Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old Daddies

From the April 22, 2013, Time Magazine "Too Old To Be A Dad?" by Jeffrey Kluger. Interesting graphics about some famous "Old" dads. Also interesting because I have been writing about some of U.S. President John Tyler's grandchildren still being alive in this blog. Name, Current Age, His Age last child born: MICHAEL DOUGLAS: 68, 58 CLINT EASTWOOD: 82, 66 ROD STEWART: 68, 66 STEVE MARTIN: 67, 67 RUPERT MURDOCH: 82, 72 I Don't Know. --DaCoot

Made In the U.S.A.-- Part 2

Some other interesting facts from the article: Two things helping U.S. industry: The average hourly wage of Chinese factory workers in 2000 was fifty cents. In 2015 it will be $4.50. In 2009, the cost to ship a 40-foot container from China to the U.S. West Coast was $1,184. Now, it is $2,302. THEN AND NOW THEN: workers built the product MANUALLY on assembly line. Earned average HOURLY WAGE of $2.57 in 1960; TODAY it is $24.11. TOP INDUSTRIES included Cars, appliances and textiles. NOW: Workers manage an automated factory line. Some 53% have at least some college edu and nearly 1 in 10 has a graduate or professional degree. TOP THREE INDUSTRIES: food, chemicalls and complex machinery. Interesting Facts. --Cooter cation

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Made in the U.S.A.-- Part 1

From the April 22, 2013, Time Magazine by Rana Foroohar and Bill Saporito. Interesting article on the comeback of American manufacturing, sort of. But, I found the graphic at the beginning of the article about items still made in the U.S. and since when: PYREX, 1915, SHARPIE 1964, SLINKY 1945, NEW BALANCE SNEAKERS 1938, TABASCO 1868, MRS. MYERS CLEAN DAY 2000, LOUISVILLE SLUGGER 1894, WEBER GRILLS 1952, RED WING SHOES 1905, CRAYOLA 1903, STANLEY 1843, STETSON HATS 1865, KETTLE (chips) 1982. Very Interesting-- Cooter

Monday, July 29, 2013

President Tyler's Grandchildren Still Alive-- Part 2

Continued from July 22nd. That makes three generations of Tyler men spread out over 200 years, quite a long time for just three generations when most families would have at least six to eight generations over that span. President Tyler was quite the prolific father, having fifteen children (eight boys and seven girls) with two wives. He allegedly fathered John Dunjee with one of his slaves. Jane Garfield, 99, is the oldest living grandchild of a president, even though Garfield took office 40 years after Tyler. John Eisenhower is the oldest living child of a president and turned 89 this past August (2011). Cooter

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Twenty Crucial Elvis Cuts-- Part 3

14.  1968--  "IF I CAN DREAM"--  With its gospel fervor and quotes from Martin Luther King Jr., who had been assassinated in Memphis two months before the song was recorded.

15.  1969--  "SUSPICIOUS MINDS"--  An Elvis career comeback.

16.  "LONG BLACK LIMOUSINE"--  The irony of Elvis singing this precautionary tale about excess crystallized after his death, of course.

17.  1970--  "THE WONDER OF YOU"--  Never recorded in a studio, but it was a staple of his concerts later in his career.

18.  1972--  "BURNING LOVE"--  His last top ten, went to #2.  (OK, my 4th favorite Elvis song.)

19.  "AN AMERICAN TRILOGY"--  (I guess this could not be sung anymore for fear of offending certain groups.)

20.  1976--  "WAY DOWN"--  That's gospel legend J.D. Sumner singing "Way on down" at the end of each chorus.

That's a Twenty for You.  --Cooter

Twenty Cricial Elvis Cuts-- Part 2

8.  1957-- " JAILHOUSE ROCK"--  The opening two-chord riff and drum beat presage the rock riot to come.  Seven weeks at #1.  (Another of my top three Elvis songs.)

9.  "SANTA CLAUS IS BACK IN TOWN"--  Cruising the snow  in "a big black Cadillac."

10.  1960--  "RECONSIDER BABY"--  That's Boots Randolph on the sax.

