back into the channel and put the mooring cover on. I'm ok as long as there is a breeze and there sure wasn't.

Then, I went to Menard's and bought sixty concrete edgers (buy one for 96 cents, get one free: great deal!!) and got a little sweaty putting the blocks into the truck, but had help from their people and a friend.

However, at home, it was just me and those sixty blocks. This was a BIG SWEAT!!

Now, I'm in the basement a-typin' away with my two sweaty little fingers, but cooling off. In a little while, I meet some friends to see the new "Harry Potter" movie. The theater is air-cooled as they used to call it.

More Fun in the Sun. --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC DURING YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."Any sign of those trapped miners?" You know, making those folks gathered around you during the operation is probably not a good idea.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

JSIS: Rob Grill Dies-- Beware the Lionfish-- No More Writing Test

JSIS-- Just Some Interesting Stuff.

1. ROB GRILL DIES-- Sorry to see Rob Grill, lead singer with the 60s-70s group Grass Roots died last Monday. I sure liked their songs like "Live for Today" and "Midnight Confessions." We were able to see him perform several years ago at Springfield, Illinois' Route 66 Festival.

More in my history blog: http://cootershistorything.blogspot.com.

2. BEWARE THE LIONFISH-- The pretty-but-voracious favorite in aquariums has made its way to the sea and is eating up reef fish in the Caribbean, along the Florida coast and into the Gulf of Mexico.

They eat just about anything that will fit into their mouth and have few, if any, natural predators.

3. NO MORE WRITING TEST--To save money, the state of Illinois has eliminated the writing skills test for juniors in high school on the state standardized tests. saving about $2.4 million from the debt. Writing tests for middle school and elementary have already been dropped.

Too bad, because this is one of the more important skills students need to master.

When I was teaching, almost every test I gave had one part where the students had to write. i sure hated grading them, but it was an important skill for them to master.

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy. Let's Write About It. --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC DURING YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."You know in Arkansas, we're now legally married."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Going...Going...Gone: Breaking Up a Championship Team

We here in Chicago have been amazed at how fats the 2010 Black Hawks have been broken up.

According to the June 29th Chicago Tribune, of the 24 players on the championship team, only eleven remain, and that is just one year.

The Tribune also did a look at the breakup of the 2005 World series Champion Chicago White Sox.

Out of the 25 players who brought Chicago its first baseball championship in many, many years, by the following year, there were just 17 remaining.

2007-- just 12

2008-- just 9

2009-- just 4

2010-- still 4

2011-- just 3

The three are Kornerko, Pierzinski and Buerhle.

You sure don't get long to know your favorite teams any more.

Come On, keep those Guys. Guys, Quit Demanding So Much!! --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY..."Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

My Experience with the "Derecho"-- Part 2

This was a storm, that for me, didn't appear to be too bad of a one. After two hours, our electricity was back on. I just caught up with my sleep by taking a nap during it. I didn't get enough sleep last night.

Once up, Liz said she was hearing that almost a million people had lost power and most still didn't have it. Later, we hear that it was expected that a lot of the people weren't going to have electricity for a day or so and then, that was extended until later in the week.

Much worse of a storm than I thought.

We then heard that the Fox Lake area was particularly hard hit, so decided to drive over and take a look and see how the boat fared, since we dock it in that village.

While waiting for Liz to get ready, I took a walk out to the arboretum tp pick up branches that always come down in a wind storm. Entered it at the east end and started picking up the branches. When I got over to the west end, I saw that the sumac tree was broken off at its base.

That is too bad because it always reminded me so much of a tropical plant and was about 15 feet tall. Unfortunately, my electric chain saw is broken (well, the chain is hanging down). I'll have to see if I can figure out how to fix it. Probably not. One thing I'm not good at is fixing broken machines.

That Was One Strong Wind. --RoadDog


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Summer of 1971: July-- Part 3

Here some songs to take you back 40 years.

LET'S GET IT ON-- EDGAR WINTER-- Another horn band of the ra was Edgar Winter's White Trash, one of the baddest albums of the land, one of my favorite albums of the summer.
SIGNS-- FIVE MAN ELECTRIC BAND-- This is brand new by a band out of Canada. One of two hits by them. (I tried to sing this at karaoke once. It wasn't pretty.)

