Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ten at Ten Halloween Songs

Today, Bob Stroud did his annual Halloween Ten at Ten show on the booing.  It will be rebroadcast again around 10 PM CDST tonight on WDRV Chicago.  www.wdrv.com.

Actually, his long-lost relative Count Frankenstroud hosted the show.

WEREWOLVES OF LONDON--  Warren Zevon
DANCING WITH MR. D.--  Rolling Stones
THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA--  Charlie Daniels Band

SUPERSTITION--  Stevie Wonder
SEASON OF THE WITCH--  Donovan
BAD MOON RISING--  CCR
SCARY MONSTERS--  David Bowie

FRANKENSTEIN--  Edgar Winter Group
STRANGE BREW--  Cream
DEVIL WOMAN--  Cliff Richard

Mighty Creepy.  I'm Going to Go Hide Under My Bed.  --RoadDog

Reading the Bumper Stickers at Wintzell's in Mobile, Alabama-- Part 2

Great food and lots of reading material if you don't mind craning your neck.  These are just some of the ones near enough to read.

Here are some more:

Parents never fully appreciate teachers until it rains all weekend.  (As a former teacher, I can relate.)

Paychecks don't go far...just fast.

If a man could have just half his wishes he would double his troubles.

Executive--One who decides quickly and then gets somebody else to do the work.

Success is just a matter of luck--just ask any failure.

Nothing keeps a family together as much as owning just one car.

When an optimist gets a worm in an apple, he goes fishing.

People want the front of the bus, back of the church and middle of the road.  (And, I've seen a couple of them.)

If all the cars in the country were placed end-to-end, someone would pull out and try to pass them.

I'll Have to Go Back and Read Some More.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Route 66 Keeps an 8-5 Lead Over the Lincoln Highway in the IHSA Football Showdown

The first round of the IHSA 2012 Football Tournament is over.  It started with Route 66 holding a 16-13 lead in the last-man standing battle.  Both roads had eight teams drop out.

Lincoln Highway teams dropping out: St. Charles East, Batavia, both Plainfields, Lincoln-Way North, Rochelle, Aurora Central Catholic and Morrison.

Route 66 teams waiting until next year:  Both Plainfields, Springfield, both Bloomingtons, both Normals (no joy in the Bloomington-Normal area) and Mt. Olicve.

Teams enteringthe second round:

LINCOLN HIGHWAY

Class 7A Lincoln-Way East

Class 5A  Kaneland, Lincoln-Way West, Joliet Catholic

Class 1A  Mooseheart

ROUTE 66

Class 8A  Bolingbrook

Class 7A  Edwardsville, East St. Louis

Class 5A  Normal University, Joliet Catholic

Class 3A  Wilmington, Williamsville, Carlinville

Who You Pulling For?  --RoadDog

The GRBs Jumped Gas 14 Cents!!

As I figured, it wouldn't take the GRBs at Big Oil, hedgers and investment types long to cash in on profits from Hurricane Sandy.  We even went so far as to top off the '03 Malibu yesterday while gas was still $3.46 ($3.45.9) in Fox Lake, Illinois.

Today, the same station was at $3.60.  Wonder how much it will be tomorrow?

The government needs money, lots and lots and lots of money.  Why not tax gas the full amount of increases taking place after a natural disaster and then have an additional no-good Samaritan charge on the people responsible for the prices going up.

They don't care who has to suffer if they have a chance to make a profit.

The No-Goodniks!!  --RoadDog

Reading the Bumper Stickers at Wintzell's in Mobile, Alabama-- Part 1

This past January, we were in Mobile, Alabama, for the Go-Daddy Bowl game between Northern Illinois and Arkansas State.  Us Huskie fans were greatlt outnumbered by the Red Wolf fans and everywhere you went, the Red Wold howl was heard whenever they encountered each other.

The bartender said that was all she hear the previous night and there was a fair amount of it the afternoon we were there.

I had a really tasty crab omelet Po'Boy sandwich.  Definitely something you don't often get.

Besides food and atmosphere, Wintzell's is famous for the bumper stickers all over most every open bit of space, walls and ceiling.

Some of the better ones near us:

The upper crust is just a bunch of crumbs stuck together with their own dough.

A hypochondriac: is one who is happy about being miserable.

Some after dinner speakers are so gusty they should be called-- Gust of Honor.

More to Come

Monday, October 29, 2012

Closing Down the 2012 Boating Season: A Recap-- Part 1

When we're not out on the road, we like to be out on the boat and we just officially put an end to the 2012 season on Saturday when I towed the boat over to the barn in Hebron, Illinois, where I store it for the winter.

With Frank's help, I pulled the boat last Wednesday and took it over to Midwest Marine in Antioch who had it winterized, prepped for 2013 and the hull cleaned by Thursday.  Picked it up Friday and Liz cleaned the inside and took stuff out for the winter.

