Friday, February 27, 2015

Bald Eagle Update: The Nests We Watch

We watch three nests the most.

Southwest 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.  She 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

No F.L.A. for Us

We sure were looking forward to getting down to sunny and warm Florida, to Panama City Beach this week (so long as we could get out before the college students arrived and rates went sky-high).  But, we had those ice storms, sub-freezing temps, etc in Tennessee last week and now, this week, 50s and often rain at PCB.  I am not going to drive 1100 miles for that.  I might just as well stay here and freeze in northern Illinois.

Even though this week forecasts don't have us getting above freezing all week.  These are not wind chills.  M-11 degrees, Tues. 28, Wed. 18, Thurs.- 10-14, Friday 15-19, Sat. lower 20s and Sun. lower 30s.

Can't stand this winter Global Blah, blah, blah much more.

And, I keep telling the Canadian Folk to Keep Their Weather.  --RoadOg

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bald Eagles January 2015-- Part 1: A Leak and Many Debates

JANUARY 21ST, 2015, WEDNESDAY:  We had been planning on getting off for the trip on Tuesday.  But, we had had a leak that we discovered in the basement by the well tank on Friday.  We had it fixed that day and I checked it over the weekend and it was fine, but when I checked it again on Tuesday before we left on Tuesday, it was leaking again.  We had to have the people come back and fix it, which they did on the early afternoon, but it was too late to leave that day.

So, Wednesday it was.

We got off today at about 1 p.m. with a three hour drive to Galena, Illinois.  We stopped at our usual place on the way, the Freeport/Stevenson County Welcome Center on US-20.  Always a nice place for a break and a stretch, plus they have all those pamphlets and brochures for the whole northwest Illinois region.

They always have a historical display.  This year it was about the Lincoln Douglas Debates for U.S. Senate. One of the debates was held in Freeport.   The debates themselves were important of course, but what most don't know is that the debates were just part of a really long tour the two made across the state starting in the north and working their way southward.  Both men appeared in different places in between the debates and stumped for votes.

Of interest, I saw that Lincoln spent $1,000 for the tour, while Douglas put out $50,000.  Actually, they might as well not have made the tour or debates.  Lincoln swept the northern part of the state and Douglas did the same in the southern part.

And Now, the Tall Guy from Downstate.  --RoaddOg

U.S. State Tidbits: Ice Cream School, German Capital and Pennant Flag

MISSOURI--  Ever since an 18-foot high ice cream cone sculpture was erected  out front, Mesnier Primary School in Affton (pop.20,307) has been known as "The Ice Cream School."  Built in 1942, the sculpture originally stood in front of a Velvet Freeze ice cream shop and was moved to the school in 1992.  I wonder if the kids get to have their ice cream and eat it too.

NORTH DAKOTA--  What does the state capital and a famous German warship have in common?  Both were named after German chancellor Otto von Bismarck.  The state capital in 1872.

OHIO--  The only state whose flag is in the shape of a pennant.  It is called the Ohio burgee with its blue field standing for the state's hills and lakes.  The stripes represent the roads and waterways (they have a lot of canals).  The 13 stars around the circle are the original 13 states and the four additional stars at the peak of the triangle are for Ohio being the 17th state.

Stuff You Didn't Know.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 20, 2015

U.S. State Tidbits, Midwest: Hobos, Post-Its and "Magic"

IOWA--  Visitors can learn about the lifestyle and history of hobos at the Hobo museum in Britt (pop. 2,069)  The museum contains books and crafts created by these homeless travelers.

MICHIGAN--  Basketball star Earvin Johnson Jr. was born in 1959 in Lansing.  Before playing in the NBA, he attended Everett High School, also in Lansing, where a sportswriter gave him his nickname.

MINNESOTA--  Arthur Fry, the co-inventor of Post-It Notes (along with Spencer Silver) was born in 1931 in Owatonna (pop. 25,599).  Fry created an early version of the paper stationery to use as a removable bookmark for church hymnals.  The product was marketed nationally in 1980.

I have my Post-It Notes, how 'bout you.

