What a difference 30 years makes. Yesterday, the Sox "wrapped up" a 99-game losing season to end their 2013 season. Well, at least Peavey's gone. Other than one game, I don't think they scored more than nine runs in their last ten games. Mighty sad.
Looking back at my 1983 journal, on October 2nd, I wrote "The Sox closed out their season with a victory and won more games than anyone else, 99."
Let's see, 1983, 99 wins and 2013, 99 losses.
As bad as the Sox were this year, at least it wasn't a late season free-fall like last year when the Sox led most of the season, before a late September collapse and that pales even when compared to the 1967 season, when, with five games left in the season, the Sox were in first and playing the two worst teams in the American League, the Washington Senators (now Texas Rangers) and the Kansas City A's (now Oakland A's). All they had to do was win three games to clinch it. They lost all five to finish 4th in the American League.
This killed me for baseball even worse than the better-known '69 Cubs collapse. Just to show it was no fluke, the Sox opened the '68 season with ten straight losses.
Figures they couldn't even get that right. They had to lose their last four games and could only lose three of them. As such, they couldn't "clinch" that 100-loss season I was hoping for. If you're going to be bad, don't be half-bad, be all-the-way bad and 100 losses pretty well says it for me.
Hey, the Cubs couldn't even reach it either and only lost 96 games, losing out to the Sox by three games.
As bad as they were (and in a season that was expected to be good after being in first place most of the 2012 season), there were two other teams that managed lo lose 100 or 100+ games, Houston (who the Sox played in the 2005 World Series) and Miami.
Glad It's All Over. As Sox Fans Are Fond of Saying (and especially Cub Fans), Wait Until Next Year. ---RoadDog
That was the combined score last night of the Sad Sox and and Sad Cubs. The Sox lost 6-1 and Cubs 7-0. The Cubs also got to see a second celebration of a team clinching playoff spots. Last night, the Cardinals won the National League Central and last week, the Pirates clinched a Wild Card spot.
Both teams are at the bottom of their divisions and neither has even a shot at next-to-last place. It is so bad that I am pulling for the Sox to lose the two remaining days to hit that 100-loss mark. Why just be somewhat bad when you can be REALLY BAD. One hundred losses makes it for me.
I did read that the teams with the ten worst records do not have to lose a #1 draft pick if they pick up a premium free agent. And we have bottom ten sewed up.
Well, at least those Yankees are out of the playoffs, so all isn't a total loss.
1. BOATING 30TH-- Yesterday, we went out for a boat float for the 30th time of the season. We like to shoot for 40 times a year so are 3/4 the way there. Normally, we like to have 40 times by now, but this has not been a great boating season.
2. KIM KEARBY-- We were saddened to learn that fellow teacher and teachers union leader Kim Kearby died. We will be attending his funeral. He lead the Education Association Round Lake for most of the time it was in existence.
3. '85 BUFFED OUT--- Wednesday, I took the '85 Firebird over to a guy in Johnsburg and had it buffed out. I had forgotten we had metallic flake on it.
4. DOS EQUIS BEER-- Anybody else besides me find the Dos Equis Beer commercials annoying?
By far the biggest color now is from the mums, mostly yellow ones. I am also getting lots of white from my many wild plants that are especially in abundance on the west side of the yard. (Each one has several hundred little white flowers, but I don't know their name.)
The Japanese lilac trees are starting to turn their light green before dropping leaves and honeylocusts starting to turn yellow.
I have been deadheading mums and dividing perennials as well as cutting back the purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susans.
I have to be careful as I have come across a lot of ground level bee nests. I keep an eye to the ground. See one bee, ok. See several buzzing around, get out of there.
#26. THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW "Went With the Wind," their "Gone With the Wind" skit. It was funny then and still funny. When Carol comes down the stairs in that "dress," it was just too funny. Also, "Rhett" talking with "Prissy." I had recorded the show and watched this several times over again.
#25 MALCOM IN THE MIDDLE"-- the topless episode
#24 THE GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW "Boyfriend comes out of the closet.
The Mayberry Motor Inn in Mt. Airy, NC, has a nice little continental breakfast which I ate out at that wonderful gazebo. Then, I read some more of Mark Bradley's book on the Battle of Bentonville as I plan to go to a seminar on it September 14th. LOVE THAT GAZEBO.
Sadly, had to get on the road and took the US-52 bypass, Andy Griffith Bloulavard south to US-52 (soon to be the I-74 Corridor). Took it past Pilot Mountain to Winston-Salem, then US-421 east to I-40.
