Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bald Eagles 2015-- Part 3: Galena

Once in Galena, first stop was at the VFW for cocktails after our arduous and scenic drive.  Always a favorite stop for us.  After two, we went to the Log Cabin steakhouse on main Street.  We have been going to this place since we were in Galena for our honeymoon in 1973 and the place hasn't changed at all, except, of course, the prices.  It would be hard to get a steak dinner for under $28.  They feature Chicago's Allen steaks.

They now have a separate dining area, but I suggest getting a table in the original dining room adjacent to the bar area and eat while being overlooked by John Wayne.  Our waiter knew a lot about NIU athletics even though he didn't go there (we were wearing our NIU coats).  The couple dining across the room by the wall told us they were NIU Class of 1971 graduates and had retired to Galena and love it.

We talked a lot about the turmoil we had on campus in the spring of 1970 after Kent State.  We had violence, injuries, arrest and vehicles blown up.  This is when I believed I was seeing the end of the United States. I'll never forget going to the original Pizza Villa in downtown DeKalb and walking around a corner right into a group of National Guardsmen or cops who had a tear gas gun.  That could ruin your appetite.

Kent State at NIU Was Frightening.  --RoadDog

Route 66 News' Top Ten Icons-- Part 1

The ultimate site for any of you 66ers out there, Ron Warnick's Route 66 News blog, ran a contest where folks voted for their favorite ten places on Route 66.

Not surprisingly, most were in the west (where those folks really voted).  When I voted, it was sites in the usually overlooked east, especially poor Illinois which is so-often forgotten.

Anyway, here are the Top Ten Icons:

1.  Standing On the Corner Park in Winslow, Arizona  (We were there for the Standing On the Corner Festival on our 2006 end-to-end Route 66 trip.  Nothing like hearing a band playing "Take It Easy" while standing on the corner.

2.  La Posada--  Winslow, Az.  Impressive place.

3.  Gay Parita Sinclair Station--  near Halltown, Mo.  So sorry to hear Gary Turner died.  He was the one that turned the place into such a destination.  At least we got to meet him.

4.  Angel Delgadillo's Barber Shop--  Seligman, Az.  A must-stop for any 66er.

5.  Santa Monica Pier--  Santa Monica, Ca.  A great way to end a Route 66 trip.  We were disappointed in 2006 to find here wasn't a Route 66 souvenir shop on the the pier, but I understand you can buy stuff there now.

All Neat Stuff to See.  --RoadDog

Plans Underway to Preserve the Historic High Desert Stretch of Route 66

From the Jan. 29, 2015, San Bernardino (Ca.) Sun News by Joe Nelson.

For nearly 25 years San Bernardino has had its annual Route 66 Rendezvous and now it plans to preserve and enhance the 150-mile stretch of two lane Route 66 from Needles to Barstow.

Included will be  roadside kiosks and mobile apps.

Well Worth Preserving.  --RoadDog

Americans Keeping Extra Gas Money in Pockets

From the Feb. 19, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP.

I'm loving the lowest gas prices in five years.  It even got down to below $2 here in super-expensive gas Illinois.  I bought it as low as $1.90 in McHenry thanks to a gas war started by the new Murphy USA gas station by Wal-Mart.

The lower gas prices is good for business as Americans have more money to spend on other stuff.

From Nov. to Jan. employers added over 1 million jobs and even pay was raised in December.But. Americans aren't spending the money at retail stores.  Evidently, drivers are using the extra money to reduce debt and build savings.

Gas in January was nearly $1.10 less than it was a year ago.

I know I am a bit more open to travel at these lower prices.  We definitely curtailed travel because of he high gas prices (even though we are retired and have the time.  And, it isn't the fact that we can't afford $4+ gas.  We can, but I hate to see the GRB getting richer.

Plus, there is plenty to do in the local area.

Gas is now up to $2.40 around here, but I expect it to be back up to $4 by the end of April, if not before.

Why?  because the GRBs Can.  --RoadDog

Monday, March 2, 2015

Bald Eagle Update, March 2, 2015

NORTHWEST FLORIDA--  Two eggs were laid and hatched.  But E-5 died.  E-6 is in the Galoot Stage and spreading his wings.  He hasn't started branching yet and is nearly the side of the adults.

