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

Friday, January 31, 2014

Think You've Got It Cold? Try Yakutsk, Siberia

From the Jan. 27, 2014, Yahoo! News. That's Yakutsk, Russia, as in 3,100 miles east of Moscow. Temperatures recently have been a brisk -49 degrees and today it was predicted at a "balmy" -42. And, that is not the coldest temperature ever recorded there. It once got to -83; real eyeball freezing weather!! They also get something called freezing fog.

It is located on the Lena River, 280 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

Not to worry though. Summers are short, hot and mosquito-filled.

Wasn'r Yakutsk In The Risk Game? --RoadDog

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fun Times Here on the Frozen Tundra- Part 3: Complaining-- Chirping-- Garage Door

JSS-- Just Some Stuff. //// Just Some Stuff About This Really Crummy Winter We're Having. 1. EVEN SNOWMOBILERS AND SKIERS COMPLAINING-- Many of our friends are big-time snowmobilers and skiers and even THEY are beginning to complain. Join the club. //// 2. WEATHER BUG CHIRPING-- Just try to turn on the old 'pute and not be driven nuts by the Weather Bug's chirping away for weather warnings and alerts. Take care of them, and they're back really soon. 3. GARAGE DOOR-- This is a new one for me, but just about anytime I lower the garage door, it comes back up because of snow and ice under it. I finally learned not to take off my shoes/boots until I knew it was really down. Otherwise, I just end up putting my boots back on. //// JSS and Not So Wonderful. --RoadDog

Gone in 2013, But Not Forgotten-- Part 3: Wild Thing

Continued from January 18th. //// REG PRESLEY-- Lead singer of Troggs died in February. Of course, that all-time Frat Rock/Garage Song "Wild Thing" but I also liked "I Can't Control Myself," "With a Girl Like You" and "Love Is All Around." //// ANDY JOHNS-- engineer //// JEWEL AKENS-- "The Birds and the Bees" "Let me tell you about...."//// JOE KELLY-- bassist of Chicago's Shadows of Knight and noted bluesman. //// DICK DODD-- Drummer and vocalist of the "Dirty Water" Standells. Former Mouseketeer. //// BOBBY "BLUE" BLAND-- Blues legend "Turn On Your Lovelight" //// PETER HANCOCK-- Lead vocalist of Climax Blues Band //// BOBBY SMITH-- lead vocalist of the Spinners //// KEN HODGES-- Bassist and vocalist of Spanky & Our Gang //// LOU REED-- Taking a "Walk On the Wild Side"//// ALVIN LEE-- Ten Years After leader. Woodstock highlight "I'm Going Home" //// These folks made some music very important to me. //// One Hell of a Heavenly Band. --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

No Eagles (Well Maybe), But Two Deer

15.1 degrees here. A HEAT WAVE!!! //// We just got back from drives around the McHenry Dam and Morraine Hills state parks south of the City of McHenry, Illinois. We were looking for bald eagles, which we have heard are along the Fox River. We figured the dam would be a good place to start. We did see a dark object off in the distance on the other side of the river that may or may not have been an eagle. It was too far away. //// We then drove to nearby Morraine Hills State Park (formed by glaciers) and didn't see any eagles there, but we did see a pair of deer who also espied us, so we had a stareoff. They won. //// --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fun Times Here On the Frozen Tundra-- Part 3: Take That, South!

I saw last night that temperature in Nome, Alaska, way up north, hit the 50s yesterday. OK, what is wrong with this scenario? Right now, I'm listening to 94.9 FM, the Surf, out of North Myrtle Beach, SC, and they are talking a lot about the winter storm on its way. //// Yesterday, I was listening to John Radio out of some place between Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., and the winter storm heading their way was a big topic and people were having a run on stores for survival items. My sister lives in Savannah and told my mom the same thing. //// Also yesterday, I was listening to my classic country station, WBRF in Galax, Virginia, and they were talking about how cold it was goingto get today. //// Mom said it was 60 degrees in Goldsboro, NC, yesterday, but will be below freezing today. //// Before a couple weeks ago, I'd never heard of an Arctic Vortex, but I am really getting tired of the "V" word right now. Those Canadians can keep it. But Southerners, including Mom, are blaming us in the North for sending it their way. //// I Believe Everyone Should Get a Little Taste. --RoadDog

Fun Times Here on the Frozen Tundra-- Part 2: Eyeball Freezin' Weather

Thawing out now after just taking the garbage out to the end of the driveway. And the birds had finished off the feeder, so had to refill that as well. That involved a trip through three-foot snow drifts on the east side of the house. Hope they appreciate it, but I did hear some fuss tweeting complaining that I hadn't filled it in a timely manner and fashion. //// While in the back of the house filling the feeder, my neighbor Steve came running out his backdoor holding his dog Allie in the air. He said that Allie would not go out on her own in this cold and was just about to go in the house when he grabbed her. Unfortunately for him, he was wearing his shorts, so there he stood waiting for the dog to go in short pants. Now, he had to be quite cold. //// Hey, I was wearing two pairs of gloves and several layers of clothes and an exrtra heavy coat. And, I was still cold. //// Temperature outside this morning when I logged on was a crisp -14.5 degees in nearby McHenry. And, I still have to do the driveway again which got drifted over in places because of yesterday's high winds. //// And, It's Not Any better "Down South." --RoadDog

Here's an Idea for Future "Cars" Movies

I know Disney might be a bit put-off by how poorly the second "Cars" movie did (and I thought it was ok, but just not the same as the first one which I really liked). But, I have ideas for new ones. //// The gang should take a road trip on Route 66 and encounter obstacles and interesting characters on the way. That keeps closer to the original soul of the movie. //// Maybe even a trip on the Lincoln Highway to celebrate its 100th anniversary. They could go back in time and help the 1919 Army convoy. //// Just a Thought. --RoadDog

Another List of 2013 Movies That I Mostly Saw

From the Jan. 5, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Disney's dizzying year" by Jonathan Berlin and Chad Yoder. //// Disney had a good year in 2013 leading to $1.7 billion domestic and $4.7 billion worldwide. //// They released nine major films. In order of domestic earnings in millions(* means I saw it): 1. *Iron Man 3, $409 //// 2. Monters University $268.5 //// 3. *Frozen, 263.1 //// 4. *Oz the Great and Powerful $234.9 //// 5. *Thor: The Dark World 202.5 //// 6. Planes, 90.3 //// 7. *The Lone Ranger, $89.3 //// 8. *Saving Mr. Banks $44.1 //// 9. Delivery Man, 29.7. //// And, I would have liked to have seen "Monsters University" and "Planes." I have gotten to be a huge fan of animated movies. "Saving Mr. Banks" is still at the theaters, so it will go up, but I doubt that it will be too high (even though it is my favorite of all of them). //// I liked all of the movies I saw from Disney. "The Lone Ranger" was the big "flop" and was described in the article as the "John Carter" of 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed it (and, I really like "John Carter" as well). //// My top three favorites in order: 1. Saving Mr. Banks, 2. Oz the Great and Powerful, 3. The Lone Ranger. //// I will have Disney's highest grossing films by year from 2000 in my Cooter's History Thing blog today. //// Pass the Popcorn. --RoadDog

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chilly and Chili Here in the Midwest

Still coping with all this cold and snow. FRIDAY, JANUARY 24TH: Temp in the 20s, but stayed in all day because of the high winds and wind chill. //// SATURDAY, JANUARY 25TH: Had to do some shoveling because of the drifting snow. Went to Stormy Monday on the frozen Fox Lake for their 3rd annual Chili Cookoff. Love my chili. They had seven different chilis and I sampled all of them. Then went to the Legion on frozen Nippersing Lake and went to the Round Lake/Fox Lake Rotary Club Chili Cookoff. Sampled another 14 chilis. I decided that sampling all that many chilis is not a good thing and won't do it again in a single day. One chili cookoff is enough. Had to remain upwind of myself. //// SUNDAY, JANUARY 25TH: Bob Stroud played every track in the Beatles first United States album, "Meet the Beatles" on his Rock and Roll Roots Show. Also recorded Breakfast With the Beatles to listen to this week. Had to clear another 3 inches of snow off the driveway and sidewalk, along with drifting snow. My neighbor Dan cleared the "Bad Snow" off at the foot of the driveway, home of village snow plow-deposited snow. We then cleared off a neighbor's driveway. //// We had three chili cookoffs to choose from on this non-football Sunday (the Pro Bowl doesn't count as a football game). Went to the new Dirty Rooster in Antioch for a Bloody Mary and then met up with Missy, Sue, Paul and J.C. at the Squaw Bar for their Chili Cookoff. //// Saw two bald eagles outside the place. Five chilis, all good. Like I say about bbq, I never met one I didn't like unless its way too hot (a little's ok). Paul took his voting seriously. I just pick my favorite, he was taking all sorts of notes. //// Then went to Stormy Monday for a friend's birthday party. //// Came home in the snow falling and blowing snow. Watched Fox's Animation Domination and the Grammys. //// Coping With It, Though. --RoadDog

