Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ten At 1983

This past Tuesday, Bob Stroud went back to 1983 on his Ten At Ten show on WDRV, Chicago's Drive.

This was a big year for me and I did a whole lot of listening as my deejay business was really taking off.  I had spent 1982 deejaying at places that had their own equipment and learning the trade.  I now had my own equipment and was getting paid a whole lot more.

Here are the songs he played:

TWILIGHT ZONE--  Golden Earring
MODERN LOVE--  David Bowie
I WANT A NEW DRUG--  Huey Lewis & the News-- Was that RnR or what?
BANG THE DRUM ALL DAY--  Todd Rundgren--  One of the all-time great party starters.  Jonathan Brandmeier sure played it a lot on WLUP.

FOOLIN'--  Def Leppard
ON THE DARK SIDE--  John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band--  From the movie "Eddie and the Cruisers"
TENDER IS THE NIGHT--  Jackson Browne
GIMME ALL YOUR LOVIN'--  ZZ Top-- The only one without a beard was named Beard.

A Great Year.  --RoadDog

JSIS: Wings Crisis?-- Barnes & Noble

JSIS:  Just Some Interesting Stuff

1.  WINGS CRISIS?--  Super Bowl is becoming synonymous with chicken wings as far as eating goes.  hey, eggs at Easter, chocolate ate Valentine's, candy and more candy at Halloween.  But sadly, I have to report a serious shortage of wings because of last summer's drought

As a result, some 12.3 million fewer wings will be eaten this Sunday, but that still leaves 1.2 billion. down the gullet.

By the way, those new boneless wings are really just chunks of chicken breast.

I still plan to eat a bunch o' wings at Donovan's Reef.

2.  BARNES & NOBLE--Sad to see that the last of the big box bookstores, Barnes & Noble is on its way down like my favorite, Borders.  They are closing stores, scaling back from 689 stores to 450 to 500.  They had a jump in sales after Borders liquidated but lost 10.9% of their sales over the Christmas season.

Even though Borders and Barnes & Noble were Big Box stores, they kept that little bookshop feel.

Like the Chickens Said "Et Mor Bef!"  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAID AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  Do you like this recipe? = It's easy to fix, so you'd better get used to it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NIU To the Big East...I Hope Not

From the Jan. 8, 2013 Bleacher Report.

Louisville and Rutgers are leaving the Big East.  Boise State is not joining.  Many possible new teams for the Big East Conference have been mentioned, but not Northern Illinois.  OK, so this is one really troubled conference which is sort of breaking up and sort of not.

Hey, NIU was in the BCS Orange Bowl and finished in the Top 25 this year (last year #26) Northern has been a Mid-Major power the last decade.  All credit goes to Joe Novak, the coach who stayed.  You have to wonder where the program would be today if the last two had showed that sort of commitment?

In addition, NIU has had multiple bowl berths over the last five years and is in the third largest TV market.

Drawbacks is that Huskie Stadium is subpar for the Big Time, and there is that pesky attendance problem.  As well as keeping coaches when they have success.

I'm for staying in the Mid-American Conference as it is a good fit, and, of course, we still have big problems beating Toledo.  But one good thing would be in the Big East, we would get to play East Carolina which just joined it.  Had I remained in North Carolina, where I was born, I most likely would have gone there.  I am a big ECU fan, that is, unless they play NIU.

Wondering Where?  --RoadDog

Some Music Anniversaries Today

January 30th

1969--  The last "public performance" by the Beatles on the rooftop of their Apple Studios in London.  It was stopped after 42-minutes due to complaints from a local shop owner.  The old spoil-sport.

1971--  One of the best-ever albums released, Carole King's Tapestry.  I played my copy to grooveless.  Should have been a greatest hits album.  I even recently bought a CD of it.

1973--  The first public appearance of the band KISS.  I always wonder about parental reaction had KISS been on Ed Sullivan back in 1964 (in full gear) instead of the Beatles.