11.  1961--  "CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE"--  Based on an 18th-century French love song.  Kept from #1 by Joey Dee's "Peppermint Twist."  (My third favorite song.)

12.  1963--  "VIVA LAS VEGAS"--  The jittery Latin beat and swinging delivery captured the allure of the "bright light city."  Stalled out at #29.  (Always makes me want to gamble.)

13.  1966--  "RUN ON"--  ?--  Some more gospel.

"Wise Men Say..."  --DaCoot

Twenty Crucial Elvis Cuts-- Part 1

From the July 9, 2013, USA Today "20 musical gems in the King's crown" by Jerry Shriver.

An interesting list, some I figured would be on it, some I didn't, even a couple I don't remember ever hearing.  Shriver made comments to all of them and I have included parts of some of them.  ?= I haven't heard this song.

1.  1954: "THAT'S ALL RIGHT" -- By all acccounts, the song sort of fell together when Elvis and bandmates banged around the studio, but producer Sam Phillips knew thunder when he heard it.

2.  1955: "BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE-- ?--Elvis pants out "Baby" fifteen times in the opening chorus and when he said the "I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man" line it was later taken by John Lennon.

3.  "MYSTERY TRAIN"  Elvis uses a slightly hiccuppy vocal affectation on part of this.

4.  1956:  "HEARTBREAK HOTEL"--    What a lineup: Guitarists Scotty Moore and Chet Atkins, drummer Bill Black, drummer D.J. Fontana and pianist Floyd Cramer.  (One of my three favorite Elvis songs.)

5.  HOUND DOG"--  Elvis was really gyrating up there.

6.  "LOVE ME TENDER"--  Based on Civil War ballad "Aura Lee."

7.  1957:  "(THERE'LL BE) PEACE IN THE VALLEY"--  As if Elvis had been singing gospel all his life.

Elvis, the King.  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Companies That Fell in 2010

From the Dec. 16, 2010, US News & World Report "20 Companies That fell in 2010."

I'm only listing the companies I knew.

A&P--  grocery chain.  400 stores on the east coast.  File bankruptcy but plan to keep stores open.  I need my Spanish bar cake!!

BLOCKBUSTER--  video renters.  Didn't keep up with Netflix or Redbox.  I rarely rented movies.

HUMMER--  cars.  Couldn't afford one anyway and definitely not a Yuppie.

MGM--  had few recent hits.  Bankruptcy but expected to return.

MERCURY--  cars.  Not a big fan of Mercs.

MOVIE GALLERY--  Ran Hollywood Video, once the second-largest rental chain.  Closed all 2400 U.S. outlets and 19,000 workers out of a job.

NEWSWEEK--  The weekly news magazine.  I heard it went digital.  But, didn't US News & World Report do the same a few years earlier?

ORIENTAL TRADING COMPANY--  novelties, filed for bankruptcy.  The biggest bunch of cool junk on earth.  I should never look at their magazine.  Too tempted.

PONTIAC--  Cars.  And, I really miss this one.  I was a huge Firebird and Grand Am fan, having two of each.

UNO RESTAURANT HOLDING--  Owner of Pizzeria Uno filed for bankruptcy, closed 25 stores, but still operates 160.  Great pizza, but kind of expensive.  I wasn't too happy when they dropped NTN.

Some I'll Miss, Others, Not.  --Cooter

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ten Sayings and Their Strange Origins-- Part 2

5.  BITE THE BULLET--  In the 1850s, the British Army used Enfield Rifles, whose cartridges would have to bitten in two to pour the gunpowder into the barrel.  Actually, during the Civil War, one of the few physical things a soldier had to pass was having good teeth and the ability to bite the bullet.

4.  BLOW HOT AND COLD--  Changing one's opinions.  From Aesop's Fables.

3.  BREAK A LEG--  actors are superstitious and this is actually wishing good luck and success.

2.  BURY THE HATCHET--  Indians when doing treaties would bury their weapons as an act of faith.

1.  BY HOOK OR CROOK--  Reaching one's goal by fair or foul play.  Back when the British Royals had all the powere, they owned forests and gathering firewood in them by common folk was a crime unless you were poor.  No one was allowed to cut off branches, but the poor could gather firewood on the ground or that had died on trees.  To do this they could either use a hook or a crook implement.