HERE COMES THE SUN-- RITCHIE HAVENS-- And there was a great old Beatles song on your radio recorded by them in 1969 on Abbey Road. This in the top ten. (First heard of Havens at Woodstock. Loved those sandals.)
IT DON'T COME EASY-- RINGO STARR-- Still riding the charts.

SMILE AWAY-- PAUL McCARTNEY-- It doesn't have to make sense, it's Rock and Roll. If he wants to say "I can smell your feet a mile away," he could. If you're Paul McCartney you can say anything you want. The first selection from Side 1 of Ram.
THAT'S THE WAY I ALWAYS HEARD IT SHOULD BE-- CARLY SIMON-- One of the most haunting songs. Her first hit. (The song with the title that never ended.)

MY GOD-- JETHRO TULL-- Side 2 from Aqualung. One of the highlights this past week on the Drive's Tenth Anniversary celebration. (And one of my favorite groups. Who'd have figures a flute in a rock band?)
DRAGGING THE LINE-- TOMMY JAMES-- Solo hit climbing the charts.

Jethro Tull, the First Heavy metal Grammy Winners? --RoadDog


Don't Be That Guy: Proper Cell Phone Use at the Ballpark

From the June 23rd Chicago Tribune Sports Section Smack!!

There's a guy standing with three others on a cell phone.

PLAY ON; The guys saying "We're in Section 110. See you soon."

WE'LL ALLOW IT: "Cancel my meetings. I'll be back at the office tomorrow."

DON'T BE THAT GUY: "See me? I'm totally on TV!"

Do I ever agree with this!!

Those folks seeking to be on TV and watching monitors should be dipped head first into cold nacho sauce.

Ridiculous. --RoadDog

FUNNY THINGS TO SAY TO YOUR DOC AT YOUR COLONOSCOPY: "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going to where no man has gone before."

It's Them, Not Me: $4 Gas Again!!

I kind of figured it Thursday night, that gas was going to go to $4 a gallon around here. Yesterday I saw that all stations in the Fox Lake area were at $4.

I'm just hoping now that those GRBs causing the price to go up and stay high, will drive prices on up to $5 or more so that the government will be forced to really do something about them.

Go Greed!! Go Greed!! --RoadDog

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Experience with the "Derecho"-- Part 1

Monday morning, I got up at 6 and had my usual coffee and newspaper reading on the front porch. It was overcast, but not windy.

I went downstairs to the computer and once logged in, the Weather Bug was chirping like crazy with thunderstorm warnings. And, this thunderstorm was coming up fast and would be short.

Then, the internet started shutting down, coming back, shutting down. Strange. I went upstairs and looked off the front porch again and now there were some serious looking black clouds off to the west and the wind was picking up considerable.

I woke Liz up and had her turn her computer off and went downstairs and did the same with mine.

At about 7:45 am, the electricity started going off and on and the wind was picking up greatly. I remembered my hanging baskets and went out to take them down just as it started raining. I then remembered the swivel things hanging from the gutter and took them down as well.

The wind swept in and trees were really bending over. The electricity went off and stayed that way for a couple hours. Very standard in our subdivision to lose power in any sort of storm. All our lines are underground, but coming into the subdivision the lines are on poles and running through lots of trees.

The storm only lasted about 15 minutes and was really bad for about two of those. Unfortunately, we didn't get much rain as we really need it as it hasn't rained for about three weeks.

The Big Blow. --RoadDog

THE VERY LAST YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know the phone number for Empire Carpets. The last times we've been to North carolina and Florida, it was strange to see Empire Carpet commercials on the local stations.

By the way, that number is 588-2300. (now introduced with 1-800).

Movie Scratches: Hangover-- Teacher-- Cars-- Larry

A dog's look at some current movies.

First number is how many I've seen this year.

37. HANGOVER II-- 6-23-- FOX LAKE $5.50-- It all started off so innocently, a bunch of guys having a toast to one who was getting married. Then....

38. BAD TEACHER-- 6-30-- FOX LAKE $5.50-- Surely, I knew no one that bad. And don't call me Shirley.

39. CARS 2-- 7-6-- FOX LAKE $4-- Who'd Have Figured Sir Tow Mater?

40. LARRY CROWNE-- 7-6-- FOX LAKE $4-- Making the best of two bad situations.

I Like to See Movies with Few Others, That Way I get Both Armrests. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know the very first Area Code, the famous one.

