Monday, December 31, 2012

Talking About a City With a History

Sitting here at the Super 8 in St. Augustine Beach, Florida, this morning.  This city has a REAL LOT of history, being the oldest in the United States, settled by the Spanish back in the 1500s. 

However, we're not going to be doing the history thing as we're soon shoving off for South Florida for this little appointment at a place called the Orange Bowl with that group of Indians called Seminoles (hey, that's history).

Thinking about stopping at Fort Mantanzas (an old Spanish fort) south of here for a history fix.

Then driving A1A for awhile before getting back in I-95 to Hollywood Beach and our motel.

It Will Be a Time for New Year's Celebrating.  --Cooter

Friday, December 28, 2012

Funding Needed for Last Battle of Jutland Ship

From the Dec. 25, 2012, Belfast (Northern Ireland) Telegraph "Funding bid for World War I ship."

Additional money is needed to help preserve and restore the light cruiser HMS Caroline.  It has already received a million pound grant.

The ship was commissioned in 1914 and is the last ship still afloat that fought in the epic Battle of Jutland during World War I.  During the Second World War it serves as a base of operations in the battle against U-boats.  Belfast was a major base for many of the warships that escorted Atlantic and Russian convoys.

After WW II, it served as the static headquarters and training base of the Royal Navy Reserve.  It was decommissioned in 2011, the second oldest British warship after the HMS Victory.

It  is hoped the ship will be finished by the time of the centennial of the Battle of Jutland in three years.

Here's Hoping.  --Cooter

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zu Zu Ginger Snaps

Back on Christmas Day, I wrote about ZuZu Bailey from the "It's a Wonderful Life" movie and mentioned her name came from these ginger snaps that I had never heard of before.

Thanks Wiki.

Zu Zu Ginger Snaps were round drop cookies produced from 1901 by the National Biscuit Company until the early 1980s (still never heard of them).  They were a combination of ginger and sugar-cane molasses that came in a distinctive yellow box with reddish type.

Their mascot was Zu Zu the Clown.

The name perhaps came from a character in the play Forbidden Fruit.  Another story says from Zuzanne, a Czech-Slovak form of the name Susana.  In "It's a Wonderful Life," Jimmy Stewart refers to the youngest Bailey daughter as "my little ginger snap."

With the Banjo On My Knee.  --Cooter

U.S. Navy Ships By the Name Enterprise

Good Ol' Wikipedia.

I read that there had been eight ships in the Navy with the name Enterprise.  I knew the most about the World War II aircraft carrier.

1.  1775 sloop-of-war sailing ship operating on Lake Champlain in Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War, 22-guns.

2.  1776 Continental Navy schooner sailing ship, Revolutionary War, 8 guns.

3.  1779 schooner, 12 guns.  In Quasi War with France, Barbary War and War of 1812.

4.  1831 schooner, 10-guns.  Served 1831-1844.

5.  1877  Screw-sloop-of-war, 6 guns

6.  motorboat, never commissioned.

7.  1938, aircraft carrier saw service in World War II, 6th US carrier. 

8  Current aircraft carrier

Other Enterprises in US service: steamboat used at War of 1812 Battle of New Orleans, Civil War military balloon and a space shuttle.

Then there were lots and lots of Enterprises in all the Star Trek TV shows and movies.

A Real get-Up -and-Go Kind of Ship.  --DaCoot

The USS Enterprise Retires

The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1961.  Used over the next 51 years with 25 deployments and was involved in every major conflict from the Cuban Missile Crisis to Vietnam up to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her 8 nuclear reactors allowed the Enterprise to stay at sea for six months at a time without refueling.

It was the eighth warship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name since the first one was in the Continental Navy.  Construction of a ninth is scheduled to begin in 2025.  After the USS Constitution, it was the ship that served the Navy the longest.

Wondering if it will be a museum ship or scrapped.?

Not to Be Confused With That TV/Movie Spaceship.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Whatever Happened to ZuZu?

From the Dec. 23, 2012, Parade Magazine Personality Page.

The question was whatever happened to the actress who played Zuzu Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life?"

Karolyn Grimes who uttered the line, "Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings," at the end of the Frank Capra classic, calls herself an "unofficial ambassador" for the movie.  "I managed to turn six minutes of film footage into a second career, doing appearances year-round at festivals and gift shows," says Grimes, 72.

She also appeared in fifteen other films, including "Rio Grande."  But, it is for Zuzu that she receives fan mail.  Writer Clifford Odets borrowed the name from Zu Zu Ginger Snaps.

A True Classic.  --Cooter

Holiday Classics That Started As Flops

From OMG Yahoo!


Must have been a movie critic thing.  In general, if they don't like it, I do.  Or, maybe I just don't have any class or taste.

I Still get Teary At the End of "It's a Wonderful Life."  --Cooter

What Is the Best-Selling Christmas Song? (And It's Not "Grandma")

From the Dec. 23, 2012, Parade Magazine Personality Page.

No, it's not Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."

Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" has sold at least 50 million singles (Wonder how many downloads?) making it not only the best-selling Christmas song, but the top-selling single of all time.

It was written by Irving Berlin and recorded by Bing Crosby for the 1942 musical "Holiday Inn."  It won an Oscar for best original song and inspired the movie "White Christmas, which topped the box office in 1954.

Parade has voting for favorite holiday tune at

I'll Be Voting Now.  --DaCoot

Fifty Years of Holiday Memories-- Part 5: The 2000s

REMEMBER?  Mulling whether to get a greener--or is it?-- artificial tree.


ON THE IPOD DOCK:  Harry for the Holidays by Harry Connick Jr.

ON THE FLAT SCREEN:  Marathons of "A Christmas Story and 007 Movies.

IN THEATERS:  Elf, The Polar express, Bad Santa, Harry Potter movies

UNDER THE TREE:  WII, gift cards, Razor Scooters

Wonderin' What the Teens Will Bring Us?  --Cooter

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Titanic's Second Officer Charles Lightoller-- Part 1

Continued from the September 22, 2011,, "The truth about the Titanic's sinking."

I wrote about this Aug. 8, 2012 and continued the story Oct. 19th.  I promise to finish it before 2013.

This from Wikipedia.

Charles Lightoller commanded the last bridge watch on the doomed Titanic and was the most senior officer to survive.  Lightoller was very strict about "women and children first" and only went overboard as the ship slid beneath the waves and survived on an overturned lifeboat.

He was decorated for gallantry as a naval officer in World War I and commanded one of the "little ships at Dunkirk in World War II.  Quite a life.

After the Titanic, he became a mate on one of the Titanic's sister ships, the Oceanic.  In World War I, the Oceanic became an armed merchant cruiser and Charles was a lieutenant on it.  Later he commanded the torpedo boat HMTB 117 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for engaging the Zeppelin L31.

As a result of that action, he was appointed to command the HMS Falcon, a C-Class Torpedo Boat Destroyer.  It sank April 1, 1918 after a collision with the trawler John Fitzgerald while both were escorting a convoy in the North Sea.  You had to wonder what Lightoller was thinking as his second ship went down.

Then, he was given command of the destroyer HMS Garry and received another Distinguished Service Cross for ramming and sinking the U-boat 110. 

And Amazing Life and a Lot of History for One Man.  --DaCoot

Top Ten Nefarious American Mobsters

From the Sept.1, 2011, Listverse.  As always, go to site and get photos and much more information.

10.  Louis "Lepke" Buchalter Boss of "Murder, Inc." Died March 4, 1944.

9.  Bonnie Elizabeth Parker  "Bonnie and ?" Died May 23, 1934

8.  John Herbert Dillinger  Died May 22, 1931

7.  Clyde Chestnut Barrow.  There were about 25 bullets in each corpse.  Overkill if you ask me.  Died May 23, 1934.

6.  John Joseph Gotti, Jr. 

5.  Lester Joseph "Baby Face Nelson" Gillis.  Died Nov. 27, 1934, in Barrington, Illinois.

4.  Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll-- Shot 15 times Feb. 8, 1932

3.  Richard Leonard "The Iceman" Kurlinski  Died in prison March 5, 2006

2.  Alphonse Gabriel Capone--  Died 1947.

1.  George Clarence "Bugs" Moran  Popularized the infamous "Drive-By Shootings:  Died in prison 1956.

Baby Face Nelson has a plaque at the Barrington Park District at the North Side Park.  He died at a house in Wilmette after being shot 17 times.  Buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in River grove, Illinois.  Plot 1, Lot 18, Block 8, Section C in case you want to visit.

Shoot 'Em Ups.  --Cooter

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fifty Years of Holiday Memories-- Part 4: The Nineties

REMEMBER?  "Merry Christmas" gives way to the secular "Happy Holidays."

KITCHEN SMELLED LIKE:  Organic, free-range turkey

ON THE CD PLAYER:  "These Are Special Times" by Celine Dion.  Yuck, Celine Dion?

ON THE TUBE:  Seinfeld's "Festivus for the rest of us" episode, "Elmo Saves Christmas."

IN THEATERS:  Home Alone, The Santa Clause

UNDER THE TREE:  Beanie Babies, Pokemon, Furbies

FOR ME:  Decorating the outside of the new house here in Spring Grove, Illinois.  I actually had outside outlets, but soon found I should have had more.

And a Bottle of EggNog.  --DaCoot

Fifty Years of Holiday Memories-- Part 3: The Eighties

REMEMEBER?  Cutting down you own tree

KITCHEN SMELLED LIKE:  Honey-baked ham

ON THE CASSETTE PLAYER:  "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid

ON THE TUBE:  Roots: The Gift, Johnny Carson's fruitcake jokes.

IN THEATERS:  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (My second favorite Christmas movie, Scrooged, and "A Christmas Story" (My favorite.)

UNDER THE TREE:  Transformers, Cabbage Patch Kids, Rubik's Cube

FOR ME:  Our mutt Brandy "tearing into her presents."  Paper everywhere and Lord help you if you tried to take something away.

Yo-Ho-Ho.  --Cooter

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Doomsday-- Part 5

Well, it appears we made it this so far, so here goes the last two.

9.  HAL LINDSEY, the grandfather of modern prophecy and author of the 1970 best-selling book "The Late Great Planet Earth" was invited to speak at the Pentagon and Air War College.  Did they know or anticipate something?

10.  Will Earth suffer death by Comet or Asteroid?  NASA is concerned enough that it tracks "Near Earth Objects" and plans a mission to investigate asteroid 1999RQ36 which poses a remote threat around 2170.

A century ago, Halley's Comet caused a public uproar, especially after the New York Times reported a scientist's view that toxic gas in the comet's tail could "possibly snuff out all life on the planet."  Sales of bottles air and "comet pills" climbed, but the comet passed harmlessly in 1910.

The Chicago Tribune headline read "We're Still Here," with a subhead reading "World Is Just the Same."