Stopped at the Hursey's BBQ in Burlington, but found it was closed on Sundays. Then stopped at Smithfield's BBQ and Chicken in Mebane and got my 'cue fix. I had also had 'cue at the Golden Corral last night.
Heavy traffic, but no jams all the way through the Durham-Raleigh horror. Stopped at J.R.'s in Smithfield to check out their stuff and then drove on into Goldsboro and bought six two-liter bottles of Diet Cheerwine, a real treat.
Are you one of the 9 million or so who have signed up for the new I-whatever phones? Sorry to say, but I didn't. I know a lot of you will be getting rid of the "new" one you bought less than a year ago to get this "new" one. At least new until the next "new" phone comes out several months down the road.
Of course, Liz and I have phones that are just a wee bit dated. I think they might even be Cingular phones and I think we got them back in 2003 (my first one). And, I still don't really know how to use mine for the most part. I have never texted or read a text and wouldn't know how to nor plan to.
We were at Captain's Quarters Saturday for their band and "Pirate Day" get-together. We were at the bar and a guy came up to place an order and saw Liz's cell phone out on the bar. He remarked something about it being a real museum piece and he couldn't believe anyone was still using them. He had to look at it.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH: NTN Farewell Party at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH: Saw Richmond-Burton High School defeat Marengo 48-23. It got mighty cold.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST: Bought that first HDTV, a 29-inch Vizio. Now to "figger" out how to install it. Hopefully not too hard. Pirates invade Captain's Quarters for Pirate Day on the Chain of Lakes. About 100 dressed and ready to pillage pirates in attendance. Saw the band Hooked on Sonics playing 60s to today's music.
**NIU Huskies win a very close game over Eastern Illinois. (Heard it on the radio.)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND: Bloody Mary at Main Street Tap in Twin Lakes. Last day of NTN at Donovan's. Packers lose, but Bears win!!!!
Good Times Around Here.
No boating over the weekend because it was fairly cool. I did do some yardwork, however. --RoadDog
I was going to wait until my basement analog, tube TVs broke down (a 1983 25-inch console and 1992 19-inch TV). But, we are forced into it by our cable station going all digital. Plus, I have been wanting to get one of the new big-screens for quite some time (despite claims of my cheapness stemming from not wanting to get new things until the old ones break down).
Later today, I plan on going to Wal-Mart, Meijer's and Target and finding a TV for the corner of the bar. This is a very limited space, so have to be careful with dimensions. I have 18 and 1/2 inches top to bottom to play with and think I might even be able to squeeze a 32-incher into it. This will be replacing the current 19-incher we bought when the basement was finished in early 1993.
Sometime this next month, I plan to buy a 55 to 60-inch big screen for the basement to replace the console.
Hopefully, I will be able to "figger out" how to operate them.
I'll Be Watching the Games and New Season TV In Style. --RoadDog
The main reason is that out group of friends that I call the Usual Suspects get together at local watering holes for the Bear games when they are played at noon. Nothing like watching a game with a group of friends and fans, even though most of them hate the Packers and get very upset when there are Packer fans pulling for their team.
We won't be getting together Sunday.
I also think high school football should be played Saturday afternoons like they used to be. The Richmond-Burton Rockets, our local team, has a Fifth Quarter party after every home game where the players, parents, students and fans get together at a local restaurant. Last night was at one of our favorite places, Antonio's. It is always a $5 buffet, but eating at 9:30 PM is just way too late for us.
Last night, I went out to the Richmond-Burton (our local high school)-Marengo game. The R-B Rockets won easily, 48-23, and in the third quarter were leading 48-13 before putting in the second string.
I left at the end of the third quarter as it was getting too cold (that's pretty early in the season to be getting that cold).
We were planning on driving out to Dekalb today for the Northern Illinois-Eastern Illinois game, but yesterday we found out that the game was sold out!!! That has never happened before. I guess all the success the team has been having, including the Orange Bowl appearance is finally paying off.
Gone are the days when we could go to the game anytime and get tickets.
Sunday night, the Bears play the Steelers at 7:30. I don't like night games!!
Football, a Game That Should Be Played in Daylight. --RoadDog
I didn't know it, but Olive Garden and Red Lobster are owned by the same company, Darden, out of Orlando, Florida. They report that sales at both chains have fallen a lot this past quarter despite all sorts of specials and food reconfiguarations (smaller offerings).
They also own Bahama Breeze restaurants.
I've eaten at all three places and like them a lot, but usually don't go to them very often. My sister, on the other hand, is noted for her fondness of Olive Garden. I especially like Olive Garden's salads and Red Lobster's biscuits.