Fun Times Here On the Frozen Tundra-- Part 1

Not saying its cold.... BUT!!! The highs the next two days here in northeast Illinois will not break 0 degrees and with wind chills of -35 to -45. Most, if not all, schools in the area have been called off for the next two days. They were also closed for two days a couple weeks ago because of the cold. //// Earlier today, while looking at Weather Bug, I saw the temp drop from -3.9 degrees to 4.0 degrees. Highs and lows the next three days: MONDAY-- -5, -21, // TUESDAY-- -!, -10 WEDNESDAY-- 17, 12. Wednesday will be a heatwave, getting my shorts and tee shirt ready. //// --RoadDog

The Beatles Are Coming-- Part 8: Taking Britain First

From Dave McAleer's "The Book of Hit Singles." //// U.K. JANUARY-MARCH 1963-- The Beatles' second single "Please Please Me" topped the charts and put the Merseybeat Sound on the musical map. In America, it was rush-released, but failed to click. //// In Australia, The Bee Gees, origianlly from Manchester, England, signed with Festival Rceords and started making a name for themselves Down Under. (I remember when I first heard them I thought they were really the Beatles assuming a fake name. Sure sounded like them.) //// U.K. APRIL-JUNE 1963: The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein also managed Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas who eventually had two successibe #1s. Another of his groups, Gerry & the Pacemakers had three #1s. //// U.K. JULY-SEPTEMBER 1963: The Beatles' debut LP, Please Please Me, topped the chart for 30 weeks and the single "She Loves You" had a record for advance orders, sold over a million copies in the U,K. and cemented them as Britain's top group. //// U.K. OCTOBER-DECEMBER 1963: As the year ended, the Beatles had five records in the Top 20 singles (including two EPs and an album). The LP With the Beatles entered the chart at #1 as did the single "I Want to Hold Your Hand," which smashed all U.K. sales records, selling a million copies in just three days. A big U.S, launch was planned for early 1964. //// Gaining Momentum. --RoadDog

The Beatles Are Coming-- Part 7: Taking Britain First.

Of course, the Beatles took Britain first, starting a full year before they reached tehse shores. Speaking of which, I sure enjoyed watching Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two Beatles still with us last night on the Grammys. They also had Yoko Ono (John's wife) and Olivia Harrison (George's wife) as well as Sean Lennon. //// Back to the British charts for 1963, Beatle songs ranking in the monthly Top Twenty. SEPTEMBER: "She Loves You" #1 and "Twist & Shout EP" #17. OCTOBER: "She Loves Yo" #3 and "Twist & Shout EP" #12. NOVEMBER "She Loves You" back to #1. DECEMBER: This month the Beatles had "I Want to Hold Your Hand" #1 and "She Loves You" #3. The "With the Beatles LP" was #14 and "Beatle Hits EP" #20. //// Really Taking Off There, But Not in the U.S. Yet. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Beatles and Me-- Part 2: And What About These Other Songs?

I tuned into WLS and it didn't take long for me to hear "I Want to Hold Your Hand." But what about all these other songs I'm hearing by other groups? I liked them too. Thanks a lot Beatles, now I'm hooked on pop music. Gotta get me a radio. I really need a radio. //// After I got one, I really started listening a lot. I had a lot of catching up to do. I found out this rock and roll music went back to 1955 so had a lot of listening to do. //// Looking back at the WLS Top 40 from January 17, 1964, there are still quite a few groups and singers that I never heard of before, mostly KO'd by Beatlemania and the British Invasion. Here are those: Ginny Arnell (I did a lot of research and will write about her later), Jim and Monica, Dale Ward, Murry Kellum, Reflections, Ideals, Drewvells, Nick Noble, Kevin and Greg and the Cookies. And there were 14 songs that I was not familiar with as well. And, this is considering all the listening and research I've been doing in the last fifty years. I didn't listen to pop music at all before the Beatles. //// Like I Said, I Had a Lot of Listening to Do. --RoadDog

The Beatles and Me-- Part 1

There I was, a happy-go-lucky seventh grader at Winston Park Junior High School in Palatine, Illinois, minding my own business and getting good grades and completely unconcerned with pop music. I didn't listen to it at all. Could care less //// But, then all the kids started talking about these guys from England called the Beetles (well, I knew how to spell it, anyway). Then, I started hearing about them on the TV and the girls were just beyond themselves. Says I to myself, "Well, I just am going to have to hear these guys so tuned into WLS on my parents' radio (hey, you don't need a radio if you don't listen to music). Of course, that was when my parents were gone because they were way too much into Big Band and Swing Music not to get on my case. //// WOW!!! ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY!!! --RoadDog

The Beatles Are Coming!-- Part 6: Jan. 24, 1964, Trashmen Beat Out Beatles

Fifty years ago, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" rose to #8 on the WLS 890 AM Silver Dollar Survey. The seven songs ahead of them: #1. YOU DON'T OWN ME-- Lesley Gore // #2. THERE I'VE SAID IT AGAIN-- Bobby Vinton // #3. CALIFORNIA SUN--Rivieras // #4. POPSICLES & ICICLES-- Murmaids // #5. WHAT'S EASY FOR TWO-- Mary Wells // #6. HEY LITTLE COBRA-- Ripchords // #7. SURFIN' BIRD-- Trashmen //// #8. I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND-- Beat Out By the Trashmen. //// It Was On. --RoadDog

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Beatles Are Coming-- Part 5: Taking Britain First

From The Book of Hot Singles: Top 20 Charts by Dave McAleer. A list of Top 20 songs by month on British and U.S. charts. These charts are taken in 1963 from the New Musical Express and in 1964 from Record Retailer. //// The Beatles took Britain starting a year before the United States. //// The first time the Beatles appeared on the British charts was #4 "Please Please Me" in FEBRUARY 1963. It went to #2 for MARCH. In APRIL "From Me to You" charted at #11. //// MAY: "From Me to You" #1. //// In JUNE, "From Me to You" was at #3, beaten out for #2 by Beatle-written "Do You Want to Know a Secret" by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas. //// In July, it was "From Me to You" at ##14 and "Twist and Shout EP" at #16. Of interest, a group called Brian Poole & the Tremeloes had #11 with "Twist and Shout." AUGUST: "Twist & Shout EP" #3 and "She Loves You" #18. --RoadDog

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Beatles Are Coming!! -- Part 4: January 17, 1964

31. GIRLS GROW UP FASTER THAN BOYS-- Cookies // 32. LITTLE BOY-- Tony Bennett // 33. TRUE LOVE GOES ON AND ON-- Burl Ives // 34. SOMEWHERE-- Tymes // 35. A FOOL NEVER LEARNS -- Andy Williams //// 36. TODAY'S TEARDROPS--Rick Nelson // BOY YOU OUGHT TO SEE HER NOW-- Kevin & Greg // SEE THE FUNNY LITTLE CLOWN-- Bobby Goldsboro // UM UM UM-- Major Lance // I WNAT TO HOLD YOUR HAND-- You Know Who. //// Many of these artists were essentially through for their careers, others were able to brave the Invasion and Continue. //// And, the Rest, As They Say, Is History. --RoadDog

The Beatles Are Coming!: The WLS Chicago Silver Dollar Survey Jan. 17, 1864-- Part 3