Nothing to do now but wait six or seven months and get it our and back on the water.

Darryl, our marine mechanic, says times are getting rough here on the Chain of Lakes, so much so that he has had to start working part time for another marina to make ends meet.  He says that a whole lot of the boats he used to work on have been sold because of the economy.  Hey, house payment or boat payment?  How you going to call that?

Plus, there is the super-expensive gas, and if you buy it on the water, it is at least a buck more.  Then, mother nature kicked in this summer with the drought which caused the water level to drop so low that a lot of props were destroyed along with lower units when items were encountered.

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Hurricane Sandy and Big Oil Profit

With all this news about the storm off the east coast, I wonder how much longer before we get a spike in gas prices here in the Midwest.  Hey, Big Oil, what's the use of having a big, possibly devastation storm if you can't make some money off it?

Gas has been dropping rapidly around here.  I'm enjoying it, but I have been brainwashed into thinking that $3.50 a gallon is a good price.  I hate when that happens.

And, you speculators and hedgers.  You know who you are.

RoadDog

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Get Your Motoring Adventure" on Route 66

Swiftcover.com did a survey back in 2010 and it found that 40% of people choosing to cruise Route 66 do so "for motoring adventure" even though it has been removed from official road maps.

But many states still promote their stretches of the old road with "Historic Route 66" signs.  Also, a whole industry has sprung up to support those people wanting to drive the Mother Road to relive the American driving dream (that is until these gasoline prices wrecked it).

There are Route 66 guides, maps and even folks making a living off the road.

Di you say Route as in "Root" or the other way?

Way Too Hooked to Turn Back Now.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ten Roads That Will Scare You Silly

From Listverse.

10.  A75 Kinmont Straight in southwest Scotland
9.  Kelly Road in Ohioville, Pennsylvania, especially a one mile stretch of it
8.  Deadman's Curve in Clermont County, Ohio where 222 meets 125.  It was part of the Ohio Turnpike in 1831.

7.  Boone County, Illinois, by Belvidere.  Called Bloodspoint Road.
6.  Stockbridge Bypass in England, formerly part of M-67.
5.  M6 Motorway in England, longest road
4.  Tuen Mon Road in Hong Kong

3.  Highway 666 in the United States in Utah
2.  A229 from Sussex to Kent, England
1.  Clinton Road in Passaic County, New Jersey

For pictures and explanation, go to Listverse.

OK, Now You Scared Me and It Isn't Even Halloween Yet.  --RoadDog

And, Speaking of Horseshoe Sandwiches

Believe it or not, there is a website dedicated to Springfield and Central Illinois' famous Horseshoe Sandwich.

Check it out at www.horseshoesandwich.com.

This past August, the day after visiting the Illinois State Fair, we went to Norb Andy's which says it has the original sauce as served at the Leland Hotel that was located across the street from it.  Mighty fine eating.

But, the fact is you can get a great horseshoe sandwich (and even one for breakfast) at most places around Springfield.  For sheer variety, get into D'Arcy's Pint.

Bad For You, But Oh So Good.  --RoadDog

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A New IHSA Challenge: Rand Road (US-12)-Northwest Highway (US-14)

Having the Route 66 and Lincoln Highway teams face off is fine, but I want to have some closer to home here in Spring Grove, Illinois (on Route 12).  These two highways have been in my life ever since the early 1960s.  Both went through Palatine, Illinois, where I lived from 6th grade to freshman year in college.  I graduated from Palatine High School.

US-12 is called Rand Road, named after Asa Rand from the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.  Northwest Highway, US-14) got its name from its location, running through the Northwest Suburbs and one of the first to be paved.

These are the teams making it to the 2012 IHSA football playoffs starting this weekend.  I'll run it like I do the other competition.  Last Man Standing wins.

This fall, I saw Richmond-Burton play two games, Palatine and Fremd play each other and Grant play another playoff team, 8A's Stevenson.

Palatine, Fremd, and St. Viator serve both roads.

US HIGHWAY 14, NORTHWEST HIGHWAY

CLASS 8A
Maine South (Hillary Clinton's high school)
Palatine (RoadDog's high school)
Fremd

CLASS 6A
St. Viator


CLASS 5A
Marian Central
Woodstock North


US HIGHWAY 12, RAND ROAD


8A
Fremd
Palatine


7A
Lake Zurich

6A
St. Viator
Grant

5A
Wauconda

4A
Richmond-Burton (serves Spring Grove)

May the Best Road Win.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

3rd Annual Lincoln-66 IHSA Football Showdown-- Part 1

Lincoln Highway leads the showdown 1-0-1.  One win, one tie.