BERRY COLLEGE--  These two Bandido Stage eaglets are learning to get along when fed (eaglets tend to bonk each other for nest dominance during feeding.).  They also survived a lot of snow last week, much more than you'd think of for Georgia.

DECORAH, IOWA:  There are three eggs in the nest.  They had quite a bit of snow and cold temperatures last week.

BETTENDORF, IOWA--  The first egg laid was blown out of the nest.  A second has now been laid.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Bald Eagle Update: The Nests We Watch

We watch three nests the most.

Northwest Florida--  by North Fort Myers

Berry College--  Rome, Georgia, near Atlanta

Decorah, Iowa  (The one we visited last month)

And, we recently added a new one at the Alcoa factory in Bettendorf, Iowa.

The nice thing about having these nests scattered south to north is that the southern eggs are laid and hatch first.  That way, when we have the southern ones in the Galoot stage and fledging, we have the ones further north hatching and Bandidos.

Watching them is like a a mini soap opera.  Each nest has its own issues.

Still, Too Much Time Watching.  --RoadDog

Even the President Didn't Help Rahm

Last week, I wrote about the Pullman Historic Monument coming into being, another place to visit when in Chicago if you can afford to park.  This was something that should have been done years ago, but coming just a few days before the mayoral election and with a half-black president in town to dedicate it (to get the black vote), Mayor Rahm Emanuel, couldn't win it outright and will face a run-off election with the second highest vote-getter.

Oh, Well, Sometimes Even the Best Laid Plans.  --RoadDog

In Case You're Not Sure of a "Galoot"

As used in the previous post on my bald eagle classification.  Once out of the egg, they are "Bandidos" then become "Galoots."

When I found that I had originally misspelled the word with double "l"s, I looked it up.  I have used the word often, but never written it.  Well, that's my excuse anyway.    I don't know where I picked it up from, though.

According to the dictionary, a GALOOT is an awkward, eccentric or foolish person.

According to the British dictionary it is a noun for a clumsy or foolish person, origin unknown.

Of interest to my War of 1812 blog readers (Not So Forgotten), one of its early meanings was a nautical term from 1812.  In this usage it referred to a "raw recruit, green hand."  Apparently it was originally a sailor's contemptuous words for soldiers or marines.

Even Back Then and in the British Navy, There Was Service Rivalry Between the Navy and Marines.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bald Eagles Update: Classifying Eaglet Development

My wife follows several bald eagle cams very closely and shows me highlights.

I have developed two categories of bald eagle young.  First, they are "Bandidos."  In that they are mostly white down with a black band by eyes and beaks which make them look like they're wearing masks.  This is when they are have those voracious, need-to-be fed appetites.  This is also when they tend to bonk each other to establish the pecking order among siblings.

Then, they enter the phase I call "Galoot."  This is when they have problems with their huge talons and learn to stand, exercise wings and learn to eat their own food.  This is in preparation for branching and then their first flight.

Spending Too Much Time Watching Eaglets.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bald Eagles January 2015-- Part 2: Winter Wonderland

The farther we got west of Freeport, the prettier the scenery.  Everything, even the trees and bushes, were covered with snow, a real winter wonderland.  Nature had certainly been doing its painting.  Then, we hit the roller coaster US-20, up and down, up and down.  Then, we started getting those beautiful vistas, especially getting near Elizabeth.  Anyone who thinks Illinois is all flat needs to drive this section of 20. It sure "ain't!!"

We were happy to find the snow on the ground and not the roads.

Tapley Woods (between Elizabeth and Galena, were especially pretty  As pretty as your first view of Galena on the hillside off beyond the river, the white snow gives it another whole look.

Took a right off US-20 by Main Street and went past the flood gates.  This is entering 1840s-1850s America as, when the lead played out, which gave the region and Galena its early importance, the town was left pretty much to decay.  What U.S. Grant would see in the late 1850s is what you see today.

Driving Through a Winter Wonderland--RoadDog

Key Moments in Pullman History-- Part 2

1889--  Chicago annexes the township surrounding Pullman's development despite his opposition.

1893-1894--  When a depression hits, Pullman sharply lowers wages but refuses to lower rents.  Workers appeal to the American Railway Union, which supports a company-wide strike.

When 13 people are killed in riots, President Grover Cleveland sends in federal troops to restore the peace.  Primarily to oppose the workers.