That would be 312 in case you're wondering.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What It Was was a "Derecho"

That mean storm that came through here Monday around 8 am, now has a name. It is called a DERECHO, a term coined back in 1888 by Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs. The word is Spanish meaning straight or direct which is exactly what it did along its 1,400 mile path of damage.

It saved its best for around here. At 7:30 am, a trained observer in Crystal Lake, Illinois, about twenty miles from us, recorded a sustained 70 mph blast of wind for 2-3 minutes.

We still have friends without power. Yesterday, friend Kora came over to take a shower and get out of the heat. We have heard that some folks have been told not to expect power until Saturday.

There are sure lots of trees down in the area.

Don't Want Another One of These. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You can distinguish from the following Area Codes: 847, 630, 773, 708, 312 and 815 (my area code.)

A Real Good Time Around Here Last Week

Because of the greed of the Axis of Evil (Big Oil, Mideast and Speculators), we've been staying close to home, but there sure is a lot to do close by, so who needs to travel and make those GRBs richer.

And, of course, we now HAVE the BOAT in the water, so that gives us a whole new thing to do.

THURSDAY JULY 7TH-- Launched the boat, finally! Boating. Antioch. The Lodge Bar. Great Lakes Naval Base Band concert.

FRIDAY JULY 8TH-- Boating. Donovan's Reef bar. Neighbor's party.

SATURDAY JULY 9TH-- Wauconda Civil War Days Re-enactment-- Crab Fest at the Legion in Fox Lake. Fire on the Strand.

SUNDAY JULY 10TH-- Gazebo. All Sports bar. McHenry Fiesta Days. Creedence Again, CCR tribute band. Marakesh Express, CSNY tribute band.

MONDAY JULY 11TH-- A real stinker of a storm. Fox Lake shut down. McHenry. Gambler bar. Green Street Cruise In classic car show. The Rocking Fenderskirts 50s-60s band.

More Bands and Bars Coming Up. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know what the "L" is. Or is it "The El?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Movie Scratches: Elephants-- Priest-- Pirates-- Super

Taking a dog-style look at some current movies I've seen.

33. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS-- 5-16-- FOX LAKE $5.50-- Rosie's a great girl. Her owner can be a real good or REALLY BAD guy, though.

34. THE PRIEST-- 5-18-- FOX LAKE $4-- Star Wars/Mad Max meet the super ugly vampires. Where's the Count when you need him?

35. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: STRONGER TIDE-- 5-31-- FOX LAKE $5.50-- The last thing you'd ever expect to hear a pirate say is, "Your sword smells funny."

36. SUPER 8-- 6-21-- FOX LAKE FREE-- The zombie movie became an extraterrestrial one.

Wonder If I Can Beat the Rush to the Bathroom After the Show? --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You have ridden the "L."

The Summer of 1971: July-- Part 2

Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots from July 3rd.

My comments in parentheses.

WALK AWAY-- JAMES GANG-- Hit-bound from their new album, Thirds, Joe Walsh and the James Gang. (Talk about your Rock and Roll attitudes, Joe!)
BROWN SUGAR-- ROLLING STONES-- First single release from a new album, Sticky Fingers. A month ago, when we did Summer 1971, Part 1, "Brown Sugar" was the #1 song in town. Since I just played it, no longer the #1 song.

CALIFORNIA-- JONI MITCHELL-- Cut 1, Side 1 from one of her most beloved albums and perhaps her most critically acclaimed albums. (I'd never heard of it before, being more familiar with her Court and Spark album. Friend Kevin knew it right away a few weeks ago when it was an NTN question. I know the album now.)
MERCY MERCY ME (THE ECOLOGY)-- MARVIN GAYE-- From his What's Going On album. (Was it Green even way back then?)

SOONER OR LATER-- GRASS ROOTS-- (Great song by a group usually overlooked and under appreciated. Their Greatest Hits album was one of the first I bought.)
THAT'S ALRIGHT-- ROD STEWART-- from Side 1 of his latest release, Every Picture Tells a Story. Making a quick workout of an Elvis Presley hit.