Bob Stroud will feature 1972 today, Horny Songs (this could be interesting) on Monday, 1985 on Tuesday and 1974 on Wednesday on his Ten at Ten show at 10 AM amd 10 PM on WDRV, 97.1 in Chicago.
Tomorrow morning, WXRT's Wendy Rice spotlights 1984 on her Saturday Morning Flashback from 8 to noon. Both stations stream if you're out of the Chicago area. (Both stations on CST)
And, let's not forget Bob Stroud's Rock and Roll Roots show Sunday morning 7 to 10 AM and Little Steven's Underground Garage Sunday night on WXRT from 9 to 11 PM.
And, down in North Myrtle Beach, SC, it is the Fall Migration of SOS for you Beach Music fans. SOS stands for Shagging on the Strand. Shagging is the state dance of South Carolina and the way Beach Music fans dance. The Strand is short for Grand Strand, that long stretch of beach along the coast in that area.
Hundreds of Beach Music fans swarm to North Myrtle Beach during this time when all the music venues feature Beach bands and deejays. One of these days I'll have to go there.
Both major Beach Music surveys, The Surf 94.9 FM and Fessa John Hook have "Hey Eugene" by Sea Cruz at #1. The Surf has #2 "The Driver" by King Tyrone & the Graveyard Ramblers and John Hook's #2 is "He's My Baby" by Heather Haywood.
Several of us got together yesterday at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, to see the NTN trivia game out in style. We were in the Top Twenty the seven games Liz and I were there (the last four all in the Top Ten).
Barb and Lance put out three pizzas for the NTN players which were also eaten by the other regulars who don't play NTN. We even got Jeff to leave his "bidness" over at the corner table. He played NTN more than anyone else, almost every day, until he got the laptop and started spending time on his food and e-Bay businesses. We usually averaged once a week at Donovan's.
We even saw the Cubs win a completely unimportant game against the Brewers. The two teams are battling it out for last place. And, it being Talk Like a Pirate Day, there was a lot of pirate talk. Captain Jack Sparrow would have been so proud.
Oh well, all things pass. This is just one more. Right now, I am thinking of letting my two NTN players, Parrot and Whodah, just fade off into the distance when NTN drops Donovan's, which we think will be this Sunday. Surprisingly, NTN sure didn't make much of an effort to keep Donovan's as a client.
Goodbye Last Twenty Years of Good Times. --RoadDog
Today, we have the goodbye celebration for an old friend at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. After close to 20 years, the place is dropping NTN, the National Trivia Network, now called Buzztime.
We have spent many hours enjoying food, drinks and comraderie at the place dating back to when the Stewarts took over the place. We have made Top Twenty many, many times during that run and have been visited by many out-of-towners who came because they saw out name up there so often.
However, due to people moving away (and one major player died), the number of players have dropped tremendously and so few play it now, it is just not worth the $500 monthly charge to play it, so the new owners are dropping it. I don't blame them. I would have dropped it a year ago.
That's a lot of money to pay out if you're not getting a lot of people sticking around to play it.
We're having a going away party today for it, and hoping to get one last round of rankings.
Or, is it a more favored ECU Pirate "Arrrrggghhhhh!!!!!" It's not First and Ten at home games, it's "First and Arrrrggghhhh!" And, my old high school was the Palatine Pirates in Palatine, Illinois, with one of the most feeble mascots ever, a pirate who wouldn't even scare a baby. We saw that the high school in Galena, Illinois, uses the same pirate logo, but in different colors.
I know that here on the Chain of Lakes, they have a Pirate Day where a large group dresses up like pirates and make the rounds, "pillaging" various drinking establishments on the Chain. And, you hear more "Arrrs" than you thought possible.
I'll be writing about various pirate words in my history blog.
So, Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!! Lubbers. --RoadDog
Still scared about that near miss for me of the deer when I entered Virginia and got gas at Wytheville for $3.20, the cheapest on the trip down (but it always is cheapest). Down, down, down that decline to leave Virginia.
Arrived in Mt. Airy, Andy Griffith's hometown and the town Mayberry was based on. Drove along Andy Griffith Parkway (US-52 bypass) and got a room at the Mayberry Motor Inn, a real Mom and Pop motel that is well kept up. Enjoyed the gazebo before driving over to graze at Golden Corral.
Afterwards drove on Mt. Airy's main street (the original US-52) and must say, the town is closed by 6 pm. Back to the motel and sat out at the gazebo and met my brother-from-another-mother and had a great talk with him about the Civil War and World War II.