Stick That Ol' Tongue Out Gene.  --RoadDog

One Good Thing About Christmas Being Gone, So Is Christmas Radio

From the Dec. 25, 2012, Chicago Tribune.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Christmas song collector at Wheaton College and his collection of 8,000 such songs.  I haven't counted, but probably have between 5,000 and 6,000 between LPs, cassettes and CDs.  I especially like the off-the-wall and genre songs.

Anyway, the Tribune article mentions that over the past eleven years, non-stop Christmas music formats have become practically unavoidable on radio.  And, like with the Christmas stuff in stores, it seems to start earlier and earlier each year.  Could a Christmas 4th of July be far off?  Now, I've heard some starting between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

This occurred when radio execs discovered that playing the same 20 or so nostalgic holiday songs led to as much as a 50% increase in listeners.  And that, of course, leads to more advertising money.

We have several such part-time "Christmas" stations here in the Chicago area and when on my yearly NC drives for Thanksgiving, I come across these station much more often as I drive through states.

Well, at least now it is over.

For Awhile Anyway.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I was wrong = Not as wrong as you

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

So, What to Call Sunday's Game: Har Bowl?

Time has come to drop the Roman Numerals.  Like with old building foundation stones, that is too many Roman numerals to decipher.  Regular number the games from now on.  OK, Super Bowl XX was easy, Da Bears.

But this year, we can get a bit more creative.  We could call it the Har Bowl, or even the Bro Bowl.

What You Think?  --RoadDog

Why Watch the Super Bowl If the Bears or Packers Aren't In It?

So, it will be the brothers, Jim and John Harbough coaching their respective teams, 49ers and Ravens.  And, Jim Harbough of the 49ers IS A FORMER BEARS QB.  Plus, you have to give him credit for taking a joke of a college team, Stanford, and turning them into a winner and then doing pretty much the same thing with the 49ers.

Then, there is that 49er QB Colin Kaepernick.  I'd never heard of him before the playoff Packer-49er game, but then he impressed me.  He single-handedly ran over one of myteams.  And, even better, he is from a Mid-Major college program, the only school to offer him a scholarship, the University of Nevada, where he was a 3-sport star.

Why, he was even drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2009 Major League Draft in the 49th (get it) round, but decided to stay with football.

His first start was November 19th against another of my two teams, Da Bears and a 32-7 massacre of Chicago.  I was on the road, so didn't get to see it, fortunately.

And, then again, the 49ers are a team from the NFC, as are the Packers and Da Bears.

Only problem I have is that I don't like the 49ers (or Cowboys) dating back to problems Da Bears had with those two teams back in the 80s.

Reckon I'll have to wait to game time to pick a favorite.  Either that or depends who I have on the pool and how many points I need.

Decisions, Decisions.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  I'm sorry = You'll be sorry

Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Sports Decisions in Chicago Last Year

The Dec. 25, 2012, Chicago Tribune ran a list of "12 Best Decisions" in their year in review.

I will blog about some of them.

1.  Firing Jerry Angelo by the Bears.  Couldn't draft or trade very well.

2.  Acquiring bad boy Brandon Marshall (well Angelo did well here).  Marshall cleaned up his act and was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal offense.

3.  Hiring Robin Ventura by the Sox.  Ozzie who?

4.  The Sox making Chris Sale a starter.  Led team with 17 victories.

5.  Kerry Wood's Cubs retirement.It was time.

6.  Blackhawk Coach Joel Quenneville staying.

7.  New deal for Bulls coach Tom Thibideau.

Some Good Things, Anyway.  --RoadDog


It's Them, Not Me: So, the Pre- Pre- Pre-- Summer Driving Season Begins

Don't look now, but you-know-who is back to doing what they do best, and that is raising gas prices.  After all, we need to ramp up for the upcoming Summer Driving Season.

In feeding-frenzy anticipation of it, gas prices around here have gone from $3.22 a week and a half ago to between $3.40 and $3.50.  And for no reason other than GRB greed.  I have seen no reason for this.  No Mid East potentate has sneezed or coughed.