LINCOLN HIGHWAY HIGH SCHOOLS

7A 
St. Charles East
Batavia
Lincoln-Way East
Plainfield North
Plainfield Central

6A
Lincoln-Way North

5A
Kaneland (Maple Park)
Rochelle
Lincoln-Way West
Joliet Catholic

3A 
Aurora Central Catholic

2A
Morrison

1A
Mooseheart


ROUTE 66 HIGH SCHOOLS

8A  Bolingbrook

7A
Edwardsville
East St. Louis
Plainfield North
Plainfield Central

6A
Springfield
Bloomington
Normal Community
Normal Community West

5A
Normal University
Joliet Catholic

4A
Bloomington Central Catholic

3A
Wilmington
Williamsville

2A
Carlinville

1A
Mt. Olive

Lincoln Highway has 14 teams and Route 66 has 17.  Route 66 has had more teams in each of the previous showdowns.

Joliet Catholic, Plainfield North and Plainfield Central are playing for both highways.  Sure are a lot of teams from Bloomington-Normal and, then, there are all the Lincoln-Ways.  Must grow some good players in these places.

Play Some Pigskin!!!   --RoadDog


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sorting Out the Best of the Best in Illinois High School Football

That's right, the 2012 edition of the massive, 256 team, Illinois High School Association playoff begins this weekend.  And that means, we begin the Third Annual Lincoln-66 IHSA Football Showdown, pitting teams making the playoffs from those two historic roads against each other.



The IHSA Playoffs by the numbers:

256--  number of teams in it

32--  number of teams per class

8--  number of classes

239-  number of football programs which have won state titles

13--  number of titles won by Joliet Catholic, the most of any team  (Joliet is back again, but with just a 5-4 record.  They represent both Route 66 and Lincoln Highway.

3--  number of teams representing both 66 and the Lincoln

27--  the number of seasons in a row Mt. Carmel has made the playoffs

28--  number of undefeated teams in the field

53--  number of 8-1 teams

60--  number of 7-2 teams

76--  number of 6-3 teams

40  Number of 5-4 teams

16--  the number of 5-4 teams that didn't make it (determined by the # of victories by their opponents).

Find Out the Lincoln Highway and Route 66 Teams Tomorrow.  --RoadDog

Bits of 66 Catching Up-- Blue Whale-- The Boots-- Denny's Big Trip

Bits of 66--  Some Sort of New News On the Old Road.


1.  BLUE WHALE--  From Feb. 23rd--  Thieves broke into the collection box and stole $15.  A local woman has since donated three surveillance cameras.  The big fish, er, mammal, has been vandalized twice so far in 2012.


2.  THE BOOTS--   From May 7th St. Louis Today--  Five newly redone rooms opened at the Boots Motel in Carthage, Mo., today.  Wonder if Bob and Ramona at Munger-Moss will get mad if I stay there.  I also want to stay at the Wagon Wheel in Cuba.


3.  DENNY'S BIG TRIP--  My buddy Denny just finished a huge 6,269 mile, 28-day trip this past summer, using 240 gallons of gas in doing so.  He drove Route 66 the whole way from Chicago to Santa Monica and took a lot of US-70 on the way home. 

You can read about his exploits and see pictures at http://www.dennygibson.com/rt66in12/

My Yard Would Never Forgive Me If I Left It That Long in the Summer.  --RoadDog

Retailer's Redesign in Chicago Hits the Target

From the July 26, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Blair Kamin.

When Target announced last year that it was going to open a store in Louis Sullivan's former Carson Pirie Scott & Co. store at 1 S. State Street, I was worried it would somehow be turned into one of those giant boxes the chain so loves.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The new store opened July 25th. and it "strikes the right balance between preserving the aesthetic integrity of one of the nation's great works of architecture and projecting the visual brand of one of the nation's biggest retailers."

The building took its shape between 1899 and 1906.  Louis Sullivan had already made his reputation designing skyscrapers and now turned his talents to the horizontal plane.  The building's steel frame was clad in lines of white terra cotta.

The buildings upper floors are now offices and it is called Sullivan Center.  The Target store is on the bottom two levels.

A perfect repurposing  (well sort of) of a remarkable piece of architecture.  I'll have to go to my local Big Box Target in McHenry and buy something, no wait, I bought the new Jason Aldean CD at it last week.

Thanks Target, We Needed That.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 22, 2012

One Last Trip Down the Fox River (For the Season)-- Part 2

This took place Oct. 8th.

Once past the dam and lock (and the tender said that just one other boat had gone through today), we made for a new one that has opened called River Side a little south of the 176 bridge, but found that it wouldn't open until 4 PM and we didn't want to wait around.

So, then, second choice, Joey B's just to the south of the 176 bridge.  We'd enjoyed out visit back in the summer, but after a really hard climb out of the boat, the low water has resulted in some mighty high piers, we walked the 100 yards to the place, only to find that it too was closed, but the sign led us to believe indefinitely.

Back to the boat and a bit of a perilous drop into it from those high piers, and we went to the other side of the bridge to Kief's Reef.  Of course, more really high piers.  We decided that we'd best take along a step ladder the next time we go downriver.