It's the Same Old World.  --Cooter

Past Time's Person of the Year-- Part 2

1999--  The year Time switched to the more gender-neutral name.  From 1927 until 1998 the honor was most often Man of the Year.

FIRST MAN OF THE YEAR--  Time's first man of the Year was Charles Lindbergh in 1927.

CORAZON AQUINO--  then President of the Philippines, was the last female individual to win the honor, called Woman of the Year when she won in 1986.

WOMEN--  Women have also been represented by group selections, such as Melinda Gates who appeared with husband Bill.  Also, the Whistleblowers had  WorldCom's Cynthia Cooper, the FBI's Coleen Rowley and Enron's Sherron Watkins in 2002.

Still, No Coot?  --DaCoot

Past Time's Person of the Year-- Part 1

From the Dec. 20, 2012, Time taps Obama again" by Reuters and Tribune Staff.

4TH--  This is the fourth straight US presidential election year that Time has chosen the newly-elected president as Person of the Year.  I guess it would have been Der Mitt had he won.  2000 and 2004 George W. Bush.  2008 and 2012 Barack Obama.  They showed the front covers.  Those guys sure aged in four years.  Wonder why?

PRESIDENTS--  Overall, Obama is the 12th president to get the recognition and ninth to win it more than once (Eisenhower's first of two came in 1944 when he was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe)

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT-- Was the first president to win the honor and the only one to do it three times.

GERALD FORD--  Is the only president since Roosevelt not to win the honor.

When Does the Old Coot Get On It?.  --Cooter

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Doomsday-- Part 4

Well, I had best hurry up and get these in...just in case.

7.  Some CHRISTIANS believe there will be a series of cataclysmic events that will lead to the Second Coming of Christ at the end.  There is a website called that shows how close we are to "end times" by maintaining a Rapture Index, that puts numerical ratings on weather, immorality and geopolitics.  This index stands 186 feet high.

8.  KURT VONNEGUT JR.'S novel "Cat's Cradle" features a substance called ice-nine which can turn water into ice at room temperature and threatens life here on Earth.  The band Grateful Dead named their music publishing business Ice Nine.

I'll do nine and ten tomorrow...maybe. 

I-Nine Could Do for Margaritas.  --Cooter

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Doomsday-- Part 3

5.  In REM's song, "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine"), Michael Stipe cited composer Leonard Bernstein, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, comedian Lenny Bruce and rock critic Lester Bangs in their salute to the end of it all.  But it was actually to do with the initials L.B.

This was based on a dream he had where he was the only guest at a party who did not have those initials.

EXTRA CREDIT:  The song was once played 24-hours straight by the Cleveland radio station WENZ when it changed format to alt-rock and called itself "107.9 The End."  Well, that IS the end of the FM numbers.

6.  Back in 1499, German astrologer JOHANNES STOEFFLER predicted the world would end on Feb. 20, 1524 in a great flood.  Many people believed him.  One was a German count who built a three-story ark.  On that day, crowds gathered at the river bank to mock the good count.

Then, it started to rain and people panicked and stormed the ark.  When the count protested, he was stoned to death.  Afterward, Stoeffler said he had miscalculated and the actual date was the next year.  But, it was too late for the count.

"Noah!!"   "Who Said That?"  --DaCoot

Ned Kelly's Body Found-- Part 2

Tests showed that the skull was not Kelly's.  There were 33 other men in the mass grave.

It is believed that Ned Kelly was born in 1854 or 1855 and he had a two-year outlaw career where he took on corrupt police and greedy land barons.  In 1878, the police had a shoot out with Kelly, his brother Dan and friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart.  As a result, an 8,000 pound bounty was placed on him, the largest ever offered to the time in the British empire.

Over the next 18 months Kelly and his band went on a bank robbery spree.  The final gun battle took place in Glenrowan.  Three gang members died.  Kelly, wearing a home-made plate metal armor and helmet survived, was put on trial and sentenced to death. 

In 1970, a movie was made about Ned Kelly's life starring the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger.  In 2003, another one was made starring Heath Ledger.

An Australian Robin Hood?  --Cooter

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ned Kelly's Body Found-- Part 1

From the September 1, 2011, AFP.

The headless remains of the infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have been identified 130 years after his death.  Considered a cold-blooded killer by some, he has his followers.  He murdered three police men and was captured in Victoria State in 1880 and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol November 1880 and his body thrown into a mass grave.

In 1929, the grave was transferred to Peatridge Prison where it was until exhumed in 2009, when a skull believed to have been his that was stolen in 1978, was recovered.

The body was found in the remains of a wooden axe box.  Identification was based on DNA from Melbourne teacher Leigh Oliver, Kelly's sister's great grandson.

Getting Ahead of the Game.  --DaCoot

Pyramid Findings Rock the Web

From the May 31, 2011, Yahoo! Today.

A robot explorer recently discovered ancient markings at the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt in a secret chamber that is inaccessible to humans.  It filmed the painted hieroglyphics and stone markings which have not been seen by human eyes for 4,500 years.

It is described as "one of several mysterious passages leading from the larger king's and queen's chambers."

The area had been robotically searched before, but not filmed.  This time a micro-camera was used that could bend sideways instead of just side-to-side.

Probably, the Mummy's Chamber.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Doomsday-- Part 2

3.  The LARGE HADRON COLLIDER near Geneva, Switzerland, went into operation in 2008.  Some worry that its accelerating atomic particles might cause a black hole that will swallow Earth.

So, that's how it ends?  Flushed down a hole?

4.  Possibly the oldest DOOMSDAY PREDICTION is found on an ASSYRIAN CLAY TABLET dating back to about 2300 BC.  Part of it says, "Bribery and corruption are common.  Children no longer obey their parents.  Every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world is evidently approaching."

So, they had those problems back then?

Six More to Predict.  --Cooter

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Doomsday-- Part 1

From the Dec. 9, 2012, Chicago Tribune by the noted researchers Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer.

Well, we survived that Y2K twelve years ago, now, we face the impending Mayan End-of-the World this Friday, December 21st.  If it does, I hope to have a drink in hand and many in the belly.  I also saw that movie "2012" a couple years ago.  Now, that was disaster.  Loved old Woody Harrelson's take on it.

Anyway, our two intrepid researchers have come up with ten more things about the subject, so here goes:

1.  According to an IPSOS SURVEY earlier this year, one in 5 Americans believe the world will end in their lifetime.  They had a poll of 16,000 adults in 21 countries.  Only Turkey and South Africa were as pessimistic.  As to the Mayan calendar, 12% of Americans believe it will end this Friday and another 9% are anxious about it.

2.  A phenomenon known as "NEW ENGLAND'S DARK DAY" occurred May 19, 1780.  Blackened skies were everywhere with no sign of daylight, causing people to fear the end of the world.  Some historians think it was caused by forest fires combined with fog.

Connecticut legislator Abraham Davenport insisted lawmakers meet by candlelight.  If this was not Judgement Day, then there was work to be done.  Bit, "If it is, i choose to be found doing my duty."

More End Coming.  --DaCoot

Fifty Years of Holiday Memories-- Part 2: The Seventies


REMEMBER?  Waiting for our Polaroid photos to develop (or taking the Instamatic camera film in to be developed.

KITCHEN SMELLED LIKE:   Butterball turkeys (A big improvement.  No more dry, gag-you white meat.)

ON THE 8-TRACK PLAYER:  Jackson 5 Christmas Album (and the the getting messed up.  Well, at least you didn't have to flip the cassette tape or album.)

ON THE TUBE:  The Waltons: The Homecoming  (That show and "Little House on the Prairie" still my favorites.  I always wanted a taste of te Baldwin sisters' "Recipe.")

IN THE THEATERS:  "Scrooge"with Albert Finney and Alec Guinness

UNDER THE TREE:  Pet Rocks, Legos, Wonder Woman dolls and Atari 2600.  Imagine blipping on your TV.

FOR ME:  Brandy, the Christmas puppy in 1975.  The attack on the Christmas tree and ornaments eaten.  First and last time that happened.

And How About Those First Realistic Artificial Christmas Trees?  --Cooter

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Man on the Moon Was 40 Years Ago Yesterday

From the December 14, 2012, Chicago Tribune by James M. Clash of Bloomberg News.

On December 14, 1972, Apollo 17 Commander  Eugene Cernan climbed up the rungs to the lunar module and began his journey to the earth.  Now, 40 years later, he finds it strange that he was the last man on the moon.  Cernan, now 78, believed it wasn't the end, but just the beginning.

I agree.  Forty years ago men on the moon was about the same as shuttles going into space.  It would be  just a matter of time before we had colonies on it.  Hard to believe.

Eugene Cernan is a Chicago native and graduate of Proviso Township High School in Maywood and Purdue University.  The Cernan Earth and Space Center at Triton College in River grove is named for him.

And, he almost was first on the moon on Apollo 10, but that didn't happen.

How Come?  --DaCoot

Ten Terrible Acts of Mother Nature

From May 25, 2011, Listverse.

10.  HUMANITY OBLITERATED, almost.  75,000 years ago at Lake Toba, Indonesia
9.  ANCIENT FLOODS--Lake Agassiz, Canada.  Also, 5600, the Mediterranean floods the Black Sea (Noah's Great Flood?)
8.  BRITAIN BECOMES AN ISLAND- Until 6100 BC, Britain connected to the mainland.

7.  THE GREAT FLOOD--  3100 BC Euphrates River.  Also the Black Sea Great Flood in #9.
6.  THE THERA-BANG--  eruption of Thera volcano around 1600 BC.
5.  MIDDLE AGES COOLING--  A severe cooling of the earth's climate

3.  KRAKATOA-- 1883
2.  TOKYO CALAMITY--  earthquake in 1923
1.  THE FUTURE--  What does it hold.  Will the Yellowstone Calderon erupt, earthquakes, asteroids, global warming?  What about the ancient Mayan warning on the 21st?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fifty Years of Holiday Memories-- Part 1: The Sixties

From the December 2012 AARP Bulletin by Betsy Towner.

Yep, that AARP.

"No doubt about it, December always brings a blizzard of activity.  But out holiday crazes change from year to year, decade to decade.  Let's take a minute before Holiday Rush 2012 to remember our loves of yuletides past."


REMEMBER?  Bob Hope performing for the troops.

KITCHEN SMELLED LIKE THIS:  Julia Child's beef bourguignon (What?)

ON THE HI-FI:  Nat King Cole, "The Christmas Song"  And, Even Better, "The Beach Boys Christmas Album.

ON THE TUBE:  Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty and the Grinch specials.

IN THEATERS:  Babes in Toyland, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

UNDER THE (FLOCKED) TREE:  Hot Wheels, Easy-Bake Oven, Etch A Sketch (Hey, I still have one and play with it)

FOR ME:  First Christmases with Liz.  We started going steady in 1967.