There is no mention I have found of it in the media.

I sure wish there was a site where we could see Big Oil reasons for price hikes.  Even better would be a site where we could once again find out what Big Oil profits are on a quarterly basis.  I haven't seen mention of it at all over the last year.

I imagine showing those huge profits would keep regular folks up in arms, so Big Oil has gotten permission from the government not to post.

How long before we hit $4?

Ya Just Gotta Love Dose Guys.  --RoadDog

Friday, January 25, 2013

What to Horde Now: Disappearing Products and Me-- Part 3

6.  SUZUKI CARS--  The company is stopping sales in the U.S. once current inventory runs out.  It is the second-worst selling brand behind Daimler's Smart cars.  I've never bought a foreign car and don't intend to, even if much of the "American" cars are built elsewhere.  And, Smart Cars may be smart, but they sure look dumb.

7.  CLASSIC YSL PRODUCTS--  Yves St. Lawrent is phasing out their classic logo.  Glad they told me what YSL stood for.

8.  RALPH LAUREN RUGBY LINE--  Launched in 2004, all 14 stores will be closed in February.  I like rugby, but have never had any clothing.  What are the fashion outlet malls going to do?

9.  BURGUNDY WINE--  About 40% of the grapes were lost in 2012.  I don't drink much wine.

10.  ARABICA COFFEE--  Rising temperatures are destroying most of crop.  This coffee makes up 70% of the global market.  This one might hurt as I like my cup of coffee in the morning.

11.  MUNICIPAL BONDS--  Not extinct, but very hard to find as investors are buying them because of their being tax-exempt.  I don't have any.

Oh Well.  --RoadDog

What to Horde Now: Disappearing Products and Me-- Part 2

I have been accused of hording things and have to admit that is partially true.  However, most of what I horde are things "they" take away from me that I like.  I have several hundred blank cassettes stockpiled as well as the decks and boomboxes to play them on.  I especially like any of the dual recorders where you can record on the same machine. 

I even have a CD to DVD recorder, a cassette tape, LP, and single to DVD recorder and VHS to DVD one for future use, although by the time I get around to it, DVD technology will be obsolete also.

As far as motion picture film, I am a big fan of VHS, but have a growing collection of DVDs (although I've never used one at home).  Yesterday, I took a Super Bowl Shuffle and "The Great Outdoors" to Donovan's Reef where we had a good time watching them.

We had a lot of Bear fans and it was really great seeing those guys from the 1985 team again and in their prime.

However, most of the things on the list are no great loss to me.

I Hate It When "They" Take Something Away From Me.  --RoadDog

Future Northern Illinois Games: Arkansas, Ohio State and Nebraska

Capping the great 2012 season and Orange Bowl appearance, NIU has some games scheduled the next three years with some heavy hitters in the Big Boy division.

2013: Iowa and Purdue
2014  Arkansas, Wake Forest
2015  Ohio State, Wyoming
2016:  Nebraska
2017:  Nebraska
2019:  Nebraska

Of course, all of these will be THERE.

2013 kicks off at Iowa 8-31
9-7 TBA
9-14  At Idaho
9-21 EIU
9-28 At Purdue

MAC games Away:  CMU, Toledo, Kent State, UMass
Home:  Ball State, EMU, WMU and Akron

Tough Future Games.  --RoadDog


Thursday, January 24, 2013

How 'Bout Dem Huskies!!!

Best-ever final season ranking for the Northern Illinois University Huskies.  They had been as high as #10 back in the great 2003 season and as high as #16 before the Orange Bowl.  But the loss to Florida State dropped us down.

Final ranking on the AP poll was #22.  Final on the Coaches poll was #24.

Congratulations NIU!!  --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What to Horde Now: Disappearing Products and Me

From December 17, 2012, Yahoo! Finance by Vanessa Wong.

1.  Incandescent Light Bulbs-- unless they can meet new standards in 2013, they're gone by next year.  I'm already stocking up on them.