Now, You Know.  --DaCoot

Ten Sayings and Their Strange Origins-- Part 1

From August 15, 2010, Listverse.

10..  ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE--  Actually a 1920s Listerine ad.  Girls, if you have bad breath, you "ain't" never gonna get married.

9.  BARK UP THE WRONG TREE--  From hunting, especially for raccoons.  When dogs would make a mistake and be barking that the raccoon was up in a wrong tree.

8.  BE ON 'GOOD FOOTING"--  Back in the day, it was the custom of a new apprentice after his first day of work to take out his fellow workers for drinks and foot the bill.

7.  BEAT AROUND THE BUSH--  Another hunting term.  Boars, when hunted, would often hide in heavy brush.  Hunters had beaters to flush them out, but fearing those formidable tusks, they would often just hit the bushes around the outside of the heavy brush.

6.  BEST FOOT FORWARD--  When one is trying to make a good impression.  This comes from the ancient belief that left is sinister and right is good.  So, when meeting someone, best to have your right foot forward.

Five More to Come.  --Cooter

Monday, July 22, 2013

President Tyler's Grandchildren Still Alive-- Part 1

Well, as late as 2011, anyway.

President John Tyler (1790-1862) was born 221 years ago, but still has two living grandchildren.  He served one term as president before the Civil War and is not very well known other than pushing through Texas annexation in 1845, shortly before he left office (one of the reasons for the Mexican War).

He is known for fathering children late in life.

Tyler was the 10th president, serving from 1841 to 1845 after Willima Henry Harrison died in office.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler became his son in 1853 when John Tyler was 63.    Lyon Tyler, in turn, fathered a Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr in 1924 and four years later, at age 75, along came Harrison Ruffin Tyler.  As of 2011, both were still alive.

This Is Amazing.  --Cooter

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Deaths: Twist Your Troubles Away


Inventor and co-creatir of the game Twister, died July 1, 2013.  "Millions have contorted themselves into awkward and amusing positions."  This was the first game to use humans as board pieces.

Debuted inj 1966 with the slogan "The Game That Ties You Up in Knots."  Some people called it "Sex-In-A-Box."  Sales really took off when Johnny Carson played it with Eva Gabor on "The Tonight Show."  I'd like to play it with Annette.

Mr. Foley had 97 patents, but Un-Du became the product of choice form photographers, scrapbookers' law enforcement officials and the staff at the Library of Congress where it is used at an adhesive remover.

The Twister game was at all our high school parties in the late 60s.  Talk about a great way to "brush up" against that someone you were interested in?  Liz says the gitls felt the same way.

Thanks, Mr. Foley.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Deaths: "Underway on Nuclear Power"


Died July 16th.  First commander of a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine.

Commissioned in 1940 and first served on the heavy cruiser USS Louisville.  Then graduated the Naval Submarine School in Groton, Ct., in March 1942 and during World War II served on 8 submarine war patrols.

He was the first commander of the submarine USS Nautilus in 1954, the world's first nuclear-powered ship.  He was told that the first time he took the ship out, it would be a monumental occasion and that he should have something special to say.  The Navy had a group of speechwriters work on it who came up with about a page-and-a-half statement. 

Mr. Wilkinson decided that was too long and came up with his own thing to say.  On January 17, 1955, he ordered all lines cast off and signaled the message "Underway under nuclear power."  Short, sweet and to the point.

In 1961, he was the first commanding officer of the guided missile cruiser USS Long Beach, the Navy's first surface nuclear-powered ship.

During his career, he served as executive officer on three submarines: Menhaden, Raton and Cusk and commanded four: Volador, Sen Robin, Wahoo and Nautilus.

Quite a Career.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Deaths: Bose


Died July 12th.  Acoustic pioneer who founded Bose Corporation where you get great sound from a little package and spend a lot for it though.  Also, quite big in the noise cancellation headphones for frequent fliers.

Founded the company in 1964 and based in Framingham, Massachusetts, outside of Boston.

Joined the faculty of MIT in 1956 and retired in 2001.  Gave MIT the majority of his stock in Bose.