Continuing with songs on the WLS , 890 AM, Silver Dollar Survey the week that the Beatles launched their invasion in Chicago, placing "I Want to Hold Your Hand" at #40. //// 21. TELL HIM-- Drewvells // 22. I HAVE A BOYFRIEND-- Chiffons // 23. WHEN THE LOVELIGHT STARTS SHINING-- Supremes // 24. FOR YOU-- Rick Nelson // 25. STAY WITH ME-- Nick Noble //// 26. I CAN'T STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU-- Steve and Eydie // 27. ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART-- Dionne Warwick // 28. BLESS 'EM ALL-- Jane Morgan // 29. AS USUAL-- Brenda Lee // 30. WOW WOW WEE-- Angels. //// Woo Wolly Woo. --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Beatlemania Quiz-- Part 3: The Answers

I missed 2, 5, 6 and 8 and even the ones I got right were all guesses except #3. //// 1. C-- $10,000 //// 2. A-- "I Want to Hold Your Hand" //// 3. B-- "All My Loving on the Ed Sullivan Show Feb. 9, 1964. //// 4. D. Elvis. The telegram was also signed by his manager, Col. Tom Parker. //// 5. A-- $4 //// 6. B-- His St. Christopher medal was torn from his neck by Angie McGowan, a 16-year-old fan. After Ringo made pleas for its return in radio interviews, McGowan returned it and met Ringo in the process. //// 7. C-- "Yesterday" It wasn't written yet. //// 8. D-- 453,950 tickets were sold. //// Well, I'm Evidently a 50% Fan. --RoadDog

Beatlemania Quiz-- Part 2

These questions by Carol Kaufmann. //// 5. HOW MUCH DID A FRONT-ROW TICKET TO THEIR FIRST CONCERT IN AMERICA COST? A. $4, B. $6, C. $8.50, D. $12.50. //// 6. WHAT ITEM WAS STOLEN FROM RINGO WHILE IN NEW YORK FOR THEIR FIRST CONCERT THERE IN AUGUST? A. His passport, B. His St. Christopher medal, C. His drumsticks, D. His autographed photo of Ed Sullivan. //// 7. THE BEATLES PERFORMED A REGULAR SET OF SONGS (GIVE OR TAKE A FEW) WHILE ON THEIR NORTHJ AMERICAN TOUR IN THE SUMMER OF 1964. WHICH OF THE FOLLWING WAS NOT ON THE SET? A. "A Hard Day's Night," B. "Roll Over Beethoven," C. "Yesterday," D. "If I Fell." //// 8. THEIR NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SET A RECORD AS THEY ZIGZAGGED 22,621 MILES ACROSS THE CONTINENT IN A LITTLE OVER A MONTH. ROUGHLY HOW MANY PEOPLE SAW THE BEATLES ON THIS TOUR? A. 25,000, B. 59,000, C. 209,000 D. 454,000. //// How'd You Do? Look At the Next Post for Answers. --RoadDog

Beatlemania Quiz-- Part 1

From the Jan-Feb 2014 AARP Bulletin. //// A quiz for you Beatlemaniacs. Eight questions and I missed four, but had to do a real lot of guessing. //// Answers will be in Part 3. //// 1. WHAT DID THE BEATLES RECEIVE FOR THEIR THREE TIMES ON THE "ED SULLIVAN SHOW?" A. $100,000, B. $50,000, C. $10,000, D. $5,000. //// WHAT WAS THE NO. 1 SONG ON BILLBOARD'S CHARTS ON FEB. 1, 1964, A WEEK BEFORE THEIR APPEARANCE? A. "I Want to Hold Tour Hand," B. "She Loves You," C. "Love Me Do," D. "I Get Around." //// WHAT WAS THE FIRST SONG THEY PLAYED ON THE "ED SULLIVAN SHOW?" A. "I Want to Hold Your Hand," B. "All My Loving," C. "Help!," D. "Can't Buy me Love." //// 4. WHO SENT A CONGRATULATORY TELEGRAM TO THE BEATLES BEFORE THEIR FIRST PERFORMANCE? A. President Lyndon Johnson, B. Queen Elizabeth II, C. Bob Dylan, D. Elvis Presley. //// Four More to Come. --RoadDog

JSS: Still Cold-- No More PATS-- "Avatar" Blue-- Rod's Model Trains

JSS-0- Just Some Stuff. //// 1. STILL COLD-- Temps yesterday got to 2 degrees. Today's forecast 14 degrees, 1.9 degrees right now) and chance of one inch. Thursday high at 6. Friday and Saturday, a heat wave at 21 and 22 degrees. Getting real tired of shoveling/snowblowing snow. And that garage door keeps coming up as snow gets at the base. ///// 2. NO MORE PATS-- I see the NFL is thinking about doing away with PATS, Points After Touchdown, as it is a foregone conclusion at that level. Out of 1,183 attempts this year, only five were missed. I say keep it in, though. Gives a chance for double cheering, you know. //// 3. "AVATAR" BLUE-- I see that three more sequels are planned. I saw the movie twice, once in 3D. It is the highest-grossing films of all time even though I kept waiting for the Indians to circle the wagon train. //// ROD'S MODEL TRAINS-- Rocker. Standards Rod Stweart builds model trains in his downtime and has a train room in his mansion that is featured in the February issue of Model Railroader magazine. He says, "For three or four hours a day I'm in heaven." //// Rod's Mods Tras. --RoadDog

Finally a Movie List That I've Seen...But

From the January 16, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Sandler's 'Grown Ups 2' may be worst movie of the year by Reuters. //// In other words, a Razzie. I do get tired of looking at best of lists from critics as usually I've never heard of most of them. These, i've heard of and, in many cases have seen as well. //// The Razzie Awards are given to the year's worst movies, actors, actresses, etc.. "Grown Ups 2" received the most nominations with eight, including worst movie and actor. (Well, I thought it was funny and look forward to #3.) Will Smith's "After Earth" had six nominations for worst movie (I saw it as well). I didn't see the two other worst movies: "A Madea Christmas" and "Movie 43." //// Johnny Depp's "The Lone Ranger" had five nominations, including worst actor. (I thought it was a great movie.) Ashton Kutcher got a worst actor for "Jobs" and poor Sylvester Stallone had three worst actor nods for his three movies. (I did see "Grudge Match" and like it as well.) //// Well, At Least My Movies Are Getting Listed. --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Beatles Are Coming!-- Part 3: Chicago WLS Silver Dollar Survey

#11. WHAT'S EASY FOR TWO-- Mary Wells // #12. FORGET HIM-- Bobby Rydell // #13. SLIPPIN' AND SLIDIN'-- Jum and Monica // #14. A LETTER FROM SHERRY-- Dale Ward // #15. LONG TALL TEXAN-- Murry Kellum //// #16. IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT-- Reflections // #17. SINCE I FELL FOR YOU-- Lenny Welch // #18. WHISPERING--Nino Tempo & April Stevens // #19. THE GORILLA-- Ideals // #20. BABY I LOVE YOU-- Ronnettes. //// Sure Struck Me. --RoadDog

The Beatles Are Coming-- Part 2: WLS Chicago Silver Dollar Survey Janaury 17, 1964

I have been spending a lot of time recently looking at the impact the Beatles had on American music in the first several months of 1964 and believe me, it is hard to figure that it was fifty years ago. //// These were the songs on the WLS Silver Dollar weekly survey when the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" debuted at #40 on January 17, 1964: #1. THERE I'VE SAID IT AGAIN-- Bobby Vinton // #2. DRAG CITY-- Jan and Dean // #3. SURFIN' BIRD-- Trashmen // 4. CALIFORNIA SUN-- Rivieras // #5. YOU DON'T OWN ME-- Lesly Gore //// #6. POPSICLES & ICICLES--Murmaids // #7. HEY LITTLE COBRA-- Ripchords // #8. DUMBHEAD-- Ginny Arnelle // 9. DAISY PETAL PICKIN'-- Jimmy Gilmer // #10. JAVA-- Al Hirt //// I'll be writing some more about #8 "Dumbhead" by Ginny Arnelle after I finish the Top 40 songs which I will fo in their entirety. I'd never heard of her or her song. //// --RoadDog

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Beatles Are Coming!! The Beatles Are Coming!!-- Part 1: WLS Top 40 Survey January 17, 1964

