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

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Lot Going On Around Here This Weekend: "Groundhog Days" and "Winterfest"

In a little while, I am going to Woodstock, Illinois, about 18 miles from home, for their annual "Groundhog Days Festival."  Woodstock (and especially in the 1850s Woodstock Square) is where the famous movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed.

Last night, they had the Groundhog Dance at the Moose Lodge where the movie's dance and bachelor auction took place.  Today, the movie will be shown at the theater where Bill Murray and date went on their date.  Then, there will be a chili cookoff at the Woodstock Opera House which was the Hotel Pennsylvanian in the movie and where Bill Murray committed "suicide" by falling out of the bell tower.

Then, a member of the movie's production team will take a group around town to various sites used in the movie and give a lot of interesting background.

Yesterday, we met friends at Popeye's (not the chicken chain) in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin,  and watched the international snow sculpture competitors work on their art pieces.  Winterfest judging will be today.

Then, of course, Sunday is Super You-Know-What.

Good Times In the Area.  --RoadDog

WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  The guy who invented the wheel was okay.  But the guy who invented the other three...he was real genius.  From the Orange Peel Gazette (always a fun read).

Friday, January 30, 2015

JSS: Decent Winter So Far-- Groundhog Days-- Cubs Hat

JSS--  Just Some Stuff

1.  DECENT WINTER SO FAR--  After that horror that was last winter, this one has been much better, despite all the scary predictions of it being worse.  I can live with that.

2.  GROUNDHOG DAYS--  The annual Woodstock, Illinois, Groundhog Days kicked off last night with the lighting of the Groundhog and continues tonight with the Groundhog Day Ball at the Moose Lodge in Woodstock, where the dance and auction was filmed in the movie.  They have a buffet and a band.

3.  CUBS HAT--  I have been getting a lot of comments about my Cubs hat that I have been wearing this past week.  Everyone knows I like the Cubs, but won't wear any of their gear.  But, I am wearing my Cubs hat in honor of the late-great Ernie Banks.

We'll miss you, Ernie.  Especially that ever-present smile.

Just Some Stuff.  --RoadDog

WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  Everyone has the right to be stupid.  SOME just abuse the privilege.

Music Deaths in 2014: Dick Wagner

DICK WAGNER, 71, died July 30, 2014.

Born in 1942.  Rock guitarist best-known for his work with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed and Kiss.  He was a favorite in the Detroit area with the local band The Frost in the early 70s.

Played studio guitar for Alice Cooper on his School's Out album.  Wrote the Welcome to My Nightmare album with Cooper and wrote the song "Only Women Bleed."

Music Deaths in 2014: Bobby Womack

BOBBY WOMACK, Died June 27, 2014, age 70.

Played guitar on tour with Sam Cooke and sessions with Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Box Tops, Wilson Pickett and Sly and the Family Stone.  Had 14 songs in the Billboard Hot 100.

Born in Cleveland in 1944.  His first group was Valentino which had a minor hit with "Lookin' for a Love" in 1962, which became a big hit for the J. Geils Band.  Their "It's All Over Now" became a 1964 hit for the Rolling Stones.

He went solo in 1965 and married Sam Cooke's widow.  "That's the Way I Feel About Cha" went to #27 in 1972 and he had his own version of "Lookin' for a Love" which went to #10 in 1974.  Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

WLS Top Ten for January 29, 1965

Fifty years ago today here in Chicago.

1.  DOWNTOWN--  Petula Clark
2.  YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING--  Righteous Brothers
3.  THIS DIAMOND RING--  Gary Lewis & the Playboys

4.  LET'S LOCK THE DOOR--  Jay & the Americans
5.  LOVE POTION #9--  Searchers
6.  KISS AND RUN--  Bobby Skel

9.  THE CRUSHER--  Novas
10.  GIVE HIM A GREAT BIG KISS--  Shangri-Las

Jerry Was So Proud.  --RoadDog

Songs from Jan. 22, 1965 That I Didn't Know

I did great knowing all the top ten, but not so well on the others.

11.  THE CRUSHER--  Novas  (a wrestling song)
17.  HAVE YOU LOOKED INTO YOUR HEART--  Jerry Vale  (Crooner song)
22.  EVERYDAY--  Rogues  (Buddy Holly tune)

23.  DON'T FORGET I STILL LOVE YOU--  Bobbi Martin  (country)
24.  I'VE GOT A TIGER BY THE TAIL--  Buck Owens  (OK, I have heard it before, but liked it so much I wanted you to see it.)
27.  LITTLE BELL--  Dixie Cups (Girl heartbreak)

28.  SHAKE--  Sam Cooke  (Also heard this one.)
29.  NO ARMS CAN EVER HOLD YOU--  Bachelors  (Slow)
34.  PAPER TIGER--  Sue Thompson  (Some more girl sound)

37.  BREAK AWAY--  Newbeats  (And you thought they were a one-hit wonder.)
38.  FINDERS KEEPERS--  Nelli Dodds  (More girl sound)

39.  I'LL BE THERE--  Gerry & the Pacemakers  (Slow British Invasion)
40.  HOLD WHAT YOU GOT--  Joe Tex  (Soul ballad with good advise)


Past Movie Scratches: Ghostbusters-- Gladiator-- Bruce-- Extraordinary-- Stripes-- Snakes

Movies seen at home in 2014:

37.  GHOSTBUSTERS--  Who thought about the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man?

38.  GLADIATOR--  Overcoming the odds to right a wrong.  "Prepare to unleash hell!"

39.  BRUCE ALMIGHTY--  Being God not as easy as he thought.

40.  LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN--  Library book characters gang up to stop the bad guys.

41.  STRIPES--  "Army training, Sir!!"  The late great Harold Ramis.

42.  SNAKES ON A PLANE--  About the last thing you'd think you'd have to worry about on a plane.


WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dose Eagles-- Part 3: Decorah's Nightlife

JANUARY 22ND, 2015

After checking into the Hotel Winneshiek, we took a drive around Decorah to see where things were as we'd never been here before.