The amount of sound you can get from one of his items is really amazing.  I have a pair of Bose speakers.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Deaths: The Waltons' Ike Godsey


Died July 7th, best-known for his role of Ike Godsey on the hit series "The Waltons" which he landed in 1972 and played for nearly ten years.  He appeared in 172 episodes over nine years.  Also in TV movies "A Walton Easter," "A Walton Wedding" and  "A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion."

Played bit parts in "Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres" and "Mister Ed."

His wife on the series, Corabeth Godsey, was played by Ronnie Claire Edwards.

One of my all-time favorite TV shows and I still like to watch the repeats.  Poor Ike sure had a lot to put up with Corabeth.

That Will Be $2.36. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Great News, Paragraphs Back

I don't know how it happened, but somehow, those pesky run-on paragraphs are gone so I am able to write in my normal style.


Elvis' Best Friend-- Part 6

After Joe Esposito got out of the Army, he drove from Chicago to Memphis and visited Elvis at Graceland.  After that he was with Elvis Presley all the time as his road manager and personal manager.  He became part of the Memphis Mafia, Elvis' inner circle of friends.

That was Joe you saw walking Elvis to the stage at every one of his shows.

"We used to play jokes on each other all the time.  We'd pull over on the road and hit each oher just for exercise.  I have photos after we'd beat each other up, my arms were black and red.

Joe was best man at Elvis' wedding to Priscilla and had been there in Germany when the couple first met.

For more information, go to .

A Hunka Hunka Burning Love.  --Cooter

Deaths: That Shopping Guy


AP.  Died July 7, 2013, founder of Target stores.

Douglas was the youngest of George Nelson Dayton's five sons who took over his father's downtown Minneapolis store in 1948 after serving in the Army in Europe during World War II and received a Purple Heart.

He sensed the threat that discount retailers like K-Mart were going to make to regular stores so started Target in 1960.  By 1962, there were four Target stores in the Twin Cities suburbs.  The company is now ranked at #31 on the Fortune 500 and is national and in Canada.

He left the company in 1974.

Target had definitely expanded and I go to the one in McHenry quite often, expecially since they have good deals on CDs.

One of My Must-Go-To Stores.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Deaths: Mousey, Mousey

DOUG ENGELBART, 88 Inventor of the computer mouse died July 2, 2013. Always considered his work "augmentory human intellect." Developed the mouse in the 1960s and patented it in the 1970s. Originally the mouse was a wooden shell with two metal wheels but it was not available commercially until 1984 in Apple's Macintosh. Here's hoping that they have the original somewhere. It became public domain in 1987 so he didn't get much in the way of royalties. Sadly, the mouse is on its way out a speople now swipe fingers on smart phones and tablets, but his computer mouse was a huge step into popularizing computers. I still like to sit here at the old 'pute and run that mouse. I know that I would have even been later joining the 'puter age had I not had that handy lil' mouse.


When I write about deaths, these are just people I knew of or whose past had an impact on me in some way. Many of them were people I'd never heard of before, but, like I said, something they did had an impact. Cooter

Elvis' Best Friend-- Part 5: Meeting the King

Joe Esposito grew up in Chicago, went to Marshall High School, got drafted into the Army in 1958 and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Elvis Presley was there then also, but they didn't meet until they were transferred to Germany. "I was very nervous to meet him. I was a big fan, said Joe. "He introduced himself like I didn't know who he was. He shook my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Elvis Presley.' He had an amazing charisma." Elvis invited him over to the house he was renting in Germany where they played football, their main common interest. (Did Elvis become a Bears fan?) A friendship ensued and Elvis said Joe should come and work for him after he got out of the Army. Hi, Mt Name is Cooter. Cooter

If Anybody Knows How to Fix the Compose/HTML, Let Me Know

The Blogspot Problem continues. I can just write long paragraphs and apologize for it.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Elvis' Best Friend-- Part 4: Da Beatles Meet Da Elvis

