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