MR. BIG STUFF-- JEAN KNIGHT-- One of those great Stax recordings.
BEGINNINGS-- CHICAGO-- You're probably saying, 'But, hey Bob, that's from 1969." Yes, it is, but the record company released it as a single 40 years ago this week when the two singles from their current album, Chicago III, which were "Free" and "Lowdown" didn't do all that well so they went back to the first and started pulling songs off that album to see if they could put Chicago back into the Top 40 again and they did just that.

Getting Ready to Get My Hair Seriously Cut. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know the stations along the rail lines.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy 7-11 Day: A Salute to Convenience Stores

In honor of those purveyors of those great Slurpees and Big Gulps, today is devoted to you, July 7, 2011, as in 7-11-11. We'll expand that to cover all convenience stores with all that good-for-you stuff to eat and drink as well as that super-sized gas prices these days.

I remember the first 7-11 store, so named at the time because they were open from 7 am to 11 pm, way longer than regular stores. The first one I saw was out in California, and that was where I had my first Slurpees and it immediately became one of my favorite things to drink, even if I'd occasionally drink too fast through that straw and get a case of brain-freeze.

Of course, four days ago, we had another convenience store celebration, but since I wasn't writing checks, it got by me.

So, Any Way, let's Lift Our Slurpees and Have a Toast. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know the difference between Amtrack and Metra.

Reckon You're Never Too Old to Learn How to Spell

Today, on my Civil War blog, I learned that I did not know how to spell the word masonry. All these years I have been spelling it masonary. And I was Sure I was spelling it correctly. I write a lot about masonry forts of the era. And, we live in a brick house, which technically could be classified as masonary, er...masonry.

Then, there was the old clipper ship/scotch called Cutty Sark which I was so sure was spelled Cutty Shark.

Even worse, once while teaching in my class, we were discussing Niagra Falls and I wrote it on the board. A student raised their hand and said that I hadn't spelled it correctly. Oh yes, but I had. after further discussion, I looked it up, and the student was right and teacher was wrong. Nothing to do with the sex aid. There are three "a"s in the word, not two. Niagara.

Then there was the time I put the Congradulations for a newly married couple up on the great sign at the Holiday Inn at Wheeling Northbrook, Illinois. At the time this was a part-time job and I was teaching. A person stopped and said it was spelled "Congratulations." Bo doubt a lot of people drove by on the busy road and thought to themselves, "Some idiot doesn't know how to spell." But, then, no doubt there were others who didn't notice.

Living and Learning in the USA. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know what lake-effect means.

Every Blooming THing: Dumb Old Me and the Storm

I wasn't planning on doing it, but what I did last night caused that storm that went through here six hours ago and shut everything down.

I have been hand watering the septic field lines the last several days as the grass is really brown over them, as in dormancy. Several years ago, we had a bad drought and I only water the flowers, bushes and trees at such times. The yard has to take care of itself.

However, I learned that does not apply to the septic field. When it finally did rain, the rest of the yard greened up in a week. But that area over the septic field did not come back. I had to work on it for two years to get the grass back and I sure don't want to do that gain.

I guess that grass doesn't go dormant and turn brown, it really dies.


Last night, I set the sprinkler out and turned it on, figuring a good three hour soaking would save it. Three hours later, I went to sleep.

This morning when I woke up, it occurred to me. I didn't think I had turned the sprinkler off. I went outside, and, sure enough, there it rotated. But, the grass had greened up nicely.

Sure glad we are on well and not city water as we'd have to take a second mortgage out to pay for the water.

Anyway, watering your grass during a drought (about three weeks now after a very, very rainy spring) is a lot like washing your car. It brings on the rain,

So, for those of you who had damage, my apologies.

Dumb Old RoadDog. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know why they call Chicago the "Windy City."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Heading Out for the Civil War and Some Music

In just a short time, I'm driving down to Wauconda, Illinois for the annual Civil War Days re-enactment, regarded as one of the biggest such events in the state.

I'll be at the Sons of Confederate Veterans tent when not going around the area talking with other Civil War fans and those super-fanatics who re-enact. I've stayed out of that so far as I already have way too many things I'm interested in.


Afterwards, thinking of stopping by the Legion for Crabfest and all that great food and then either seeing the Beach Bums Band at Captain's or the Modern Day Romeos band at McHenry's Fiesta Days at Peterson Park.