We stopped at the Toppling Goliath Brewery tasting room and sampled four brews and then three more.  We liked most of the offerings.  Next was Your Place on Main Street.  The place was packed with an older crowd AND, believe it or not, we saw no one glued to their smart phones as is always the case in bars attracting a younger clientele.  We also got to meet the Decorah Eagle Man himself, Bob Anderson there and had a nice long talk with him.

Went back to the hotel and then walked over to T-Backs and watched the Bulls victory and had some great cheese curds.  Last stop was the Tap Room at the hotel where we talked with the village clerk from Winona, Minnesota, who was in town for a conference.


WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  War does not determine who is right...only who is left.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Movie Scratches for 2015: Hobbitt-- Black-- Gambler-- Annie

Movie Scratches--  A dog's eye-view of today's movies.

The number refers to how many movies I've seen this year.  Then the date, name, where I saw it and cost.

1.  THE HOBBITT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES--  1-5--  Fox Lake, $6--  Slay the dragon, fight the dwarfs, fight the Orcs.  The only good Orc is a dead Orc.  Thoren goes bad, then back to good.

2.  WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH--  1-6--  Fox Lake, $5--  She's everywhere and now killing kids who have come to escape the WWII bombing of London.  The house on the marsh proves to be more dangerous than German bombs.  Definitely a house I wouldn't stay in for the night.

3.  THE GAMBLER--  1-16--  Fox Lake, $5--  Gamblers Anonymous might have been a better choice.  Have it all, gamble it all away.  Borrow from the wrong guys.

4.  ANNIE--  1-12, Fox Lake, $6--  An update on an old musical.  One of the best movies I've ever seen, and I AM NOT A BIG FAN OF MUSICALS as they usually bore me, especially during the singing.



Dose Eagles-- Part 2: On to Decorah, Iowa


We drove out to Lock and Dam 10 in Dubuque, Iowa and didn't see any eagles by it, but did see three eagles across the river from the park.  Then drove an unbelievably beautiful stretch of scenery to Balltown and ate at the oldest continually operating restaurant in Iowa, dating to 1852, Breitbach's.

Then drove to Guttenberg, Iowa and saw two more bald eagles at Lock and Dam #11 and two others in a field by a small pond.

The main objective of the whole trip was to see the famed Decorah Bald Eagles which we have been watching on the internet the last several years.  The eggs haven't been laid yet and they are working on the nest and not often there, but we saw both of them.


WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  Always keep several get well cards around.  So, if unexpected guests arrive, they'll think you've been sick and unable to clean.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ernie Banks Day at WXRT, 93.1 FM in Chicago

Chicago radio station WXRT is having Ernie Banks Day today.

At around 7:15 a.m., Lin Braemer will be having his Linm's Bin devoted to a Tribute to Ernie Banks.  It should be interesting.

It streams at www.wxrt.com and is at 7:15 CST.

All Chicago news shows have been full of segments of his career and death.  The statue of Ernie Banks outside of Wrigley Field had been removed for field renovations, but will be placed downtown today.  There will be a city-wide ceremony honoring him later this week.

"It's a great day for a ball game; let's play two."

"The Cubs Are Due in '62."

The Cubs Will Shine in '69."

And, I wore my Cubs hat yesterday and will continue doing it all week.  The last time I wore it was on Ron Santo's death.

We Were So Much better for Having This Man.  --RoadDog

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thanks for the Memories, Ernie!! Mr. Cub

The whole city and area are in sorrow today as we lost a great one yesterday.  Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, that great of great Chicago Cub, died.

He played for the Cubs from the 50s through the 60s and into the early 70s.  Then spent the rest of his life in Chicago as a Cubs ambassador.  By all accounts he was very approachable, always willing to talk and sign autographs, a real stand-up guy and role model.

I have one Cubs hat (as opposed to about 25 White Sox ones (shows where my allegiance lies.  It is a nice hat which, when I bought it, I said I would wear when the Cubs get to the World series.  I have since changed it to playoffs.  I also wore it when another Cub favorite of mine, Ron Santo, died.

I will be wearing that Cub hat today and for the next week in honor of "Let's Play Two."

"The Cubs Will Shine in Sixty-Nine" and Sure Shone Well for All Those Great Years.   Thanks, Mr. Banks.  --RoadDog

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dose Eagles-- Part 1

We just got back from our annual trip out to the Mississippi River to see the bald eagles.  Winter time is a great time to see these magnificent birds.  We didn't get to go last year because of that horrible winter, but managed to slip four days in this year.

We had planned on leaving on Tuesday, but the leak in the basement, which we had fixed on friday, came back, so postponed leaving for a day.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21ST:  Left home at 1 p.m. and drove state highways 120, 47, 176, 23 and U.S.-20 to Galena.  Stopped at the great Freeport-Stephenson County welcome center as usual.  Arrived in Galena and had a coupla-two at the VFW and ate at The Log Cabin on Main Street.  This is always a favorite of ours as this is where we ate the day after our wedding back in 1973.

The place hasn't changed a bit, except for the prices, which are considerably higher.  They feature meat from Chicago's Allen Brothers.  I had the Greecian chicken and Liz the cod dinner.  Talked with another couple who were 1971, NIU graduates and had retired to Galena.  Liz and I graduated from there in 1973.

Drove into Dubuque, Iowa, and got a room at the Super 8 and then went over to the nearby Champ's Sports Bar and watched the Blackhawks win their game on a huge screen.


WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  A clear conscious is a sign of a fuzzy memory.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The 2015 List of Words That Should Be Banished

Lake Superior State University.

BAE--  Before Anyone Else.  (I never heard it used before.)
Polar Vortex--  (For obvious reasons.  I hate it.)

Skill Set  (Wonder what Jay Cutler's is?)



Car-Cra--  Crazy
Enhance Interrogation


Can't Say As I've Ever used Any of These terms, except that P.V. swear word.


WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  I believe in sharing the road with other drivers.  They can have the part behind me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WLS Top Ten for Jan. 22, 1965

There is the possibility I might not be able to post this Thursday, so here is an advance look at the survey.

1.  DOWNTOWN--  Petula Clark
2.  YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELIN'--  Righteous Brothers
3.  LOVE POTION #9--  Searchers

4.  KEEP SEARCHIN'--  Del Shannon
5.  ANYWAY YOU WANT IT--  Dave Clark Five
6.  THOUS SHALT NOT STEAL--  Dick and DeeDee
7.  THIS DIAMOND RING--  Gary Lewis & the Playboys

8.  KISS AND RUN--  Bobby Skel (not familiar with this one)
9.  THE NAME GAME--  Shirley Ellis
10.  MR. LONELY--  Bobby Vinton

"Doesn't Mean What It Anymore."  --RoadDog

WITTY OBSERVATIONS:  A woman has the last word in any argument.  Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Monday, January 19, 2015

JSS: Christmas Decorations-- Coast-to-Coast Super Bowl-- Bald Eagles

JSS--  Just Some Stuff

1.  CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS--  I took advantage of the 40 degree temps and took down the outside Christmas lights, garland and wreaths on Saturday. Always better to do it when it is a little bit warmer.  Five degrees and blustery wind make for a very unpleasant chore.

2.  COAST-TO-COAST SUPER BOWL--  We went to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes yesterday and watched the Seahawk-Packer NFC Championship game.  The place was packed and we even had an obnoxious Seattle fan.  But, the Pack was playing well all game until those last horrible five and a half minutes.  What in the world happened?

The Seahawk fan got so noisy we were considering getting the duct tape out.

It was an exciting game , though, and a WHOLE lot more than that Patriot-Colt game.

I had hoped it would be a Midwest Super Bowl with Indianapolis playing Green Bay.  But now it will be a Coast-to-Coast one.  Go Seahawks!!

3.  BALD EAGLES--  We've been enjoying watching the eaglets in southwest Florida and now, the eggs at Berry College in Georgia.  The eagles in Decorah, Iowa, are working on their nest.  We're hoping to get out to Decorah soon to see them.


Past Movie Scratches: First-- Titanic-- Departed-- Cowboys-- Expendables-- Poseidon

Movies on TV.

31.  FIRST WIVES CLUB--  "You Don't Own Me."  Getting back at exes taking those younger wives.  i sure wouldn't want to tangle with these ladies. They fight mean.

32.  TITANIC--  All that and a romance as well.

33.  DEPARTED--  Hunting rats in Boston.

34.  COWBOYS VS. ALIENS--  Actually, its cowboys, Indians and bandidos lassoing Aliens.

35.  EXPENDABLES--  Stallone and band of tough guys take on a Latin American puppet dictator and rogue CIA agent.  Guess who wins.

36.  POSEIDON--  Another cruise ship vs. really big wave.  The wave wins again.

Way Too Many Commercials in TV Movies.  --RoadDog

Past Movie Scratches: Tourist-- Despicable-- Up-- Pearl-- Warships-- Battle

Movies seen on TV.

25.  THE TOURIST--  Johnny Depp fools everyone.  Steals billions, gets the girl, and a new face.

26.  DESPICABLE ME--  Grue is not such a good villain.

27.  UP--  Doug the Dog, Chuck,  the old guy and a Wilderness Scout on the Big Adventure.

28.  PEARL HARBOR--  All that and romance as well.  Even Doolittle's Raid.

29.  AMERICAN WARSHIPS--  The "Big Stick" USS Iowa saves the day with its 16-inch guns.  Real nasty aliens.

30.  BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES--  Not the big production, just a cheesy Syfy one.


THE LAST YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Past Movie Scratches: Enemy-- Happyness-- Hellboy-- Donovan's-- Braveheart-- Crazy-- Green

18.  ENEMY AT THE GATES--  The Good, the Bad and Ugly Sniping at the Battle of Stalingrad.

19.  THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS--  How much more can go wrong to a guy seeking to make it?

20.  HELLBOY II--  Battling Johnny Winters, Big gold guys and tooth fairies and a Cat Lady.

21.  DONOVAN'S REEF--  A fitting goodbye to our Donovan's reef in Twin Lakes.  (They were going to change the name, but didn't.

22.  BRAVEHEART--  Killing Those mean old English guys, especially getting old King Longshanks.

23.  CRAZY SEXY LOVE--  Finding one's soul mate.

24.  THE GREEN MILE--  One of the best movies ever.  Some real characters.


Past Movie Scratches: Godfather-- Transformers-- Godfather-- Hangover-- Hangover-- Hellboy

Movies seen at home.

13.  GODFATHER 3--  Trying to go legit.  Sonny's son takes over.

14.  TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON--  Was this a Pink Floyd album?Ugly Decepticons vs. Handsome Autobots.  Messing up Chicago.  The real story of the moon landing.

15.  THE GODFATHER--  No horse heads allowed.

16.  HANGOVER II--  What happens in Bangkok, stays in Bangkok.  How many different ways can you get in trouble?

17.  HANGOVER III--  This time Mexico and back to Vegas where it all started.  John Goodman a bad guy.  Really?

18.  HELLBOY--  Fists of iron, heart of gold and always in trouble.  "How big can it be?"

Watching Those serials.  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, after all, is not a race at all.