We found out in there that Joey B's had had "some problems" and was closed for awhile, but the bartender wouldn't say exactly for what.  She did say that this summer had been VERY hard on all the places south of the locks because of the drought and resultant low water.

We had a couple beers and an appetizer before going back through the locks (again, we were the only ones) and stopped at the Snuggery just south of McHenry and had their half-pound cheeseburger and fries special for $5.  Great food.

Last stop was the American Legion in Fox Lake by the US-12 bridge.  Mondays are 50 cent drafts.

A Good "Last Day" Downriver.  --RoadDog

Get Your Butt Kicked on Route 66: The Bunion Derby and Today

From the April 8, 2012, Arizona Daily Sun by Neil Weintraub.

In 1928, Charles C. Pyle organized a 3,400 mile footrace from Los Angeles to New York Vity in 84 days with a top prize of $35,000.  The first 2,000 miles were on the new Route 66.

There was only one Arizona runner, Nicholas Quamawahu, a Hopi Indian from Orabi who dropped out in Arizona.  Pyle's "Footrace Across America" became better known as "The Bunion Derby."  It began March 4, 1928 with 199 runners.  Only 55 finished and it was won by 20-year-old Andy Payne of Oklahoma, with an average of 10 miles per hour.

The Northern Arizona Trail Runners Association (NATRA) recently ran one of the most challenging stretches of the Bunion Derby which occurred on the 13th day, the steep Ash Fork Hill where Quamawahu dropped off.  This is the 43-mile trek from Seligman to Williams, a 1700 ft incline.

The nine NATRA runners started near the Welch exit and retraced a few miles of the exact path, then took a graded dirt road, part of the Old Trails Highway.  After three miles, most of the present-day runners were walking after having their butts kicked.

Getting Your Butt Kicked You Know Where.  --RoadDog

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Something Real Fast Flew By Yesterday on Route 66 in Illinois

From the Oct. 20, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Officials gleeful at 111 mph Amtrak run" by Jon Hilkevitch.

It was a bird, no plane, no...a train that blew by the 15-mile stretch between Dwight and Pontiac, Illinois yesterday in the trial run of the newly renovated high-speed track.  Construction of the track was the reason for all the portapotties along that stretch in recent months.

The Amtrak train reached 111 mph, one mph more than was the goal and marked the fastest a train has traveled in Illinois for more than 70 years.

Of course, we've been startled in the past by trains flying along that stretch pretty fast even before the new tracks.  Then, there was the derailment south of Pontiac near the old state highway patrol station.

The short leg between Dwight and Pontiac is part of the 284 miles of the Union Pacific Railroad corridor which is being built to accommodate the faster trains planned for use between Chicago and St. Louis. 

The map in the article pretty-well traces Route 66 across the state.

Construction of this corridor was part of the reason for the demolition of the old Ballard Elevator between Chenoa and Lexington and the Chenoa train station in recent years.

So, That's What It Was.  --RoadDog

If You're Headed for the Marlinton, W. Va, Roadkill Cook-off, You're Too Late

From the Oct. 8, 2012, Yahoo! Travel "The Roadkill Cook-Off."

Maybe, not all the food prepared was real roadkill, but, anyway....

This is run in conjunction with the Marlington, West Virginia, Autumn Harvest Festival and like I said, you're too late for it as it took place September 29th.  They feature such delicacies as squirrel, groundhog and possum.

2012 Winners:

1ST  (ALSO SHOWMANSHIP)--  The Ridge Runners for their Stuffed-Bear-Ron-A-Saur-Us (It would be interesting to know what was in it.

2ND--  East Meets West Virginia for their Venison and Rabbit Stew

3RD--  Woodrow Woodrats for their South of the Border Nachos

PEOPLE'S CHOICE--  Pochahontas County Pro Start for their Porcupine Stew (hope they took the quills out.)

Waiting Till Next Year.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hatch, New Mexico

On Oct. 9th and 11th, I wrote about the New Mexico Green Chile Trail and one of the towns I mentioned was Hatch, New Mexico.  The name was of extreme interest to me for some reason.  I had heard of it before, but didn't know anything about the place, other than they are famous fro their chiles, and that they had a festival honoring their local product.

Wikipedia here I come.

It was originally called Santa Barbara in 1851 when it was first settled.  Apache raids drove settlers away until 1853 when Fort Thom was built.  The settlers returned, but when the fort was closed in 1860, the town was abandoned again until 1875 and then it was renamed for famed Indian fighter Edward Hatch, who had been a Union general during the Civil War.  He was then the commander of the New Mexico Military District.

The population of Hatch explodes up to 30,000 for the annual festival.  I'm not a big green chile fan, but would sure like to be there someday for the festival.

A Place in the Sunshine.  --RoadDog

Fatal Bus Crash on I-71 in Kentucky

Back on October 8th, I was writing about my drive back from North Carolina in July this past summer.  After spending Saturday July 21st in White House, Tennessee, I drove to Louisville on Sunday and took I-71 east to Cincinnati. 