Ahh! The Teen Years.  --Cooter

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top Ten Rebels Throughout History

From the May 16, 2011, Listverse.

10.  Guillaume Cale--  c1320-1358, France
9.  Walter Tyler c1341-1381, England
8.  Jacob Rohrback c1490-1525, Germany
7.  Yemelyan Pugachev 1742-1775, Russia
6.  Stepan Razin, 1630-1671

5.  Giuseppe Garibaldi 1807-1882, Italy
4.  Pancho Villa 1878-1823, Mexico
3.  Zhu Yuanzhang 1328-1398, China
2.  William Wallace 1273-1305, Scotland
1.  Spartacus c109 BC- 71 BC, Rome

HONORABLE MENTION:  George Washington 1732-1799, United States

Arise and Overthrow the Tyrants.  --Cooter

Ex-Head of Nathan Famous Hot Dogs Dies

Murray Handwerker helped grow his father's Coney island hot dog stand into a national franchise died May 14, 2011.  His father, Nathan Handwerker opened his stand on Coney Island in 1916, four years after he emigrated to the U.S. from Poland..  Murray was born five years later on July 25, 1921.  he spent so much time at the restaurant that he joked that he came to regard the frankfurter bun boxes as his play pals.

Growing up, he worked on nearly every aspect of the business and told his son that he had washed the grill so often, his body sometimes had trouble recovering.

He well knew the appeal of Nathan's and his service in the Army during World War II developed his world view.  he got the idea to expand, even though his father wanted the place to remain just one stand.

Under Murray's guidance, Nathan's became a fixture in American culture.  FDR served its hot dogs to the British monarchy during a visit and Al Capone loved his Nathan's.  The dogs have even been flown to London for a party for Barbra Streisand.

Murray expanded the restaurants in New York and then outside the region.  You can now buy their product in many grocery stores across the country.

The family sold the business in 1987.

A Remarkable Man With a Plan. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ten Lost Cities of the World

From Forbes

1.  Petra, Jordan
2.  Chichen Itza, Mexico
3.  Deinkuyu Underground City, Turkey
4.  Machu Picchu, Peru
5.  Angkor, Cambodia

6.  Pre-Roman Carthage, Tunisia
7.  Pompeii, Italy
8.  Memphis, Egypt
9.  Teotihuacan, Mexico
10.  Mosque City of Bayerhal, Bangladesh

I've heard of all but #3 and #10.

Usually Lost, Anyway.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dead Page: "Respect"-- The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"


Died May 8, 2011.  Played guitar on Aretha Franklin's "Respect" along with that opening riff.  Also played on Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia."  Toured with Franklin's band in the late 60s and into the 70s.

How do you get better soul than "Respect?"  One of my favorites.


Real name John Maus.  Died May 7, 2011.  Front man of the Walker Brothers who had their biggest hit in the U.S. with "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" which went to #13.

In a case of revers British Invasion, they were Americans who moved to Britain.  Their real names were Scott Engel and Gary Leeds, but changed their name to Walker.  More popular in England than in the U.S. with ten big hits.  In 1964, their "Love Her" was a huge hit there.

He was a friend of Ritchie Valens and was one of his pall bearers.  He also helped the late Dennis and Carl Wilson learn how to play the guitar.

Top Ten Terrifying Civilizations

From the April 22, 2011, Listverse.  Always, the site has pictures and much more information and reasons.  I just list 'em for the most part.

And, the Gangnam Nation is not one of them.  No Style there.

10.  Celtic
9.  Maori  (Well, that tongue thing scares me.)
8.  Mongols
7.  Apache Tribes
6.  Vikings (only of you don't show them what's in your wallet.)

5.  North Koreans  (And they don't Gangnam Style either.)
4.  Romans
3.  Aztecs (Well, that human sacrifice thing.)
2.  Nazis
1.  Soviet Union (Especially under Uncle Josef.)

Be Skeered.  Be Very Askeered.  --Cooter

Monday, December 10, 2012

Boat With "Moby Dick" Connection Located

From the Feb. 13, 2011 News "Moby Dick" Revisited After Sunken Ship Discovery in Hawaii."

The ship named Two brothers was found 600 miles northwest of Hawaii.  Of course, you may be asking what this has to do with the famous book?  Herman Melville's book was inspired by George Pollard, Jr., and his whaling vessel, the Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820.  The survivors were adrift at sea for two months with the survivors finally resorting to cannibalism.

In 1823, Pollard got the Two Brothers which then hit a reef off Hawaii and sank.  This time Pollard and the crew were rescued the next day.

Melville finished the book in 1851, using another crew member's account.  After that, Melville met Pollard who was nothing like the crazed Captain Ahab of the book.

Divers have recovered the anchor, pots for melting whale blubber, whaling lances, harpoon tips and some rigging.  The Two Brothers rests off French Frigate Shoals.

Always Interested In Any Shipwrecks That Are Found.  --DaCoot

Not Saying Bureaucracy, But...

A look at the length of some important documents in history:

Pythagorean Theorem: 24 words
Lord's Prayer: 66 words
Archimedes Principle:  67
Ten Commandments:  179

Gettysburg Address:  186
Declaration of Independence:  1,300
U.S. Constitution and 27 Amendments:  7.818
U.S. Regulations on the Sale of Cabbage:  26, 911
No Wonder.  --Cooter

Saturday, December 8, 2012

McHenry Acquires Dobyns House Site

From the October 16, 2012, Northwest (Il) Herald by Jane Huh.

McHenry, Illinois, city officials spent $580,000 to a purchase  a 2.62 acre site along the Fox River regraded as a key piece the the city's downtown redevelopment.

There has been nothing on the site since an arson fire burned down the popular Joey T's restaurant in 2009.  The original building was built in 1929.  We went to Joey T's many times and were there when we found out that Liz's mom was going to die and I'll remember a wonderful November lunch out on the patio.

The land fronts on the Fox River and a channel so is an ideal spot for a park.  There is an upscale townhome development across the channel from it.

The City Did Right By Getting It.  --Cooter

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Being the 71st Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

I always observe this anniversary showing that the United States must always be prepared for anything.  There are people out there who don't like us and we must always be prepared for any eventuality, no matter how unbelievable it might be.

Who would ever have thought that foreign terrorists would have used our own planes to knock down our own buildings?

You can read the five entries I made on the battle in my World War II blog.

Anyway, Not Forgetting. 

Christmas Here in the North Land

Glad to say that all the light systems outside are working on their timers.  If it were not for timers, I probably wouldn't have outside lights.  The absolute last thing I want to do at 10:30 PM is to get dressed and go outside and turn off lights when the wind is blowing and temps below freezing.

Liz has all the inside lights working and two Christmas trees  decorated and lighted.  She put up the train tracks beneath the main tree and had already set up the village inside them.  I just now finished setting up the lights and people and accessories.  I even had time to go play with that train!!

I'm working on decorating Margaritaville in the basement and got a lot up last night night.  I was even able to find a motor that attached to a light string to turn the two mirror ball ornaments above the bar.  I've been wanting to do this for some time, but couldn't find the motorized piece.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.  --RoadDog

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dead Page: Country Singer-- Internet Developer


Husky-voiced singer-songwriter whose songs "Baby Got Her Blue Jeans On," "Louisiana Saturday Night,"  "Big Ole Brew" and "Stand Up" were big hits in the 80s, and favorites of mine.  Died March 31, 2010.


Played a key role in the development of the internet.  Without him, I wouldn't be wasting so much of my time doing this, but I enjoy it.  He did commercial work on UNIVAC computer, developing it to survive a nuclear war during the Cold War.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Facts About Twinkies

**  500 million are baked each year.

**  Each takes 10 minutes to bake.

**  Each has 150 calories

**  Their shelf life is 28 days (not forever as some suggest.)

Me and Woody, Right Zombieland?  --DaCoot

The Twinkie: A Chicago Invention

From the November 16, 2012, Chicago Sun-Times "Twinkie Maker Toast?" by Becky Schlikerman.

Well, with all the news about the Hostess Company closing down because of a strike (mainly a way to force worker concessions even as the CEO and top management get huge pay increases).

But, here is a short history of the Twinkie.

The Twinkie was born April 6, 1930, in Schiller Park when Continental Baking Co. bakery manager James Dewar created it.  He was looking for ways to put unused shortcake pans to use.

Usually, shortcake "fingers" were filled with strawberries, but they were out of season, so he filed them with banana cream and it became a big success at two for a nickel.  The Great Depression made them even more popular as an affordable treat.

The filling was changed to vanilla cream when bananas became scarce during World War II.

Lip-Smacking Good.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top Ten Iconic Buildings (Well, Structures)

From Listverse.  *--  I've seen it.

10.  Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
9.  *Louvre
8.  Burj Al Arab--  Dubai
7.  *Sydney Opera House
6.  Empire State Building

5.  Taj Mahal
4.  *Eiffel Tower
3.  *Big Ben
2.  *Coliseum
1.  *Giza Pyramids

Thanks, Mom.  --Cooter

World War I British Naval Deaths Go Online-- Part 2

Another victim that was 16-year-old Jack Cornwell who became a hero for staying at his post beside the top foredeck gun on the HMS Chester, despite being mortally wounded with the rest of his gun crew lying dead around him.  His commanding officer wrote, "He remained standing alone at a most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders until the end of the action."

It was found that the British ships had flaws that made them very vulnerable to internal explosions as happened on the Invincible.  In the case of young Cornwell on the Chester, the gun had inadequate armor.  He died two days later after just a month at sea and was awarded the Victoria Cross.  A fund was raised for him to support his mother, but she died destitute three years later.

One survivor of the Battle of Jutland was Britain's future King George VI, the stuttering king.  His ship, the HMS Collingwood lost 229 men in the fight.

The battle was a strategic success for the German Grand Fleet which returned to its home port and never ventured out again.

Always Stories in Those Statistics.

World War I British Navy Deaths Go Online-- Part 1

From the April 5, 2011,

Most historians studying the war dwell on the land action and those huge casualties, but some 44,000 British sailors also lost their lives.  About half of their bodies were never recovered and one-fifth died of disease.

George Blackwell, 24, a laundry worker from Winbledon, southwest of London was one of them, meeting his end at the Battle of Jutland, May 31-June 1.  The Royal Navy lost over 6,000 men, six cruisers and eight destroyers.

Admiral David Beatty, watching the second cruiser explode and sink within a half hour of the first one, remarked, "There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today."

Stroker First Class Blackwell was deep within his ship, the cruiser HMS Invincible, when it was hit by a German shell, exploded, split in half and sank in ninety seconds, killing all but six.  He never had a chance.  His body was never recovered, one of 1,026 dying that day.