We were even treated to a fireworks display from the county fair taking place close by.
Drove I-70 to US-33 and took that to Athens, Ohio. It is four lane and limited access much of the way other than a short stretch through downtown Nelsonville. That too will soon be bypassed.
Took a ride through Athens, a very hilly town and home of MAC member Ohio University. There was going to be a football game later, but it being just 10:00, decided not to stick around.
Crossed over ointo West Virginia near Ripley and got on I-77 for the rest of today's driving. Paid my $6 (three $2 tolls) to drive the turnpike and was somewhat scared when the vehicle that had just passed me struck a deer. Stopped at Tamarack with all that neat stuff.
Took the usual way to avoid the Chicago Hassle, Il-47 from Woodstock to Champaign and then I-74 into Indiana and I-70 east to Columbus. Stopped at Boz Hot Dogs in Morris, Illinois, a place I've always wanted to eat. Good hot dogs.
Then, stopped at the Ambler-Becker gas station in Dwight for my taste of Route 66. Got gas at the Pilot station east of Crawfordsville, Indiana, the cheapest I had seen at $3.50 a gallon.
All the traffic you could ever want on I-465 bypass going south around Indianapolis. They have I-65 and I-70 torn up going through town What a mess!!! Backed up for miles and miles. I have to figure out a way to avoid the city on my way back.
Clear sailing I-70 going east, despite lots of areas of construction. Had my usual Cincy chili at Skyline Chili by Dayton, then drove to London, hoping this was not an Ohio State home game weekend. It wasn't fortunately, so no problem getting a room at the Motel 6.
Things Along This Route Starting to Look Familiar. --RoadDog
At least the world's biggest-ever coward, that ObL guy, is not around to see it. Saw the scenes today from Washington, DC, and New York City earlier today.
Earlier I watched the movie about Flight 93, the one that crashed in the Pennsylvania field, on the Discovery Channel. Now, there is a second show on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. It said construction on the Pentagon started sixty years earlier in 1941 before the U.S. got into World War II.
ANGIE-- Rolling Stones (a song that always reminds me of driving back and forth to my teaching job in Round Lake)
SILVER TRAIN-- Rolling Stones (the "B" side)
FREE RIDE-- Edgar Winter Group (Reminds me of driving to Galena after the wedding)
LIVE AND LET DIE-- Paul McCartnet & Wings (the #1 song in Chicago this date). This one reminds me of driving the van between Sheraton-Walden, Schaumburg, to O'Hare Airport.
These were songs Stroud played coming back from commercial breaks:
SWEET GYPSEY ROSE-- Tony Orlando & Dawn
CLOUDS-- David Gates
HEARTBEAT IT'S A LOVE BEAT-- DeFranco Family
ANGEL-- Aretha Franklin.
Looking Forward to the Summer of '74 Next Year On Stroud's Show. --RoadDog
From the August 21, 2013, Parade Magazine "Who Are the Highest-Paid TV Stars?" by Vi-an Nguyen from TV Guide.
Not only can she cut down a person, but also, Judy Sheindin "Judge Judy" earns a lot of dough for doing so: $47 million a year. Then, there's Jon Stewart whose "The Daily Show" earns $20 to $25 million a year, even more than Jay Leno and David Letterman who get $20 million each for doing their shows.
Jimmy Kimmel gets $10 million.
Other types of shows were listed, but I will just do the top threes of comedy and drama.
COMEDY (per episode): Ashton Kutcher "Two and a Half Men," $750,000; Jason Segel "How I Met Your Mother," $225,000 and Amy Poehler "Parks and Recreation," $200,000.
DRAMA (per episode): Mark Harmon (NCIS) $525,000 + points; Clair Danes (Homeland) $250,000 and Michael Weatherly (NCIS) $250,000.
OK, pretty funny. Sunday, I watched Betty White do the Paley Center 30 Funniest Sitcom bits. I didn't agree with all of them and some of the shows I'd bever seen. These are the bits and/or shows I liked:
30. THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW-- Chuckles the Clown's funeral.
28. PARKS AND RECREATION-- South American visitors
27. THE OFFICE Racial episode.
Some funny and memorable entrances:
Lenny and Squiggy come in on the LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY SHOW.
Kramer comes in on SEINFELD
NEWHART SHOW "Hi, I'm Larry, and this is my brother Daryl and my other brother Daryl
EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND His parents crash the car into their living room.
Personally, I Would Have Liked to Have Seen More of These Snippets. --RoadDog
I learned two things last week when we were in Galena, Illinois.