"Magic" In Case Your're Wondering.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Groundhog Days in Woodstock-- Part 9: Unhappy Punxsutawney, Pa.

A talked with a couple from Berwyn who were visiting Woodstock for this event for the first time and filled them in with all this information I know about the movie.  Probably drove them off, but they seemed interested and were considering coming back tomorrow to take the walking tour.

Perhaps I ought to start gibing the tours.

I sure wish I had known they were filming when they were as I didn't live but about 30 miles away.  It would have been interesting to see how they made the movie.

I understand Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, does not have a warm spot in their hearts for Woodstock because of the movie and I kind of agree with them.  It should have been filmed there or at least a fictional town created.

I saw a girl bowling with a Woodstock High School Class of '16 jacket.  Always strange to see that date for a high school class since I was from Palatine Class of '69.  Those "0"s just get me, especially when I started seeing Class of '00 and '01.

The bowling alley had pins with a groundhog on them and the Woodstock Willie mascot costumed person showed up.

I wonder if there is any relation for the name Phil Connors (Bill Murray's character) and Punxsutawney Phil?

Just Wonderin'.  --RoadDog

U.S. State Tidbits, Midwest: Pretzels in Illinois, Giant Baseball in Indiana

From the American Profile Magazine.  Unfortunately, the magazine does not carry this always interesting article which would appear every two weeks in this weekly magazine.  As a matter of fact, it is possible that the magazine doesn't even exist anymore, which is too bad as it was always quite interesting.  I did save some and have now found them so will be occasionally printing some selections.

FREEPORT, ILLINOIS:  Freeport (pop. 25,638) is known as Pretzel City because of the salty treats that were a specialty of the now defunct Billerbeck Bakery, which opened in 1869.  The town's high school teams are called the Pretzels.  We always stop at the town's welcome center whenever going to Glaena, Illinois.

ALEXANDRIA, INDIANA:  Since 1977, Michael Carmichael of Alexandria (pop. 5,145) has added coat after coat of paint to a baseball.  With 17,994 coats, the ball earned a Guinness World Record in 2004 and measured 9 feet, 1 inch in circumference.  I wonder if it's on public display?

Gives Him Something to Do I Guess.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Murder in DeKalb Seven Years Ago-- Part 3

From the Feb. 15, 2015, Northwest Herald (McHenry County, Illinois) "Bells toll on anniversary of NIU campus shooting."

"I heard on the news that there had been a shooting, but I didn't really think twice about it," Gary Parmenter said.  "Then I received a phone call from the hospital."

On February 14, 2008, Kishwaukee Community Hospital notified him that his son Daniel had been injured in the shooting.  Seven years ago, Gary Parmenter received a phone call that changed his life forever.  His son Daniel was pronounced dead later that day.

"That was the day the world stopped.  I lost my son, and we lost five students.  Each year, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day.  Instead, we honor the memory of my son and all five of those students that died that day.

At 3:06, the moment of the shootings, bells rang across the campus.

A Sad Day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Murder in DeKalb Seven Years Ago-- Part 2

The following Northern Illinois Students were killed:

CATALINA GARCIA, 20, of Cicero

JULIANA GEHANT, 32, of Mendota

RYANNE MACE, 18, of Carpentersville

DANIEL PARMENTER, 20, of Elmhurst\\

GAYLE DUBOWSKI, 20, of Carol Stream

We Do Not Forget.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Murder in DeKalb Seven Years Ago-- Part 1

This past Friday, February 13th, Liz and I weer sitting at K.C.'s Cabin in Spring Grove, Illinois, having breakfast when it suddenly occurred to me that this was the place we were at on that day seven years ago, February 14, 2008, when we first learned of the murders that had taken place at DeKalb at our Northern Illinois University.

At the time, we were having a Valentine's meal on that Tuesday when we noticed on TV that there was a picture of the NIU campus.  Our first thought was that it was great to get some publicity for our often overlooked school.  Then, we saw the horrible reason why they were showing the campus.  (The sound was not on at the time.)