Tomorrow, it's either the band at Captain's or the CSNY and CCR tribute bands at Fiesta Days.

Hard to go boating or do yardwork with all this going on.

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You also know how to eat a piece of pizza, none of that folding-stuff.

Decisions, Decisions. --RoadDog

South Beach vs. South Side-- Part 2


1. Better weather

2. New stadium next season--with a retractable roof!

3. More challenging job without DH (But, guys, hey, we have that pitcher Dunn who, like pitchers, strikes out a lot and has a loust batting average.)

4. Larger Latino population (better able to understand you)

5. New, unsuspecting audience for Oney

6. Already own a home there

7. Kenny Williams is not Marlins GM

8. Poll shows fans want you there (behind Jeff Conine, that is)

9. More respect from management-- at least at first

10. Miami mayor isn't fan of a different team


11. Water, lots of water

12. Close to Hollywood Beach

13. Close to the Florida Keys

OK, Oz, It's Your Call. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know the proper way to way to cut your pizza.

South Beach vs South Side-- Part 1

From the June 22nd Chicago Tribune Sports Section "Smack!" page.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen evidently is weighing his options about leaving Chicago to become manager of the Florida Marlins in Miami.

The guys at "Smack!" like to be humorous and made up a pro-con list for the Oz.


1. Exploding scoreboard

2. Better uniforms

3. Younger fans

4. No LeBron James

5. Sox fans forever indebted to you

6. Better public transportation system


7. No Miami Heat gods

8. No Miami Heat fans and their white tee shirts who sleep through games.

9. No Pat Riley, king of the slicked-back hair.

10. Chicago knows pizza, Florida doesn't.

11. No hurricanes

12. No South Beach beautiful people.

Reasons to Go Next. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know what Chicago-Style Pizza is.

Movie Scratches: Arthur-- Rio-- Borrowed-- Thor

Just a Quick Look at Some Recent Movies I've Seen in the Theater.

29. ARTHUR-- 4-20-- FOX LAKE $4-- Driving Miss Daisy Part 2. Can lots of money buy you happiness?

30. RIO-- 4-28-- FOX LAKE $5.50-- Birds of a feather dance together and Blu learns to fly and saves species. More color and spectacle.

31. SOMETHING BORROWED-- 5-11-- FOX LAKE $4-- Beautiful people and their heinies.

32. THOR-- 5-11-- FOX LAKE $4-- Norse gods and modern-day humans.. Who's a-thought?

Senior Me on Wednesdays. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You berate somebody for putting ketchup on a hot dog.

Friday, July 8, 2011

JSS-- Three More Varmints-- Boat's in the Water-- Born in the Fifties-- Route 66 At the Movies-- Liz Is Gonna Move You, Baby

JSS-- Just Some Stuff

1. THREE MORE VARMINTS-- Found three more of those rotten Japanese beetles yesterday. I got two of 'em. One got away.

2. BOAT'S IN THE WATER-- The boat was launched yesterday and is still in the water. About time sincethe boating season is about half over. The marina said that the grease on the steering cable had just about turned into glue which made the boat extremely hard to steer.

3. BORN IN THE FIFTIES-- Wednesday I saw the movie "Larry Crowne." I recommend it, but near the end, Julia Roberts was talking to the twenty-somethig girl that she thought was Tom Hanks' girlfriend. When Julia brought the subject up, the girl looked surprised and then almost in disgust. "Are you kidding, he was born in like, the fifties!!"

What, does that make him old? What about my being born in 1951. Does it mean I'm out of the running with the young ladies now?

4. ROUTE 66 AT THE MOVIES-- Wednesday I saw "Cars 2" which had a little bit about Radiator Springs and Route 66. Then, at the end of "Larry Crowne" I saw them cruising down a road that looked like Route 66 out west and there was even a Route 66 sign. Always good to see my road getting publicity.

5. LIZ IS GONNA MOVE YOU, BABY-- After I got the boat in the water (backing that thing up is not one of my areas of expertise), Liz was going to take the boat out while I took the trailer over to Kora's.

Liz always completely forgets how to operate the boat over the winter and tried to give it more gas while she thought it was in neutral. Unfortunately, it was in gear and the boat surged forward toward the boat launch ramp. Kora and I yanked hard on the lines and fortunately Liz realized what she was doing and stopped the boat before contact was made.

