Friday, July 25, 2014

Caped Crusader Turns the Big 75

From the July 24, 2014, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus "Caped c=Crusader hits big 7-5" by Steve Herring.

"The bat that crashed through the window at stately Wayne Manor 75 years ago did more than provide a brooding Bruce Wayne with his Dark Knight alter-ego-- it inspired generations of children to don towel capes in pursuit of villains.

That Dark Knight was, of course, Batman.

And, they celebrated the 75th anniversary Wednesday at the Heroes Are Here on Berkeley Boulevard in Goldsboro, NC.  They had free refreshments and showed Batman movies and cartoons.  Store owner Bradley Sasser said he had a steady stream of customers all day.

I never read Batman in the comics, but did enjoy that campy, silly 60s TV program and definitely those movies.

Happy Bat-Day Caped Crusader.  --Cooter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wright Brothers Mechanic Honored-- Part 2

Charles Taylor was a self-taught mechanic who hand-built the first airplane engine after many automakers rejected the Wright Brothers' requests to build one for them.

The San Diego-based Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association raised $6,000 to have the bronze bust made and displayed at the museum.Founder of the association, Ken MacTiernan, said, "Charlie was a very humble person, never sought the limelight and over history, history kind of forgot the men and women behind the scenes who maintained the aircraft.

Besides the engine on that famous plane, Charles Taylor was also the first airport manager, beginning at Dayton's Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers perfected controlled flight.  He also was the first mechanic of a cross-country flight and the 49-day flight from New York to Los Angeles in 1911.

Someone I Had Never Heard of before.  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wright Brothers Mechanic Honored-- Part 1

From the July 22, 2014, Goldsboro  (NC) News-Argus.  AP.

CHARLES TAYLOR created the engine that made historic flight.

And, a guy most, including myself, have never heard of before.  Without him, no amount of Wright designing would have resulted in that historic flight.

DAYTON, OHIO.  "The man who built the engine for Orville and Wilbur Wright's first powered flight has finally gotten his due."

Charles Taylor, a mechanic in the Wright brothers' bicycle shop in Dayton, built the engine that took them on the flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903.

On Monday, a bronze bust of Mr. Taylor  was unveiled at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.  I went right by the place yesterday in my trip to North Carolina.

Something Else to See at the Museum.  --Cooter


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Presidential Movies-- Part 2

As Real Presidents

RICHARD NIXON:

Nixon (1995) Anthony Hopkins
Frost/Nixon (2008) Frank Langella

TEDDY ROOSEVELT:

Night at the Museum (2006) Robin Williams
The Wind and the Lion (1975) Brian Keith

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT:

Hyde Park on the Hudson (2012)  Bill Murray
Sunrise at Campobello (1960) Ralph Bellamy

JOHN F. KENNEDY

PT 109 (1963) Cliff Robertson
Thirteen Days (2000) Bruce Greenwood

GEORGE W. BUSH:

W (2008) Josh Brolin

--Cooter

Friday, July 18, 2014

Presidential Movies-- Part 1

From the July 4, 2014, Chicago Tribune "All the Presidents Movies (Or At Least Many of Them).

AS REAL PRESIDENTS (Though sometimes in a fictional setting)

THOMAS JEFFERSON:  Jefferson in Paris (1995) Nick Nolte

ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) Henry Fonda
Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) Raymond Massey
Lincoln (2012) Daniel Day Lewis

ALSO
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
The Lego Movie (2014)

ANDREW JACKSON:

The President's Lady (1953) Charlton Heston
The Buccaneer (1958) Charlton Heston

--Cooter

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Warriors of Mass Digestion-- Part 2

Continuing with the Eating records:

52 extra-hot chicken wings in 5 minutes
49 glazed doughnuts in 8 minutes
70 bratwurst in 10 minutes
69 hot dogs in 10 minutes
46 ears of sweet corn in 12 minutes (eating length wise or circular?)

7 one quarter pound sticks of butter in 5 minutes (YUCK-O!!!)
8.5 pounds of Kimchi in 6 minutes  (Kimchi?)
2.1 gallons of chili in 6 minutes.  (Drinking your chili?)
47 dozen oysters in 8 minutes  (In case you're wondering, 564 oysters.)  Girls, stay away from this guy.