From the Oldies Loon website. //// Yesterday, Bob Stroud started off his show on WDRV with "California Sun" by the Rivieras and "Hey Little Cobra" by the Ripchords and said that these two songs were in the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for the week of January 17, 1964. This was also the week that the Beatles first cracked the chart with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" which debuted at #40. By the next week it had jumped to #8 and the following week was #1. //// Beatlemania and the British Invasion had arrived on U.S. shores. Things wouldn't be the same after that. And that means music and myself. //// The next several days I will be taking a look at the charts for the next couple of months back in 1964. Those four lads from Liverpool had quite the impact. //// Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. --RoadDog

Coping With This Lousy Winter Over the Weekend (Sorry Snowmobilers)

I just got back in from shoveling drifted snow on the sides of teh driveway as we had a lot of that this past several days, especially yesterday with those high winds. It was about 30 degrees, but that wind made it very uncomfortable. //// We had light snow most of Thursday-Saturday. It melted when hitting cleared areas, but the flakes that didn't got their show the last two days with drifting. //// And, forecasts call for a couple days with highs in the single digits. Well, at least the snowmobilers and skiers are having a good time. We now have received more than the average winter snowfall. //// Anyway, I'm keeping busy and enjoying as well as I can. FRIDAY, JANUARY 17TH-- We went to Popeye's (not the chicken place) in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for their great fish fry and then stopped at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes and Tommy's in Spring Grove. //// SATURDAY, JANUARY 18TH-- I went to the Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Society meeting in the morning and then hit my first Chili Cookoff of the winter at Route 12 Bar and Grill in Fox Lake. //// SUNDAY, JANUARY 19TH-- We went to All Sports in McCullum Lake to watch the first period of the Black Hawk game and to have their great pizza (at $5 for a 12-inch with 75 cent extras: pineapple, Canadian bacon and black olives). Then to Twisted Moose in McHenry for the last two periods in the Hawks game (Hawks won in shootout!!!) Then saw the first part of the Denver-New England game there. Saw the last half at Antonio's in Spring Grove (Way to go Peyton Manning and Broncos!!). Then went to Tommy's for the first half of the Seattle-San Francisco game and home for the last half. //// Not Letting the Snow Get me Down. --RoadDog

#1 Songs in Chicago On January 12th From 1952-1980-- Part 2:

1964 DRAG CITY-- Jan and Dean // LOVE POTION #9-- Searchers // 1966 FIVE O'CLOCK WORLD-- Vogues // 1967 I'M A BELIEVER/ (I'M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN' STONE--Monkees // 1968 JUDY IN DISGUISE (WITH GLASSES)-- John Fred & His Playboy Band // 1969 I'M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME-- Diana Ross & the Supremes and Temptations // 1970 VENUS-- Shocking Blue // 1971 KNOCK THREE TIMES-- Dawn // 1972 AMERICAN PIE-- Don McLean // 1973 YOU'RE SO VAIN-- Carly Simon // 1974 ONE TIN SOLDIER, THE LEGEND OF BILLY JACK-- Coven // 1975 PLEASE MR. POSTMAN-- Carpenters // 1976 CONVOY-- C.W. McCall // 1977 BLINDED BY THE LIGHT-- Manfred Mann and His Earth Band // 1978 WE WILL ROCK YOU/WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS-- Queen // 1979 LE FREAK-- Chic // 1980 ESCAPE (THE PINA COLADA SONG)-- Rupert Holmes.

#1 Songs in Chicago on January 12th From 1952-1980-- Part 1

Hot Songs in a Cold Month. //// From Oldies Music.com site. //// 1952 BERMUDA-- Bell Sisters // 1953 DON'T LET THE SUN GET IN YOUR EYES-- Perry Como // 1954 OH! MY PA-PA (O MEIN PAPA)-- Eddie Fisher // 1955 MR. SANDMAN-- Chordettes // 1956 LISBON ANTIGUA-- Nelson Riddle // 1957 BANANA BOAT SONG (DAY O)-- Harry Belafonte // 1958 AT THE HOP-- Danny & the Juniors // SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES-- Platters // 1960 WHY-- FRankie Avalon //// 1961 EXODUS-- Ferrante & Teicher // 1962 THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT-- Tokens // 1963 GO AWAY LITTLE GIRL-- Steve Lawrence //// AND THEN CAME THE BEATLES. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 18, 2014

JSS: The Pre-Pre-Pre-Pre Summer Driving Gouge Strikes-- BK's New Rib Sandwich-- Rough Driving Ahead

JSS-- Just Some Stuff. //// 1. THE PRE-PRE-PRE-PRE SUMMER DRIVING GOUGE STRIKES-- I see it hit us here in northeast Illinois big-time yesterday when gas jumped from $3.24 to $3.47. That's 23 cents in a minute. I suspect Big Oil needs a profits infusion as usual. //// 2. BK'S BEW RIB SANDWICH-- Now that McRibs are gone, we still have that just-as-good Burger King Rib sandwich for a buck. I like these every bit as much as McRibs. A real hit for BK. Makes up for the new fries and that uber-dry Johnsonville brat sandwich. I didn't think you possible could make a bad Johnsonville, but, not so. //// 3. ROUGH DRIVING AHEAD-- Ever since that "V" thing hit us a couple weeks ago, I notice a huge increase in potholes and pavement buckling which happens every time we get that cold. //// --RoadDog

"Omaha" Me

From Yahoo! News. //// While watching last Sunday's Denver Bronco game, I couldn't help but notice all the times qb Peyton Manning called "Omaha" at the line. Monday, this was a big story with best guestmates counting 44 times. //// No one was really sure why he was calling it so much. Best guess at the time was it might mean to flip the play. //// The city of Omaha, however, was hapy with all the publicity and published, "We certainly appreciate all the love from #Peyton Manning ;) X Omaha Omaha." //// In a press conference this week, Peyton Manning gave the reason, well sorta gave it: ""Omaha is a run play, and it could be a pass play, or a play action pass, depending upon a couple things...the wind, which way we're going, quarter and the jersies we're wearing. It varies, really, play to play." //// Thanks for the great explanation Peyton. //// Go Drive That Car ot Toss That Pizza. --RoadDog

Gone in 2013, But Not Forgotten-- Part 2

BOBBY ROGERS-- One of the original Miracles (as in Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) // J.J. CALE-- Big hit was "Crazy Mama" but also wrote songs covered by other artists // PETER BANKS-- Keyboardist for Yes // JOEY COVINGTON-- Drummer for Jefferson Airplane died in June. // JACKIE LOMAX-- Died in September and recorded for Apple label. His biggest hit, "Sour Milk Sea," featured Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and George Harrison (not a bad backing group). // ALLAN LANIER-- Keyboardist for Blue Oyster Cult died in August. // ROGER LAVERN-- Keyboardist for of Tornadoes when they did "Telstar" died in June. // RAY MANZUREK-- Keyboardist for the Doors. A major part of their sound. //// Appears That It Was Not A Good Year for Keyboardists.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gone in 2013, But Not Forgotten-- Part 1

On January 5th, Bob Stroud devoted his whole Rock and Roll Roots show on WDRV 97.1 FM to music people who died in 2013, something he does every year. He said he could easily have devoted two whole shows to them. Well, we ARE getting a lot older. //// THE LIST: RICHIE HAVENS-- in April. Opened Woodstock //// STEVE KNIGHT-- in January, keyboardist for Mountain //// RICK HUXLEY-- in February, 72, bassist for Dave Clark Five //// SAMMY JOHNS-- in January, one hit wonder DAVID HARRIS and RICHARD STREET-- Temptations. Not the original memebrs, but joined in the 1970s. //// CLEOTHA STAPLES-- of the Staples Singers //// TONY SHERIDAN-- The guy who had the Beatles as backup singers //// DAN TOLLER-- guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band. //// Sadly, More to Come. --RoadDog

Rock Deaths in 2013-- Part 3: Ohio Express

DOUG GRASSEL, 64. Died September 21, 2013. //// Rhythm guitarist for Ohio Express which was originally called Rare Bread. //// They charted with hits like "Beg, Borrow and Steal," #29 in 1967 and were really hot in 1968 with "Yummy Yummy Yummy" #4; "Down At Lulu's" #33 and "Chewy Chewy" #15. //// This band was known for what was derisively called Bubble Gum Music, considered to be for kids. But, I really liked it. Try not to sing along with it when one of those great songs plays. //// What Do You Have in Your Tummy?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rock Deaths in 2013-- Part 2: "Mr. Custer"-- Climax Blues Band