2.  Old iPhone Charger--  Imagine Apple having planned obsolescence!  No problem here, I don't have an iPhone and wouldn't know how to use one if I did.

3.  Stamp Collections--  I never got into it, but I do keep a few stamps from each year with my journals.

4.  Motion Picture Film--  Fuji is dropping production.  Filmmakers are going to digital technology.  No problem here as my kids never saw a movie in class back in the 70s as I couldn't quite get the hang of threading the film.

5.  Issue of Newsweek Magazine--  First printed in 1933.  The last print issue on the newstands now.  I saw one yesterday.  I subscribed to the magazine on several different occasions and was about to get a new subscription a couple months ago with the great deal they were offering.  Glad I didn't.

I like my news in hand, not on some screen.  I did have a subscription to US News and World Report when they printed their last issue.  I could get their digital edition, but, like I said, I don't do news that way, well, except in gathering news for these darn blogs.

It's Not Me.  They're Taking All My Stuff Away.  --RoadDog

Music Deaths; Two Guys Connected to Elvis-- "You Can't Play Guitar Worth a Damn"


Died Jan. 11, 2012.  Performed with Elvis more than 1,000 times.  He first met Elvis at age 10 when he snuck into his dressing room in Springfield, Missouri (Hey, a Route 66 connection) and told  him, "You can't play guitar worth a damn."

At age 23, Elvis asked him to join his TCB band and after that Wilkinson performed with him in 1,200 shows.

In case you're wondering, TCB stands for Taking Care of Business.


Died Jan. 8, 2013.  Was the voice of the Louisiana Hayride, that state's version of the Grand Ole Opry, and introduced Elvis Presley.  Page worked 65 years with KWKH before retiring in 2005.  The Elvis intro came in 1954, early in his career.

Page also helped launch the careers of country singers Nat Stuckey and James "Gentleman Jim" Reeves.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another Really Cold Flashback

I went to a double feature at the theater today, seeing "Thirty Down Zero"? and "Gangster Squad" and then a stop at McDonald's for a McRib meal.  My idea of a great afternoon.

Then, to the local Mobil station for a pumpkin spice cappachino ($1.39 with tax, try that at Starbucks).  Driving from McDonald's to Mobil, I had the heat on high as it is REALLY COLD here, probably about 1 degree not counting chill.  The heat was blasting away.

There is just something about that heat finally catching on and flowing all that great warm air throughout the car when it is that cold outside.  The, I happened to have 94.7 FM on, good old WLS, the station that so many of us in Chicago grew up with in the 60s and 70s.  And, Fred Winston was the deejay, another golden oldie.  Even better, the Guess Who's "No Time" was on and then "(I Can't get No) Satisfaction."

It was deja vu all over again as Yogi would say.

And, specifically it reminded me of being in somebody's car going somewhere on a cold night either in high school or college.  If I recall, which ever it was, we were really crammed in the car.

Taking Me Way Back.  --RoadDog

Sad News From Northern Illinois University

With all the hoopla over our school's appearance in the Orange Bowl, there are still some stories out of campus that aren't good at all.

The most recent is the death of the Pi Kappa Alpha pledge, Pikes, David Bogenberger, from alcohol.  He was 19 and from my old high school, Palatine.  We went to school with his aunt and father.

Rightfully so, the fraternity is now off campus and its leaders and members on trial for his death.  Hey, I know fraternities drink, I was a Delta Sig there.  But what he drank was really above and beyond, but not surprising in this day and age of everything "EXTREME."

Then, there was the murder of Toni Keller on October 21, 2010.  Her killer was found and now will be standing trial.

Worst of all were the St. Valentine's murders on Feb. 14, 2008, when five students were slain in Cole Hall.  At least there is now a fitting memorial to them on campus.  I just went to the Wikipedia article.  Too bad they chose to use the murderers name.  It is my belief that when someone does the unthinkable as mass murderers, theirs should become a name that must not be mentioned.

Sad Times at NIU. 