They turned the sound up.  We had a friend going back to school at the campus.  Another couple ithe pace gasped and said their daughter is a student there.  We heard that several had been killed.  We worried about our friend and the other couple tried to call their daughter but couodn't get through at first.  Later they did and found out she was alright.  Our friend, it turns out, had just been in Cole Hall where the murders took place, just a short time before the event took place.

A Horrible St. Valentine's.

2015 Groundhog Days in Woodstock-- Part 8: Make It Like It Was

A pint of Miller Lite cost $2, so I had one and was watching the people bowl when I started to hear music from the "Groundhog Day" movie.  I thought, "Wow, what a nice touch."

Eventually my gaze turned to the big screen TV over the bar (between it and the lanes) and then I saw they were showing the movie.  Well, now I had to watch the movie.  I was wanting to see the movie and actually be in a place in one of the scenes when it came on.And, I got to see the bar scene with the half empty glass.

However, when the movie was filmed, the woodwork where the TV is now was not there.  The woodwork covers up two of the places where the three men were sitting.  The new owner doesn't like the woodwork and plans on taking it down soon.

He then wants to get a full-size cutout of the three actors and let people take pictures with it. Sounds like a great idea to me.

The spot where they sat is around one corner of the bar closest to the alleys between lanes 6 and 7. They had their backs to the bowling alley.  It was neat to see the scene in the movie and then look at the exact spot.

He has also found some of the original beer lights that were up in the movie and placed them back in the windows.

--Half Full For Me.  --RoadDog

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 Groundhog Days in Woodstock-- Part 7: Wayne's Lanes-- The Case of the Mysterious Ball

Wayne's Lanes had kind of a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  This was not the name of the bowling alley back when the movie was made.  The present owners has had the place for about ten years.  It only has eight lanes of bowling and the place isn't much wider.

Well, I ordered a beer and DID NOT drink to world peace.  That was filmed in the nearby jailhouse building which has been turned into a restaurant.  The place was crowded and every lane had bowlers as the Woodstock High School bowling team had an event where you could bowl two games and get pizza and pop for $15.

I haven't bowled for years and didn't begin today.

I did watch one real little girl (about four or five) whose ball would take what seemed forever to get down the lane and would just barely nudge the pins (one of which had a groundhog on it as did her bowling ball.  I wondered how the ball went from side to side of the alley and figured perhaps it had something to do with some sort of slow spin she had on her release, which was more of a push.

It was after awhile before I noticed the rails on her lane.

That would answer a lot.

I Am Easily Entertained.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Groundhog Days, Woodstock-- Part 6: Wayne's Lanes-- In the Movie

Since I was by the bowling alley shown in the movie, I decided to walk the short distance and cross Ill-120, to it.

In the movie, this was where Bill Murray was drinking with the two guys from the Tip-Top Cafe and where one said to Bill that he saw the beer glass as half empty instead of being half full as an outlook on life.  Then, they went outside the bowling alley and had problems getting into the car.  One was so drunk, Murray said, "Do you want to throw up in the car or here?"  The guy replied, "I think...both."

They get into a discussion and Bill says, "What if there were no r."  One of the guys says, "Then we could do anything we wanted to."  Bill agrees

The other guy tries to drive and was too drunk and so Murray gets behind the wheel and that is when they lead the police on that merry chase through Woodstock and knock over garbage cans.  They try to escape by getting on the railroad tracks and driving along them, encounter an oncoming train and veer off just in time.

They then crash into the parking lot and destroy the groundhog sign.  That is when Murray orders food when the cops come to the car.  They get arrested and the next day, Murray wakes up in his B&B room like none of that happened.

Stuck in Woodstock Again.  --RoadDog

2015 "Groundhog Days", Woodstock-- Part 5: Woodstock Theatre

No eating at the site of the Tip-Top Cafe for me and now the puddle has  been filled in with landscaping, but marked with a plaque, so I turned the corner by the restaurant, looked down the street at the marquee of the Woodstock Theatre.

The Woodstock Theatre was converted into the Alpine Theater in the movie, and can be seen when the TV van pulls into "Punxsutawney" and when Bill Murray did his best Clint Eastwood "Bronco Billy" impression with his French maid date at the ticket window.  They have remodeled the theater extensively and expanded to many screens.  Unfortunately, they removed the old outside ticket window.