LARRY VERNE, 77. Died October 8, 2013. Had the hit song "Mr. Custer" which went to #1 in 1960. "Please Mr. Custer, I don't want to go." And what did Custer say? And, what was the Indian word for friend? Just a tad politically incorrect, though, but funny. //// PETE HAYCOCK, 62. Died October 30, 2013. Guitarist and vocalist for Climax Blues Band from England. Had "Couldn't Get It Right" #3 in 1977 and "I Love You" #12 in 1981. -- RoadDog

14 Things We Can't Wait to See on TV

Well, a lot of them are on HBO and the premium channels that we don't get, so I'm not listing them and others don't look too interesting. These are the ones I look forward to: 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY-- Fox. Yep, Jack's back on a 12-hour miniseries. //// FARGO- FX, 10 episode miniseries. Love those accents. //// LOUIE-- FX-- Louis CK's back after a long layoff to be creative. //// TURN-- AMC. The American Revolution (I want a tri-corner hat.) //// BETTER CALL SAUL-- AMC. Walter White's lawyer from "Breaking Bad" gets his own spinoff starting Nov. 2014. That guy's not quite all legit, you know. //// The british Are Coming!!! --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rock Deaths 2013-- Part 1: Sailcat, Nightcrawlers, Standells

From the Oldiesmusic.com site. //// JOHN WYKER, 68-- Died Dec. 8, 2013, part of the duo Sailcat who in 1972 had a one-hit wonder with "Motorcycle Mama." //// TOMMY RUGER, 67, Died Dec. 11, 2013. Drummer with the Nightcrawlers whose one hit was 1967's "Little Black Egg," a real strange but catchy song. //// DICK DODD, 68, died Nov. 29, 2013. Former Mouseketeer on the "Mickey Mouse Club" where he was picked out of 309 kids who auditioned. Joined the Mickey Mouse Club at age 9 and was known as "Dickie." Fellow Mouseketeer Cubby gave him drum lessons and he bought his first snare drum and cymballs from Annette. // Later vocalist and drummer for the Standells, the house band at P.J.'s nightclub in 1964. The group, of course, had that huge hit in 1966 with "Dirty Water" which went to #11 and has been named as one of te Top 500 Songs of Rock and Roll. //// As Great of garage Rock As It Gets. --RoadDog

Monday, January 13, 2014

JSS: Christmas Lights, "I Love Lucy"-- Pigskins and Pucks

JSS-- Just Some Stuff. //// 1. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS-- With this crummy winter going on, I haven't been able to do anything as far as getting the Christmas lights down on the outside of the house. Way too cold, way too much snow to go through and quite a few strands completely buried. //// However, yesterday I was able to get most of the front stuff down and inside because of the "heat wave" with temps up to 35 degrees. Hope to get the deck and gazebo today as it is supposed to snow again tonight. Just something you have to deal with when living here. //// 2. "I LOVE LUCY"-- Up at 4 AM this morning and watched several great episodes on Hallmark Channel for this show from 1954-1955. This is when Ricky got his contract out in Los Angeles and they decided to drive out there with Ethel and Fred. //// The names of the episodes: Ricky's Contract, Getting Ready, Lucy Learns to Drive, California Here We Come, First Stop and Tennessee Bound. Great Road trippin' for you Roadies. Tomorrow, they make it to L.A. where Lucy found lots of trouble. 3. PIGSKINS AND PUCKS-- We spent this weekend watching the NFL playoffs and Blackhawks (and a fair amount of college b-ball and some Bulls). Saturday it was the college basketball games in Margaritaville, then to Twisted Moose in McHenry for the Blackhawks game and parts of the two NFL games. The Twisted Moose is where you want to go if you're a Hawks fan as almost everyone wears jerseys or team stuff and when the Hawks score or win, we get the flashing red lights, air horn and "Chelsea Dagger." //// Sunday, it was the last two playoff games at Main Street and Donovan's in Twin Lakes and Antonio's in Spring Grove. //// Pulling for the SeaHawks and Broncos Now. --RoadDog

Deaths: The Original "Jay" of Jay & the Americans

From the Oldies Music.com. //// JOHN "JAY" TRAINOR: The original Jay in Jay & the Americans, 70, died Jan. 2, 2014. Sang lead on their first hit "She Cried" which went to #5 in 1962, but left the group after that. //// From Wikipedia ???? before the "Americans" he was third lead vocalist of the Mystics and sang falsetto on "The White Cliffs of Dover" and lead on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Blue Star." After leaving Jay and the Americans, he never had much success again although his 1966 single "Up and Over" became a big hit on the British Northern Soul charts. //// Jay Black was brough into the Americans to replace Mr. Traynor and he sand lead on the rest of their hits, which included "Only in America" in 1963; "Come a Little Bit Closer" in 1964 and three big ones in 1965 with "Cara Mia," "Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key)" and "Some Enchanted Evening." In 1968 they had their last hit with "This Magic Moment."

Still Time to Listen to Some Mighty Interesting Songs from 1957

Fessa John Hook still has the Beach Music Class reunion for 1956 on at his www.beachshag.com site. I'm listening to Hour Three right now, with #s 20-11. Just to whet your interest: #20. CAT SCRATCHIN'-- Louis Jordan & Tympani Five // #19. THIRTY SECOND LOVER-- Five Royales // H.M. A PICTURE OF YOU-- Solomon Burke // #17. THAT'S WHAT I GOTTA DO-- Buddy and Ella Johnson // #16. SLOW WALK-- Bill Doggett //// #15. WHY DON'S CHA STOP IT-- Ella Johnson with Buddy // H.M. ABOUT THAT GAL NAMED LOU-- Cadillacs // #14. SEPTEMBER SONG-- Earl Bostic //// H.M. WHEN YOUR HAIR HAS TURNED TO SILVER-- Joe Jones // H.M. I GET WEAK-- Drivers // #13. OVER AND OVER AGAIN-- Moonglows // #12. FARTHER UP THE ROAD-- Bobby "Blue" Bland //// H.M. LET'S YOU AND I GO STEADY, YOUR CHEATIN' HEART, ZIPPITY ZIPPITY ZOOM-- Pearls /// #11. IT HURTS TO BE IN LOVE-- Annie Laurie & the Howard Biggs Orchestra. //// Some Mighty Good Stuff, Much That I Had Never Heard. --RoadDog

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What a Wild and Crazy Week This Has Been

Weather Here in the Midwest, along the Illinois-Wisconsin line has been crazier than usual this last week. Monday and Tuesday that V.Thing came and got us and the real temp never got over 0 degrees nor wind chill over -30 degrees. I didn't even poke my nose out the door, other than fighting the freezing pop bottles in the garage. //// Wednesday, when the temp got up to the balmy 4 degrees (and it seriously did seem like a heat wave), I did leave the house, partly because the delayed-by-one-day garbage pickup was here and I needed to see a movie to break a slight case of cabin fever. //// Then, a continued warm up fo 20 degrees Thursday and then Friday we started out with something called a freezing fog which later turned into a freezing rain as we finally got to 32 degrees. Lots of melting snow and flooding, including regular ponds on some roads. (We hit one in Spring Grove.) //// Wow, 33 degerees right now and I went out to get thick packed snow off the front bushes as they were bending down real low. I then started chopping ice off the driveway and front sidewalk. Now, that is sure an aching back kind of an effort. //// We have sure had one heavy duty winter so far, starting back on December 8th when we had a surprise 8 inches of snow. We are now with maybe an inch of Chicago's annual snowfall and, of course, winter has just begun. Then, we had some ice storms which were one reason I didn't really completely clear off the snow so we could at least have some traction. //// And then, that lousy George Clooney is on TV with commercials about the wonders of Michigan's winters about every commercial break. Best that I don't see him right now. //// What Was That Thing About the Moon That Jackie Gleason Used to Say To His Wife? --RoadDog