Along that stretch of road, I saw a sign referring to a fatal bus crash the 1980s, but was driving too fast to read it, so had to look it up.

It turns out that on May 14, 1988 a drunk driver drove into church school bus returning from an outing at King's Island amusement park, causing the deaths of 27 aboard it.  And 34 of 67 were also injured.  Most of the victims weer teenagers.

This took place in Carroll County, Kentucky, at the site of the sign.

A Very Tragic Happening. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Route 66: Union Is Last Stop for Santa Fe Sign

From the July 24, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Mitch Smith.

The Santa Fe sign that sat atop the  building at Jackson Street and Michigan Avenue in Chicao, near the terminus of east bound Route 66 is going to stay in the state instead of moving to New Mexico.

The Illinois Railway Museum in McHenry County (where I live) will take possession of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway sign  on the roof of Chicago's Railway Exchange Building at 224 S. Michigan Avenue (across from Grant Park).

The Creative Santa Fe art group also tried to get it for Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I was a bit torn by the whole thing.  I'd like to see it stay in Illinois, but then again, the name was Santa Fe and that was on Route 66.

The white letter were on the building until June when they were taken down and replaced with a sign for Motorola Solutions.

Union is about 60 miles northwest of Chicago.  Museum volunteers will refurbish the sign and after that it will join the display of Santa Fe equipment and railroad signs.  They already have a Santa Fe locomotive on display.

Glad to Keep It in the State.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Third Annual Illinois Lincoln-66 IHSA Football Showdown Coming

The regular Illinois football season is winding down with just one game remaining.  That means I will soon be listing the teams at all levels on Lincoln Highway and Route 66 who made it to the playoffs and again will run a competition to see which roads' teams get the farthest.  This will be third year for it.  It was a tie in 2010 and Lincoln Highway squeaked by last year.

This year, I am thinking about also having a US-12 (Rand Road) versus US-14 (Northwest Highway) Northwest suburbs to Wisconsin state line competition so I can list Richmond-Burton (US-12) which serves Spring Grove and good old Palatine (both US-12 and US-14).

Lovin' That High School Football.  --RoadDog

The Lincoln Highway, the Road and the School

From the New Lenox (Illinois) Area Historical Society "The Lincoln Highway, the Road and the School."

The Lincoln Highway ran through New Lenox Township following an old Indian trail which became a stagecoach route in the 1840s and was also used by horses and wagons.

When a high school district was formed for Frankfort, Manhattan and New Lenox townships in the 1950s, a contest was held to name the new high school which was to be built along the Lincoln Highway.  The Lincoln-Way submission was selected and Lincoln-Way Community High School opened in 1954.  Today, it is called Lincoln-Way Central because population growth has led to the creation of Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North and Lincoln-Way West.

The Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition has built an interpretive gazebo by Central.

Honoring an Old Road.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Lincoln Highway Mural in Illinois

From the Oct. 12, 2012, Southtown (Chicago Southern Suburbs) Star "'Father of Lincoln Highway' mural goes up in Lynwood" by Susan Demar Lafferty.

This mural is the latest in a series of interpretive signs across the state of Illinois and was installed Oct. 10th.  This one, honoring Carl G. Fisher, the "Father of Lincoln Highway" went up at Lynwood's Senior/Youth Center at 21490 E. US Highway 30, the old Lincoln Highway.

There are 179 miles of the Lincoln Highway in Illinois, running east-west from Indiana to Iowa and over 20 communities now have the murals that cost $10,000 each.

This is the sixth one in the Southland area.  There are others in Frankfort, New Lenox, Park Forest, Sauk Village, University Park and Chicago Heights.  Two others in Mokena and Matteson will be up before the year is out.

www.drivelincolnhighway.com.

Any and All Publicity Is Surely Welcome.  --RoadDoh

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Woodrow Wilson Road in Kentucky: Centre College

I must to wondering about why a Kentucky Road would be named for Woodrow Wilson.  I don't know  a real lot about the man, but I don't think he had much of anything to do with the state.  So, started doing some research.

I didn't come up with a definitive answer, but most likely it had to do with a comment Wilson made while on the faculty of Princeton University.  He joined the staff in 1890 and was upset that Princeton did not produce more notable men.  A comment is attributed to him where he said, "There's a little  college down in Kentucky which in sixty years has graduated more men who have acquired prominence and fame than has Princeton in her 150 years."

He was referring to Centre College, located in Danville, Kentucky, about 35 miles south of Lexington.  Founded in 1819, this liberal arts school today has 1,215 students.  Included in its alumni are two vice presidents, one chief justice, thirteen U.S. senators, forty-three U.S. representatives and eleven governors.

And, then, Thursday, I was watching some of the vice-presidential debate and it took place at this very same little school.  So, within a week, I heard about this school that I'd never heard of before, twice.