The only thing his family has to remember him is a black-edged memorial card with words of sympathy and a photo.

More to Come.

British Ships Named Ark Royal

From Suite by Paula Thomas.


Aircraft carrier launched in 1985 and at auction March 2011.


Launched 1955.


1938-1941.  Purpose-built aircraft carrier built by Cammell Laird & Co, Birkenhead.  Recorded the first aeriel and U-boat kills.


1914-1934.  In World War I converted from a merchant ship and later named HMS Pegasus.


From the 18589s, originally named Ark Raleigh, 38-gun warship and flagship of Lord Effingham against the Spanish Armada.  Built by Sir Walter Raleigh and later rebuilt and renamed Anne Royal.

The History of a Ship's Name.  --Cooter

Sunday, December 2, 2012

German WW I U-boat Found Sunk Off the Netherlands

From the March 16, 2011, CNN.

Dutch researchers  found the wreck of the German submarine U-106 in 2009, but kept it secret until this week.  The crew of the research ship HNLMS Snellins had hoped they had found a Dutch submarine that had disappeared in the area in 1940, but found this one.  A brass plate on the sunken ship indicated that it was the U-106.

The announcement was delayed until now while German officials sought the relatives of crew members.  It will not be raised and will be designated as a war memorial.

From the Old Salt Blog:  The submarine was discovered in the North Sea off the north coast of the Netherlands.  The ship is believed to have sunk after hitting a mine north of the Dutch island of Terschelling.  The crew of 44 went down with the 838 ton, 234-foot long submarine launched in 1917.  It is also referred to as the SM U-106.

From the Huffington Post:  The ship is 130-feet deep and 40 miles north of the island.  The Dutch submarine O-13 sank in the area in June 1940, but divers and remote cameras have identified the ship as the German one.  The identifying brass plate that indentified the ship was on a water bottle.  The U-106 sank in 1917.

Always Great to Locate a Lost Ship.  --DaCoot

The San Francisco 1906 Earthquake in True Color

From the March 10, 2011, Yahoo! News.

Museum volunteers have found perhaps the only color photographs to be taken of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire.  Six never-before-published images taken by photo-innovator Frederick Eugene Ives several months after the April earthquake have been found.  Most were taken from the roof of a hotel where he was staying in October.

They had been stored all these years with a collection of items donated by his son, Herbert Ives.

They were discovered in 2009by National Museum of American History volunteer Anthony brooks when cataloguing the collection.  Hand-colored photos of the even have surfaced before, but this is probably the only ones still in color.

Ives was one of the few photographers back then with expertise with color and these pictures were to be 3-D in a device he invented that never caught on.  It is known for sure that he visited San Francisco in October, but it is also possible that he might have been there earlier.

Of interest, Ives is also known for inventing the halftone reproduction process still used to print photos in newspapers.

Check them Out.  --Cooter

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Is It the Andrea Doria's Bridge Bell?

From the June 20, 2011, New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Two New Jersey divers, Ernest Rookey and Carl Bayer, discovered what is believed to be the  bridge bell of the ocean liner Andrea Doria, which was sunk in 1956 off Nantucket, Massachusetts.

The bell was found in 240 feet of water and weighed 75 pounds and is two feet high.  Of course, the fact that the ship's name is engraved on it probably means it is the real McCoy.  In 1985, the stern bell was discovered.

On July 25, 1956, in heavy fog, the Andrea Doria was struck by the MS Stockholm and sank.

Sounds Like a Good Item for a Museum.  --Cooter

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rubbing It In, the Father of Vicks: Lunsford Richardson-- Part 2

Of interest, at one time William Sydney Porter worked for Richardson, who went on to become short-story writer O. Henry.

Lunsford Richardson continued to experiment with a wide variety of medicinal concoctions, including Vick's Chill Tonic, Vick's Turtle Oil Liniment, Vick's Little Liver Pills, Little Laxative Pills, Vick's Tar Heel Sarsaparilla, Vick's Yellow Pine Tar Cough Syrup and Vick's Grippe Knockers.

Personally, I'm not sure I would have tried some of these.  These sold with varying degrees of success, but soon it was apparent that the best-seller was Vick's Magic Croup Salve, which he came out with in 1894.  This would be for babies with a lot of coughing and congestion.

In 1911, his son suggested dropping all the other concoctions and going with just the Magic Croup Salve and changing the name to Vicks VapoRub, and he did.

After that, there was heavy marketing.  In 1919, as the Spanish flu was spreading across the nation and world, Lunsford got sick and died.  His son, Smith, took over, buying out other companies until Procter & Gamble bought them out in the 1980s.

During the years Vicks continued adding new products including cold remedies, cough drops, nose drops, nasal spray  (watch out for these as I've been hooked on them two different times), inhalers, and cough syrup.  Formula 44, NyQuil are also their products.

Well, the Next Time I Get the Croup.  --Cooter

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rubbing It In, the Father of Vicks: Lunsford Richardson-- Part 1

From the December Our State Magazine by Jimmy Tomlin.

You know the smell.  You know the goop.  Personally, I like hetting my fingers in it about as much as I enjoy getting them into suntan lotion.  And you know its effective.  That would be Vicks VapoRub.  Your mom made you feel better with it.  I haven't used it in years, but know about it.

But, very few know anything at all about its inventor, pharmacist Lunsford Richardson of North Carolina.

His salve helped the world breathe easier during the influenza pandemic of 1918 and during countless colds and flus during childhood.

So, then, why did his name not become famous?  Mostly because it wouldn't fit on the jar, according to one story.  Originally he planned to call it Richardson's Croup and Pneumonia Care Salve.  Way too long for the squat jars he was putting it in.  He changed it to honor his brother-in-law, Dr. Joshua Vick.  (Never heard of him either, other, of course, than the Vick name.)

He was born in Johnston County, NC, in 1854 and loved chemistry.  In 1880, he moved to Selma to work with Joshua Vick and began handling the pharmacy duties and began to experiment with recipes which would eventually become Vicks VapoRub.  In 1890, he moved to Greensboro and that is when everything took off.

"Rub It In, Rub It In"  Billy "Crash" Craddock.  --Cooter

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"C'mon, Chillun. Let's Dance!": A Forgotten Star, Kay Kyser

From the December Our State (NC) Magazine by Josh Shaffer.

I have heard a little about the man and his band, but not much, but Kay Kyser was one of the top Big Bands back in that day, scoring 35 top-ten hits and being called The Old Professor and led his big band in a mortarboard and tassel and knee-length academic robe with his drawl-soaked catchphrase "C'mon chillun.  Let's dance!"

Through the Depression and World War II, he offered up his zaniness through the hard times.

He wa born to pharmacist parents in Rocky Mount, NC and attended UNC at Chapel Hill.  He found his niche on "The Kollege of Musical Knowledge" radio show.  During the war, he performed before thousands of U.S. GIs.

As popular as he was, he vanished from the scene in the early 1950s, retiring to his alma mater and died 27 years ago.

I Would Have Liked to Have Seen Him.  --Cooter

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dead Page: Another Mouseketeer Bites the Dust


She was 12 in 1957 when she got a role in the third season of the Micker Mouse Club, primarily because of her skills as a dancer.  Used the stage name Bonnie, based on her first name.

Had bit parts in the movies "Kissing Cousins" with Elvis Presley and "Bye Bye Birdie" with Anne-Margret.

I seem to remember her on the role call.  But, I was a real big fan of the show back in the day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Whole Lot of History On Trip So Far

I left home on Sunday, November 18th and arrived here in Goldsboro, NC, last night.  Monday and Tuesday I did quite a bit of history stuff.

Monday, it was a drive along the National Road from Zanesville, Ohio, to its eastern terminus in Cumberland, Maryland.  Along the way, I stopped at Fort Necessity in Pennsylvania.  I'd always heard of it, but didn't know a lot about it other than George Washington was involved.

Tuesday was a trip out to Antietam Battlefield and a drive around Sharpsburg, Maryland, then a short drive out to Harper's Ferry, now West Virginia.  I saw John Brown's fort.  Of course, his raid did more to start the Civil War than most anything else.

The rest of yesterday involved the horror that is driving around Washington, DC, and the horror that is I-95.

I'll be writing more about the National Road in my RoadLog.  Antietam, Sharpsburg and Harper's Ferry will be in my Saw the Elephant blog about the Civil War.

Good to Arrive.  --Cooter

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Fox Lake Historical Society Meeting 11-17-12

I attended the meeting of the Fox Lake/Grant Township Historical Society (Illinois) yesterday,  bringing along my cassette player to play the tape that used to be used when all the puppets were turned on at the Puppet Bar, once one of the main attractions on the Chain Of Lakes.

They were giving the presentation that had been done at the Fox Lake Library earlier this fall.  I had been so busy taking notes that I had not seen all the photos of the old places back then, so it was good to see the power-point presentation again.

Before the presentation, we had the business meeting.

Recently, about 60 students from the local Gavin School visited the museum with their teachers and chaperones.  They were not bored and very desirous of seeing as much as they could.  Evidently, the teachers had prepped them very well.  Plus, they had a scavenger list for things to look for.

Also, six men from Highland Park had taken the Metra train from Highland Park (the station is right down the street about a tenth of a mile).  This is a monthly outing for them and they were very impressed with the collections.  An association member happened by and gave them a ride into Fox Lake and they had lunch at a local restaurant.

History At the Grassroots Level.  --Cooter

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NATO: 63 Years, 3 Major Phases

From the May 17, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Elizabeth Burn, Serena Dai and Ali Durkin.

I used to teach my kids about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

PHASE 1-- 1949-1990  PREVENT SOVIET AGGRESSION--  Established in the aftermath of World War II.  The alliance's mission was simple--  to act as a shield against Soviet aggression and expansion in Europe.  It never had to take military action during this period but did act as a deterrrent.  The Soviet Union formed its own alliance called the Warsaw Pact.

PHASE 2--  1991-2009--  PROMOTE PEACE BUT INTERVENE WHEN NECESSARY--  With the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union, there was no longer a threat.  NATO took on missions outside the geographic area (Europe) and began humanitarian interventions.  In 1994, NATO carried out its first-ever military operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

PHASE 3--  2010 AND BEYOND--  PROTECT AGAINST NEW THREATS--  To confront the threats of the 21st century, including terrorism, ballistic missiles and cyber attacks.  Today, nearly all NATO operations are outside of Europe.

Personally, I would like to see the U.S. pull out of NATO.  Let those countries take care of themselves and we could sure use the money better at home.

It's a NATO Thing.  --Cooter

Friday, November 16, 2012

That Candy Thing-- Part 6: Chicago's Candy History

1929  Frank Mars opens a factory on the Far West Side to help meet demand for his Milky Way candy bar.

1960s  Tootsie Roll moves its production to Chicago's Southwest Side.