Friday, January 16, 2015

WLS Top Ten for January 15, 1965

1.  DOWNTOWN--  Petula Clark
2.  LOVE POTION #9--  Searchers
3.  COME SEE ABOUT ME--  Supremes

4.  MR. LONELY--  Bobby Vinton
5.  I FEEL FINE/ SHE'S A WOMAN--  Beatles
6.  YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING--  Righteous Brothers
7.  ANYWAY YOU WANT IT--  Dave Clark Five

8.  THE NAME GAME--  Shirley Ellis
9.  KEEP SEARCHIN'--  Del Shannon
10.  THOU SHALT NOT STEAL--  Dick and DeeDee

19..  GIVE HIM A GREAT BIG KISS--  Shangri-Las
35.  I'LL BE THERE--  Gerry & the Pacemakers
38.  MAKIN' WHOOPIE--  Ray Charles

"Three, Six, Nine, the Goose Drank Wine..."  --RoadDog

Past Movie Scratches: Hancock-- Zombie-- Hangover-- Apes-- Dredd-- Skyline

TV movies from 2014.

7.  HANCOCK--  Bad boy hero turns good guy.

8.  ZOMBIE LAND--  "I don't believe I killed Bill Murray."  The quest for Twinkies in a post-apocalyptic world

9.  HANGOVER--  How'd that get here?  "Animal House" updated.

10.  RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES--  Caesar knows.

11.  JUDGE DREDD--  "I knew you were going to say that."  How big can Stallones eyes get?

12.  SKYLINE--  Stuck in a high rise during an alien invasion.  Keep the blinds closed.


Past Movie Scratches: Rings-- Hedge-- 2012-- Go-- Legend-- Twister

I also enjoy watching movies at home on TV.  These are some I watched last uear (2014)

1.  LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING--  Dragons and giant spiders, oh my.

2.  OVER THE HEDGE--  Animated animals vs. humans as suburbia takes over.

3.  2012--  More disaster than you can handle.  Floods, earthquakes, volcanoes and some unbelievable escape sequences.  Almost too much to watch.

4.  JUST GO FOR IT--  Falling in love in deception.

5.  I AM LEGEND--  Will vs. the smart zombie leader.  Will has last laugh.

6.  TWISTER--  Must be Tornado Love.  Get out the whirligigs!!

Hitting Gold Balls Off the Aircraft Carrier.  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  Why is it that an alarm clock goes off by going on.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fort Fisher Had a Huge Impact On Me

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the capture of Fort Fisher in North Carolina, Jan. 15, 1865.  Even though the Confederacy's chances of surviving the Union onslaught were about nil by then, the fall of Fort Fisher effectively sealed the port of Wilmington, the South's last  contact with the rest of the world.  Lee surrendered less than 90 days later and the war was mostly over.

It was a visit to Fort Fisher back when I was seven that got me interested in the Civil War.  I was with my dad at Fort Fisher and he explained that the Civil War was fought between the North and the South.  I told him that we would have been for the North.  After all, I had learned that we lived in "North" Carolina and "North" America.  He had to explain it to me and ever after, I couldn't find out enough about the Civil War.

That interest soon branched into anything doing with history, even to lots of toy soldiers as I grew up.  When I got to college, my major was history.    That led to 33 years of teaching social studies and collecting far too many books and history stuff.

This is why I have all these doggone blogs.  I just can't let go of my history.

Like I Said, BIG Impact.  --RoadDog

25 Chart Facts You Didn't Know About Elvis-- Part 5: UB40 Hit #1 With Presley Hit

21.  UB40's 1993 version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" is the most successful remake of an Elvis hit.  The reggae-tinged song went to #1 for seven weeks.  Elvis' version peaked at #2 in Feb. 1962.

22.  "The Wonder of You" in 1970 was the only Presley Top Ten hit recorded live at one of his Vegas shows that year.

23.  His 1958 hit "One Night" was originally titled "One Night (of Sin)", but was deemed too risque.

24.  Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller wrote six of Elvis' top ten hits, more than anyone else.

25.  Mac Davis was the only write of an Elvis Top Ten who went on to have his own Top Ten.  He wrote two Top Tens for Elvis: "In the Ghetto" and "Don't Cry Daddy."  He had Top Tens with "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" and "Stop and Smell the Roses."


YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  Where else can you fill in a form by filling it out?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting Ready for the New Year-- Part 2

DECEMBER 29TH, MONDAY--  McDonald's for breakfast.  Coach Trestman and general manager Emory of the Chicago Bears were fired, something much needed after this horrible season and their backing of Scary Jay.

Saw the movie "Unbroken."  I knew it was going to be an excellent movie.  It was.

DECEMBER 30TH, TUESDAY-- Went to Dr. Bennett and had my permanent crown put in, $850.  Went to stores in Round Lake Beach looking for sale Christmas items.  Met Sue and Paul at Half Times in Johnsburg for pizza and bowl games and came back to Margaritaville downstairs at the house to finish off the keg from Sunday's Bear party.

DECEMBER 31ST, WEDNESDAY--  Watched some great bowl games and had an early New Year's Eve party at the Legion from 1 p.m. to 6, with karaoke and toasts.  Great time and home by 7.

We were asleep by midnight.

Snoring Into the New Year.  --RoadDog

25 Chart Facts You Didn't Know About Elvis-- Part 4

16.  As popular as Elvis Presley was, the only Grammys he won were for religious recordings where he won them for Best Scared or Inspirational Performance.  However, in 1971 Presley was the first rock artist to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, called the Bing Crosby Award back then.