Great Christmas Carol Collector Airs His Zeal

From the Dec. 25, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Vikki Orwitz Healy.

An interesting article about Larry Eskridge and his love of Christmas carols and songs, and especially not the ones you hear over and over during the holidays.

Known as "Uncle Lar" around Wheaton College Campus where he teaches, he has worked since 1993 with the campus radio station WETN to play those songs you normally don't get to hear and that would include those from his personal collection of some 8,000 songs. 

I would imagine it streams so, next year I plan to give it a listen.  I love the out of the ordinary Christmas song.  Every year, I give a listen to Bob Stroud's Holiday Hootenanny show the Sunday before Christmas on WDRV.  Then, for some really "out there" music, give Little Steven's Underground Garage show a listen on WXRT, or some other station as it is syndicated.

When I used to deejay, I liked to play the offbeat, including blues, soul, Caribbean, reggae, zydeco and Cajun holiday songs.

Variety Is the Spice of the H'Days.  --RoadDog


Monday, January 21, 2013

Music Deaths: Waltz-- Mothers-- Shindig!


Died Jan. 1, 2013.  Oklahoma-born pop singer of "Tennessee Waltz" and "That Doggie in the Window" and other 1950s hits.  A soothing counterpart to the rock and roll revolution.

She was born in Claremore, Oklahoma, right on good old Route 66!!  There is a street named after her.  Other notables from the town near Tulsa are Lynn Riggs who wrote "Green grow the Lilacs" which became the musical Oklahoma" and Will Rogers.

She was a bit before my music listening time, but I liked the songs mentioned.


Died Dec. 25, 2012.  Member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.  One of my favorite all-time groups and a big thanks to my cousin Joe for turning me on to them back in the late 60s.  Such greats as "Brown Shoes Don't Make It," "Mother People," "Call Any Vegetable," "It Can't Happen Here, ""Hungry Freaks, Daddy," and "America Drinks & Goes Home."

Their Mothermania: The Best of the Mothers of Invention is one of my favorite-ever albums. I'm still looking in the mom and pop record stores for a CD of it.


Died Jan. 11, 2013.  Radio disc jockey and host of ABC's "Shindig!",  a prime-time rock show from 1964-1966 that featured such acts as the Beatles, James Brown and the Rolling Stones.

I don't remember him, but watched that show when the parents weren't (we had just one TV).  Getting to see your favorite bands back then was not easy.  I always thought it would have been great to have the original MTV back then.

The One With the Waggily Tail.  --RoadDog

Saturday, January 19, 2013

JSS: Music-- Cold Coming

JSS--  Just Some Stuff

1.  MUSIC--  Dual listening right now.  Chicago's WXRT FM has Wendy Rice's Saturday Morning Flashback right now and today she is back to 1978.  North Myrtle Beach, SC's Surf has the Beach Music Countdown right now.  Both stream live and are on every Saturday.

2.  COLD COMING--  Temp today and yesterday about 40.  However, 17 degrees tomorrow and 7 degrees Monday.  Maybe we snowbirds should head south again?

Just Some Stuff.  --RoadDog

Finally Taking Down the Christmas Decorations

Well, I do have a good excuse.  We were gone for the last three weeks.  Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  Liz is getting ready to accuse me of reverting to my red neck roots since no one else in our subdivision has theirs still up.

She worked like a fiend taking down everything upstairs before we left.  Of course, working inside is not the same as doing it outside this time of the year in this part of the country, the Midwest.  It is not much fun when the wind whips through you blowing all that cold and colder Siberian Express stuff.  I have to pick the right days to get out there.

Yesterday, it was almost 40 degrees, but strong wind and I still managed to get most of the front down.  I'll have to finish by today as the weather gets a WHOLE LOT COLDER starting tomorrow and Monday's high predicted at a balmy 7 degrees.

Fortunately, over the years, I have developed a plan that lets me put up the outside lights a, garland and wreaths in 5-6 hours, depending upon what I can remember from the year before.  I can take it down in about three hours, maybe less.