Earlier today, January 31st, the theatre had had a free showing of the "Groundhog Day" movie.  I was too late for it, but got to see Jim May tell his stories.  Now, i saw they were showing a movie that I had been wanting to see, "Imitation Games."  It is about the cracking of the German Enigma Code during World War II and has been nominated for a lot of  Academy Awards.

I had wanted to see it at my Fox Lake Theatre, but that had stopped showing it.  Now was my chance, so I saw the movie.  It was every bit as good as I thought.

This Is Actually the First Best Movie Nominee I've Seen, Despite Seeing 80 Movies in 2014.  --RoadDog

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Money for the Mill in Lincoln Repairs Obtained in 2011

From the Jan. 25, 2011, Lincoln (Ill.) Courier.

The Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County used the National Park Service grants for major repairs on the historic Mill structure on Route 66.  Foundation repairs, windows, electric service and a newly refurbished floor were among the projects the money went for this past year.

It is hoped that part of it will open as a museum later this year.

On the local level, the Route 66 Association of Illinois helped with volunteer work.  Other financial help came from the Danner Trust and local philanthropist Larry Van Babber.

The town of Lincoln will be holding the Route 66 Garage Sale May 13-14 with all proceeds going to the Mill

The Route 66 Association of Illinois' annual Hall of Fame banquet will be held in Lincoln on June 11th and will be hosted by Lincoln College in town.  It will be held at the new Lincoln Center by the campus.  There will be a special tribute to Bob Waldmire.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2015 "Groundhog Days" in Woodstock-- Part 4: Swiss Maid Bakery and Tip Top Cafe

After the Groundhog Tales, I walked over to the Square Mall and bought some books and CDs from the McHenry Defender's.

I then had to take them back to the car parked off the square as they were too heavy to tote around.

On the way back, i stopped at the Swiss Maid Bakery and bought an iced groundhog cookie and devoured that quickly.  You can see part of this place in the background of the corner where Ned "assaulted" Bill Murray and where the old man was begging.

One day during the filming, Bill Murray went over to the bakery and bought every last thing they had and passed them out to the onlookers and crew.

Walked past the Mexican restaurant which is on the site of the old Tip Top Cafe where Bill and Andie had all those talks and where Bill really stuffed his face.  I had thought about getting something to eat, but it was standing room only.

This place was an unoccupied building at the time of the shoot and turned into a restaurant.

Murray made his splash-step into that puddle outside of this restaurant.

"Watch that First Step.  It's a Doozy."  --RoadDog

Dairy Queen's Route 66 Connection-- Part 5: Let's Turn the Joliet Store Into a Museum

I doubt that it would cost too much to buy that first store at 501 N. Michigan Street (the Old Route 66) in Joliet, Illinois, and would like to see Dairy Queen buy it and turn it into a museum for the company.

I'm sure Joliet would help out in some ways, what with their pride in their history and Route 66.  Perhaps, Dairy Queen could also build one of their retro places across the street and have a similar setup as McDonald's does at their first Ray Kroc store in Des Plaines, Illinois.

That would sure be a big stop for all those traveling Route 66 through Illinois.

Come On, dairy Queen.  --RoadDog

Dairy Queen's Route 66 Connection-- Part 4: 22-Foot High Blizzard

1980--  "We Treat You Right" slogan introduced.

1985--  Blizzard Treats introduced.  Ted Drewe's would be SO Proud!!  Over 175 million sold the first year.

1991--  First store in Mexico.

2003--  Blizzard of the Month introduced.

2005--  June 21st.  The World's Largest Blizzard Treat built in Springfield, Massachusetts.  It weighed 8,224 pounds and stood 22-feet.  I wonder how many calories in that!!

Love Blizzards, But Mighty Expensive.  --RoadBlizDog

Dairy Queen's Route 66 Connection-- Part 3: Some More Big Dates in Company History

1955--  Dilly Bar debuts

1957--  Dairy Queen Brazier concept introduced.  Now you can have meat with your frozen dairy.