17.  Elvis' Christmas album spent 4 weeks at #1 when it was released in 1957.  His run at #1 was interrupted by the re-release of Bing Crosby's 1945 album Merry Christmas.  Elvis and Bing died within two months of each other in 1977.

18.  His last #1 album while he was alive was Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite which topped the charts in 1973  It displaced Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

19.  Elvis had the #1 single on the Country Chart with "Way Down when he died in August 1977.  He returned to #1 on the Country Chart posthumously in March 1981 with a remix of his 1968 hit  "Guitar Man."

20.  Cheap Trick's 1988 remake of Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel,"  which went to #4 in October, marked the first time a remake of one of Elvis' Top Ten hits went to the Top Ten by another artist.

"A Hunka Hunka Burning Love."  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  Did you know that your house can burn up while it is burning down?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

25 Chart Facts You Didn't Know About Elvis-- Part 3

11.  The "Blue Hawaii" soundtrack was #1 for 20 weeks.  Only three other artist-linked soundtracks had #1s for 20 or more weeks: Bee Gees "Saturday Night Fever" (24 weeks in '78), Prince's "Purple Rain" (24 weeks in '84-'85) and Whitney Houston's "The Bodyguard" (20 weeks '92-'93).

12.  Seven of Elvis' top ten hits were from movies.  The first was "Love Me Tender" (#1 Oct. 1956) and last "Bossa Nova Baby" From "Fun in Acapulco" (#8 Nov. 1963).

13.  Elvis' biggest 60s hit was "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" (six weeks #1) and received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.  It was first a hit for female singer Vaughn De Leath in 1927, 8 years before Elvis was born.

14.  Singer Jaye P. Morgan had a chart hit with "Are You Lonesome Tonight" in Feb.. 1959, nearly two years before Elvis.

15.  Elvis' biggest hit of the 70s was "Burning Love" (#2 in Oct. 1972)  It was kept from the #1 spot by another 50s performer's "My Ding-A-Ling" by Chuck Berry.

Chuck Holding On to his Ding-A-Ling.  --RoadDog

25 Chart Facts You Didn't Know About Elvis-- Part 2

Continued from January 8th.

6.  Had a #1 album Elv1s: 30 No. Hits in 2002, 25 years after his death.  No one else has a #1 album that long after their death.

7.  Four of Elvis' albums: Elvis Presley and the soundtracks to "Loving You,"  "G.I. Blues" and "Blue Hawaii" each logged ten or more weeks at #1.  Only the Beatles stayed that long at #1 with four different albums.

8.  Elvis had 17 #1 hits.  Only the Beatles, with 20, had more and Mariah Carey with 18, had more.  Also, six Elvis songs peaked at #2.  The biggest one, "Return to Sender" was at #2 for 5 weeks in 1962, stuck behind the Four Seasons "Big Girls Don't Cry."

9.  Elvis had 24 consecutive top 5 hits (excluding B-sides, EPs and old Sun Records recordings)  The streak started with "Heartbreak Hotel" in April 1956 and ended with "Return to Sender" in Nov. 1962.  "One Broken Heart for Sale" broke that streak when it "only" reached #11 in March 1963.

10.  Six Elvis singles reached #1 in both the U.S. and U.K..    That is a record for a male artist.


YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  Why is it that a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Monday, January 12, 2015

It Was Bathroom Beer at 1967's Ice Bowl

From Yahoo! News.

A lot of mention has been made about the last time the Green Bay Packers played the Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay in the post season what with yesterday's game.  It took place on December 31, 1967 and was at least -13 degrees with a wind chill of -46 degrees.

It is regarded as the coldest game in NFL history and has the name "Ice Bowl."

Part of the reason was that it was so cold that that the electric coils under the field to warm it up actually froze and wouldn't work, turning the field into a giant sheet of ice.

It was so cold that beer had to be sold out of the bathrooms and drunk there as well.  Personally, I can't imagine anyone wanting an ice cold beer on a day like that.  They sold Pabst Blue Ribbon longnecks.  To drink one of them outside was to risk having your lips frozen to the bottle, a la "A Christmas Story"'s flagpole.
The Packers won.

We lived in Palatine, Illinois, at the time and family friends Dick and Carol Schrickel were avid Packer fans and went to the game.  They survived and made the drive back to Palatine and thawed out at a New Year's Eve party at my parent's house.

At Least the Pack Won.  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

While on the Subject of Words That Need to Be Banished: The Overused "F" Bomb

Case in point happened yesterday while Liz and I were having breakfast at K.C.'s Cabin in Spring Grove, Illinois.  Two guys were talking and one wasn't happy about his work experience.  He probably used the "F" word once or twice a sentence.

It was used as an adjective, adverb, noun and verb.

And, he is not the only one we've heard overuse the word.  And, surprisingly, often I've heard women use it.   And, I have heard college-educated people using it as well as men in their 50s and on up.   Of course, today's youth use it a lot when they're together.  Part of their culture, I guess.

The biggest problem with overuse is that the word loses its impact.  It becomes just another word.

Plus, some of us still find the word offensive.

Perhaps it should be treated with a punishment like Ralphie got for using the word in "A Christmas Story," the soap in his mouth, or what Schwartz got when Ralphie's mother told Schwartz's mother about where he got the word.

Even better, someone should take the time to make a short  thesaurus of words that can be used instead of it.  People could bring them along and give it to the "F" folks.

My opinion, Anyway.  --RoadDog

Banish These Words from Your Vocabulary: Selfie, Twerk

From the Jan. 1, 2014, Chicago Tribune  "Selfie, twerk in your vocab?-- BANISHED" by Scott Kleinberg.

The Lake Superior State University 2014 List of Banished Words features 13 words that range from popular in the mainstream to ones that might be new to you.  Evidently, words have to be nominated and voted on to make the list.  The most nominated word was SELFIE.  I am so tired of hearing that word.