Now that we have the date figured out, August 27, 1965, we can continue with the story. Elvis was waiting at the door to greet them. "He shook their hands and introduced himself like they didn't know who he was. They sat on a big couch around the room for a chit-chat. I could tell [The Beatles] were nervous. They chatted about music but after a while it was very quiet. Elvis said, 'If you guys are gonna sit here and stare at me all night I'm gonna go to bed.' They said, 'We're just nervous to meet you,' and he said, 'Don't be nervous to meet me, I'm just like you guys. I love music too.' He was such a normal human being. He didn't want anyone to think he was special or you couldn't talk to him." That broke the silence and Elvis suggested that they play some music together, a definite common ground. (I sure wish somebody had taped that little session. Talk about a Million Dollar Quintet.) Considering his upbringing and birthplace, he certainly wasn't born with the proverbial silver spoon. He grew up the hard way. Cooter

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Elvis' Best Friend-- Part 3: Wrong Again On the Date

From the article, I got the idea Elvis Presley and The Beatles met 50 years ago on August 27, 1963. Then, I realized it had said "nearly 50 years ago." As I said in Part 1, I then figured the date would have been August 27, 1964, with Beatlemania rampant across the United States. Looked it up elsewhere and found that it was actually August 27, 1965. Oh Well. --Cooter

Elvis' Best Friend-- Part 2: Terri Hemmert Would Want to Know

But probably already knows about it. Terri Hemmert, Beatle Fan Supreme and deejay at Chicago's WXRT, 93.1 FM, and host of "Breakfast With the Beatles" every Sunday morning from 8 to 10 AM, would definitely like to know this story. (Bit I'm sure she already does.) Joe Esposito not only planned the meeting, but drove the Beatles to meet Elvis at his Los Angeles home. Joe described the meeting as a little awkward. "The Beatles were very excited to meet Elvis. I was nervous about meeting The Beatles, myself. I picked them up at their house with two limos and they followed me to Elvis' house [in Bel Air]. There were 2,000 people outside the house-- the rumor had got out over the radio that they were meeting. He was at the front door waiting for them." Hi, I'm Not Elvis. --DaCoot

Elvis' Best Friend-- Part 1: "Hi, I'm Elvis Presley"

From the July 4-July 10, 2013, Lake County (Il.) Journal "Elvis' best friend in town" by Jesse Carpender. Had you ever been fortunate to meet Elvis Presley, here's what would have happened: "He'd walk right up to you, shake your hand and say, 'Hi, I'm Elvis Presley,' like you'd never heard of him. That's just how he was," according to Joe Esposito who was his best friend and road manager for 17 years. Joe Esposito was in the Chicagoland area to do interviews for a documentary "One Day, Two Legends" about the day the Beatles met Elvis. The documentary will be released August 27, the day they met, 50 years ago. (OK, here I made a mistake. I originally read it as being 50 years ago, but got to thinking why would Elvis have been interested in meeting the Beatles in 1963, before they got famous? I misread the article which said they met nearly 50 years ago, which would have put it at the more plausible 1964.) According to Joe, Elvis "was a kind-hearted person who wanted to be good to everyone, and didn't want anyone to think he was somehow special." I'll be keeping my entries even shorter than usual until I hopefully get all this Blogspot mess cleared up. Hi, I'm RoadDog. --Cooter

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How to Celebrate a 4th of July Weekend

THURSDAY, JULY 4TH: Spring Grove, Illinois, parade, house party in Johnsburg, Mr. Myers performing at Horse Fair Park in Spring Grove and Spring Grove Fireworks display from the house. FRIDAY, JULY 5TH: Fish Fry at Rusty Nail in Ringwood. First Friday concert at Glacial Park in McHenry County. Potts and Pans steel drum combo from NIU. Then to Tommy's. SATURDAY, JULY 6TH: Twin Lakes 4th of July parade. Bloody Mary at Main Street. Fish Fry at Donovan's Reef. OD (On Deck) and gazebo. SUNDAY, JULY 7TH: Bob Stroud's Summer of '73 radio show. Rick's on the Channel. Bloody Mary at Dirty Rooster on bluff overlooking Grasslake. The band Deja Vu at Captain's. MONDAY, JULY 8TH: Humongo burger at Village Squire in McHenry. Two movies at the theater. Green Street Classic Car Show in McHenry. Elvis Impersonator. Like I Said. Good Times in the Area. --RoadDog

Sorry About No Paragraphs in the Last Two Entries. It Is a Blogspot Problem.