Maybe Woodrow Knew What He Was Talking About.  --RoadDog

Sunday, October 14, 2012

There's Got to Be a Morning After...There Was: NIU Homecoming

As the old song goes...there was a morning after the Northern Illinois Homecoming football game, and I'm doing it  right now.  And, for some reason, it is a whole lot more enjoyable than in the past,  Well, actually, it hasn't been so bad for a number of years.

Yes, it is a tad rainy outside right now, and finally, there are actually parking spaces in marked spots available at the Best Western on Lincoln Highway (yes, that Lincoln Highway), something that couldn't be found yesterday when I had to be creative in making my own.

Yes, there was a continental breakfast and yes, I did listen in on conversations of early risers.  (If I'm by myself and you're talking, as Fraser would say, "I'm listening.")  One girl was talking about having to get home to do lots of lesson plans.  Sure glad that is no longer something I have to deal with.  Obviously, there were some other teachers in a group of four girls (I say girls because they sure look young to me).  And another couple was having trouble finding a dog-sitter.

But, the main thing is that certain adult beverages are no longer consumed in vast quantities as happened in the past.  Funny how that can lead to a finer next morning.  Well, that and going to bed at an earlier time, although it was still past 1 AM when we got back.

Sure not the cheaper prices either.  The cheapest beers were $2.50 pints.

Must Be Getting Older.  --RoadDog (NIU Class of '73)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Open House Chicago: What a Great Idea-- Part 1

There was a special advertisement section in the Thursday Chicago Tribune for the Open House Chicago group listing events for today and tomorrow, Oct 13-14.    It bills itself as a FREE, behind -the-scenes access to over 150 buildings across Chicago.

What a great idea.

It is from 9 to 5 today and tomorrow brought to you by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and over a dozen other organizations.  It is not just downtown, but spread across the city:  Downtown, The Gold Coast, Chinatown, Prairie Avenue District, West Neighborhoods, Garfield Park/North Lawndale, Humboldt Park, Little Village, Pilsen, South Neighborhoods, Black metropolis/Greater Bronzeville,Hyde Park, South Shore, North Neighborhoods, Rogers Park/West Ridge and Uptown.

Chicago is a city of amazing architecture and essentially was able to start over after the Great Chicago Fire.  I would recommend that is you ever come to the city, that you get in contact with Dave Clark, the Windy City Road Warrior, for one of his personalized walking tours.  If he is not available, go to the Chicago Architecture Foundation and they have quite a few tours available as well.

I imagine Dave is going to go to as many of the areas as possible today and tomorrow.

I'll be elsewhere this weekend, so won't be able to go, but will be writing about places I would have liked to have visited over the course of next week.

You can find more information at www.openhousechicago.org.

Walking Down the Street With Buildings in Mind.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 12, 2012

One Last Trip Down the Fox River (For the Season)-- Part 1

This past Monday, Kevin and Kelly took us out on their boat downriver on the Fox, the river responsible for the Chain of Lakes here in northeast Illinois.  It was just a little bit cool, but the biggest problem was the strong wind.  We were sure buffeted going across Pistakee Lake.  Once on the river proper, it wasn't as bad.  And, even better, there were only a few boats in it.

The fact that most waterfront homes on the river have seawalls, makes wakes a real problem, especially when you encounter one of those big cruisers at high speeds.

No wait at the McHenry Lock and Dam south of McHenry; always a good thing.  It being noon, the lockmaster said that only one other boat had gone through.  On the weekends, it can be a one to two hour wait to go through.  A big reason we don't go downriver on the weekends along with those horrendous wakes.

I should mention that the wakes run to the seawalls, then off them and back to the center of the river, making for "jumpy" water.

Sadly, there was no water going over the concrete dam by the locks.

This whole last summer there was low water on the Chain of Lakes and especially on the Fox south of the lock.  Businesses down there were hurt badly by fewer boats.

A Bad day On the Water Is Still better Than....  --RoadDog

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Mexico's Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail-- Part 2: The Owl and the Hatch

About 90 miles south of Albuquerque is the town of San Antonio, as mentioned in the previous post.  This was the childhood home of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, whose father ran the A.H. Hilton Mercantile, a combination tavern and general store in the early 1900s.

When fire destroyed the store in 1945, all that could be saved was the 25-foot long mahogany bar which now is in the Owl Bar and Cafe.  Come in and you can get chili on pretty much anything.  (I'm not quite sure of the difference between Chile and Chili here unless the former refers to the pepper itself.)

Then about 90 miles from the Mexico border is the pinnacle of all things chile (or is it chili?)  It is the town of Hatch which calls itself the "Chili Capital of the World" and its locally-grown produce called "Hatch Chilies."  Hey, another chili spelling.

Every Labor Day weekend, Hatch's population swells from 1,670 to 15,000 or more for the annual chili festival that coincides with the harvesting of the green chilies.