1961--  Mr. Misty (my favorite) introduced.

1968--  Arrival of the Buster Bar

1970--  Hot Fudge Brownie Delight.  Lots of calories, but oh so goooooood.

1972--  Opens in Japan.

1972--  Also, Dennis the Menace becomes spokescharacter. (Or is it spokescomic?)

Mr. Wilson grimaced.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dairy Queen's Route 66 Connection-- Part 2

The very first Dairy Queen franchise was in Joliet, Illinois, right on Route 66 at 501 N. Chicago Street.

Back then, in 1938, the idea of franchising was unheard of, but there was lots of potential so it began with the first one in Joliet.  By the time the United States entered World War II, there were nine franchise Dairy Queen stores.

Some important Dairy Queen dates:

1940--  Reached 100 stores

1949--  Introduced malts and shakes

1951--  introduced banana splits

1953-- First store in Canada

More to Come.  --route 6

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Groundhog Days in Woodstock-- Part 3: The Pig Who Came Home on Sunday

The Home State Bank is in the old Woodstock post office, located just off the square.  During the filming of the movie, it was used for extras.

Jim May's retelling of the Three Little Pigs was titled "The Pig Who Went Home on Sunday."  The three little pigs wanted to move out of the house and all were told they could by their mother, except she expected them to come home and visit her every Sunday.

The first one moved out and was tricked by the sly fox to build his home out of straw which the pig did, but got eaten by the hungry fox.  Same thing happened to the second little pig (even though he built his home of wood).  The third built his out of bricks and when the fox saw that he couldn't blow the home down, he tried to trick his way into the third pig's house, but the pig got him to hide in a butter churn and the fox sure churned his lesson.

Then, Jim May told a not-so-scary ghost story where the ghost said, "I am the Ghost of Mable's table and the Gold Stays on the Table."

Woodstock Willie made an appearance at the end of the presentation.

Guess I'm Still a Kid, But I Enjoyed the Stories.  --RoadDog

Dairy Queen's Route 66 Connection-- Part 1

From the Dairy Queen Company Website.

On August 4, 1938, a father and son, John Fremont McCullough and son Bradley, were in a mix plant in Green River and  had been experimenting with a soft frozen dairy product and contacted friend and customer Sherb Noble.  He agreed to run an "all you can eat for 10 cents" trial sale at his walk-in ice cream store.  Within two hours he had dished out more than 1,600 servings in Moorhead, North Dakota.

The first stpre was in Joliet, Illinois, at 501 N. Chicago Street.  The building still stands, but has not been used as a Dairy Queen since the 1950s.


Route 66, Back Then: Blue Whale to Get Face Lift in 2011?

From KTUI, Jan. 16, 2011.

The city of Catoosa, Oklahoma applied for a grant to buy the famed Blue Whale and surrounding land from the Davis family.  The whale needs a makeover and the family can't afford it.

The Blue Whale really put the town of 7800 on the map, especially with Route 66ers.

They will find out in June is they get the money.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Route 66 Hot Dog Company Opens in Barstow

From the Jan. 15, 2015, Barstow (Cal.) Desert Dispatch by Jose Quintera.

Billy and Ben Rosenberg opened this new eating place in Barstow Station and serve customized hot dogs "a million possible ways."

The hot dogs are all beef and served on a poppy seed bun with twenty toppings as options.  It is the same price regardless of what toppings you put on it.

You can wash it down with pop or a $2.50 beer.  The place also sells Route 66 memorabilia.

Hopefully catsup/ketchup is not an option.

Other wise, they will lose money when I go as I like my toppings piled up to where you can't see the dog.

A Must-Stop My next time Through.  --RoadDog

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Groundhog Days in Woodstock-- Part 2: Papa G's and Groundhog Tales

Actually, I did this before I went to the Defenders book store.

I walked by Papa G's Restaurant next to the Opera House.  This is where the long-time restaurant Angelo's used to be (and a favorite of ours).  Angelo's was at first considered to be the site of where the Tip Top Cafe (where Bill stuffed his face and knew everybody), but something didn't work out and an empty store across the Square was made into a restaurant just for the movie.