1963  Chicago's candy output is double that of New York City.

2000s  Much of Chicago's candy production slows.  Fannie Mae files for bankruptcy; Brach and Wrigley close their Chicago factories.

Today  Companies including Tootsie Roll, Ferrara Pan (Lemon Heads, Boston Baked Beans and My Favorite "Red Hots"), American Licorice Co., Willie Wonka Candy Co., Nestle and Mars have headquarters or factories in Chicago.

Of course, there was the big thing when Marshall Field's stopped making their famous Thin Mints.

Now, Where Did Liz Hide That Halloween Candy We Didn't Give Out?  --Cooter

That Candy Thing-- Part 5: Chicago's Candy History

From the October 28, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Small treats, big business"  by Katie Nieland.

There were two neat old photos accompanying this timeline set up like a piece of red licorice.  One showed a Wrigley Co. delivery truck in front of the factory at 35th and Ashland in 1922.  The other showed the interior of the Tootsie Roll plant in Chicago in 1975 with two women at a conveyor belt with candy going by which reminded me of that funniest of the funny "I Love Lucy" skit where she and Ethel worked at the chocolate factory.  Now that was funny.


1837  Chicago gets its first candy shop on South Water Street near Wells Street.

1870  There are 17 candy businesses in Chicago.

1900  Chicago candy companies total 65.

1904  Emil Brach opens a storefront called Brach's Palace of Sweets and sells caramels for 20 cents a pound.  By 1911 he is selling more than 50,000 pounds a week.

1912  Gustav Goelitz's company (later renamed Jelly Belly Candy Co.) specializes in making candy corn in its North Chicago factory.  (Wonder what they make now?)

1920  Fannie May and the Holloway Candy Co. are founded.  Holloway sells Milk Duds and Slo Pokes (?) nationally.  (Not sure what a Slo Poke is.)

More Mouth-Watering Stuff to Come.  --DaCoot

That Candy Thing-- Part 4

Actually, Halloween candy gets an extra-long push as there is no major holiday immediately before it so it gets more shelf time (even though I seem to remember Christmas candy being out in October as well.  Walgreen store began stocking shelves with Halloween candy and stuff in August.  Candy corn is a big-seller according to the chain.  And, of course, you know the proper way to eat a kernel.

The American Licorice Co. founded in 1914 in Chicago (now based in Bend, Oregon) says they sell best in the summer (when chocolate sometimes melts).

What's this about NO MORE TWINKIES?!?

 Proper Way to eat candy corn?  Everyone knows you eat it one layer at a time.  Three bites and then go on to the next one.

Better Stock Up On Those Twinkies.  --Cooter

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This Is So Sad

I was looking at some notes I had jotted down from 2010, and in May, saw that Chicago had the highest gas prices in the United States at $3.22.  The average price in the country was $2.92 with Denver the lowest at $2.71.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have been brainwashed into believing that $3.50 now is a good price.

I Hate the GRBs.  --Cooter

It's a Sticky Situation

From Yahoo! News, April 25, 2010, "Post-it Notes strong after 30 years."

Probably my second favorite thing to mess with after Bubble Wrap.  Let's see how many times it will stick?  And what a great country song it would make.  I can see it now, "It's a Stcky Situation."  A real love ballad waiting to be written.

VHS tapes and Walkman's from the era are essentially gone, but not that lil' yellow piece of paper with the sticky at the top.

Actually, it started off as an engineering mistake by 3M scientists when they came up with an adhesive that would stick to just about any surface that today is one of the top-five office supply sellers.

I wonder if anyone still has an original 1980 3-by-3-inch canary yellow stack; might be worth something?

Today you can get it in 8 sizes and 62 colors.

Inventors Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver have been inducted into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame.

Here's Stickin' On Ya.  --DaCoot

That Candy Thing-- Part 3


More than 1,500 manufacturers around the U.S. produced more than 6.59 billion pounds of chocolate and nonchocolate confectionery in 2010.


Top four states with companies making candy:

California: 170
Pennsylvania: 137 (Hello Nestle's)
New York: 111
Illinois: 85

THIS HALLOWEEN:  Americans were expected to spend $2.4 billion on candy.

GROWTH:  During the last decade, the candy industry has seen a 1% to 3 % growth every year.

LUXURY?  "Candy is a luxury, but it is a very affordable luxury" according to the National Confectioners Association.  "Particularly when economic times are tough."

GETTING FANCY:  Tootsie Roll is offering a caramel apple lollipop.One of Walgreen Co.'s big-sellers this year is Mars' white chocolate candy corn M&Ms.

How Many of You Are Like Me and Eat Candy Corn In Stages By Color?  --Cooter

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cape Coral, Florida: Second Largest in Florida

Well, that would be second-largest by total area, 120 square miles  In 2009, the population was 162,852.

It was founded in 1957 just across the unspellable river from Fort Myers on Florida's west coast by real estate developers Leonard and Jack Rosen.  A heavy emphasis was placed on navigable waterways of which there are over 400 miles, giving the city more miles of canals than any on earth.

The city was incorporated in 1970 and experience a huge construction boom from the 1990s until the economic crash in 2008 which has resulted in a lot of foreclosed homes and great deals if you can get the banks to move on them.


The Shenandoah Travel Plaza in Ohio

Located along I-70, US-40 (National Road) east of Cambridge, Ohio, noted for unique architecture.  It was closed and plans were to tear it down after it was auctioned off in 2007.  It was built in the early 1970s and closed in 2003.

It has an interesting sign across the front and its front is modeled after the cabin of the USS Shenandoah, a US Navy rigid airship that crashed in the area in 1925.

Consisted of a truck stop, restaurant, motel, conference center, convenience store as well as gas and diesel pumps.

Owned and operated by the Luburgh family.when it was constructed.

Open again as of 2012.

I'll be planning on a visit. 


America's Rigid Airships: The USS Shanandoah

From Wikipedia.  I listed the six US airships on November 7th.

The Shenandoah was the first of four US Navy rigid airships built 1922-23 at the Lakeland Naval Air Station.  The Shenandoah made the first North American crossing by an airship and crashed on its 57th flight.

It was big, at 680 feet long and weighed 36 tons and a range of 5,000 miles and crew of 25.  The design was based on the German Zeppelin bomber L-49.  Armament consisted of six .30 caliber Lewis machine guns and eight 500 pound bombs.

It was the first airship to use helium instead of hydrogen.  The USS Patoka AO-9 fleet oiler was modified to become the Navy's first Airship Tender and had a strong mooring tower installed.

On September 3, 1925, the Shenandoah was caught in a storm and updrafted too high where it was torn apart and crashed to the ground, killing 14.

Today, there is a small private museum in Ava, Ohio.  An elementary, junior high and high school near the crash site have athletic teams called the Zeps.  A truck stop fifteen miles from the crash site at Old Washington Road )north of I-70 and US-40 was named the Shenandoah Plaza, but it is now closed and scheduled to be torn down.

I'll be going by this area on my upcoming trip on the National Road and may check it out.

I Always Like Watching Dirigibles Or Blimps Or Whatever You Call Them.  --Cooter

Monday, November 12, 2012

That Candy Thing-- Part 2


More than half the households handing out candy, give chocolate.  We give each trick-or-treater a Fun-size candy bar and piece of gum or lollipop.


68% want chocolate
9% want lollipops
7% want gummy candy
7% want gum


26% of households say they will give out regular chocolate candy bars.

Of Course, Sometimes We Eat The Candy Before the gets Here and Have to Buy Some More.  --Cooter

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You, Veterans

I just wanted to let you know, the risks you took and sacrifices made are appreciated.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Big Happy 237th to the Mighty Fine

Established by the Continental Congress on November 10th, 1775.  That's 237 years of protecting the U.S..

Proud to be a Big Fan of the Corps and six-week member.  Hey, the war ended and they didn't need me anymore.

That Candy Thing-- Part 1

From the Oct. 28, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Small treats, big business" by Katie Nieland, Tribune graphics.

As we finish off the unclaimed Trick-or-Treat candy and that which we bought the day after for half price, here are some interesting facts from the Tribune.

According to the National retail Federation, more people planned to celebrate Halloween this year than in the past 10.  More than 7 of 10 Americans.  This means big business for candy manufacturers, as Halloween represents more than a third of all holiday spending.  Projections for candy-spending were are more than $2.4 billion.


Halloween 33.6%  $2.38 billion
Easter 30.5%  $2.16 billion
Christmas 21.6%  $1.53 billion
Valentine's Day 14.3%  $1.01 billion


Though more consumers plan to buy candy, fewer plan to hand it out to Trick-or-Treaters, meaning they're hoarding it for themselves.

Planning to buy candy: 96%

Planning to hand out candy: 75.7%

Of those who said the economy would affect their Halloween plans, 36.1% said they'd buy less candy.

Personally, I buy according to how many kids I think we'll get, usually 60 in our subdivision.

More Treats to Come.  --Cooter

Friday, November 9, 2012

So You Wanna Buy a Town?

From the April Time Magazine.

Those looking to buy a town in the United States, and I mean a whole town, have lost out on two of them.  But, one still remains.

For a crisp $1.4 million, you can buy Henry River, North Carolina.  Then appoint yourself mayor, police chief and tax collector, I suppose.  The 72-acre abandoned mill town served as District 12 in the movie "The Hunger Games."  Perhaps you can open it as a place for movie and book fans to visit.

You can roam the decrepit streets of the Hob, traverse the area forest, visit Peeta's iconic bakery, or even just charge fans to come see.


Buford, Wyoming.  America's smallest town (pop. 1) now owned by anonymous Vietnamese investor and has a trading post, gas station, post office and its very own ZIP code: 82052.  Sold for $900,000.

Scenic, South Dakota.  This Badlands area beauty sold last fall to a Filipino church which hasn't announced what it plans to do with it.  Once a popular stop for travelers to Rapid City, SD.  Sold for $700,000.

Way Too Out of My Finances.  --DaCoot

"The Princess Bride" Cast Reunites

I had never heard of it until 2005, when I was sharing my classroom for one period with another teacher.  I just stayed in it while she taught her class.  She showed the movie and I started watching it and got hooked.  I think I enjoyed it even more than her kids.  As a matter of fact, I just bought a DVD of it in one of those $5 Wal Mart bins.

Surprisingly, the kid Peter Falk was reading the story to, Fred Savage, of "The Wonder Years" fame was not there.

I always though the addled, speech-challenged clergyman who officiated the wedding ceremony was one of the members of Monty Python, but it was Peter Cook.

Some more great quotes:

Count Ruger, the six-fingered--  "Stop saying that!"

Fezzik,  "You've been mostly dead all day."

Valerie to Miracle Max, "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife."