Now For Some Real Oldies for You of Like Taste: 1957

Fessa John Hook is running the Top 40 Beach Music songs for the year 1957 on his site, www.beachshag.com. He plays all the songs listed like #40 JUICE, JUICE, JUICE-- Amos Milburn // #39. TRA LA LA-- Lavern Baker // H.M. (Honorable Mention) LITTLE WHITE LIES-- Frankie Lymon // MISS ANN-- Little Richard // BOOM BOOM OUT GO THE LIGHTS-- Little Walter //and #37. C.C. RIDER-- Chuck Willis. //// Other artists played: J.B. Lenoir, Jimmy Reed, Sam Cooke, Lillian Offitt, Jimmy Dorsey, Redd Foxx, Clyde McPhatter, Billy Ward & the Dominoes, Bill Doggett and many others. //// He'll be changing it sometime next week so don't wait too long. For Those of You Who Like to Go Deeper Into Your Music, This Countdown Is For YOU!!! --RoadDog

Some Music You Might Want to Hear

It is too late to hear Wendy Rice's Saturday Morning Flashback on WXRT, 93.1 FM, Chicago's Finest Rock as she finished at noon today for our trip back to the music of 1993. However, the station, which streams, will have that great Breakfast With the Beatles show hosted by Terri Hemmert tomorrow from 8-10 AM, CST, Little Steven's Underground Garage tomorrow from 9 to 11 and Tom Marker's Bluesbreakers Monday night from 9 to 10 PM. //// Tomorrow, Bob Stroud does his Rock and Roll Rooys show on 97.1 FM, WDRV, the Drive, which streams, and then next week Ten at Ten (AM and PM) will feature 1984 on Monday, 1968 on Tuesday, "Hey" songs on Wednesday and 1972 on Friday. //// Well Worth Giving a Listen. --RoadDog

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy 63rd Birthday to Liz

My wife Liz turns 63 today. Happy Birthday, Dear. If the "ice fog" clears up and freezing rain doesn't come, we're planning on going to Popeye's in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for that great fish fry and then on to Donovan's for a birthday toast. -- RoadDog

Survived the Vortex

A big sigh of relief around here in northeastern Illinois as we finally got over 0 degrees on Wednesday. It got to 2 degrees and I overheard one gal in Thornton's in Fox Lake say it really seemed warm. I didn't venture out of the house from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday morning when I had to take the garbage out (usually picked up on Tuesday mornibngs, but the cold, you know). //// The whole time it was so cold, we were inundated with commercial featuring George Clooney talking about the wonders of winter and snow in Michigan. I's sure like to punch old George in the snoot. Mighty bad timing. //// Yesterday, I was able to get the truck started after I cleared about six inches of snow off it (it had been outside the whole time). It made a horrific noise initially, though. //// I also tried to snowblow some of the drifted stuff George likes so much, but it was too frozen. Today, we are supposed to break freezing for only about the third-fourth time since this crummy winter arrived Dec. 8th., but we do have something called an "ice fog" until noon. //// Above Freezing? Must Be Summer? --RoadDog

They Didn't Ask Me: My Golden Globe Picks-- Part 2

Surprisingly, there were some of the Golden Globe winners I agreed with. Here they are: //// Favorite (Fav) Network TV Comedy-- Big Bang Theory; Fav Horror Movie-- Carrie; //// Fav Dramatic Movie Actor-- Leonardo DiCaprio (but had Christian Bale been on the list, i would have voted for him. Maybe next year.) //// Fav Dramatic Movie-- Gravity; Fav Movie Duo-- Sandra Bulloch and George Clooney //// Fav Comedy Movie Actor-- Adam Sandler; Fav Dramatic Movie Actress-- Sandra Bulloch. //// MY OTHER PICKS: Fav Movie Actor-- Leonardo DiCaprio; Fav Movie-- Star Trek Into Darkness; //// Fav Action Movie-- The Wolverine; Fav Comedy TV Actress-- Melissa McCarthy; //// Fav TV Comedy Actor-- Jim Parson; Fav Movie Comedy-- The Hangover Part 3; Fav Network TV Drama-- Chicago Fire; //// Fav Male Performer-- Blake Shelton and Fav TV Gal Pals-- Penny, Bernadette and Amy in Big Bang Theory. //// Well, My Choices, Anyway. --RoadDog

They Didn't Ask Me: My Golden Globe Picks-- Part 1

These would have been my picks. //// Favorite (Fav) Alternative Band: Mumford & Sons; Fav Country Music Icon-- Toby Keith; Fav. Country Artist-- Blake Shelton; Fav New TV Drama-- Hostages; //// Fav New TV Comedy-- Goldbergs (but also The Millers, Mom, Super Fun Night and Trophy Wife); Series We'll Miss Most-- The Office; //// Fav TV Movie/Miniseries-- The Bible; Fav TV Bromance-- Sheldon, Howard, Leonard and Raj on Big Bang Theory; Fav TV Drama-- NCIS; Fav Dramatic TV Actress-- Mariska Hargity. //// More to Come. --RoadDog

Congrats to Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas and Greg Maddux

I was definitely happy to see that these two Chicago players made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Copperstown, New York on the first ballot. Even though, Maddux no doubt will be going in as an Atlanta Brave, he started his career with the Chicago Cubs. //// And, what can you say about Frank Thomas? He was the "Big Hurt" because of the pain he caused to opposing pitchers. And, he did that during the steroid years when so many of the other home run hitters were using. Frank wasn't. //// Well, At Least This Helps Make Up for the Ron Santo Mess. --RoadDog

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's Wrong With College Football?

From the November 23, 2013, Business Insider "Top 25 Highest-paid Coaches in College Football." //// And, this was before Saban's new contract with Alabama. //// In these days of colleges being so short on money and raising tuitions like they are, these figures are hard to understand. College football and basketball coaches are on the upper levels are the highest-paid "faculty" members. //// I will give some names and salary figures and list schools when I don't: //// #25. Steve Sakiason, Washington $2.575,000 // #24. West Virginia // #23. Mississippi State // #22. Florida // #21. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State, $2,750,000 //// #20. Missouri // #19. Kansas State // #18. Nebraska // #17 Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M //// #16. Texas Christian // #15. Cincinnati // #14. Penn State //// #13. Mark Richt, Georgia, $3.31 million // #12. South Carolina // #11. Oklahoma State //// #10. Charlie Strong, Louisville, $3.74 million // #9. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, $3.99 million // #8. Brady Hoke, Michigan, $4.15 million // #7. Les Miles, LSU, $4.46 million // #6. Urban Meyer, Ohio State, $4.61 million //// #5. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, $4.77 million // 4. Butch Jones, Tennessee, $4.86 million // #3. Bret Bielema, Arkansas, $5.16 million // #2. Mack Brown, Texas (since retired) $5.45 million and #1. Nick Saban, Alabama, $5.5 million. //// I wonder how much Bear Bryant or Woody Hayes were paid? //// Not Saying...But.... Wow. --RoadDog

JSIS: Luxury Car Sales Booming-- Further Adventures of the Perv, Jerry Sanduskey--

JSIS-- Just Some Interesting Stuff. 1. LUXURY CAR SALES BOOMING-- I just saw that the slaes of the expensive luxury cars iare booming as the GRBs that the government so loves and supports (you know, the ones that got us into the Great Recession) now have their money back. Hey, government!! How about some trickle down to us regular folks now? //// 2. FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE PERV, JERRY SANDUSKEY-- Can you believe this? The nerve to seek his pension back from Penn State? //// --RoadDog

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So, What Exactly Is This Polar Vortex Thing?