15 burritos in 8 minutes
6.9 pounds of cabbage in 9 minutes
47 slices of pizza in 10 minutes
11 quarter pound hamburgers in 10 minutes

Can't Help But Wonder What Their Stool Looks Like the Next Day?  --DaSickenedCoot

Warriors of Mass Digestion-- Part 1

From the July 4, 2014, Chicago Tribune.

Here is a look at some other world eating records:

141 hard-boiled eggs in 8 minutes ("What we have here is a failure to communicate.")
141 Nigirl sushi in 6 minutes
128 ounces of Mayonnaise in 8 minutes  (Hope it was Hellman's.)
121 Twinkies in 121 minutes

103 Krystal's hamburgers (sliders) in 8 minutes
102 Tamales in 12 minutes (with or without husks?)
80 chicken nuggets in 5 minutes
72 cupcakes in 6 minutes.

6.6 pounds of linguini in 10 minutes(Luigi would be so proud.)
44 lobsters in in 12 minutes  (I can't even crack one open in that time.)
1.9 pounds of vanilla ice cream in 12 minutes  (Talk about your brain freeze!)
7.5 slices of extra-large pizza in 15 minutes
13.2 pounds of watermelon in 15 minutes  (What about the seeds?)

And, remember, records are made to be broken.

Mayonnaise?   Gag Me!!  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back to Nathan's: Them Famous Hot Dogs

The number of Nathan's hot dogs eaten in ten minutes has climbed dramatically since the initial contest was held in 1972 and won by Jason Schecter who ate 14.  Frank Dellarosa broke the twenty hot dog mark in 1991 with 21.5.

In 1997, Hirofumi Nakajima of Japan downed 24.5 for a new record, but no one broke the 30 dog barrier until 2001, when Takeru Kobayashi of Japan not only broke the 30 mark, the 40 marl, but consumed 50 hot dogs.  He won the contest six straight years until reigning champ Joey Chestnut bested him and broke the 60 hot dog mark. at 64.  In 2012, Chestnut downed (and kept them down)  an incredible 69 hot dogs.

The women's competition began in 2003 and the reigning ( until this year when Miki Sudo won)champ, USA's Sonya Thomas has eaten 45.

The Perfect Eater?  --Cooter

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Anatomy of a Front Page-- Part 4; The Chicago Bears

THE BEARS:  Editors of the Nov. 25, 1963, Chicago Tribune did find space on the front page to report the Bears-Steelers 17-17 tie, which left  Chicago with a half game lead over the Green Bay Packers.  It was the only non-Kennedy news to make the front page from Saturday (the day after the assassination) to Tuesday.

The fact the game was played was controversial.  The rival AFL postponed its games, but NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle stood by his decision to let the league's games go on, saying, "I cannot feel that playing the games was disrespectful, nor can I feel that i have made a mistake."

The Bears went on to win their eighth NFL title that season.

--Cooter

Anatomy of a Front Page, Nov. 25, 1963 Chicago Tribune-- Part 3: Chicago Connection

This was the front page featuring Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby.  Continued from July 3rd, 2014 blog.

CHICAGO CONNECTIONS:  Jack Ruby, or Rubenstein, was a former Chicagoan, the Tribune noted on page 1, fleshing out his connections in another story inside.

Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner, was one of weight children raised in his family on Chicago's Maxwell Street area.  "He grew up to be a tough street fighter who struggled throughout his life to support himself and members of his family.  Some of the means he used were extra-legal," the Tribune reported.

The next day, the Tribune continued that he was linked by federal agents to "a number of Chicago hoodlums.

Ruby  was the second Chicago connection to the president's assassination.    The Sunday Tribune, Nov. 24 Tribune reported that the gun used to kill Kennedy was a "mail order rifle purchased in Chicago for $12.78" from Klein Sporting Goods on West Madison Street.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Champions

The event was broadcast live on ESPN at noon, July 4th and rebroadcast (when we watched it) at 2 PM on ESPN2.  Joey "Jaws" Chestnut of San Jose, California won his 8th championship in a row after proposing to his long-time girlfriend before he went into chowaction.

He ate 65 hot dogs and didn't break his record he set last year at 69.    In the women's group, Miki Sudo, of Las Vegas, ate 34.  Sadly, he wasn't up against seven-time winner Takeru Kobayashi who refused to sign an exclusive contract with MLE (Major League Eating, and is presently banned from its functions.

The winner gets the mustard yellow big belt.

Still, I'd rather Savor the Dogs.  --Cooter

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Competitive Eating at Nathan's Last Friday: Competitive Eating's Biggest Weekend

From the July 4, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Warriors of mass digestion".