Yellun:  "I have no gate key."
Inigo, "Fezzik, tear his arms off!"
Yellum, "Oh, you mean this gate key."

No Doubt, This Was One Funny Movie.  --Cooter

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not Inconceivable! "Princess Bride" Cast Reunites After 25 Years

From the Oct. 5, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Rebecca Keegan.

"Twenty-five years after 'The Princess Bride' first stormed theaters, director Rob Reiner, writer William Goldman and cast members Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Carol Kane, Wallace Shawn and Chris Sarandon reunited for the New York Film Festival last week for a boisterous screening of the quotable fantasy-comedy timed to the release of the movie on Blu-Ray.

Writer Goldman admitted to wanting to write a sequel to it, but hasn't come up with one.

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to Die."

Then, there was Billy Crystal ad-libbing many of his lines as Miracle Max.

Sadly, Fezzik, Andre the Giant, is now gone as is the kindly grandfather who read the story to his grandson,

"As You Wish."

Beware of the Swamp and the Dread Pirate Roberts.  --Cooter

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 6th Is a Big Day for Radio: Hello FM

As I sit here listening to WDRV-FM's "A to Z", this is the day after a big day for the medium called FM, because on November 6, 1935, Edwin H. Armstrong announced to the world his development of FM broadcasting, after large-scale field tests of the new technology at RCA's facilities on the 85th floor of the Empire State Building from May 1934 to October 1935.  Eureka, it works!!

In 1937, Armstrong financed the construction of the first FM radio station W2XMN, a 40-kilowatt station in Alpine, New Jersey.

More often than not these days, I listen to FM stations and have liked them ever since I first became aware of them in the late 60s.  These so-called underground stations played that great variety of music and with fewer commercials, way more than the AM stations I listened to, primarily WLS and WCFL in Chicago.

Then, of course, FM became segmented and formatted and more like the old A< stations.

Even so, here in Chicago I'm a major WDRV and WXRT fan.  Plus, on the internet I listen to 94.9 WVCO the Surf in North Myrtle Beach (for my Beach Fix).

Also, on November 6th in 1947, Hank Williams recorded one of the all-time great country songs, "Honky Tonkin'."

Hey, When Do the Christmas Stations Start Up?  --Cooter --

United States Rigid Airships

ZMC-2:  A metal-clad airship operating between 1929-1941 and scrapped
ZR-1  USS Shenandoah:  1923-1925.  Crashed in a storm
ZR-2 (R-38):  1921, crashed
ZR-3 USS Los Angeles: 1924-1939; decommissioned and dismantled.
ZR-4 USS Akron: Aircraft carrier 1931-1933.  Lost in storm
ZR-5  USS Macon: Aircraft carrier 1933-1935.  Lost in bad weather.

It Was Worth An Effort.  --Cooter

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some More Campaign Slogans

From the Nov. 4, 2012, Parade Magazine.

According to Steve Cone, author of "Powerlines" the candidate with the best slogan usually wins.  This year it is "Forward" versus "Believe in America" two namby-pamby ones if you ask me.  While we wait to see which one wins,  here's a look back at some from past elections.

Remember "All the Way With LBJ" or "I Like Ike?"  Winner first, loser second


James K. Polk "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" //// Henry Clay "Who Is James K. Polk?"


Grover Cleveland "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the Continental Liar from the State of Maine" (Hey, that rhymes) //// James G. Blaine "Ma,Ma, Where's My Pa?"


Frankin D. Roosevelt "Remember Hoover" //// Alfred Landon "Let's Make It a Landon-Slide"


John F. Kennedy "A Time for Greatness" //// Richard Nixon "Experience Counts"


Ronald Reagan "Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago //// Jimmy Carter "It's a Matter of Values"

What Change?  --RoadDog

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Campaign Slogans-- Part 2: Vote For the Lizard, Not the Wizard!!

6.  When ethnically challenged EDWIN EDWARDS ran against former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard DAVID DUKE for Louisiana governor in 1991, the bumper stickers included "Vote for the crook--it's important" and "Vote for the lizard, not the wizard."  The Lizard won.

7.  The second spot on a ticket rarely gets much respect, but GROVER CLEVELAND's running mate, former Indiana governor Thomas Hendricks, might have been offended when 'We'll shout for our man and his important appendix!  We'll whoop'er up lively for Cleveland and Hendricks."

8.  Some slogans seem doomed from the start.  In 1952, ADLAI STEVENSON, facing Dwight Eisenhower, had "You Never Had It So Good."  In 1968, HUBERT HUMPHREY asked "Who but Hubert."

9.  It's a good thing that slogans have an expiration date, like WOODROW WILSON's "He kept us out of war" which was only good until we went to World War I on April 6, 1917.

10.  BARACK OBAMA was the "hope and change " candidate in 2008, but in 1900, President WILLIAM McKINLEY won re-election with the opposite slogan "Let well enough alone."

Another Great Job, Jacob and Benzkofer.  --Cooter

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Campaign Slogans-- Part 1: We Polked You in 1844

From the October 28, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer, researchers par excellent.

Currently, you see lots of Mitt Romney's "Believe in America and Barack Obama's "Forward" for some reason, hopefully not after tomorrow.

But here are some more campaign slogans.

1.  Democrats hoping to get FRANKLIN PIERCE elected in 1852 reminded voters of James Polk, eight years earlier:  "We Polked you in 1844; we'll Pierce you in 1852."  Wonder if there was any double meaning there?

2.  "Sunflowers die in November" doesn't seem to be too catching of a slogan, but FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT used it in 1936, referring to opponent Alf Landon home state of Kansas and use of the state flower on campaign buttons.  They did.

3.  In 1997, Liberian rebel CHARLES TAYLOR intimidated, suggesting a civil war would start again if he was not elected president: "He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him."  He won, but later was arrested and convicted of war crimes.

4.  The 1884 U.S. election was nasty.  New York Gov. GROVER CLEVELAND was considered to be an honest man, but it came out that he had had an affair years earlier and that he was financially supporting the woman and his son by her.  Republicans enjoyed shouting, "Ma! Ma! Where's My Pa?"  Cleveland won anyway and Democrats shouted, "Gone to the White House. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

5.  In Illinois, Gov. RICHARD OGILVIE used "Charisma isn't everything" but voters still elected Dan Walker in 1972.  Dawn Clark Netsch used "More Than Just a Pretty Face" but lost to incumbent Jim Edgar in 1994.

Five More to Come.  --DaCoot

Election Connection?-- Part 3: A Non-Scientific Way to Figure Out Who Is Going to Win


The Theory:  The party with the better-selling Halloween masks of nominees on will win the election.

ACCURACY:  Accurately predicted the outcome of each presidential election since 2000.

This Year:  Biden and Obama masks have been chosen by 52% of the people.

Resulting Prediction:  Obama


The Theory:  If the Los Angeles Lakers reach the NBA Finals in an election year, the Republican candidate will win.

Accuracy:  The Republican has won eight of nine such occasions-- in 1952 (as the Minneapolis Lakers), 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000, and 2004.  The lone exception, 2008 and Obama's win over McCain.

This Year:  The Lakers did not reach the Finals.

Resulting Prediction:  Doesn't apply.

So, according to these connections, Romney wins 3 to 2.

Wonderin' What the Chicago Bear Factor Is?  --Cooter

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Election Connection?-- Part 2


The Theory:  If the American League team wins, Republicans win.  If the National League team wins, the Democrats do as well.

Accuracy:  Rule has held true in 11 of 15 elections since 1952, but in only 15 of 26 overall.

This Year:  The National League's San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers in four games.

Resulting Prediction:  Obama


The Theory:  The coffee cup color selected by more customers at 7-Elevens will predict the winner.   More blue cups taken, the Democrat wins.. More red= the Republicans

Accuracy:  Cup selection has accurately predicted the winner since the promotion was introduced in 2000 according to the convenience store chain.

This Year:  Customers have grabbed the blue cup 59% of the time and red cups  41%.  (Republicans probably drink coffee at Starbucks.  Democrats can't afford to drink there.)

Resulting Prediction:  Obama

Masks and the Lakers Law on Monday.  --DaCoot

Election Connection?-- Part 1

From the Oct. 21, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Rob Manker.

"Between now and Nov. 6, no shortage of polls and pundits will attempt to predict the big winner on Election Day....Some indicators will claim to be scientific, others will not.  These fall into the latter category."


The Theory:  the taller of the two presidential candidates will win the election.

Accuracy:  The taller one has won 19 times and lost 8 dating to 1896.  Two listed candidates of the same height--Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Woodrow Wilson and Charles E. Hughes in 1916.

This Year:  Obama 6'1", Romney reportedly 6'2" (something else he won't release?)

Resulting Prediction:  Romney


The Theory:If the Washington Redskins win their last home game before the election, the incumbent will win.  If not, the incumbent loses.

Accuracy:  True in 17 of 18 cases

This Year:  The Redskins play the Carolina Panthers tomorrow.

Resulting Prediction:  TBD  Updated 11-5. The Redskins lost, so expect the non-incumbent party, that'd be the Republicans to win.  That'd be Romney.

What If the Game Ends in a Tie?  --Cooter

Friday, November 2, 2012

Some Anniversaries: Oreos and Video Games

The OREO COOKIE as we know it, was invented in New York City on March 6, 1912, and celebrating its 100th munch or dip-day, depending on your leaning.  More than 95 million of them are sold each day.  I don't dip them in milk, wash them down with milk, or split them open and eat the frosting first.  I just munch them and smile.

The VIDEO GAME is most likely 40 years old this fall.  It first appeared in bowling alleys and bars in 1972, and then, remember this, the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home-gaming system arrived the same time.

This was as far as ever got in home-gaming as we did buy one in '73 or '74.  I thought, wow, is this neat.  How do they do that?  But, compared to today's home video games, it wasn't much, but you have to start somewhere.  Wish we hadn't given the Odyssey console away.  It might be worth something today.

As far as video games in bars and places, I didn't make it much past Pac-Man.  Asteroids were a particular favorite of mine.

Blip...Blip...Blip.  --Cooter

A Look Back at a 90s Chicago Restaurant: D.B. Kaplan's-- Part 2

Too bad the place closed in 1995 as I would definitely like to go there, if just to read the menu.

I was unable to find a full list of their sandwiches other than and IKE AND TINA TUNA.


The Princess Di-et
Cape Crusader
The Trial Separation
Schnapp Out of It
John's Candy (John Candy)
Oral Hersheyheiser (Dodger pitcher)
Hickory Daiquiri Doc



Someone must have had a lot of time to come up with these.

Sounded Like a Great Place.  --DaCoot

A Look Back at a 90s Chicago Restaurant: D.B. Kaplan's-- Part 1

From the October 25, 2012, Chicago Tribune "Deconstructed the (departed) menu" by Phil Vettel, Tribune restaurant critic.