From the Jan. 7, 2014, Parade Magazine "What exactly is a Polar Vortex?" by Erin Hill. //// Until a few days ago, I'd never heard of a polar vortex, but it is hard to escape now. There are 26 states in the deep freeze as of this morning with temps as low as -36 degres and windchills as low as -60 degrees. And, the cause? This polar vortex thing. //// The polar vortex is normally confined to the Arctic regions but has now dipped way down into North America. //// According to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller, it is a circulation of strong upper level winds that normally surround the northern pole in a counter-clockwise direction-- essentially, a polar low pressure system. //// These winds normally keep bitter cold winds locked in the polar regions. Occassionally it drops farther south, allowing the really cold air to invade. There was a similar polar vortex that hit the Midwest in 2009. //// I'm still not clear on it, but at least they say it will be leaving soon. Good riddance. //// And Here I've Always Been Blaming It On the Siberian Express or Canadians. --RoadDog

We Resolve: Best of Intentions for Chicago Sports-- Part 2

WE RESOLVE: //// TO TRY TO STOMACH ONE MORE SEASON OF ADAM DUNN. (Who gives new meaning to the words three and Dunn. Peavey's gone, let's do the same for dear old Adam.) //// TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF MARTELLUS BENNETT, because we're sure the guy has some some of the most bizarrely interesting things to say.) //// TO IGNORE DENNIS RODMAN-- or at least try. (Well, he could really play pretty good "D." Right, Ambassador Dennis?) //// TO LOSE OUR PATIENCE WITH THE CUBS, TOM RICKETTS, TOM TUNNY, THOSE ROOFTOP OWNERS and anybody else involved with the long-delayed Wrigley Field renovation. (Those guys, those guys, those guys.) //// TO GIVE RICK RENTERIA A ONE-MONTH HONEYMOON PERIOD before we get on his case if Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo continue to devolve. (Weren't they supposed to be the second coming?) //// Right. --RoadDog

We Resolve: Best of Intentions for Chicago Sports-- Part 1

From the Jan. 1, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Main Event: The Best of Intentions." A rather funny list of resolves as in resolutions for the new year from the good sports folk at the Trib. //// Each one begins with "WE RESOLVE:" 1. TO TAKE IT EASIER ON JAY CUTLER even if he acts so often like an arrogant jerk who doesn't care what anybody thinks--except perhaps Brandon Marshall. (What do you means "acts like a jerk?") //// TO WATCH MORE BLACKHAWKS HOCKEY, in particular, the artistry of Patrick Kane. (I sure enjoy those Hawk games.) //// TO SAVOR ONE MORE SEASON OF PAUL KONERKO on the South Side. (After all, he's our last one from that great 2005 season and someone who will need to have his number retired.) //// TO LOWER OUR EXPECTATIONS OF DERRICK ROSE'S SECOND COMEBACK (Sure getting paid a lot to sit out two seasons and hurt his team with that ridiculous salary he gets for doing nothing.) //// And, Some More Coming. --RoadDog

Monday, January 6, 2014

JSS: Door Stops-- Pop-- Windows

JSS-- Just Some Stuff. //// 1. DOOR STOPS-- We have door stops at the base of the front door and door leading out to the garage which keep the cold out at their bases. Next time, though, that I buy one it will be orange or something bright as the oens we have are black and everytime I go to go out the door, it jams up. //// POP-- Whenever stores have a sale on the two-liter pop ($1 or less), I stock up and have the bottles out on the shelves in the garage. I'be been keeping an eye on them to see that they don't freeze. I also have a supply of Diet Cheerwine bottles I brought from North Carolina which I'm being especially careful as you can't buy them around here. //// WINDOWS-- Last night, I closed all the shades on the windows to keep the warmth in as much as possible. This morning, I opened the ones with a southern exposure to let the sunlight in while it is out. I'll close them again around 4. //// Keeping As Warm As Can. --RoadDog

Mighty Brrrrrrr Out There

As a matter of fact, we're staying inside today. Very unpleasant outside. A little while ago, looking at Weather Bug, the temp here was -17.3 with a windchill at -44. That's chilly even for around these, along the Illinois-Wisconsin line. So far today, the high has been -8. Being retired, I have no where I have to go and sure won't. //// Tomorrow, the high is 2 degrees and Wednesday we have a balmy 14 degrees. //// Sure wish those Canadians would keep their lousy weather!!! Listening to local radio and they keep playing the Michigan commercial with George Clooney saying, "For those of us who love winter." Probably better that I do not see the guy right now. I could think of things to do to him with his favorite time. //// At least it's not snowing. I just saw that we are within 3 inches of the winter average of snow and winter has just begun. //// All this cold and snow has gotten me to thinking F-L-A, but that's not much better: Tallahassee (we like Panama City and the Forgotten Coast): 46, 37 and 50 the next three days. Tampa: 65, 48 and 68. //// Listening to 94.9, the Surf out of North Myrtle Beach, SC, right now and they're saying to stay warm. //// When It Gets This Cold, The Tough Burrow In. --RoadDog

Some Notes On Arkansas State: Four Coaches in Three Years!!!! The One and Done Era

As I mentioned in the previous post, Arkansas State defeated Ball State in the Go-Daddy Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, last night when they blocked a potential tying field goal in the final second. //// We got to know a lot of Arkansas State fans when Northern played them in tthat bowl game back in 2012. This is a team and school I can definitely relate to as they are on the same path as NIU and East Carolina, another team I back. //// I remember when they first joined Division 1 back in the 90s and it was about the only team we could beat. //// Now that they're starting to have success, they are having the same coaching problems we have. Start winning and you'd better start looking for a new coach. NIU has had three coaches in the last four years. Arkansas State, the Red Wolves and do their fans ever howl when two or more get together, has had THREE in THREE YEARS and start next year with a fourth one. //// From Wikipedia. //// The article refers to it as "The One and Done Era." //// Arkansas State coaches, the year they coached and where they went: //// HUGH FREEZE, 2011, Ole Miss (this was the team NIU played) //// GUS MALZAHN, 2012, Auburn (playing in tonight's national championship) //// BRYAN HARSIN, 2013, Boise State //// BLAKE ANDERSON, 2014, just hired from North carolina where he had been offensive coordinator. //// Last night's coach was interim coach for their second straight Go-Daddy Bowl game. //// But, Arkansas State has evidently learned the fate of Mid-Major programs very well. Anderson signed a five-year contract with hefty buy-out clauses. $3 million in the first and second year; $2 million in third and fourth and $1 million in the last. //// Something That All Mid-Major Programs Should Do. --RoadDog

Just One Loss After Another: Bears Lose, then the Pack and Then the MAC Goes 0-5 in Bowls

It's been a rough week in football for us. First, Da Bears lost to Da Pack and yesterday, Da Pack lost to the 49ers. Saturday, the Chiefs lost to the Colts. //// Last night, Ball State lost to Arkansas State in the Go-Daddy Bowl. That makes the Mid American Conference 0-5 for bowls this season (Buffalo, Ohio, Bowling Green and NIU also lost). At one time, the MAC had a hard time getting even one bowl. If they continue this dismal effort, we'll be back to one bowl again (maybe). Back in December I had proudly headlined an entry "MAC Goes A-Bowlin'." //// Reckon It'd Have Been Better If the MAC Had Just Stayed at Home. --RoadDog

A Better Academy Awards Best Picture Arrangement

Just a thought as to how to make the Academy Awards for best picture better. Break the nominees down into categories with 3-5 in each. //// My proposed categories: Best Comedy, Best Animated, Best Adventure and Best Movie You've Never Heard Of. //// Every year it seems that at least half the movies are ones I've never heard of before and, as such, never had a chance to see because the local theaters don't show them. //// What I'd like to see is all theaters show these unheard of movies when the finalists are announced. The few times I've gotten to see these movies, they certainly were good ones. //// Just My Humble Suggestion. --RoadDog

Movie Scratches, Closing Out 2013: Frozen-- Hobbitt-- Furnace-- Anchorman

A Dog's Eye View of Current movies. Closing out 2013 and I was just able to get my goal of at least 52 movies seen at the theater for the year. //// 49. FROZEN-- 12-7-- Fox Lake $6-- The original "Ice Ice Baby." //// 50. THE HOBBITT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG-- 12-17-- Fox Lake $6-- "By the way, if you see a live dragon down there, don't wake him." Words of wisdom about a dragon with a serious 'tude. //// 51. OUT OF THE FURNACE-- 12-18-- Fox Lake $4.50--Poor guy just can't win, but does get his brother's killer, mean old Woody. Christian Bale becoming a favorite actor of mine. //// 52. ANCHORMAN II: THE LEGEND CONTINUES-- 12-20-- Fox Lake $6-- So, that's how 24-hour news got that way. Brick dumber than a brick, but much funnier. //// Snow Salt All Over the Lobby Floor These Days. --RoadDog--

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Deaths: Phil Everly, 74: Half of Everly Brothers