I went to the Home State Bank (in the old post office building) and heard Jim May, a noted local storyteller, was giving a presentation on Groundhog Tales.  He's been doing this for many years, but at 10 a.m., when I usually go to see the movie.

The place was packed.  I came in a bit late.

He first talked about groundhogs and their importance to mountain people of the Appalachian Mountains. He said they make banjo heads out of groundhog hides and use their oil which is very clean and somewhat like Vicks Vapor .

He is every bit as good of a storyteller as I had heard.

Up Next, The Three Little Pigs, Appalachian-Style.  --RoadDog

2015 Groundhog Days in Woodstock, Illinois-- Part 1: "I Got You Babe"

JANUARY 31ST, 2015:  I drove to Woodstock, Illinois, about 17 miles away from Spring Grove.  Unfortunately, I was too late to see the first part of the "Groundhog Day" movie which was being shown at the Woodstock Theatre (Alpine Theater in the movie).  It is always neat to see the movie there because of all the crowd noise when they pass the theater entering the town and, of course, Bill Murray doing his Bronco Billy, Clint Eastwood, imitation with his date dressed as a French maid.

As I approached the Woodstock Square, which served as Gobblers Knob in the movie, I heard "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher being played from the gazebo which was in the movie often and where Bill and Andie had their dance to Ray Charles's song.  Of course, "I Got You Babe" was played at the beginning of every one of Bill's days stuck in "Punxsutawny."

I picked up a "Groundhog Day" walking tour pamphlet at the Opera House (Hotel Pennsylvanian inte movie) and walked over to the Square Mall which is a large building converted into several stores.  I bought several books and CDs there from the McHenry Defenders, an ecological group, and took them back to the car.

Seeing My Shadow.  --GoundDog

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hot Spots for Spring Break: Panama City Beach

Temperature here in Spring Grove, Illinois, was 2 degrees on the front porch thermometer and -2 degrees on the deck a few hours ago.  Sure gets the hankering to go elsewhere.

OK, our long as we're out of there before the college kids arrive.  This is our Winter break spot.  Lots of retired folks like us and very inexpensive lodging in January and February, though it can get cold on occasion (well, 50-60s) on occasion that early in the year, but mostly in upper 60s-70 degrees.

If, you Google "spring break partying" this name comes up first.

Twenty-seven miles of white sugar-sand and over 15,000 lodging options.  Getting there is easy now with the opening of the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.

A highlight for spring breakers id the free, good old boy Luke Bran Spring break Concert March 11 and 12.  he has performed it for the last six years.  Depending upon whose counting, it draws between 15,00 to 100,000 breakers.  A photo of it accompanies the article and it is one HUGE mass of college folk.

Other popular partying places are Harpoon Harry's, Hammerhead Fred's and Sharky's Beachfront Restaurant and Tiki Bar.  We've been to all of these places (before the kids come).  The last place, Shark's is within walking distance of the old two-story motel where we stay (across from Donovan's Reef.

Just Got Out of There By February 28th.  --RoadDog

Hot Spots for Spring Break: Bahamas (At least Its Warm!)

Easy to get to and lots of sun, sand and drinking.  Short plane ride from Miami.  Legal drinking age 18.  Many really expensive places to stay and Booze Cruises.

A bit too upscale for me, though.

However, my one trip to the Bahamas, i did like the Compleat Angler Hotel, more of what I think about when I think Caribbean Sea area.


Hot Spots for Spring Break: More Cold Places


Snowy and chilly doesn't make it with me, but CNN rank the city as one of the world's top nightlife cities  Plus, lots of places to drink and a drinking age of 18.  There are also several major universities located there.

Not me.


My buddy Kevin would no doubt like to go here since his family came from there.

Another cold weather spot, called theNightlife Capital of the North.  Only a five-hour flight from the east coast.  Music's big here.  drinking age 20.

Let's See, Cold and Staying Up past 11 p.m., Not for Me.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Spring Break and Me

I should go on record right now, I am also not a fan of spring break, at least spring break with college (or worse, high school) students.  I also do not like the way all rates in Florida get jacked up starting in March.