D.B. Kaplan's opened in 1976 in Chicago's Water Tower Place and closed in 1995.  They offered 100 sandwiches with "groan-worthy, punny names." and quite a colorful menu and caricatures that would have been popular back then.

There were caricatures of Batman and Jack Nicholson's Joker character who was eating a ham.  Then, Harry Caray was standing there with a beer in one hand and sandwich in the other, and for some reason, a halo around his head ("Holy Cow!").  Then Robert "Murphy in the Morning" Murphy, a popular local radio personality stood there in a straight jacket. 

A snarling Mike Ditka, Chuck Berry playing a celery-stalk guitar and duck walking, Michael Jordan slam-dunking a ham and other caricatures of Elvis, Tina Turner and Ernie Banks.

"Never before has a delicatessen risen to such great heights (7th floor Water Tower Place).  Nowhere on earth will you find a sandwich more mountainous than at...D.B. Kaplan's Delicatessen."

Some of the sandwiches (and I sure would have liked to have seen the whole list):

The MIKE ROYKO (Vienna Pepperbeef)
The HUGH HEFFNER (topless club sandwich)
The BOB SIROTT  (salami and bologna on rye)-- Chicago radio and TV
The DR. RUTH (sausage platter)

Even Some More to Come.  --Cooter

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Some Classic Halloween Stuff

From the Vanished Americana site

Scroll down.

You can see the Little Rascals classic "Spooky Hooky" where they fake a note from a mother to get off school so they can go to the circus only to find their teacher had a field trip surprise to the circus for them.  They got locked out of the school and had to break in at night.  And, it was a spooky night.

Then there were four Halloween songs, only one of which I'd ever heard of before:

WOBBLIN GOBLIN--  Rosemary Clooney
PUNKY PUNKIN (THE HAPPY PUMPKIN)--  Fran Allison  (Anybody remember her?)

JEEPERS CREEPERS--  Paula Kelly (I had heard this one before)

Plus, there was a Walt Disney cartoon called "Trick Or Treat" featuring Donald Duck, his nephews and a witch.

5:20 and we've had 15 trick-or-treaters.  Started at 3 PM.

Go On, Get in the Mood.  --DaCoot

Five Frightening Halloween Factoids

From the Oct. 28, 2012 Parade Magazine.

1. The best place for trick-or-treating in Amereica is Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, according to a 2011 index of Halloween Hauls.  Yeah, and its 4:06 PM in Spring Grove, Il., and so far we've had no trick-or-treaters even though it started at 3 PM.  Back in the day, we went out just as soon as we could and stayed out as long as we could.  All the more to get more candy, you know.

2.  A quarter of all U.S. candy sales each year occur now.  This year's top seller...Snickers.  We  had some, but alas, they somehow disappeared.

3.  The 1978 thriller "Halloween was shot on a $300,000 budget and went on to become one of the highest grossing and scariest movies ever.  My right leg still has a bruise from where friend Wendy, who was sitting next to me at the theater, hit it during one scary part.  Thanks, Wendy.

4.  Ron Wallace of Greene, RI, has just grown the laargest pumpkin in history.  On September 26, the giant gourd weighed in at 2,000 pounds.  Talk about your Punky Pumkins.

5.  Harry Houdini, magician and escape artist, died on Oct. 31, 86 years ago. 

Here's to You, Harry.  --Cooter

America's Last World War I Veteran

From the March 8, 2011, Bangor (Maine) Daily News "Buckles, not Boehmer, deserves place in Washington, DC" by Pat LaMarche.

Frank Buckles was born shortly after the Spanish-American War ended and before radio broadcasting, assembly line production, flight and electric washing machines.  And, he lived into the computer age.

Altogether in Wold War I, there were around 25 million combat-related casualties and other factors like the 1918 flu epidemic caused even more to die.

According to the "Longman Companion to the First World War, though the U.S. involvement was great, casualties were surprisingly low.  Of 4,272,500 soldiers deployed, around 8% were killed or wounded, compared to 55% for the Russians and 75% of French troops.

The writer was not happy that Speaker of the House John Boehmer didn't think Mr. Buckles' body should lie in the Capitol Rotunda.

I Agree That Mr. Buckles' Body Should Have Been in the Rotunda As a Fitting Thank You to All That Generation Past.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tall Ship HMS Bounty Sinks in Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy-- Part 1

From the Oct. 30, 2012, Courant Business by Dan Haas.

I was very sad to hear that this ship, built to the exact specifications of the original, sank yesterday off Wilmington, NC, when it was unable to navigate through the 40-foot waves of Hurricane Sandy, took on water and went down.

It had a crew of 16.  Fourteen were rescued yesterday by  Coast Guard helicopters.  The last one off the ship, the captain is still missing.  One other man was rescued, but died later.

The vessel was constructed specifically for the 1962 movie "Mutiny On the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando.  It had been in New London, Ct., for a gathering of the crew of the submarine USS Mississippi on Oct. 25th after a month of repairs of Maine and was on its way to its home port in St. Petersburg, Florida.It went down 100 miles off Cape Hatteras in what is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic for the number of ships that sank there.

The 412 ton ship has three masts, the tallest at 115 feet and ten miles of rigging.

The crew member who was found, but later died was 42-year-old Claudene Christian (and I'm thinking when I first read it, that his last name was the same as the leader of the mutineers.  But that name sounded a bit more like that of a female.) and he reportedly is a descendant.  Later, I found out that Claudene Christian was female.  Her ancestor has been played by four of Hollywood's leading men: Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson.

More to Come. --Cooter

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ten Best Old War Films

From the Jan. 1, 2011, Screen Junkies.

1.  Twelve O-Clock High (1949)
2.  The Desert Fox (1951)
3.  From Here to Eternity (1953)

4.  The Caine Mutiny (1954)
5.  The Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957)
6.  Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)
7.  The Longest Day (1962)

8.  The Great Escape (1963)
9.  Patton (1970)
10. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Seen 'Em All.   --Cooter

Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Time Out and Finds a Trove of Roman Coins

From the Oct. 18, 2012, Yahoo! News, ABC News "First-Time Treasure Hunter Discovers Trove of Roman-Era Coins" by Suzan Clarke.

The lucky dog.

An unnamed man bought a basic metal detector in Britain and has uncovered a trove of Roman coins, believed to be the largest in English history.  The Roman solidi, dating back to the 4th century are estimated to be worth $160,000 in U.S. dollars, or 100,000 English pounds.

The first-timer found 40 pieces and then brought them to the shop where he bought the detector in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and then returned with the shop's owners and a better detector and found 119 more.

The coins are 22 carat gold and in great shape.  The Solidu coins date from the closing years of the 4th century and were typically issued as sacrifice to the gods.

They were found on private land.

Would That Ever Be Neat to Do.  --Cooter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just In Time for Halloween: Top Ten Universal Monsters

From the Oct. 16, 2012, Listverse.  Top monsters appearing in Universal Studios movies.

Movie--Year-- the Monster

10.  IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE-- (1953)--  the one-eyed creature

9.  THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-- (1943)--  disfigured Claudin

8.  THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN--  (1935)--  Mrs. Frankenstein to-be

7.  THE MUMMY--  (1932)--  Imhotep, ancient priest, "Raggy"

6.  THE INVISIBLE MAN--  (1933)--  the mad scientist Griffin

5.  THE WOLF MAN--  (1941)--  Larry Talbot, half man, half wolf, "Hairy"

4.  DRACULA--  (1931)--  the count "Toothy"

3.  FRANKENSTEIN-- "Blockhead"


1.  THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA--  (1925)--  Mr. Phantom

Like, Boo!!  --Cooter

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Something Worth Looking At: Life Magazine Photographs

From the November 20, 2008, Chicago Tribune "New life for huge Life photograph collection on Google" by Steve Johnson.

Including the date rape photo of the kissing sailor at the end of World Wat II."Suddenly one of the great treasure troves in history is available online, free, and even ready for your download and manipulation.  The Life magazine photos archive went up this week, hosted by Google

It is broken down by decades.  And, you are welcome to use them without all that copyright stuff.  You can crop hem the way you want and make your own 8-by-10 prints.  You just can't use them for commercial purposes.

However, not all of the 10 million images are on the Google site.  Life president Andrew Blau said, "To have the entire collection in a warehouse in Jersey City is not to the benefit of the photography."

I look forward to the day when any non-money-making effort can use any photo on the internet with no copyright problems.  But I would like for whomever made the photo to include their name or site at the bottom of the picture.

Definitely Worth a Look.  --Cooter

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Brief History of Cigarette Advertising-- Part 2

I always like it when Time does this one page, packed with information, column.  It is as good as the Tribune's Ten Things You Didn't Know.

In 1971, cigarette packs were required to have warning labels and companies were no longer allowed to advertise on radio or television.  This didn't stop the tobacco companies who continued ads in publications, billboards, sponsorships and merchandise promotions like Camel Cash.


1909  The American Tobacco Company includes small baseball cards in packs of cigarettes.  Pittsburgh Pirate Honus Wagner's card will become the most valuable ever, one fetching $2.8 million in a 2007 auction..  I have heard that he was against cigarette smoking and had had his card pulled right away, so that made it quite rare.

1965  Congress requires cigarette packs to carry health warning labels.  The surgeon general's warning is added in 1970.

1991  A study shows that nearly as many 6-year-olds know Joe Camel as Mickey Mouse.  The cartoon pitchman is retired in 1997.

1992  Wayne McLaren, the actor who portrayed the rugged Marlboro Man in commercials, died of lung cancer at age 61.  He did not look so rugged and healthy then.

What Does Lucky Strike Mean?  --Cooter

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Old Hometown, Palatine, Illinois-- Part 4

Now, Palatine has joined its eastern towns and is considered a mature Chicago suburb.  Village leaders are looking to redevelop and update businesses to keep that aspect viable.

Palatine has come a long way since 1873, when Everett Chamberlain described the town as a " village with three churches and a handsome grade school worth $11,000...streets [that are] excellently finished...tracts selling from $75 to $300 an acre."


66,820 inhabitants

2%-- population growth since 2000

79.5%--  have lived there 5+ years

33--  median age of owner/renter

69.6%--  own their homes

30.4%--  rent

$93,745--  estimated family income  ($74,622 for Illinois)

Reported ethnicity:  2.1% black, 7.4% Asian, 14% Hispanic,83.3% white

That Old Hometown of Mine.  --DaCoot

A Brief History of Cigarette Advertising-- Part 1

From the June 15, 2009, Time Magazine by Scott Olstad and Randy James.

The article had a great "Call for Philip Morris" commercial at the top.  If you Yahoo search the headline, you can go to the New York Public Library with 10 more cigarette ads where your doctor and even your baby wanted you to smoke.