I have to admit that the headline was one clever one.  None of that "Weapons of Mass Destruction" for us.

And, this stuff has gotten very organized.  People vying to get into the record books for eating huge amounts of stuff have the organizations called Major League Eating and the International Federation of Competitive Eating to oversee them and make sure every things is on the down swallow.

These groups oversee some 80 professional contests every year, the most famous being the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog eating one held every July 4th in front of the place at Coney Island in New York City.

We watched it Friday at Antonio's in Spring Grove after the parade and almost got sick doing so.  Yuck!! and what a waste of good Nathan's hot dogs.  Plus, I am amazed that no one puked eating stuff like that.  I would prefer to savor mine if I ever get the chance to eat one at that historic place.  I have had some Nathan's Hot Dogs, but not there.

--Cooter

Who Was Tiananmen's "Tank Man"?

From the June 5, 2014, Chicago Tribune "'Tank man' identity remains a mystery" by Julie Makinen.

Foreign reporters have tried to identify this man, made famous for standing in front of a line of tanks holding just a shopping bag to prevent them from moving.  Along with pictures of the crowds and the "Goddess of Democracy" these photos are ingrained in peoples' minds.

Shortly after noon on June 5, 1989, the day after troops stormed through Beijing to crush the student-led uprising that had paralyzed the Chinese capital for weeks, the lone man stopped that column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace.

The lead tank halted and then tried moving right and left, but each time the man adjusted his position to remain in the tank's path.  Finally, he shifted the bags to one hand, hopped onto the tank and appeared to talk with its commander.

No one knows for sure what the man's identity is or even whether he is still alive.

Time Magazine has named him one of the century's top 20 revolutionaries.  But, it is unclear whether the "Tank Man" is even aware of the impact he made as the image remains barred and censors are very careful to suppress it.

That Was One Striking Photo.

25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

From the June 5, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Tainanmen anniversary: 2 different scenes" by Barbara Demick and Julie Makinen.

At the scene of the student takeover and massacre on June 5, 1989, it was very quiet on the 25th anniversary.  Two large video screens flashed Communist Party slogans and there were plenty troops and police in the area.

Very few foreign tourists were there as well.  State-run media did not mention it and even the number "25" was blocked on social networking sites.

The scene was far different in Hong Kong where more than 180,000 people converged on Victoria Park for a candlelight vigil.  A wreath was laid beside  a replica of the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tiananmen Square and the "Goddess of Democracy Statue" that was seen so often during the stand-off.

It took me a long time to figure out how to spell Tananmen as we followed it in my classes at Magee middle School in Round Lake, Illinois.

Besides the opening of the Berlin Wall, I consider this a major victory for freedom and democracy over Communist dictatorships.


Deaths: Actor Bob Hastings, Lt. Elroy Carpenter on "McHale's Navy"

BOB HASTINGS, 87

Best-known for his role as Lt. Elroy Carpenter, bumbling "yes man" and toadie for Captain Bimington in his perpetual war with Quentin McHale and his zany PT crew in the sitcom "McHale's Navy" which ran from 1962-1966.  I always wondered how you could find humor in a war like that.  Much the same with "Hogan's Heroes."

Died June 30, 2014.

In the 1950s, he had a recurring role on another military sitcom, "The Phil Silvers Show," appearing in eight episodes.  It was set in the Army in Kansas.

Some other shows he was in:  "The Munsters" (voice of the Raven), "I Dream of Jeannie,"  several different roles in "Green Acres," and played Tommy Kelsey (owners of Kelsey's Bar) in "All in the Family."

Born 1925 in Brooklyn, New York and served in the Army Air Corps as a navigator on a B-29 during World War II.

He got into TV in its infancy, appearing in 1949 in "Captain Video and His Video Rangers" as Hal.  I always remember that "Honeymooners" episode where Ed and Ralph share a TV and there was Norton in front of it with his space helmet and spacing snacks within easy reach to watch this show.    He was also in an episode of "Hogan's heroes" as Igor Pictkin.

He was married for 66 years.

No More Lt. carpenter to Kick Around.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 9: Deaths and Injuries

"...and it is thought that an aerial display of bombs exploding at the exact time the train the train rounded  a curve was a major factor in failure to see the speeding train...traveling at 55-60 miles per hour, and that only about six seconds would elapse between (coming into sight and the accident point).