Five Things You Never Knew About Superman-- Part 2

3. HE DOESN'T JUST FIGHT FICTIONAL VILLAINS LIKE LEX LUTHER AND MR. MXYZPTIK: In a 1940 story commissioned for Look Magazine, Superman hauled Hitler and Stalin before a Laegue of Nations war crimes tribunal, and he battled white-hooded Ku Klux Klansmen in a 1946 radio serial. Wasn't Uncle Joe on our side? Or was this before he was on our side back when he and Hitler sort of were allies? Oddest of all, in 1978, he boxed Muhammed Ali--and lost. How could that be? 4. HE FAILED HIS ARMY PHYSICAL EXAM DURING WORLD WAR II: Kind of hard to believe. he's the soldier I'd want in my platoon. "Clark Kent to the front against those tanks." Why? You Ask? He inadvertantly read an eye chart in the adjoining room with his x-ray vision. Oops!! 5. HE'S (PROBABLY) JEWISH: Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel gave plenty of clues-- from Superman's Kryptonian name Kal-El (Hebrew for "Vessel of God") to his origin story straight out of Exodus (as with Moses, his parents launched him to safety and adoption by gentiles, Martha and Jonathan Kent.) Now, Adam Sandler can add Superman to his "Channakuh" song.

Five Things You Never Knew About Superman-- Part 1

From June-July AARP Magazine. Upfront Made his comic book debut 75 years ago this past June and now the mega-budget movie "Man of Steel" came out last month. I saw it and learned that the "S" on the front of his chest stands for the Kryptonite word for "hope." Didn't know that. These five according to Larry Tye, author of "Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero." 1. HE HAS A SOCIAL SECUTITY NUMBER: In a 1966 issue of Action Comics, editors revealed Clark Kent's SSN as 092-09-6616 (Hey, Route 66). That was an actual SSN, belonging to Giobatta Baiocchi of New York City, who had died a year earlier. His relatives have no idea why Baiocchi's number was used. Giobatta would be so proud. 2. HIS MIDDLE NAME: Revealed in a 1997 comic-- is Joseph. Would that be Super Joseph Man or Clark Joseph Kent? Sorry about there not being paragraph breaks. There are on my draft but not on HTML, the only way I can get the text to print. Three More. --Cooter

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Some World War I Movies

From the Jan. 3, 2012, LA Times "World War I: rarely covered on film" by Stephen Farber.

There have been far more movies made about World War II.  As a matter of fact, just recently this week, I bought four World War II movies: "In Harm's Way," "Fortress," "Memphis Belle" and "Kelly's Heroes."

Here are some WWI movies:

War Horse (out most recently of the rest)
All Quiet on the Western Front
Grand Illusion
Paths of Glory
Lawrence of Arabia
Legends of the Fall

But, I'm sure with the centennial observance of the war approaching in August, there will be more.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Scientific American's Warfare in 1912-- Part 2

#6  Siege howitzer--  11-inch road-mobile gun made by Krupp in Germany.

#7  Machine gun

#8  Enhanced torpedoes--  torpedoes had had poor performance in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War and improvements made.

#9  Submarines

#10  Motive-power and mobility:  gasoline-powered internal combustion engines gave speed and reach to armies.

##11  Eyes in the air: Airplanes for scouting, communications and artillery spotting.

#12  Aerial bombing

#13  Field hospital

Just search "Warfare in 1912: A Look at Scientific American's Archives" to see the pictures.

Well Woth Giving a Look.  --DaCoot

Scientific American's Look At Warfare in 1912-- Part 1

From the January 21, 2011, Scientific American "Warfare in 1912: A Look in Scientific American;s Archives: Images of weapons, technology from a century ago, two years before World War I broke out in Europe" by Daniel C. Schlenoff.

This consisted of a group of very interesting photos with captions taken from the magazine back then.