Time to Get Out There.  --RoadDog

AFI Top Ten 2012 Movies

From the Dec. 10, 2012, Seattle Pilot.

*  I've seen it, ** I intend to see it now that I'm back home.

Zero Dark Thirty **
Lincoln *
The Dark Knight Rises *
Argo *
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Django Unchained **
Les Miserables **
Life of Pi **
Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Lining Playbook **

Spending Too Much Time At the Movies As Well.  --RoadDog

Overrated TV Shows of 2012

From Yahoo!

2 Broke Girls-- CBS--   I like this one, especially the horse and upstairs neighbor.
Downtown Abbey--  PBS
Grey's Anatomy--  ABC--  I gave up watching this one several years ago.
The Mindy Project--  FX
Modern Family--  ABC--  I didn't watch it until last year and really like it now.

Nashville--  ABC
New Girl--  Fox
Revolution--  NBC--  Great adventure show.
Smash--  NBC
Veep--  HBO

I haven't seen the ones with no comments.

Still Spending Too Much Time Watching TV.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE MEANS:  Are you listening to me?  = Put that paper down.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Underrated TV Shows of 2012

From Yahoo!

Awkward-- MTV
Archer--  FX
Boardwalk Empire--  HBO
Nurse Jackie--  Showtime
Parenthood--  NBC

Scandal--  ABC
Shark Tank--  ABC
Southland--  TNT
Vampire Diaries--  CW
Veep--  HBO

I've only seen Southland and agree it is a great show.  I can't say anything at all about the others.

So, I Don't Watch These Shows.  --RoadDog

WHAT SHE SAYS AND WHAT SHE REALLY MEANS:  You have to learn to communicate. = Just agree with me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back to the Cold

Just arrived back home to temps in the 20s and about a half inch of snow on the ground.

Actually, we had first encountered the cold as we neared northern Alabama yesterday.  I was glad I had chosen to wear my jeans yesterday morning when we left as by the time we reached Cullom, Alabama, it was already cold.

Also, this is the longest-ever vacation for us.  We left on Friday, December28th and got home three weeks later.  Previously, the longest was the twenty-day Route 66 trip back in 2006.

Always Good to Be Home.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oh Well, Stuck At the Beach Again

Through no fault of our own, we are being forced to spend another day here at the beach.  The weather to our north is just not promising to our long drive home.  Plus, PCB is forecast to have another day of mid-70s weather and partly sunny.

All we would encounter is near-freezing rain and ice either way we could go.

Earlier this morning, I went to the Driftwood Lodge office and got another day.

Someone's Got to Bite the Bullet and We're Just the Guys to Do It.  --RoadDog

Monday, January 14, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: December 31st (Part 3)-- It Must Be New Year's Eve Somewhere

From Boozer's we went across A1A to a favorite of ours, Capone's Flicker Light, right on the intercoastal.  This is a Chicago bar with all sorts of Chicago items in it.  The last time the Bears were in the Super Bowl, the game was played in Miami and Capone's served as the de facto headquarters for Bears fans.

We got dinner here.  Great food and reasonable drink prices.

Went back to the room for awhile, then back on the Broadwalk and watched the people walk by and an occasional firework.  Hollywood was supposed to have a fireworks display, we thought, at 9 PM, but found out later it would be at midnight.

Walked by Nick's and Boozer's, but both were too  crowded so we then went to Le Tub, next to Capone's and on the intercoastal as well.  This was another favorite of ours from years past.  Unique is the word for this place.  Kind of dead, though, and we weren't too happy with the $3.75 beer cans (somewhat warm), so went to Capone's again.  While there, two former NIU football players from the '83 California Bowl team came in along with a former wrestler.  Last night they had had a reception for all the former football players and coaches.  I sure would have liked to be there.

Talked Huskie football, of course.  The stroke of midnight came, but nothing at all happened at Capone's.

Walked over to Joe's Tiki Bar on the intercoastal as well and they were having a huge party so stuck around there awhile.