Of the three people killed were Carl Strand, owner of Wauconda's Strand Route 12 Motel (still standing at US-12 and Il-59), and Mrs. Lillian Pavelchik, of Round Lake, and her seven-year-old son Gary.

Among the many injured were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Dittmer, from Grass Lake, saved by their son, Gerald, who saw the train and pushed them off the tracks.

The paper also mentioned that it was "a bigger than average crowd attended the fire department dance Saturday night" where over 3,317 tickets were sold.

A Horrible Accident That Now Is Mostly Forgotten.

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 8: Warned, But Wrong Train

The article with the information was dated July 5, 1956 and was in the now-defunct Antioch News.

"The holiday scene at Fox Lake's Fourth of July celebration last night was turned into one of tragedy when a Milwaukee Road vacation special train struck a number of spectators, killing three, and injuring at least five!

"The fireworks display was being staged on the American Legion property...and a number of spectators had climbed the railroad embankment as a vantage point.  They were warned by the Legionnaires and firemen that the tracks were not safe and a freight train, which came through at 9 p.m., scattered them.

"Many returned to the tracks after passage of the train however.  It was at 9:15 p.m., that the tragedy occurred...."


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 7: The Search for Information

The reporter, Gregory Harutunian, was having problems finding more information on the 1956 fireworks incident.  He went to the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois, and talked with Diana  Dretske and Chris Pyle of the History and Collections Archives, two of the foremost authorities on Lake County history.

After some search, they found an article about the event.  Said Dretske, "Oral histories (which the reporter had been getting) are great, but historians need to dig deeper and finding the article helped to bring the facts together...it wasn't a total mystery to folks in the area."  A reporter is trained to get the facts.  Asking people what they remember, especially something almost 60 years ago, is not always the best thing as people tend to forget and embellish.

Next, the Article.  --Cooter

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 6: The Bridges

Right next to Beer Can Bridge is the four lane US Route 12 bridge, which is also four lanes across the channel by the High Side bridge.  The island between them is small and at one time actually a peninsula before a new channel was dug to connect Nippersink Lake and Pistakee Lake (but, I'm not sure which side was dug).

The railroad trestle is no longer a swing bridge and a higher bridge has taken its place.  So, the bigger boats have easy access to either lake without having to wait for the bridge to swing.  The tallest boats, however, can't get through it.

Many boaters avoid the High Side bridge because the Lake County Marine cops have their headquarters by the American Legion and sometimes post themselves there.

--DaCoot

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 5: The Chain of Lakes' Beer Can Bridge and the High Side

"The Route 12 train trestle bridge (where the accident took place,)  also has its own idiosyncrasies, not far from the viewing perch, with a southern opening called 'beer can bridge." and a northern opening called 'the high side.'  The latter access  let taller ships (boats) pass between the lakes, by means of a revolving turret, which spun the train track section to an east-west direction."  It would be termed a swing bridge.

Actually, the two bridges on north and south sides connect the island in the middle of the them.  Beer Can Bridge is low and for decades boaters have placed beer cans on its under supports, hence the name Beer Can Bridge.  After particularly windy times, there was all sorts of clunking and clacking as beer cans blown down into the water bumped into each other.

Sadly, today many of the boaters place beer bottles on the struts.  You don't want to be under then when they fall.

Bring back the Cans!!  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lost Chicago Shopping

The last several days I have been posting about stores that used to be in Chicagoland that are no longer there in my RoadDog's Roadlog Blog.

That would be stores like at Randhurst Shopping Mall (one of the first indoor malls in the US), Coconuts Music &  Movies, Walden Books and peppers Waterbeds to name but a few.

Check It Out--  Cooter

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 4: Get Off the Tracks!

The other account came during an interview many years ago with the late Dr. Mel Platenka, a beloved Fox Lake figure and unofficial "Mayor of Eagle Point."  Eagle Point was a famous bar on Pistakee Lake featured on the TV "Real People" back in 1982.  When a certain polka was played on the jukebox, nearly 100 puppets would come to life.  I used to deejay there a lot back in the 1980s before it closed.

"People had climbed onto the tracks and embankment of the wooden Route 12 train bridge to get a better view of the fireworks at the Legion Hall.  Everyone was looking toward the lake and with all that noise, no one heard or saw the train coming.  It plowed right into them.  People got killed, limbs were severed...a real tragedy.

"They were told to get off the tracks, and I guess they did once, or twice, but it didn't matter, they were hit."

More to Come.