Picture #1:  Huge coast defense gins
#2  Coast guns fire and disappear behind thick concrete walls to load.
#3  Secrets and Spies--  Tripod devices with three mirrors ground so perfectly they reflect light beams in the exact direction it came from to provide secure communications.

#4  The battleship USS New York--  the latest Navy technology. Served in both world wars.

5.  Battle Cruiser Moltke.  German ship launched in 1910 and fought in two of the rare World War I naval battles.  Scuttled ay the end of the war.

More to Come. --Cooter

Thursday, July 4, 2013

These Are Our Reasons for Independence

From the July 4, 2013, Northwest (McHenry County, Il) Herald by Thomas Jefferson et all.

Here is a list of some of the things we're unhappy about and why we chose to do what we did.

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us."

And, the list goes on and on and even had quite a few reasons before these few I listed.

Of course, most will remember the opening words a bit better.  They went:  "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."

In Other Words, Our Declaration of Independence.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tillie Klimek: Arsenic Queen-- Part 2

I have to wonder if this was the basis for that book and mocie "Arsenic and Old Lace?"

Tests confirmed that her fourth husband had been poisoned with arsenic.  Tillie was arrested.  Later, it was said that she told the arresting officer, "The next one I want to cook dinner for is you."  (I don't think I would have eaten it.)

The bodies of her first three husbands were exhumed and all found to have been poisoned by arsenic.

Police also arrested Tillie's cousin, Nellie, who supposedly had given her the "Rough for Rats" rat poison to start the crime spree.  After the arrest came to light, it was found that several neighbors and relatives of the two women had also died.  Of twenty suspected victims, fourteen had died.

Tillie was only tried for the death of husband number three and found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, the harshest sentence ever given to a woman in Cook County.

Cousin Nellie spent a year in prison during her trial before being acquitted.  Tillie died in prison November 20, 1936.

Wonder if the addresses mentioned in the first post are on any Chicago Crime tours.  Where was Tillie buried?  You'll find a big write-up on her at

A Wife You Won't Get Along With for Too Long.  --Cooter

Tillie Klimek: Chicago's Arsenic Queen-- Part 1


The article about Tillie Klimek in the previous post was something I had never heard of despite living near Chicao most of my life.

Born in Poland in 1876 and came to U.S. as an infant with her parents.  Lived in Chicago.  She was not an attractive woman, but still managed to find husbands and boyfriends.

Her first husband was John Mitkiewocs who died in 1914 after a short illness blamed on heart disease.  She quickly remarried Joseph Ruskowski who also soon died as did a boyfriend who had "jilted" her.

While living at 924 N. Winchester in Chicago, her third husband, Frank Lupzsyk took sick.  Tillie began telling neighbors that he wouldn't live long and began knitting a mourning hat.  She then got her landlady to store a bargain casket she had bought.

Frank died in 1921 and she again soon married Joseph Klimek and lived with him at 1453 Tell Place (now 1453 Thomas Street).  He too became ill and doctors suspected arsenic poisoning.

More Poison to Come.  --DaCoot

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

9.  TILLIE KLIMEK was a serial husband poisoner.  In 1922, when her fourth husband was hospitalized with a mysterious illness just a year after her third husband had died, Chicago officials got suspicious.  During her trial for the death of her thrid husband, neighbors testified that while he was sick, she joked about the coffin she was going to get for him and what she was going to wear to the funeral.

Though she was just convicted for the third husband's death, officials linked her for the arsenic deaths of her first two, a boyfriend and at least two cousins.  She had taken out insurance policies on all her husbands, including the fourth, who survived.

10.  Amazon tribes made their arrows more deadly by bathing the tips in toxic secretions from frogs.  Some tribes would pin the frogs down and rub their arrows on the skin.  But the Choco people of Colombia roasted the frogs and caught the drippings in a bottle, allowing for easy arrow-dipping.

Quite the Lady, That Tillie.  Wonder If She Went to Prison?  --Cooter

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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

7.  A NFL STORY: THE POISON PILL PROVISION--  Under NFL rules, a free agent's team has the right to match another team's offer if it can.  In 2006, the Minnesota Vikings found an ingenious, or, underhanded way, to get Steve Hutchinson from the Seattle Seahawks.