The first was that Red Stripe Beer was first produced (and for 100 years from the 1830s to 1937) at one of the nine breweries that one time or another were located in that town. The formula was sold in a downturn after Prohibition to a pair of English investors who took it to Jamaica...and, the rest is history.
The second thing was that one of my favorite songs from the 1960s, "Reach Out in the Darkness" by Friend and Lover, was written by Galena native Jim Post, best known for his portrayal of Mark Twain and Galena Rose in one man shows.
Today, I went to Wikipedia and found out that Friend and Lover were actually he and his wife. He also performed a lot in the 70s and 80s in Chicago and was a contemporary of Steve Goodman, John Prine and Bonnie Koloc.
I mentioned in the last post of going to the Richmond-Burton at Johnsburg High School football game on Friday, but having it cancelled because of lightning. It was replayed Saturday afternoon and our local high school, Richmond-Burton Rockets, won.
The last several years I have been spending a lot of Fridays out at the local high school gridiron and really enjoying the experience and spirit of the kids and adults.
I even went to one of the many charity group calendars I received this year and wrote down the home games in the area and will be going out to a lot of them this fall.
I have a pecking order of favorites.
#1 PALATINE HIGH SCHOOL PIRATES -where I went from 1965 to 1969.
#2 ROUND LAKE HIGH SCHOOL PANTHERS-- I taught in Round Lake for 33 years and lived there for 17 years.
#3 RICHMOND-BURTON HIGH SCHOOL ROCKETS-- Where kids from our subdivision go and where we've lived 20 years now and paid a WHOLE lot of property taxes. Names for the Richmond and Burton townships.
#4 JOHNSBURG HIGH SCHOOL SKYHAWKS-- Next town south of us. The school is just two miles directly south of our house.
#5 GRANT HIGH SCHOOL BULLDOGS-- In Fox Lake where we've kept our boat for the last 28 years.
High School Football. A Lot of Bang for Your Entertainment Buck. --RoadDog
Liz's mom, Frances, made me fill out the application for the Round Lake School District, which, as it turned out, needed to fill a position just two weeks before school began for a person who could teach history (my major) and geography (my minor). But, like I said, I was fed up with all things education by then.
Then I told her that I wouldn't waste my money and put one of those expensive stamps on the envelope. (How much were stamps back in 1973?) She put one on. Then, I wasn't going to waste my gas to drive it to the post office. She did.
Around a week before Liz and I got married, they called and wanted an interview which ended up being the day before we got married. I went in, and they hired me. I signed my contract August 24th. We had planned on a nearly week-long honeymoon, but that got reduced to two days.
Well, I had always planned on being a teacher since I was seven, so I guess this worked out.
Yesterday, Bob Stroud had part 4 of his monthly Rock and Roll Roots Time Warps back to the summer of '73. As I have already mentioned, this was a "Big" summer for me. I had graduated from NIU and had been looking unsuccessfully for a teaching job while living with Liz's parents in Palatine, Illinois.
In the meantime, I had been working three days as a mover (and I can say that is a really hard way to earn a buck (and I was getting $10 an hour, real big money back then). I was also driving a van back and forth from the Sheraton Inn-Walden in Schaumburg to O'Hare.
In late July, I got a full-time job working as an assistant manager at a Bonanza Sirloin Pit in Buffalo Grove and figured that would likely be my career job. I had given up on getting a teaching job and felt I was so poorly treated at interviews I wanted nothing to do with education anymore.
But, Then, Frances Made Me Fill Out the Round Lake School District Application. --RoadDog
Enjoyed sitting around and outside the Ramada Hotel room. While Liz was getting ready, I went to the nearby Wal-Mart and bought the new Jimmy Buffett and In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly CDs and the "MASH" and "Patton" DVDs. With the Iron Butterfly album, I like the first side just as well as the 17-minute-long song on side 2. Popped it into the CD player on the '03 Malibu.
Checked out of the Ramada and we're pretty sure that we checked out of the old Palace Motel on this date 40 tears ago as I had to begin teaching the next day.
Drove around Galena on the north side of the river, above Main Street and those are some mighty steep streets. Checked into the Galena Hills Motel, an old-timey mom and pop motel that we like to stay at these days.
Then went back to Galena's Main Street and parked one street over by the visitors center in the old Market Building and looked at their huge U.S. Grant collection. All things U.S. Grant. While there, local character Jim Post came in and talked with us. He has a show tonight at a local theater and we are considering going to it. I should mention that he told me that he had written the 1960s song "Reach Out in the Darkness" as recorded by Friend and Lover. He and his wife were Friend and Lover.