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 3: A Fireworks Tragedy

One event that wasn't so much fun took place during the 1956 fireworks dispaly.  Most people today, don't even know about it.  And, piecing together the story is not an easy task.

In 1956, the American Legion Post 703, to which I belong as a Sons of the American Legion member, was staging their annual celebration on its grounds on Nippersink Lake by Riverside Drive and US Highway 12.  A train hit people standing on the tracks to view the fireworks and three were killed and five injured.

Fox Lake Fire Protection District Chief Ron Hoehne, said, "I wasn't born until 1955, and it was before my time but I remember the stories, hearing about it...such a shame, and sad tragedy.  My father (former Fox Lake Fire Chief Stu Hoehne) joined the force in 1957 and he related it to me.  It was similar to the other account."

Next, the Other Account.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 2

Rumors of financial  improprieties regarding the fundraising came about with apparently no substantiation which caused Pete Jakstas, owner of the Mineola Marina and Lounge at the Mineola Hotel to halt his involvement in 2008.    That year, the fireworks were launched from a vacant lot at Sayer and Rollins roads.  In 2009, the Chain of Lakes Fireworks organization was formed and set about returning the fireworks to the water..

Currently, the fireworks are shot off toward the east end of Fox Lake.

We were able to watch the Fox Lake fireworks from our back deck for many years until the trees in out subdivision got too big.  We can still watch the Spring grove fireworks from out front porch, however, as we are on a really high bluff.

--Cooter

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fox Lake Fireworks-- Part 1

From the July 2, 2014, Hi-Liter "History of Fox Lake fireworks displays include tragic 1956 event" by Gregory Harutunian.

"When it comes to the Village of Fox Lake (Illinois) and fireworks display, excluding the political variety, there is a long and distinct history befitting a "resort community."

Over the years, Fox Lake and Nippersink Lake have been the venues of choice for fireworks, both for land and water accessibility and a place for still-lit residue to fall.

For many years during the time from which we bought our first boat, now in our 30th year, the Mineola Bay Fourth of July fireworks were considered the beast in the area.  It drew huge crowds of boaters from both Illinois and Wisconsin as well as thousands who viewed it from the Mineola Hotel (dating to the 1880s) as well as from hundreds of bayside house parties.  Traffic was a major headache.

We watched these fireworks both by boat and from friends' homes.  Not only were the fireworks themselves impressive, but the hundreds of boats at anchor out in the water with their anchor lights lit was a striking scene.

This Was One Real Big Party.  --Cooter

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th Through the Years

This date in U.S. History, besides being our 238th birthday today.

1801:  The United States Military Academy to train Army officers officially opened.

1803:  The Louisiana Purchase was announced in newspapers.  A great land deal.  France sold a huge tract of land to the U.S. for $15 million, coming out to 3 cents an acre.

1817:  Construction on the Erie Canal began in New York state.  It connected the Hudson River at Albany and Lake Erie at Buffalo.

JULY 4th was a bad day for earlier American presidents.  Three died on this date in 1826 and 1831.

1826: Presidents Thomas Jefferson (3rd) and John Adams (2nd)
1831:  James Madison (6th)

--

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Anatomy of a Front Page: Slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald-- Part 2

PHOTOS on that front page:

One of the most recognized news photographs of the 20th century-- the picture of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald in a jail corridor, surrounded by law enforcement officers and reporters-- told the story in a way rarely seen then or now.

The crime was broadcast live on TV, witnessed by millions of Americans who turned in to see the man accused of killing President John F. Kennedy.




Anatomy of a Front Page: Slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald-- Part 1

From the November 17, 2013, Chicago Tribune.

Headlines of the Monday, November 25, 1963, Tribune.  Price: 7 cents  ($1.50 now.)  "ACCUSED ASSASSIN SLAIN: President's Body Lies in the Capital."

Other front page headlines:

Thousands File Thru Rotunda, View Bier
Widow Will Lead March to Cathedral
Chicagoans to Mourn for Kennedy Today
Find Oswald Palm Prints On Sill, Gun
Oswald Shot in Jail in Custody of 60 Cops
Bears and Steelers Tie

Photos:

Oswald being led out
Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby
Mrs. Kennedy
Jack Ruby


The Bar Code Turns 40: Ten Things You Might Not Have Known-- Part 3

6.  Will the BAR CODE as we know it disappear?  "It will happen," says inventor George Laurer, perhaps by its 50th anniversary.