In case anybody ever asks you, chili peppers are members of the tomato family and worldwide, there are about 800 varieties, including about 40 grown in the Hatch Valley.

And Then, there's That mean Old "Ghost Pepper."  Maybe You Ought to Have That On Your Cheeseboiger.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hey, How Come No Beach Bands at Riverfest?

From the Sept. 19, 2012, Beach Carolina Magazine "34th Annual Riverfest Celebrates The Heritage, Culture & Beauty of the Cape Fear River."

Well, you missed it as it was last weekend.  This year's theme was "Bringing Generations Together.  What began in 1978 as a small riverfront festival to bring people back to the downtown Wilmington, NC, has grown steadily throughout the years.

Sat. and Sun. there was WPWA Wrestling and a classic car show Saturday.

They had lots of bands, but NO BEACH BAND.  How could you have a festival in this part of the country and not have at least one band.

FRIDAY--  surf (well, this one might have been a Beach Band), pop/reggae and top country/rock bands
SATURDAY--  80s Rock, alternative bluegrass, Folk pop, classic rock, country, Journey Tribute.
SUNDAY--  Christian Rock

Maybe I'll get There One of These Years.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

No. 2500!!

That last post was number 2500.  I've got to get a life.

Somehow, Some Day.  --RoadDog

New Mexico's Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail-- Part 1

From the Sept. 25, 2011, Chicago Tribune "Homegrown heat" by Jay Jones.

Rowena Baco remembers the day the sun rose twice in New Mexico.  That would be July 16, 1945, when scientists detonated the first atomic bomb 35 miles from San Antonio, NM.  The scientists stayed at her grandfather's cabins and ate and drank at her father's Miera's Owl Bar.  Her father began topping the burgers with fiery-hot diced green chili peppers, and started what is now a New Mexico culinary delight: the green chili cheeseburger.

I've been in the state twice and sadly admit to never having one, but then again, I am not a big fan of anything too hot.  Nonetheless, next time on 66, I will try one.

Now, there even is a Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail stretching 500 miles along I-25 from Colorado to Mexico.

And one of the best is in Albuquerque and is on the historic Route 66.  That would be Lumpy's Burgers which doesn't even have indoor seating and has only been open since 2010.  You can order a Wimpy, Lumpy or Plumpy as to size and your desired toppings..  If you want fries, you pick your own potato.  Can't get much fresher than that.

Salivating All the Way.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 8, 2012

Heading Home: Summer 2012-- Part 2: From White House to Cincinnati

I spent Saturday, July 21st, with Andy and Andrea in White House, Tennessee, and enjoyed Charlie and Aylin, their kids.  Spent a fun afternoon at the home of someone in that 1% class, ot at least close to it.  Quite impressive and enjoyed the pool area.  Then, there was a 60th birthday party for Andrea's uncle.

The next day, drove I-65 to Louisville, Kentucky, where I picked up I-71 heading east to Cincinnati.  The stretch out of Louisville is called The Woodrow Wilson Road, why, I know not.  Saw a sign for the site of a fatal bus crash in the 1980s.

Later saw a sign saying the US-421 bridge into Indiana at Madison, Indiana, was closed for repairs.

I-71 joins I-75 south of Cincinnati and is called  the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail, a very worthy group.

Met up with pal Denny at the new American Sign Museum in Cincinnati and took a tour through it.

Sign Me In.  --RoadDog

Friday, October 5, 2012

Heading Home: Summer 2012

Left Goldsboro, NC at 8:12 AM, July20, 2012 with overall mileage at 8745 and mileage for trip at 1,451.  Took US-70 to Raliegh and then I-40 west.  Missed the horror traffic.

Stopped in Mebane, NC, for one last shot of Carolina BBQ at Smithville Chicken and BBQ.  I saw my first-ever Cheerwine soda pop truck.  I had stocked up with six bottles of the stuff.  By Winston Salem, mpg at 32.0.

Got off I-40 in Asheville at the Biltmore exit and went to the fanciest McDonald's I've ever seen.  I didn't buy anything because of the long lines.  I always buy something from places where I stop to use the bathroom.  Common courtesy.  Use the facilities, buy something.

As I already know, get gas before you get to Asheville as it was $3.60 at one place and I had been paying $3.12 to $3.39 on the trip so far.  Even West Virginia was only around $3.30.  But, I did see gas at $3.30 at another station in the city.

Getting back on the interstate, I came across the longest-ever left turn signal...and I wasn't turning left.

Hit Knoxville, Tn., at rush hour and I've been told it has a bad one, but cruised right through, until I got considerably west of town...and there it was.  Not as bad as Chicago, but approaching the Raleigh-Durham horror.

Arrived at my nephew's place in White House at 9357 miles and 2.063 for trip.  MPG now at 33.4.

Stopped ta the BP and stocked up on my Chocolate Uglys.