Made It Through Another NYE.  --RoadDog

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Even Better Here

Temps back home in Illinois these next three days according to Weather Bug are in the mid-twenties after being 50 degrees the last two days.

Here in PCB, they're saying it is near-record highs for this time of the year with mid-70s.  And, it is sunny.

I always hate it when we go off and have it be nearly as warm back home as it is where we are vacationing.

Out at the picnic table right now with the guld waves rolling in not seventy yards away.  Try doing that on my deck back home.

So, Hahhhh!  --RoadDog

Heading for the Warmth; December. 31st (Part 2)-- Having a Good Time in Hollywood Beach

After trading good-natured barbs with the FSU fans, we went next door to the Sahara and got a pitcher of beer for $6.99 (watch out, some Florida places charge an additional tax on alcohol) and enjoyed watching the folks walking on the Broadwalk (not  Boardwalk like you'd think, but very appropriate).  Then, there was the Atlantic Ocean about fifty yards away.

Back when we used to come down to Hollywood, there were two neat bars on the south side of Johnson Street called Frenchie's and 12 O'Clock High.  But both moved because of the redevelopment of the beach.  Frenchie's moved into the traffic circle and 12 O'Clock High  moved across the street.  It too is now gone, and a place called Boozer's is now there.

Boozer's is a good follow-up to 12 O'Clock and has entertainers from the late afternoon into the night.  Of course, they sing about half French and half English songs.  The bartop has a regular beach under the glass.

Still Celebrating.  --RoadDog

Friday, January 11, 2013

Love Those Local Newspapers

We are in Panama City Beach, Florida, right now enjoying another day in the 70s with sun.

Every morning, I go out and get a copy of the Panama City News-Herald.  In it, they have a column called the Squall Line, where readers can call in or go online to make observations.

Some of them are great.  Here are a few from today:

Time to marginalize college football and focus on education.

Panama City drivers, if you're not going to use your turn indicators, please text me when you get ready to turn.

Southern colleges excel in football; northern colleges excel in education.

Why does the Callaway city manager deserve a raise after three months but the employees haven't had one in five years?

If we get anymore Wal-Marts here we might have to change our name to Wal-Mart City.

What's On Your Mind?  --RoadDog

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: I Think We Might Have Found It!!

We had the warmth, and sun, in South Florida December 31st to January 3rd, but sure have been missing it since then.

It was warm and sunny all the way across Alligator Alley on Jan. 3rd, and even north until we got to Tampa and the rainstorm hit.  Ever since, it has been pretty overcast and fairly cold.  Most times we went out, I wore a sweatshirt.

But today, finally, it warmed up to the lower 70s and we had sun all day.  We made the most of it.  I'm currently sitting in the shade by our room and typing away on the blogs.  I needed a break from it.

Sure a nice way to spend Liz's 62nd birthday.  She's now eligible for that National Park Service Senior Pass.

A Good Place to Be.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: December 31st-- Hollywood Beach Here We Come

December 31st, we took A1A south to Fort Matanzas, an old Spanish fort south of St. Augustine and then headed out on a mighty confusing road to I-95.  Stopped at a McDonald's for lunch.  You know, IT IS McRib time and I've got to have my fix. 

Lots of traffic and the great RVusBiggus Migration going on still,today.  By the time we hit Palm Beach, it was so heavy that it was starting to really bug me, so got off at Ft. Lauderdale and took US-1, the Federal Highway, to A1A and The Caroline in Hollywood Beach.

Got our room and then went out to the Broadwalk, as they call it, to have somelibations to relax.  They have put millions into the Broadwalk and it is quite impressive now with all the landscaping and paver bricks (it used to be just asphalt).

Had a drink at Nick's and talked with some Florida State fans.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: Lower 40s Back Home, Upper 60s Here

After two cold days here in southwest Florida, it's getting considerably warmer today.  Sitting out by the Gulf right now at 11:07 AM, sure good to be back in the Central Time Zone.  High today supposed to be 68 degrees and then into the 70s the rest of the week.  I can live with that.