I only went on one spring break while in college when a fraternity brother and we drove down to Daytona Beach.  I did go to one in 1986 as a getaway from winter.  Sadly, when I got there, there was a heat wave in the Chicago area and temperatures were about the same in both places.

This last trip was when I realized I was too old for those college kids at age 35.  Definitely out of place.  Plus, I had enough of the urine and vomit smells to last me a lifetime.

Now we go to Florida most years, especially the panhandle (Central Time Zone), but get out of there by February 28th when rates go up and college kids start arriving.  The place we stay at in Panama City Beach has our room at $55 a night (right on the beach) until March 1st, when it JUMPS to $150!!

No amount of sunburn is worth that.

Looking for the Warm.  --RoadDog

Hot Spots for Spring Break-- Part 1: Aspen/Snowmass, Colrado

From the Feb. 1, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Phil Marty.

Excuse me, I'm thinking of getting away from that blasted white stuff.  We received another three inches of the junk last night.

Marty's subheading "Warm-weather getaways always popular, but wintry destinations appeal too."

I really doubt that in my case.  I am no fan of winter, just something to get through so you can enjoy spring, summer and my favorite season, fall.

Besides tye snow in these Colorado locations, they're having the 15th annual Bud Light Spring Jam, scheduled for three weekends in March.  Snowboarding and ski competitions as well.

Believe Me, Under No Circumstances!!!  --RoadDog

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

When the Going Gets Snowy, the Tough (Well, Fed Up) Head to Warmer Climes

We have two friends who got mad and went to Arizona and Utah because they were not getting enough snow.  They are big-time skiers and snowmobilers.  Ha!  Last laugh on them.  We now have plenty of snow.  Way too plenty of snow.

This gets me to thinking Florida, perhaps a stay at Panama City Beach might be just the thing I need.

Too much snow gets me elsewhere.


Chicago's 5th Biggest Snowfall on Sunday-- Part 2: Chicago's Top Ten Snowfalls

Here are Chicago's Top Ten Biggest Snowfalls:

1.  23 inches--   The Big Snow or Blizzard of '67.  January 26-27, 1967.  My poor brother had to do the shoveling as I had a broken leg.  To this day he claims I did it on purpose so I could get out of the shoveling.  No snowblowers for us back then.  Just good old kid power.

2.  21.6 inches--  January 1-3, 1999.  The New Year's Eve Storm.

3.  21.2 inches Jan.31-Feb. 2, 2011.  Groundhog Day Blizzard

4.  20.3 inches--  Jan. 12-14, 1979--  Blizzard of '79.

5.  19.3 inches Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2015.  Super Bowl Blizzard.  Spring Grove, Illinois, where we live, had 14.2 inches.  I count how much snow I have to remove and that would be closer to 18 inches.

6.  19.2 inches in 1930

7.  16.2 inches 1931

8.  14.9 inches 1939

9.  14.9 inches 1918

10.  14.8 inches 1929

I Really hate Snow.  --RoadDog

Chicago's 5th Biggest Snowfall on Sunday-- Part 1

The numbers are in and that crummy blizzard we got on Sunday, now going down as the Super Bowl Blizzard of '15, is ranked as the fifth snowiest attack in Chicago's history.  We could have just called it the Snow Bowl of '15.

I went out twice to use the snowblower Sunday and both times, the driveway filled up again with 6-8 inches of snow on most of it and two big 2-2 1/2 foot drifts.  The snow came from the east and northeast most of the time and hit us much worse than the houses across the street (we face north).  To say I had many facefulls of snow is an understatement.

Not only was the snow coming down hard, but we had 20-30 mph winds whipping it.  Most of the time it was essentially coming down horizontally.

I spent about two hours yesterday clearing the snow and had to give up on the sidewalk which had a four-foot drift across its entire length.  I was worn out.  Sunday I had to clear off those drifts at the top of the driveway (garage) twice and had to do it again yesterday.  The 10 degree weather wasn't much fun either, but at least the wind wasn't blowing.