7.  LAURER thinks the total transition will take a little longer because it requires stores to replace scanners and manufacturers to change labels.

8.  ZEBRA TECHNOLOGIES (the makers of the scanners) takes its name from its product-- black and white stripes--right?  RIGHT.  The company has shipped 11 million bar code printers since its inception in 1969.

9.  "It's APPLICATION SPECIFIC," said Dean Dalesandro of  Zebar Technologies Corp.  "But some things require the simple scan of a bar code.  Imagine (the) last time you took something to return it--that's bar code technology."  (I'm not real sure what this last one means.)

But Anyway, Anything to Make My Life Easier.  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Bar Code Turns 40: Ten Things You Might Not Know About It-- Part 2

3.  That original supermarket scanner?  It's at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  The gum, however, isn't.  Might have been chewed despite its "historical" value.

4.  Nowadays, technologies like  QR (Quick Response) codes store large amounts of information unlocked when they're scanned by smart phones.

5.  The original BAR CODE was the catalyst for other types of bar codes that have popped up such as the automobile VIN and codes on wristbands worn in hospitals.

Turn me Over and Scan Me.  --Cooter

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Bar Code Turns 40: Ten Things You Might Not Have Known

From June 27, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Ellen JeanHirst.

"At 8:01 a.m., June 26, 1974, at Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, the first unique, and now ubiquitous. collection of black lines and white spaces told a scanner the price of a 10-pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum."

One of the original manufacturers was Lincolnshire, Illinois, based Zebra Technologies Corporation.

Here are ten things you might not know about bar codes:

0.  The inventor was GEORGE LAURER, an IBM engineer.  His first design of the bar code was a circle.

1.  The CIRCLE DESIGN didn't last because printing presses at the time, some dating to the World War I era, smeared, leaving codes unreadable.

2.  The vertical  line Universal product Code that Laurer helped to develop at IBM was chosen in 1973 by the grocery industry as the STANDARDIZED METHOD for storing product price information.

Don't You Hate It When the Bar Code Has the Wrong Price?  --DaCoot

Where Is Garrett Morris?

From April 6-12, 2014, American Profile "Ask American Profile."

Q:  Please catch us up on Garrett Morris, whom we loved in the early days of Saturday Night Live.  --Jean Rogers, Bakersfield, Ca..

A: The New Orleans, La., native, 77, co-stars as Earl on the CBS sitcom "2 Broke Girls," and since 2007, he has co-owned and served as host of Garrett Morris' Downtown Blues and Comedy Club in Los Angeles.

One of the original cast members of SNL from 1975-1980.

Loved him back then, but didn't know he was Earl on "2 Broke Girls."

Funny Guy.  --Cooter

So Much For the Lime Shortage

Two months ago, I was hearing all about the price of limes going up drastically where a combination of weather and disease has sent supply plummeting and prices sky-rocketing.  I'd have a hard time drinking my Corona without a lime, same with margaritas, plus, I am fond of limes (or lemons) in my cola products.

I even saw limes at a buck apiece a few times, but prices have dropped to normal now.

From April 21, 2014 Time Magazine.

AMERICANS ARE EATING MORE LIMES THAN EVER:  .  In 1983, it was .45 lb. per capita. In 2013: 2.96 lb. per capita.

97%: Percentage of limes the U.S. gets from mexico.  Guatemala, which accounts for about 1.5%, is the next biggest source.

AVERAGE RETAIL PRICE OF A LIME:  Up 133%.  April 2013 it was 24 cents each.  April 2014, 56 cents.

$71.36: Average price of 40-lb. box of limes as it eneters U.S. from mexico.  In February, it was $18.25.

Love My Limes.  --DaCoot

No More Cubs on WGN

That is going to seem strange next year not to see the Cubs on either WGN Radio or TV.  I think old Jack Brickhouse would be turning over in his grave at this one.  No more "Hey, Hey, Hey!!"  And that goes for Harry Carey and "It Might be, it Could Be, It Is!  Home Run!!"

In 2015, Cub games move to CBS radio stations, including WBBM-AM (780).  The Cubs have also opted out of their WGN TV contract, looking to hit the jack-pot with regional TV broadcasts.

The Cubs pushed it, but WGN didn't fight it as they had been losing money on the Cubs for years as the team puts really inferior product on the field.

But, to me, it just isn't going to be the same.

Cubs, No WGN, What Next?  The Sox Start Pulling in the Fans?  --Cooter