Unfortunately, there was no wi-fi at the Buccaneer Inn on St. George Island, Florida, so no posting Sunday and yesterday.

Staying put here in Panama City Beach for a week.  Unfortunately the Mardi Gras season doesn't begin for a couple weeks.  Thought it was very nice of the Driftwood Lodge to send a letter this morning welcoming us back and giving us a 55th anniversary tee shirt.  That's a good way to keep folks coming back, as well as the Lodge being an old mom-pop operation kept up immaculately.

We stopped in PC yesterday at a Golden Corral and there is a Cici's here in PCB which we will be checking out.

We'll Take the Warmer.  --RoadDog

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: December 30,2012 "WhaddaYaHave?"

Very cold this morning for the sunny and warm South, if you ask me.

Back on I-24 and past all those familiar Civil War names to Atlanta, which now has not one, but two bypasses, but we were going straight through downtown as I had visions of the Varsity in mind.  Calling themselves the World's Largest Drive-In, it is right by the Georgia Tech campus, and evidently near the Georgia Dome, judging by the all the Atlanta Falcon fans assembled.

Of course, had to get some hot dogs and a big orange drink as Andy would say.  Denny may have missed it a couple days ago, but we didn't.  Always love their employees and you'd best know what you're ordering when you get to the head of the line.  "WhattaYaHave!!!  WhattaYaWant!!!" very loudly and earnestly.

Then, onto I-75 where we joined the Great RVusBigus Migration south to Florida for a really long way.  I always suggest stopping at any and all Florida Welcome Centers Along the interstates.  You find the usual, plus your choice of fresh squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice.  Small cups, but mighty fine way to say, "You're here."

Took I-10 east to Jacksonville, then a bypass to St. Augustine and got a room at the Super 8, next to Panama Hattie's where we unwound and watched the Cowboy-Redskin game with a lot of rabid fans.

I'llaHaveTwoSlawDogs!!  --RoadDog

Friday, January 4, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: December 29th-- The Tennessee Horror

Spent a considerable time this morning cleaning the 4-5 inches of snow off the car.  Not what you want to do when going to Florida, but maybe it is.  See what you'll be missing.

Had breakfast Sliders at White Castle, then drive through around Indianapolis on the bypass and I-65 through Indiana and Kentucky.  Stopped at White House, Tennessee, and bought Chocolate Uglys and visited a short while with my nephew Andy and his family.

It was snowing lightly all the way through Tennessee, but nothing sticking.  We encountered three traffic jams getting to Nashville, only one because of construction.  We don't know why we had the other two.  Stopped for tacos at Jacks (Jack-In-the-Box) southeast of Nashville.  We love their tacos and the chain is no longer anywhere near Chicago.

Then, we had a long gapers' block on I-24.  Going through the mountains, we had a traffic jam all the way up and all the way down.  And then, there was a 20-30 mile back up west of Chattanooga.  Again, no reason for it.  Just a jam.

Drove around Chattanooga for awhile then on to Dalton, Georgia, and a stop at a Super 8.  We found a great little place called the Oyster Pub and did some relaxing after all that traffic , snow, sleet and rain.

Nothing Like Snow On Your Way to Someplace.  --RoadDog

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Heading for the Warmth: Heading West Today

I haven't been on the ol'  'pute since the 31st.  Been sort of busy.

Besides a New Year's Eve celebration, then there was New Year's Day and Night, taken up with this lil' bowl thing here in South Florida. Sure had a good time except for the final score.  One local paper called it a blowout and the score would seem to indicate it.

However, the score was 17-10 at the start of the 4th quarter.  Right before that, a Huskie drive had been  stopped when one of the Florida State players intercepted the ball on their 10 yard line.  Had we scored, the end might have been different.

Yesterday was relaxing, the first time since the trip began where we didn't have anything to do.

In a bit, we'll be on the road to Clearwater Beach on the gulf.

It's a Far, Far Better Beach I Do Today Than E'er Before.  --RoadDog