Another word finishing high on the list was TWERK or TWERKING, evidently something to do with Miley Cyrus.

Other words:
**  Hashtag
**  Twittersphere
**  Mister Mom

**  T-bone, not as in steak, but as in the automobile accident
**  ____ on steroids  (always fun when you get to insert your own word like hamster.
**  Anything ending in -ageddon and -pocalypse.

**  Intellectually/morally bankrupt
**  Obamacare
**  Adversity (a football term)
**  Fan base

2013s nominated words included fiscal cliff, double down, YOLO and spoiler alert.

The banishment list began as a publicity ploy for the  little-known Lake Superior State located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan at a New year's Eve party in 1975.  The list they came up with was released the next day and the tradition began.

The school accepts submissions all year long.  I'll have to look up the 2015 list.

Words You Sure Get Tired of Hearing.  --RoadDog

YOU  THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  You ship by truck and send cargo by ship.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Get Your $120 Beer Here

From the Nov. 12, 2012, Chicago Tribune "How to get $120 black truffle beer" by Josh Noel.

This is even expensive by Wrigley Field standards  I'm wondering if Mr. Noel had the opportunity to taste it?

Not your standard Miller Lite beer.

The most expensive beer ever to come out of a Chicago brewery will be coming out (already out now).  Moody Tongue's Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner will come out, beginning Nov. 14, when you can register to get a bottle at www.moodytongue.com/blacktruffle.

Five hundred people who sign up will have the opportunity to buy ONE 22-ounce bottle...for $120!!!  Pickup will be Dec. 1-5 at the Binny's at 1720 N. Marcey Street.  Those 500 get the opportunity to buy future releases of Black Truffle Pilsner.

Hey, I Didn't Buy a Bottle, Nor Did I Register. I'll Stick With My Miller Lite ($1.50 Tonight at Squaw Bar)  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  In what language to people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

25 Chart Facts You Didn't Know About Elvis-- Part 1

From the Jan. 7, 2015, Yahoo! Music "Elvis at 80: 25 Facts You Should Know About the King" by Paul Grein.

Here on the 80th birthday of Elvis Presley.

1.  Had Billboard's #1 Song of 1956 with "Heartbreak Hotel" and #1 Song of 1957 with "All Shook Up."  No other artist has ever had the #1 Song for two consecutive years.

2.  Elvis was just 21 when he notched that #1 song of 1956, making him the youngest artist to to do that up to that time.  Only two artists have been younger since then: Lulu was 19 when she recorded "To Sir With Love" in 1967 and Andy Gibb was 20 when he had the #1 Song in 1978 with "Shadow Dancing."

3.  Elvis' 1956 "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" is one of the only two double-sided singles in which both sides have been voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  The other is the Beatles 1967 "Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever."

4.  "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" was #1 for eleven weeks.  That was a rock and roll era longest until1992, when Boyz II Men's "End of the Road" was #1 for 13 weeks.

5.  Elvis' #1 albums span 46 years and five months, May 1956 to October 2002 (25 years after his death)  Only Barbra Streisand has a longer span, just shy of 50 years.  Using studio technology, she sings a duet with Elvis on her recent #1 album Partners.

--You Ain't Nothin' But A....  --HoundDog

JSS: Mighty Cold-- Gas Gouge

JSS--  Just Some Stuff.

1.  MIGHTY COLD--  High yesterday here in northeast Illinois was -4 degrees.  High today will be 10 degrees.  Saturday is 14 degrees and then a heat wave at 25 degrees for Sunday.  Where are my shorts and t-shirt?

2.  GAS GOUGE--  Believe it or not, Tuesday, gas in Fox Lake, Illinois, jumped from $1.92 (who'd have ever thought it get that low again) to $2.25.  That happened within a second, or as long as it took them to change the sign.  And that with the price of crude oil still falling.  Why?  They don't have to say.

Just Some Stuff  --HoundDog

WLS Top Ten for January 8, 1965

On this anniversary of Elvis' 80th birthday.

1.  LOVE POTION #9--  Searchers
2.  MR. LONELY--  Bobby Vinton
3.  I FEEL FINE/ SHE'S A WOMAN--  Beatles

4.  DOWNTOWN--  Petula Clark
5.  ANYWAY YOU WANT IT--  Dave Clark Five  (This was either the first or second 45 I ever bought.  The first of many, many, many.)
6.  SHE'S NOT THERE--  Zombies
7.  COME SEE ABOUT ME--  Supremes

8.  I'M INTO SOMETING GOOD--  Herman's Hermits
9.  MOUNTAIN OF LOVE--  Johnny Rivers
10.  YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING--  Righteous Brothers

You Ain't Nothin' But A.....  --HoundDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Getting Ready for the New Year-- Part 1

DECEMBER 26, FRIDAY--  We finally got some sun after a very cloudy December, but at least warm.  Drove to McHenry and ate at the Little Chef restaurant and bought a Kinks CD at The Vinyl Frontier record store.  Did some looking around for cheap Christmas stuff at various stores.  Met up with the Usual Suspects at the Squaw Bar and later went to the Legion on the way home.

DECEMBER 27, SATURDAY--  I was happy to see that the two eaglets were born in southwest Florida which we will be watching a lot the next several months.  Spent the day mostly preparing for tomorrow's Bears party at our house.  Picked up food for it and watched the three "Juraissic Park movies.

DECEMBER 28, SUNDAY--  We had twenty folks over for the Bears party in Margaritaville.  Of course, the Bears lost, ending a horrific season and we hope big changes will be made.  It didn't stop anyone from having a good time, though.  We then watched the Lions-Packer game and everyone, even the die-hard Bear, hate-the Pack folks, were pulling for the Dirty Lions to lose.  They did!!  Played Name That Tune until about 8.