1897--  Pullman dies of a heart attack at age 66.  The next year, the Illinois Supreme Court orders land not used for factories to be sold.  The population is 8,000.  By 1907, all residential properties are sold.

1925--  The first all-black union is formed, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Cab Porters, is formed.

1960--  The Pullman Civic organization is formed to save the community from demolition by developers who want to build an industrial complex.

1971--  The Pullman District becomes a national historic landmark.  The next year, it becomes a Chicago Landmark.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Finally Got My Viking Quest from Epic Deli

We finally got around to stopping at Epic Deli at 3312 N. Chapel Hill Road in Johnsburg, Illinois.

We've been thinking about going there after visiting two years ago during the Chain Crawl on the Chain of Lakes.  It is on the Fox River.

I've had my eye ever since on one of their subs called The Viking Quest.  This is meat-lovers nirvana.  It comes with turkey, pastrami, salami, bacon, ham, pepperoni, Italian beef, pepperjack, provolone and cheddar cheese, banana peppers & ghost pepper ranch sauce.

All that for $6 for a six-inch or $10 for a ten-inch.

I asked about the ghost pepper ranch sauce.  I'd once accidentally eaten part of a habenero pepper and it like to killed me.  Ghost peppers are supposed to even hotter.  Thye said it was sliced really thin and the ranch sauce really tones it down and gave me a sample.  It was very good, so ordered it as well.

I ordered the six-incher and only was able to finish half.  It was HUGE!!

Liz ordered a six-inch XXX Club for $5.  Sg=he had turkey, bacon, Swiss, mayo, lettuce, tomato & onion on hers.

As Arnold Said...  --RoadDog

Monday, February 23, 2015

In Chicago, "Dibs" Means HANDS OFF!!! Park Not Here!!

From the Feb. 12, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Chicago to start removing dibs markers this week."

"City crews this week will begin removing the household flotsam and jetsam that Chicagoans have been using to try to call dibs (MINE) on parking spots since a blizzard dumped more than 19-inches of snow on the area."

For decades, Chicagoans have been putting out chairs, dresser drawers and any other junk they have to mark parking spaces along the streets that they have hand-cleared of snow.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel has endorsed the Chicago tradition of Dibs after the blizzard, saying he believes it to be "sweat equity."

And, woe be to the person who parks in a "dibbed" parking space.  Angry confrontations have taken place.  I even heard of one "illegally parked vehicle in a dibbed spot" being blown up.

So, if you're from out of town visiting after a snowfall and looking for a non $10 an hour parking space and go ahead and park in a "dibbed" spot, beware of the infamous Chicago ire.

Whether You know Dibs or Not.  -RoadDog

Key Moments in Pullman History-- Part 1

From the Feb. 20, 2015, Chicago Tribune (same article as previous post).

George Pullman, an industrialist who made his fortune by manufacturing the famed railroad sleeper car, built a carefully-planned community on what became Chicago's Far South Side.  The Pullman community, at its peak, supported 20,000 employees who worked, shopped and lived in his company town.  On Thursday, President Barack Obama formally designated the Pullman factory district a national monument.

The area is between 103rd and 115th streets and bounded on the west by Cottage Grove Avenue and east by the Norfolk & Western Rail Line.

1880-1885: T The majority of the town is built on 4,000 acres south of Chicago, including 1,750 company-owned houses, a church, a hotel, a school and a building that housed offices, stores, a library and a bank.

The population grows from the first residents in 1881 to 3,500 in 1882 and to almost 9,000 in 1885.

George Pullman's Vision.  --RoadDog

Pullman Factory District in Chicago Becomes National Monument

From Feb. 20, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Designation a good start, but Pullman requires more" by Blair Kamin.

Everyone is happy to have it finally happen, even if there are many political election ramifications.  Pullman sits 15 miles from the downtown of Chicago and is surrounded by neighborhoods with plenty of violence.  Backers of Pullman predict that in another ten years, the site will be drawing at least 300,000 visitors annually.

And, for us Route 66 folk, it is another thing to see when in Chicago to start your trip (or finish it).

Private money is backing the transformation and the National Park service will see that it becomes a safe and worthwhile place to visit.

None other than Chicago's President Barack Obama was on hand to announce it becoming a national monument.  This coming just days before the election for mayor with buddy, and mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, facing stiff opposition.

We'll Take It Anyway We Can Get It.  Politics Or No Politics.  --RoadDog