Even worse yesterday was the two feet of packed snow placed there by the snowplow.  That was a whole lot of fun.

Today I went out and used a shovel to break down the sides of the driveway to widen it.

It is snowing right now, but just lazily drifting down, though forecasts call for 1-3 inches.

Snow, Snow, go Away, Come Again Another Day.  --RoadachingbackDog

Monday, February 2, 2015

Today is Groundhog Day: Prognostications

Well, I was able to watch parts of the "Groundhog Day" movie Saturday at Woodstock, Illinois, at Wayne's Lanes (in the movie where the glass was half full or half empty, and today at Hello Folks in Fox Lake where the team played NTN (two #8 finishes in the Top 20 Sites.

Earlier today, Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog in Pennsylvania saw his shadow.  That means six more weeks of winter,  However, we put our faith in Woodstock Willie, our groundhog in Woodstock.  I was wondering whether they would even be able to find Willie with all the snow we received yesterday *(about 18 inches, Chicago's 5th biggest snowstorm in history).

They did find Woodstock Willie and at 7:07 a,m,, sadly, Willie saw his shadow,

Enough Winter Already!!  --RoadDog

Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois: Big Boy Hamburger

Photo of sign and Big Boy statue.

"Tops-- 'Home of ther Big Boy Hamburger'-- became a landmark at the corner of Fifth Street and South grand Avenue.

"The Big Boy restaurant chain started in California in 1936 by Bob Wian, who sold his car for $350 to open one small restaurant.  It grew to be a franchising company of several hundred Big Boy locations.  "In Illinois, they were originally franchised simply as 'Tops."

Most Big Boys in Illinois are gone and I never saw this one in Springfield, but enjoyed the Tops Big Boy in Palatine, Illinois, on Northwest Highway when I was growing up.  The original Bic mac sandwich.  Loved those two patties and the thousand island dressing.

I know in other states there is a Fritch's Big Boy chain.

And, you just have to enjoy that "Big Boy" statue.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blog Entries on a Sunday?

That usually doesn't happen, but because of the snowstorm today, we are staying at home.  We have had probably 12 inches already.  (It was 6-9 inches when I went out and used the snowblower about 10:30 a,m..)  It is being referred to as a blizzard.

As if the snow wasn't bad enough, we are having 20-30 mph winds so it is coming at us from the east nearly horizontally.

We had a room at Donovan's in Twin Lakes for the Super Bowl game and had to cancel it as well.  It is just not worth driving.

So, There's a Reason for My Typing Today.  --RoadDog

Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois: Sonrise Donuts

Same source as earlier entry.

Photo of famous sign by the author.  I never caught the words "Famous For" on the sign.

"Sonrise Donuts and Coffee Bar opened on South Grand Avenue in the 1940s by Mr. Figura.  It was said to be the first donut place in Springfield to also offer a coffee bar.  Don Greenslade was an employee, and when Figura moved Sonrise to 1101 South Ninth Street, Greenslade went along, eventually buying the business.

"After Greenslade died, Bob Carter purchased the business and building.  It now houses Gibby's Orbits, featuring donuts and a dinner menu."

I love that sign and am glad it is left up even though the name of the place is different.  I wonder if it works.  The place is often out of business so anytime he catch it open, stop in for a bit of Route 66 history.  We were lucky enough to get to eat breakfast there once.


Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois: TraveLodge Motel and Toddle House Restaurant

From the "Route 66 in Springfield" Arcadia book by Cheryl Eichar Jett.

Photo of the TraveLodge and Toddle House Restaurant.

"The TraveLodge Motel and Toddle House Restaurant was located at 500 South Ninth Street close to the Abraham Lincoln Home and other attractions.

"The TraveLodge brand was founded by Scott King in 1939 in Southern California and advertised itself as a budget motel chain.

"The South Ninth Street was eventually demolished; a newer TraveLodge is now located on South Street."

The new TraveLodge was built in the 60s-early 70s and still stands, though now is called The Lodge.  We often stay here when we are not at the Route 66 Hotel a short distance away.  Some of the best prices in the Springfield area and with its fun South Side Pub and restaurant serving some great food.