Almost as soon as there was a U.S., there has been tobacco advertising.  But new regulations on the tobacco industry may put a big crimp in the $13 billion a year business.

The first print ad for tobacco is believed to be from 1789 when what is now Lorillard Tobacco Co. advertised its snuff in a New York paper.  In the late 19th-century cigarette packs began including trading cards featuring celebrities and athletes.

Soldiers in both world wars received either free or subsidized cigarettes.  In the 40s and 50s there were catchy slogans like "Winston Tastes Good (go ahead and finish it)" and they backed popular TV shows.  NBC's Nightly News grew out of the Camel News Caravan.

The golden age of cigarette advertising started dimming in the 60s when the health risks became more clear.

More to Come.  --Cooter

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sure Scared Me Fifty Years Ago: The Cuban Missile Crisis

From the Oct. 22, 2012, Northwest Herald (Il)

"Kennedy averts Cuban Missile Crisis Disaster" by Joseph C. Morton.

On this day (Oct. 22) 1962, President John F. Kennedy appeared on TV to inform the country that the Soviets were constructing nuclear missile sites in Cuba, just 90 miles from the U.S..

That was the first the citizens had heard of it, although it had been going on since Oct. 13th.  They just hadn't told us.  The whole thing lasted 13 days before the Soviet Union finally backed down.

I figured that I was a goner.  Here I was in 6th grade, and already doomed.  Sure, we had always had nuclear holocaust drills where we had to get on out knees, put our heads on the floor and cover our heads with our arms.  Kind of an embarrassing position to say the least.  And we had to do it under our desks.  That position and those desks were really going to protect us if a big one went off nearby.  Just a lot of real burned heinies sticking up in the air at best.

I remember seeing all the photgraphs in the next day's newspapers.

Way Too Young To Die.  --DaCoot

My Old Hometown: Palatine, Illinois-- Part 3

Despite the new multi-family housing, Palatine is still a family-oriented bedroom community as it has been since the 1960s.  I know my brother, sister and I sure enjoyed it.  Back in he 60s, we walked everywhere and with no fear of Stranger danger, but I imagine you couldn't do that anymore. 

The village has two park districts, swimming pools, a water park, a 15-mile Palatine Trail

And, there are festivals including Street Fest which draws 45,000 each August and, of course, the great 4th of July celebration every year.

Its public schools get high marks.  Its two high school, Palatine and the one that is not Palatine, William Fremd, are always top scorers on the Chicago area ACT rankings.  They are part of High School District 211 and elementary District 15.  It has 15 elementary schools, 4 junior highs and a school for special needs and at-risk.  Mom taught at Jane Addams and Virginia Lake elementary schools.  Private schools include two Catholic high schools and Quest Academy.  Plus, there is Harper Junior College.

Many of Palatine's residents work in Schaumburg, but the Metra train line (used to be the Chicago & Northwestern) is still the number one commuter vehicle.  Dad used to take it every weekday to and from the Quaker Oats Company's corporate headquarters in Chicago's Merchandise Mart.

A Great Place to Grow Up.  --Cooter

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Old Hometown...Palatine, Illinois-- Part 2

Palatine has a mostly family demographic, but growth will slow down as the last farm in the village limits closed in the 1990s and there just isn't much land left on which to build.  Until the great home bust, single family permits were maintaining at around 100 a year.  Of course, back in the 60s when Winston Park subdivision was being built, it was much higher.

UPSIDE OF LIVING IN PALATINE--  The village is a half hour commute from Chicago by train. There are plenty of village things always happening and now the new downtown condos are adding seniors and young professionals to the mix.

DOWNSIDE OF LIVING IN PALATINE--  Other than parks and forest preserves, there are not a lot of wide open spaces still available.  If you want room, head out farther.  Palatine used to be an outskirts suburb, but is no longer on the outskirts, but in the bustling Northwest Suburbs and all the traffic that comes from that.  I'll sure agree with the traffic problem.. It is horrible.

More to Come.  --DaCoot

That's How Close We Came to Armageddon During the Cuban Missile Crisis

From Oct. 16, 2012 Yahoo! News.

Newly released papers of Robert F. Kennedy on the Cuban Missile Crisis had the words to a draft that President Kennedy was ready to read if the Soviets had not backed down.

"My fellow Americans, with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfillment of my oath of office, I have ordered--and the United States Air Force has now carried out-- military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba."

Had we done so, the Cuban commander probably would have replied with the 100 nuclear tactical weapons at his disposal which would have led to US retaliation and then the Soviet Union.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wanted 500 bombing sorties followed by an invasion of Cuba by 90,000 soldiers.

Those were some mighty scary times to live through.  I was 11 at the time and was pretty sure I wouldn't live to see my 12th birthday.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Titanic's Charles Lightoller-- Part 1

Back on August 6, 2012, I posted an entry about the truth of the Titanic's sinking which revolved around a steering error written byBritish author Louis Patten, granddaughter of the Titanic's Second Officer Charles Lightoller.

I looked up Mr. Lightoller on Wikipedia and found some interesting information. 

Born March 30, 1874 and died Dec. 8, 1952.  He was the second officer on the Titanic and most senior one to survive.  Mr. Lightoller was decorated for gallantry in the First World War and during World War II, provided and sailed one of the "Little Ships" at Dunkirk.

Lightoller acted as first officer during the Titanic's sea trials.  On April 14, 1912, he was in command of the last bridge watch before the collision and had retired to bed when the iceberg was encountered.

He was very strict about "women and children first," and went into the water as the great ship slipped beneath it, surviving on an overturned boat.

An Interesting Life.  --Cooter

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Panama Canal to Expand

From the Aug. 16, 2012, Chicago Tribune"Wider Panama Canal to remake trade routes" by Tim Johnson.

Since the SS Ancon became the first ship to go through the locks of the Panama Canal on Aug. 15, 1914, the roughly 50-mile-long waterway, more than a million ships have used it.  But shipping was always constrained by the size of the locks, permitting no vessel longer than 965 feet, wider than 106 feet or drawing more than 39 feet of water from passing through.

This has becoming an increasing problem as ships have been getting much larger.  A third lane through the locks is planned to open in 2014 and ships as long as 1,200 feet, 160 feet wide and 50 feet draft will be able to use this lane.

This has Panama looking at reaping a lot of money.  However, US Atlantic ports are now having dredging projects to deepen harbors and approaches in Miami, Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston and New York.

It's a Canal Thing, You Know.  --Cooter

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicago's Ad Industry

From the Sept. 6, 2007, Chicago Tribune "Porsche jump-starts Chicago ad industry" by Susan Chandler.

A big sorry to those "Mad Men" out in New York.  Chicago is the nation's second-largest advertising market, but of  late it is getting the reputation as being the second-rate when it comes to advertising ideas.

But, Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt has gotten the $40 million Porsche account.  It wasn't long ago that the Leo Burnett was flying high with its commercials.


Campaign--  product--  ad agency

MARLBORO MAN--  Marlboro cigarettes--  Leo Burnett

I WISH I WERE AN OSCAR MAYER WEINER--  Oscar Mayer hot dogs--  J. Walter Thompson

MY BOLOGNA HAS A FIRST NAME--  Oscar Mayer bologna--  J. Walter Thompson

TONY THE TIGER--  Kellogg's Frosted Flakes--  Leo Burnett

WASSUP?--  Budweiser--  DDB Chicago (Well, this one wore real thin.)

WHAT DO YOU WANT ON YOUR TOMBSTONE--  Tombstone frozen pizza--  Foote, Cone & Belding

BE LIKE MIKE--  Gatorade--  Bayer Bess Vanderwarker

YOU DESERVE A BREAK TODAY--McDonald's-- Needham, Harper and Steers

Think I'm Gonna Get a Big Mac for My Break.  We're Getting Overdue for McRibs!!  --Cooter

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

He Almost Missed National Newspaper Week

From the Oct. 11, 2012, Northwest (Il) Herald "Smart news companies have a future" by Kevin Lyons.

Mr. Lyons had to admit, that even though he is a newspaper columnist, he didn't know that it was National Newspaper Week.  Even worse, he found out about it on a Facebook feed.  That is really sad.  These are definitely trying times for the newspaper industry.  I still prefer to get my news via the print, but so many I know, including my wife, wouldn't dream of picking up a newspaper and get all their news via the computer screen. 

If I find a great article that I'd like her to look at, I have to giver her the article title and newspaper so she can get it up on her screen.  I myself, also use computer generated news which is very necessary to expand the number of articles I can locate to write these seven blogs.

He goes on to say:  "You can find plenty of obituaries on the newspaper business, many of which date to the invention of the radio.  Of course, the industry is undergoing changes and will continue to do so, and there have been some casualties along the way.  That's nothing to celebrate."

Of course, a big problem is money.  All those people getting news without paying for it, like me.  But I do have a subscription to the Chicago Tribune and have had one for most of the last 39 years.  I did go awhile without it back when they were attacking teacher retirement and still have a love-hate relationship with the paper as it is a bit too anti-union, pro GRB for me, but I hope the day will never come when I can no longer pick up the paper between my fingers and peruse at my leisure.

I do feel that if you have a subscription to one paper that you should be able to access others on the internet as part of the package.

Don't Take My Newspapers Away.  --DaCoot

My Old Hometown: Palatine, Illinois-- Part 1

From the Nov. 7, 2008, Chicago Tribune "Palatine growing at a comfortable pace" by Leslie Mann.

Palatine in considered to be part of Chicago's Northwest suburbs.  I lived there from 7th grade to the end of freshman year in college, the longest I had ever lived in one place before that time.  So, to me, this is still my hometown even though I haven't lived there since 1970, with the exception of living with Liz's parents for a couple months in 1973 while student teaching and looking for a job until we got an apartment in Des Plaines in August.

When we moved into the house in Winston Park, back in 1963, there were around 8,000 people.  In 2008, there were 66,820. 

The article refers to the revitalized downtown with new condos and townhouses that I don't particularly care for.  They tore down the old Durty Nellie's Irish bar to build a condo monstrosity.  And, of course, my old favorite Ben Franklin store is long-gone as are most of the stores there while I was growing up.

My old junior high, Winston Park is still there.  Some of my old high school, Palatine, still stands and is used by the police and park district, but the school itself is elsewhere.  Fremd High School (freshman year) is still there as well, but no longer surrounded by corn fields.

Our old house at 1102 Anderson Drive is still there, but now painted white.  Liz's place at 44 Patricia is still there as well.

I worked at the Burger King from age 16 (my first job) until the end of freshman year in college.  It is on Northwest Highway (US-14) by Hicks Road.  It no longer stands, but there is a popular hot dog place called Photo's on the site.

It Was a Great Place to Grow Up.  --Cooter