The Stop before the Stop Before Getting Home.  --RoadDog

Thursday, October 4, 2012

NC Trip 2012-- Part 11: More Cottage Names

One thing about Topsail Beach that makes it nicer than Myrtle Beach is that the biggest traffic problem running along Ocean Boulevard were joggers, walkers and bicyclists.

I should have turned the page in the notebook yesterday as I had more cottage names.  These were the names from the Jolly Roger to Smith Street along Ocean Boulevard:

Cool Breeze
Perse-Vear-Ance
Oyster Catcher
Bare Footin'
Southern Exposure
Cocktales (featuring a Univ. of South Carolina logo)
Few Cleods, No Sons
Dreams Come True
Peace of the Sun
Double Vision
You-N-Sea
Manny's Spot
Hatch Haven
Hood's Retreat

A story behind every name, I bet.

What Would I Name My Cottage?  Wag the Dog?  --RoadDog


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

NC Trip 2012-- Part 10-- Cottage Names

Jewel of the Sea
A Home By King (McKea)
Dot's Spot
Seahorse Corral
Star of the Sea

Manny's Spot (with a spot fish)
U 'N Sea (especially good since there are so many Tarheel fans in NC)

And, my own favorite one, Hatch Haven.  Of course, Topsail Beach is known for its sea turtles and there is even a sea turtle hospital there.

This one featuring a bunch of baby sea turtles hatching and heading for the water.  My niece Andrea came up with that name and it was perfect.

Rough Job to Spend Time at the Beach, But I'm Just the Guy to Do It.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NC Trip Summer 2012-- Part 9: Cottage Names

While at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, one day I made a list of the cottage names running south along the ocean drive from the downtown to the town home.  I always like to look for these names as many show great creativity.  The same when I'm at an antique auto show, I look for license plates.  Boating, it's fun to look for boat names.

Happy Days
Casa de la Tortuga
Bungalow By the Sea
By the Shore
Wild Oats
A Home By King
@dickey.calm
The Starlings
Pelican Way
Seas the Day
Sand Flea
Squid Row
Dana Sea
Sweet Surrender
One Fish Two Fish
Our Goal (with a soccer ball painted on it)
A Gift

More to Come.  --RoadDog

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Pretty Good Weekend: Three Football Games, Three Bands, Three Bars

And, we're talking high school, college and NFL games.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH

Drove to Palatine, Illinois, and saw the Palatine Pirates barely beat the Fremd Vikings at Palatine's homecoming game.  Final score was 24-17.  Fremd was driving with 14 seconds left when Palatine intercepted on ots 14 yard line.

Watch out for the powder the Palatine students like to throw these days.

After the game, we got together with Kevin and wife Debbie.  He graduated with us from Palatine in 1969.  Always great to talk with old friends.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER  29TH

Drove to Dekalb, Illinois, for the Northern Illinois-Central Michigan game.  Enjoyed Fatty's Oktoberfest tent before the game and with Die Musikmeisters, an eight-piece oompah band playing.

The Huskies led the whole game, but in the third, the Chippewas pulled to within 27-21, but then Northern blew them out.

Drove home and over to Captain's Quarters where we saw Red Eye Express band play.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH

Drove to McHenry and had a drink at Twisted Moose and then went downtown by the Fox River.  I went to the Vinyl Frontier record store and bought a Kinks CD.  Joined Liz at After the Fox where the band Practice in Public was playing for the bar's 30th anniversary party.  Watched that really close Packer-Saints game and again took grief from Bear fans.  Despite many more calls going against us, the Pack won.

A Pretty Good Time.  --RoadDog

NC Trip Summer 2012-- Part 8-- Arrival



JULY 11th

Feeling pretty full after the grazing at Golden Corral in Mt. Airy and nearing the coast with every mile.  Continued on to I-40 by Winston-Salem, NC.  Heading east and a big traffic jam east of the city because of an accident.

Turns out there were accidents on both sides of the interstate.  Must have been a gawker accident on one side or the other.

I hated to do it, but hit the Raleigh-Durham traffic right at rush hour, which meant jam up and jelly tight.  "You ain't goin' nowhere."

My MPG now up to 32.

Besides the traffic by R-D, not bad the rest of the trip. What was bad was all the rain pretty much across the whole state of North Carolina.  At times it came down so hard, and with those trucks whizzing by, I could hardly see.  making it worse, this being a newer vehicle, I couldn't find the emergency flashers which I really wanted to put on.

East of Raleigh, I saw "Slippery When Wet" markers on the road construction and it must have been just that, as I saw quite a few cars disabled along the sides of I-40.

We sure could use some of that rain in our drought back in Illinois; so bad we had to pull the boat out before it got stuck in the channel mud.

Arrived at the place in Topsail Beach at 8:30 PM after driving1,178.2 miles the last two days.  My MPG was up to 32.7!!

Good to Be Back at the Beach.  --RoadDog