They offered him $49 million with a poison pill provision that guaranteed the full amount of the contract if he wasn't the highest-paid offensive lineman on their team.  They did this knowing that Seattle would match it since they already had a higher paid lineman.

The Seahawks got back by offering wide-receiver Nate Burleson a back-loaded $49 million contract guaranteed if he played at least five games in Minnesota, who play eight home games a year in Minneapolis.

Such things are no longer allowed in the NFL.

8.  A POISONOUS METEORITE--  A meteorite landed in Peru near Lake Titicaca in 2007, and fumes from the crater sickened dozens of villagers.  Some speculated that it might be akin to the fictional Andromeda Strain, the toxic microbe from space.

Scientists, however, concluded that the heat from it activated arsenic in an underground water supply and created the sickening steam.

What Comes Around Goes Around.  --Cooter

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

5.  VIETNAM--America might never have gotten involved in Vietnam had a poison plot in 1908 not backfired.    Vietnamese rebels in Hanoi sought to kill the French garrison there by spiking their dinners.  But, they either used the wrong poison or the wrong amount.  Two hundred French soldiers were ill, but still able to defend themselves.

The revolt fell apart and 13 plotters were executed.  The French stayed in control until the 1950s and were later replaced with U.S. troops.

6.  A 1916 CHICAGO PLOT AND MARION LAMBERT--  The  Feb. 11, 1916, Chicago Tribune reported an attempt by an anarchist to kill many of Chicago's prominent people with poisoned chicken soup.  Among them were Illinois' governor Edward Dunne and Archbishop George Mundelein.

That same day, the newspaper also reported the tragic death of Lake Forest high school senior Marion Lambert.  Her boyfriend was later acquitted of trying to kill her with cyanide.  But she lives on in local ghost stories about motorists driving along Sheridan Road and seeing "a girl in the snow."

Spooky.  --DaCoot

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

3.  MR. YUK--  A cartoon character with his tongue sticking out, is put on poisonous products to signal danger, especially for children.  He was developed at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.  The more traditional warning, a skull and crossbones, wasn't considered effective enough in the city because they were worried about confusion with their major leagie baseball team.

Well, at least Mr. Yuk is better than that silly "Smile" face.

4.  ARSENIC: POISON AND CURE--  Charles Darwin used an arsenic product to treat skin outbreaks, but often complained of physical ailments which match those of arsenic poisoning.  It was an effective treatment for syphilus (Right.  You Dead, You Cured.)  Karen Blixen, who wrote "Out of Africa" under the name Isak Dinesen used arsenic.

Some think Napoleon was slowly poisoned by the stuff and hair samples taken from him at his death showed high levels of it.  However, hair samples from earlier in his life also showed high levels.  The arsenic may have come from hair ointment, gunpowder or wallpaper paste.

Arsenic.  She'll Love to Run her Fingers Through Your Hair.  --Cooter

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Archduke Asassinated

I belive I remember seeing June 28th, that this date marked the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Austria's Archduke Ferdinand, in line to be king.  This event is widely regarded as the thing that actually started World War I, which we are approaching the centennial. 

Here's hoping I don't start a blog on that war.

I have too many as it is.

No More Blogs, Please!!    --DaCoot

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

From the April 28, 2013, Chicago Tribune by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer.

This article connected with the Elvis impersonator being arrested and released for sending the deadly poison ricin to President Obama and the Syrian government using chemical weapons against their rebels.

1.  DANGER ON THE GOLF COURSE-  In August 1982, Navy Lt. George Prior played 36 holes of golf at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia.  Within weeks, four-fifths of his skin peeled off and after his death, it was found that the course had been sprayed with a fungicide named Daconil.  And, golf is supposed to be HEALTHY for you!!

2.  CHOCOLATE IS POISONOUS TO DOGS as I've always heard, because it contains caffeine and theobromine.  Your dog can't metabolize fast enough.  A human might get a buzz for a few minutes (buzz? chocolate?), but a dog that eats too much will be affected for hours and it could lead to heart failure. 

Also, avacado is poisonous to your pet bird.

Stuff Not to Eat.  --Cooter