Boats and Concrete Ramps Should Never Come Into Contact with Each Other. --RoadDog

HUMOROUS THINGS TO SAY ON YOUR COLONOSCOPY-- "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Summer of 1971, July-- Part 1

July 3rd, Bob Stroud played part 2 of his annual salute to summers 40 years past. These were songs on the radio or in your record (as in albums (33 and a thirds) and singles (45s) collections the first weekend in July.

I was in Dunwoody, Georgia, at the time after going to Northern Illinois for my first two years in college. My parents had moved to Georgia when Dad got transferred by Quaker Oats. I was going to transfer to the University of Georgia for junior year as I always wanted to go to a southern school.

However, before I went to Georgia, I had to do a six week stint with the United States Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia in their PLC program, Platoon Leaders Class. Six weeks this summer and six weeks next summer and I would be commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and then go to six months of training.

I was in the program because I had a draft lottery number 22 which meant I was going to be drafted and go to Vietnam War. And that war was never going to end. It had started while I was in junior high, gone on all through high school, and so far the first two years of college.

As Bob Stroud said, "One of my favorite years musically and one of my favorite summers sentimentally. It seemed like there was just always a brand new song out each week that was really a killer. And the music was always taking a step forward, beginning to push artistic boundaries." He then played a Carly Simon and a Jethro Tull song which will be listed later.

I'll start the list tomorrow.

Take Me Back. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know what goes on a "Chicago" hot dog.

Every Blooming THing: Dadburn Beetles Back-- Hosta Garden

DADBURN BEETLES BACK-- The same day I printed the last EVBLTH, I found my first Japanese beetle. I also killed my first Japanese beetle of the season. My lawn law is to kill them whenever and wherever I find them.

Last year, they were nowhere as bad as they usually are. Hoping for a repeat this year.

I wouldn't mind them if there weren't so many of them, and they just keep coming. I can do a yard sweep and kill everyone of them and come back later in the day and they are back.

HOSTA GARDEN-- Work on the hosta garden at the west end of the arboretum is about finished. This was actually the first place I planted hostas with the intention of making them the main focus and that was about eight years ago.

All this time it has remained incomplete until we had my encroachment on the neighbor's yard a few weeks ago. This got me to moving on it. The back retaining wall is finished and large-growing hostas have been transplanted behind it.

The other hostas were thinned out and moved according to size. When you plant them, you can't tell how tall they will eventually get and I get too many big ones together.

I Sure Hate Those Lousy Beetles!! --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You biy the "Trib."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's the Correct Terminology?

Whenever I have a small fire out on the Grand Strand (what I call the large patio by the gazebo), I have it in the metal fire pit. That patio is named for one of our favorite places, South Carolina's Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach. It is one of six patios, not counting the deck here at Key North (what we call the house and yard, after another favorite area).

I have been calling it a bonfire, but it really isn't a bonfire as I always think of bonfires as being huge affairs.

It really isn't a campfire, although the size is more appropriate, because I'm not cooking anything and I'm not camping. However, I do have the occasional cocktail there.

Right now I'm thinkig of calling it a Strand Fire, unless anyone comes up with a better name.

Fire in the Hole!! --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE A CHICAGOAN IF...No matter where you are, when you hear the term "Downtown: you immediately assume they're talking about Downtown Chicago.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

EVery BLoomin' THing: Early July-- EVBLTH

The flowers are really putting on a show right now.

The galidora/blanket flowers are blooming as are the coreopsis and marguerettes. The tall, medium and small shasta daisies have their white on. Plus the blue/purple perennials are blooming as well.

Many of the mums that weren't cut back are blooming too.

So far, no lousy Japanese beetles, but they will be here soon, usually late June or early July. Also, sadly, the crabapples received too much rain again and are starting to lose leaves for the second year in a row.

The redefined hosta garden at the west end of the arboretum is about finished. I just have to put out mulch and finish up work on the west end berm and then move the burn pile over by the berm (which largely covers it).

I still have three tall phlox and one salvia perennial to plant and am thinking of putting them in the gazebo flower bed once I get it thinned out as it is a bit overgrown now.