Go Sad Bears.  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  Sometimes I think that all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.  And just try to type these words.

2014 Music Deaths: George Hamilton IV and Beatrice Best

GEORGE HAMILTON IV, 77,  Died September 17, 2014.  On Pop Charts eleven times from 1956 to 1963 and Country Charts 40 times 1960 to 1978.

Big hits:
A Rose and a Baby Ruth (#6 1956)
Why Don't They Understand (#10, 1958)
Abilene (#15 Pop and #1 Country 1963)

BEATRICE BEST  Died September 15, 2014.  Sang baritone with the Jive Five starting in 1962.  Sand on "I'm a Happy Man" (#26 in 1965) and "What Time Is It"  (#67 in 1962)

Music Deaths in 2014: New Orleans Sound

COSIMO MATASSA, 88  Died September 11, 2014

Architect of the "New Orleans Sound" in the 1950s with Fats Domino, Little Richard, Frankie Ford "Sea Cruise" and Clarence Frogman" Henry  "Ain't Got a Home."

Ernie K. Doe "Mother i  Law"
Lloyd Price "Personality"
Smiley Lewis "I Hear You Knockin'"
Robert Parker "Barefootin'"
Professor Longhair "Take Me to Mardi Gras"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Movie Scratches: Exodus-- Dumb-- Bosses-- Unbroken

A Dog's Eye View of today's movies.  Most movies ever in a year for me, 80.

77.  EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS--  12-15--  Fox Lake, $6--  Moses did it again.  A Pharaoh's worst, best friend.

78.  DUMB AND DUMBER TO--  12-17--  Fox Lake, $4.50-- Smart they aren't.  Funny they are.   The case of the mistaken daughter.  I did a lot of laughing.as did most everyone else in the theater.

79.  HORRIBLE BOSSES 2--  12-17--  Fox Lake, $4.50--  Way too much of the "F" word, but still more bumbling in the world's worst kidnaping (as they spelled it).

80.  UNBROKEN--  12-29--  Fox Lake, $6--  The almost unbelievable adventures of an Italian boy.

It was a good year of movie watching.

Movies Need a Little thing on Screen to Tell You When You Can Miss some of the Film for a Few Minutes.  --RoadDog

Christmas in These Here Parts-- Part 2

DECEMBER 22, MONDAY--  The overcast days continue.  We had more sunless days this month than ever before.Went to Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes and watched the movie "Merry Frigging Christmas" one of the last by Robin Williams.  This was a very funny movie about a very dysfunctional family.  Stopped at the Legion on the way home.

DECEMBER 23, TUESDAY--  Went to Half Times in Johnsburg, Il. for their pizza special.  Watched NIU get blown out by Marshall in the Boca Raton Bowl.  OUCH!!

DECEMBER 24, WEDNESDAY--  CHRISTMAS EVE--End of the War of 1812 200 years ago with the Treaty of Ghent, although we didn't know it for a long time here in the U.S..  First Battle of Fort Fisher begins 150 years ago.Enjoyed an Andy Griffith Christmas show take off on "A Christmas Carol."  Went to J's and Hello Folks in Fox Lake, Il. to play NTN  Later to the Legion and Route 12 Bar.  Enjoyed "A Christmas Story" during the marathon, an annual Christmas thing for us.

DECEMBER 25, THURSDAY--  CHRISTMAS--  More "A Christmas Story."  Went to the Grand Buffet in McHenry for a Chinese Christmas dinner.  No singing "Ra, Ra, ra, Ra-Ra" though, or Chinese duck as i9n the movie.  Then Half Time on the way home.

My Boy,Scutt Farkus and His Little Toadie..  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas in These Here Parts-- Part 1

DECEMBER 18, THUSDAY:  Christmas party at Sequoit Lodge in Antioch with  DJ.  Then we went to  Cuda's,  Captain's Quarters and Tommy's on the way back.

DECEMBER 19TH, FRIDAY: Making a batch of Irish Cream for Pam and decorating Margaritaville downstairs at home.

DECEMBER 20, SATURDAY:  Mitch Edwards performing at the American Legion and Tommy's.  The Legion party was also an Ugly Sweater one.  We backed the Cutler #6 jersey worn by one guy, but the winner was one which still had its Montgomery Ward's tag on it bought back in 1980 by a fellow's late mother.  A real Bill Cosby kind of sweater.

DECEMBER 22, SUNDAY:  Bears Rockin' Tailgate Party and Squaw Bar in Ingleside with the Usual Suspects for usual sad Bears effort, but at least we had a new quarterback to replace the even sadder Jay Cutler.  Played the Dirty Lions with all their really dirty players with a spearing and a stepping.

And It Isn't Even Christmas Yet.  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  It teachers taught, why don't preachers praught?\\

Music Deaths in 2014: Glen Larson, 77, Founder Four Preps and TV Producer

GLEN LARSON, 77 Died November 14, 2014.

Was a founding member and baritone of the Four Preps and a well-known TV producer.  His Four Preps harmony influenced Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys sound.  They charted 18 times in eight years starting in 1956.  Some of their biggest hits were "26 Miles (to Santa Catalina)"  (#2 in 1958), "Big Man" (#3 in 1958) and "Down By the Station" (#13 in 1960).  All of these were penned by him.

Afterwards he worked for Quinn Martin Productions on "The Fugitive" and later produced "Alias Smith and Jones," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Battleship Gallatica," "Quincy MD," "Magnum PI" and :Knight Rider."

He also wrote the theme songs to "Battlestar Gallatica" and "The Fall Guy."