Died January 3, 2014. He and his brother Don Everly had a whole slew of big hits in the late 50s/early 60s and were noted for their high harmony. According to AP, they "sang dark songs hidden behind deceptively pleasing harmonies and were the perfect interpreters of the twitchy hearts of millions of baby booming teens coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s." //// They even influenced the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkell. From 1957 to 1962 they had 19 Top 40 hits before breaking up in 1073 and getting back together again in 1987. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Famne in 1986. //// Their hit song "Wake Up Little Susie" was actually banned back in its day. Some of their big hits "Wake Up Little Susie" #1 in 1957; "All I Have to Do" #1 1958; "Bird Dog" #1 1958; "Cathy's Clown" #1 1960 and "When Will I Be Loved" #8 1960 (later a big hit for Linda Ronstadt. //// A Great One. --RoadDog

Familiar Foes With Local Ties To Clash: UW- Whitewater Vs. Mount Union

From the Dec. 20, 2013, Northwest (Il) Herald by AP. //// It will be two familiar opponents who will be playing tonight for the NCAA D-3 Championship at the Alonzo Stagg Bowl in Salem, Virginia. They've been there before. //// In addition, UW-Whatewater has quite a few players from northwest Chicagoland: Kyle Wismer and John Flood from out village's Richmond-Burton High School as well as Jacobs grad Tim regan and Harvard's Collin Nolen. Not to mention backup qb Nelson who is the son of a friend. //// Whitewater and Mount Union have played for the Division III Championship in eight of the last nine years. //// Mount Union is 14-0 under first-year coach Vince Kehres, 37. He is the son and former defensive coordinator under his father Larry Kehres who guided the Purple Raiders to 21 unbeaten regular seasons and 11 national championships in 27 years as head coach. //// You have to wonder how a bigger school didn't snatch him up which is norm for college football? //// Larry Kehres retired after lasy season when he again won his 11th national championship with a stellar overall 332-240-3 record (with four of them coming from UW-Whirewater. //// Mount Union features last years championship MVP quarterback Kevin Burke who threw for 3,514 yards, 44 TDs and only 7 interceptions this year. In addition, he ran for 1,035 yards. //// That Was Quite a Game. --RoadDog

UW-Whitewater Blasts Mount Union for D3 Title, 4th in Five Years

From the Dec. 20, 2013, NBC Sports. //// I was able to watch this while at a friend's party. What I expected to be a very close game as these two teams have squared off many times in the past, was just that for awhile, but then Whitewater buried them. //// The game was played at Virginia's Stagg Bowl, long-standing site for the NCAA Division 3 championship game. //// It was the Whitewater Warhawks versus the Mount Union Purple Raiders and was close before Whitewater went on a 31-0 run after halftime. //// Whitewater is perhaps 40 miles from where we live so we support them, especially with a friend's son playing as backup qb and several Richmond-Burton players on the team. //// This is the 8th time in the last nine years the two teams have faced each other (last year, Whitewater didn't make it that far, but Mount Union won it) for the D-3 championship. Whitewater is now 5-3 versus Mount Union. //// Both programs are unbelievably good and the last time neither team was in the Stagg Bowl was 2004. The time before that was 1995. //// Big Congrats to Whitewater. --RoadDog

Friday, January 3, 2014

Went to DeKalb for Da Game-- Part 4: The Day After

Like the song said, there has to be a morning after, and there was. After the continental buffet, I drove over to Lowe's in DeKalb (notice the capital "K") on Il-23 and found that they have a real nice collection of Christmas items and spent a bunch of money there and then over to Wal-Mart and did the same.

After Liz got up, we drove over to White Castle for our usual meal #1 (4 Sliders, fries and drink for $4.99, less 10% for senior discount which covers the DeKalb 10% food tax). Then to Big Lots for some treasure hunting (you never know what you'll find in there) and a crazy dancing Frosty the Snowman.

Then, Il-23 to Il-176 to Union where we toured the McHenry County Historical Society (we especially liked the Christmas store selling all those great toys from our childhood) and stopped at Classen's, a tavern dating to 1900. Union is quite a historical town which also has the Illinois Railroad Museum and Donley's Antiques and Western Museum.

Then, it was the Red Mill Inn in Woodstock and Twisted Moose in McHenry before going home. Every place was packed. Guess a lot of folks are off for Christmas.

Too Bad We Lost. --RoadDog

Rock and Roll Class of 2014 Announced

From the Dec. 18th, 2013, Northwest Herald. //// On December 17th, the next class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced and include Nirvana, KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens. //// Just this past New Year's Eve at the early celebration at the Legion in Fox Lake, the lady sitting next to me was playing a whole bunch of Cat Stevens tunes on the jukebox before karaoke began. //// More than 700 Rock Hall voters determined the 2014 class. The 29th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is open to the public and tickets go on sale this month and will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn April 10th. //// I won't be there...again. //// Congrats to Some Worthy Inductees. --RoadDog

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Toastin', Snowin' and Bowlin'

New Year's Eve, Liz and I went to the Fox Lake American Legion for the annual "Early New Year's Celebration" from 1 to 5 PM. Just great timing for old fogies like us. We had plenty of food, drinks and karaoke. Afterwards, we went to Antonio's for a couple before going home. Actually stayed up until 12:30 AM. //// New Year's Day was spent mostly shoveling snow (which started at 3 PM New Year's Eve and continued until this afternoon with probably a foot accumulation of fortunately light snow which I usually shoveled off instead of using the snowblower. I also watched the Rose Bowl Parade and then more bowl games than usual. I wasn't happy about Georgia's loss to Nebraska or the Wisconsin and Iowa losses, but was very happy with Michigan State winning the Rose Bowl. //// Spending the Eve and Day. --RoadDog

JSIS: Football: Packers-- UCF-- Lovie

JSIS__ Just Some Interesting Stuff. //// 1. PACKERS-- The Packer playoff game Sunday is not sold out. As of this morning, there were still 8,500 unsold tickets, ranging from $102-$313 a pop. If not sold out by the end of the day today, the game will be blacked out in the area between Green Bay and Milwaukee. Every Packer regular season game has been sold out since 1959. //// 2. UCF-- Congratulations to the University of Central Florida who yesterday defeated #6 Baylor in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. That was the one the Northern Illinois Huskies was headed for before the MAC Championship loss to Bowling Green. Very important, it was an underdog victory. And, they owe a big thank you to NIU for our late season collapse. //// 3. LOVIE-- Lovie Smith, former Bears head coach, has evidently signed with Tampa Bay. He's a good coach, but knows nothing about quarterbacks. //// As Lovie Liked to Say, "He's Our Quarterback." Regardless of How Bad They Were (Right Grossman and Cutler?) --RoadDog

TV Stars We Lost in 2013

I printed a list of the ones I'll particularly miss on today's date in my Cooter's History Thing Blog. The ones of them I'll miss the most are Jean Stapleton, Annette Funicello and Bonnie Franklin. //// Check it out on the Blogs I Follow on this page. //// --RoadDog

Did Anyone Die In Your House? Here's How to Find Out

From the Nov. 12, 2013, Yahoo! News. "Website Tells Who Died At Your House" by Alan Farnham, Good Morning America.

Check it out at DiedInHouse.com. If you move into an older home, find out if there were any murders, suicides or natural deaths in your house. I bet the folks who moved into the "Amityville Horror" or "Conjuring" would have liked to know.

This is the idea of Roger Condrey, but it will cost you $11.99 for a report.

A Small Price to Pay for Peace of Mind. --RoadDog


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, 3546th Post: "Mother of All My Blogs"

This blog just finished seven years and now starting the eighth. It was my secind blog and grew out of when I was unable to get the original blog, RoadDog's RoadLog Blog up on the home computer after I got home from Nashville.

This one was to be about anything and everything I found of interest outside of old roads.

I post more entries on this one (now 3546) than any of the others and it is mostly about what I'm up to and music.

This one is the mother of all of my blogs other than the first one. As I found myself writing a lot about certain items, I spun those out as new blogs: Cooter's History Thing, Saw the Elephant, Running the Blockade, Tattooed On Your Soul and Not So Forgotten.

I Need to Find a Better Use for My Time, But I Sure Enjoy It. --RoadDog