Too Much to Do, But Enjoying It. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...If you refer to Chicago as "The City."

A 4th of July Kind of a Weekend

We definitely got our fill of the 4th of July weekend which just ended.

FRIDAY JULY 1ST-- Sitting out on Gasoline Alley's deck on the bluff overlooking Grasslake, enjoying the juke box music and buck beer bottles.

SATURDAY JULY 2ND-- Twin Lakes, Wisconsin-- Parade, Main Street Tap-- Ultimate Bloody Marys, Libertyfest, Irish band, cardboard boat race on Lake Elizabeth, dogs in the park, Donovan's Reef for more drinks to cool off and, of course, NTN.

Fox Lake, Illinois' Fest. country band, sitting out on "The Beach" with friends and watching all the boats out on Fox Lake, Strand Fire at home.

SUNDAY JULY 3RD-- Rock and Roll Roots Summer of 1971 show, party at a friends with genuine Hand Grenade frozen drinks from the Tropical Isle on Bourbon Street and peach preserve wings.

MONDAY JULY 4TH-- Spring Grove, Illinois, parade and festival. Cocktails at the Legion and Spring Grove fireworks viewed from our driveway.

How many Days Until the Next 4th of July? I'm Thinking 364. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You refer to Lake Michigan as "The Lake."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Seven Plus Four Equals Eleven: Happy 7+4=11

It just came to me that if you add this month's number, 7, with today's date, 4, that it equals this year, 11.

And, it's our country's 235th birthday!

Happy 235th USA!!

It was 235 years ago today in Philadelphia that the Continental Congress passed the Declaration of Independence, starting the greatest country in history on its way.

Even with our problems and missteps, I would rather live no place else. Obviously, a lot of people around the world also know it judging by all the people who want to live here.

Planning on going out to Spring Grove's parade and festival after that for awhile and then watch the fireworks from the front of our house, which we can still see most of, despite the trees in the neighborhood getting considerably taller in the 19 years since we've been here.

I've got all my flags out as well as the Uncle Sam wind banner.

Sure Have Enjoyed My 60 Years of This Great Country. --RoadDog

JSIS: Riverview-- Great Lakes Naval Station Turns 100-- John Hancock's Signature-- Last Vietnam Draftee Retires

JSIS-- Just Some Interesting Stuff

1. Riverview-- The Tribune ran an article on Chicago's great Riverview Amusement Park with its famous Bobs roller coaster (that was my first roller coaster ride-ever and for a long time, my last as it about scared me to death). Hard to believe it closed way back in 1967.

2. Great Lakes Naval Station-- I see that July 1st marked the 100th anniversary of the dedication of this navy base in North Chicago, Illinois. Over the years I have known a lot of people from the base, including P.J. who deejayed with me for several years.

I used to deejay at Toby's in North Chicago which was a Navy hangout. I also deejayed on base for several functions.

3. John Hancock-- Apparently, the reason he signed his name so large was because he was the first to sign (and he didn't sign on July 4th, nobody did). He didn't know the others were going to sign so small.

4. LAST VIETNAM DRAFTEE RETIRES-- ...From Army! Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger retired after a 39-year career in the Army. Most draftees served their two years and out. Guess he found himself a home.

All of these stories will be covered in greater detail in my history blog

I Was in the Marines So I WOULDN'T Be Drafted. --RoadDog

Saturday, July 2, 2011

JSIS: 75th Anniversary Prohibition Repeal-- Beatles Or Not the Beatles-- 1957 Murder Solved-- Why It Didn't Get So Hot Yesterday

JSOS-- just Some Interesting Stuff.

1. 75TH ANNIVERSARY PROHIBITION REPEAL-- Thursday, I bought a commemorative set of Old Forester Bourbon honoring the event, which actually happened in 2008. Anyway, Old Forester was able to continue producing bourbon with a federal decree that it be used just for "medicinal purposes."

I know when to take my medicine. As a matter of fact, I already have.

2. BEATLES OR NOT THE BEATLES-- Listening to Chicago's WXRT's Saturday Morning Flashback to 1967. Needless to say, great music and memories for me. The deejay filling in for Wendy Rice played "New York Mining Disaster, 1941" and said that in '67, there was much discussion as to whether or not the group was the Beatles using an assumed name. I wondered that as well at the time.