Quite a talented fellow.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Movie Scratches: Vincent-- Hero-- Interstellar-- Mockingjay

Movie Scartches--  A dog's eye view of today's movies.

73.  ST. VINCENT--  10-29--  Fox lake, $4.50--  Curmudgeon with heart of gold and all sorts of vices.  This movie should get an Academy award nomination.  If not the movie, then definitely for Bill Murray's acting.

74.  BIG HERO 6--  11-12--  Fox Lake, $4.50--  Very unlikely group of superheroes.  Ya just gotta love that marshmallow guy.

75.  INTERSTELLAR--  11-12--  Fox Lake, $4.50--  Saving the human race and a bog old wormhole.  "Those aren't mountains, that's a wave!!"

76.  HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PT. 1--  12-10--  Fox Lake, $4.50--  What is wrong with Pietah?  Rebel, rebel.  When did Donald Sutherland get to be such a bad guy?

What kind of Salt on the popcorn.  --RoadDog

The "Beak" Dies: Big-Time Packer Fan

Mugs are at half mast around the Spring grove area for John "Beak" Cochara, who died suddenly on New Year's Eve.  He was quite the character in these parts.

He was probably the most famous for getting duct taped to the stop sign at the corner of Il.-173 and Wilmot Road back in 1995.  He had been in K.C.'s Cabin at that corner for the Bear-Packer game which ended badly for Da Bears.  Beak was a huge Green Bay fan and started riding the Bear fans (he was badly outnumbered) and was warned to shut up or he'd be duct taped to the stop sign outside.

We are right on the Illinois-Wisconsin border, so there is somewhat of a rivalry between the two teams.

He didn't and they did.  The Chicago Tribune picked up the story and eventually ESPN and other national sources.  When the cops came and cut him down, they asked if he wanted to press charges, to which he replied, "Hell no.  I'm going back inside."

We drove by K.C.'s Cabin the next time the Bears and Packers played, and we could easily have been at Lambeau as there were flags, signs and pennants flying all over...for Green Bay.  Those Packer fans had come down and taken over a Bear bar!!

So Long, Beak.  --RoadDog

Down Come the 2014 Beatles Calendars

Today I took down my two 2014 Beatles Calendars in the basement.  Of course, that year, 1964, fifty years ago, was quite a one for the four young lads.  Kind of had an impact all over here in the United States.  They were the ones that got me interested in pop music.  I still am.

The one that was hanging by the Margaritaville bar was "The Beatles: The Singles, a 16-month calendar, featuring 45 sleeves of their songs:

Eight days a Week/I'm a Loser
Lady Madonna/ The Inner Light
We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper
Get Back/ Don't Let Me Down
Yesterday/The Night Before
Something/ Come Together
All You need Is Love/Baby, You're a Rich Man
Lady Madonna
Can't Buy Me Love/ You Can't Do That
Paperback Writer/ Rain
Hey Jude/Revolution

The other one was just "The Beatles" and featured a monthly photo of the lads.

Beatle Me.  --RoadDog

Friday, January 2, 2015

20 WLS Best-Selling Records of 1964-- Part 2

12.  DEAD MAN'S CURVE--  Jan & dean
13.  RAG DOLL--  Four Seasons

14.  A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE--  Peter & Gordon
15.  DRAG CITY--  Jan & Dean
16.  YOU DON'T OWN ME--  Lesley Gore
17.  LITTLE CHILDREN--  Billy J. Kramer

19.  THE LEADER OF THE PACK--  Shangri-Las
20.  I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD--  Herman's Hermits


20 WLS Best-Selling #1 Records of 1964-- Part 1

Do you think that maybe some of these might be by the Beatles?

2.  PRETTY WOMAN--  Roy Orbison
3.  A HARD DAY'S NIGHT--  Beatles

4.  SHE LOVES YOU--  Beatles
5.  THERE I'VE SAID IT AGAIN--  Bobby Vinton
6.  TWIST & SHOUT--  Beatles
7.  I GET AROUND--  Beach Boys

8.  LOVE ME DO--  Beatles
9.  WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO--  Supremes
10.  SUSPICION--  Terry Stafford


SO YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY.  --If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all of them but one, what do you call it?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

WLS Top Ten Survey for January 1, 1965

1.  I FEEL FINE/SHE'S A WOMAN--  Beatles
2.  COME SEE ABOUT ME--  Supremes
3.  MR. LONELY--  Bobby Vinton

4.  ANYWAY YOU WANT IT--  Dave Clark Five
5.  SHE'S NOT THERE--  Zombies
6.  LOVE POTION #9--  Searchers (from #15)
7.  I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD--  Herman's Hermits

8.  THE WEDDING--  Julie Rogers
9.  MOUNTAIN OF LOVE--  Johnny Rivers
10.  FALL AWAY--   Eddie Albert

12.  HAWAII TATTOO--  Waikiki
15.  TWINE TIME--  Alvin Cash

20.  THOU SHALT NOT STEAL--  Dick and Dee Dee

You Shouldn't Do What?  --RoadDog

Seven Things You can Do With Your Live Cut Christmas Tree

From the Dec. 30, 2014, Yahoo! News "7 Reasons Not to Trash Your Tree After Christmas."

You don't have to just pitch it out.  here are some things you can do with it.

1.  Chop it up for mulch.

2.  Cut the boughs off and use them as overwinter mulch.

3.  Cut the wood into slices and make coasters and trivets.

4.  Makes a great fuel for outdoor fires.  Obviously don't burn them in your fireplace.

5.  Sink them to the bottom of a pond or lake to make fish habitats.

6.  Set outside for an excellent home for the lil' birdies.

7.  Good for your compost heap as they have both the green and browns you're looking for.

Tannenbaum It.  --RoadDog

YOU THINK ENGLISH IS EASY?  Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?