Turns out they were the Bee Gees, a group much inspired by the Beatles.

3. 1957 MURDER SOLVED-- The 1957 murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Illinois, has been at long-last solved. This made big news back then, but, I had never heard of it. Jack Daniel McCullough, of Washington state was arrested.

Not all bad things happen today, and who would have figured that something like that would happen in little Sycamore, a town about 50 miles west of Chicago?

4. WHY IT DIDN'T GET SO HOT YESTERDAY-- We were expecting hot here in Chicagoland yesterday. I went out to work in the yard much earlier than usual and worked in a shady area of the arboretum. Fortunately, we didn't because a band of thunderstorms that was supposed to pass to the east, came closer and stuck around, causing an "outflow boundary."

OK with me.

Numbers 3 and 4 from today's Chicago Tribune.

Give Me an Outflow Boundary Anytime. --RoadDog

Friday, July 1, 2011

Number One Songs This Date: July 1st-- Part 3

Going back, way back, 110 years.

1964 I GET AROUND-- Beach Boys-- (Great Cruising Song.)
1962 THE STRIPPER-- David Rose
1961 QUARTER TO THREE-- Gary "US" Bonds

1951 TOO YOUNG-- Nat "King" Cole
1941 MARIA ELENA-- Jimmy Dorsey
1931 JUST ONE MORE CHANCE-- Bing Crosby

1921 MY MAMMY-- Paul Whiteman
1901 TELL ME, PRETTY MAIDEN-- Bryon G. Harlan, Joe Belmont, Frank Stanley & the Florodora Girls

A Lot of Years of Music. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You refer to anything south of I-80 as "Southern Illinois" and anything west of Rt. 47 as Iowa.

Number One Songs This Date: July 1st-- Part 2

1979 RING MY BELL-- Anita Ward
1978 SHADOW DANCING-- Andy Gibb-- (What, no rest of the brothers?)
1977 GONNA FLY NOW (THEME FROM ROCKY)-- Bill Conti-- (Let's run up those stairs and jump!!)
1976 SILLY LOVE SONGS-- Paul McCartney & Wings
1975 LOVE WILL KEEP IS TOGETHER-- Captain & Tenille

1974 ROCK THE BOAT-- Hughes Corporation-- (Was this the first disco song?)
1973 WILL IT GP ROUND IN CIRCLES-- Billy Preston
1972 SONG SUNG BLUE-- Neil Diamond-- (And everyone needs one.)
1971 IT'S TOO LATE/I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE-- Carole King-- (One of the best albums...ever!)
1970 THE LOVE YOU SAVE-- Jackson Five-- (One of their four straight number ones.)

1969 LOVE THEME FROM "ROMEO AND JULIET"-- Henry Mancini-- (Gag me.)
1968 THIS GUY'S IN LOVE WITH YOU-- Herb Alpert-- (This one would gag me too, if I didn't like it so much.)
1967 WINDY-- Association-- (And everyone know it's who?)
1966 STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT-- Frank Sinatra

Thanks Again, Josh Hosler. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO IF...You know the names of the interstates as the Stevenson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Dan Ryan, Reagan and Bishop Ford. Numbers, do they have numbers?

Number One Songs This Date, July 1st-- Part 1

As usual, big thanks to Josh Hosler at www.joshhosler.biz/NumberOneinHistory/SelectMonth.htm.

2001 U REMIND ME-- Usher
1991 RUSH RUSH-- Paula Abdul-- (Before AI)

1990 STEP BY STEP-- New Kids on the Block-- (NKOTB)
1989 BABY DON'T FORGET MY NUMBER-- Milli Vanilli-- regardless of who sang it, great song.
1988 DIRTY DIANA-- Michael Jackson-- (Don't remember this one.)
1987 I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME)-- Whitney Houston-- (Bobby loves Ya.)

1985 SUSSUDIO-- Phil Collins
1984 WHEN DOVES CRY-- Prince
1982 DON'T YOU WANT ME-- Human league
1981 BETTE DAVIS EYES-- Kim Carnes
1980 COMING UP (LIVE AT GLASGOW)-- Paul McCartney

Seventies and Sixties to Come. --RoadDog

YOU MIGHT BE FROM CHICAGO OF...You refer to the interstate as the tollway.