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WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! SOCIAL MEDIA IS ADDICTIVE; EXCESSIVE USE MAY LEAD TO MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, REDUCED PRODUCTIVITY, LACK OF SLEEP, SOCIAL ALIENATION, BIRTH DEFECTS, BLINDNESS, AND SEXUAL IMPOTENCY. NOTICE: NO GUNS OR AMMUNTION ARE FOR SALE VIA THIS BLOG. No, I will not trade my Colt Python for some erotic adventures with your hot looking wife and a future first-round draft pick. CAVEAT: This blog is not suitable for viewing while at work, while inside a public library, while inside any public or private school, or while inside any public or private restroom. Do not view this blog while driving or during sex. THIS BLOG CONTAINS (albeit often very childish) ADULT-CONTENT. DISCLAIMER: This blog is a hobby, it is not a livelihood. Even though much of what I blog about relates to firearms collecting and recreational shooting, I am not an expert (by any measure) on any facet of guns, shooting, hunting, or personal defense. Entries at this blog are akin to good old-fashioned campfire chats or post hunt barroom-bluster; I offer no opinion on what you should or should not purchase, or what you should be using or doing. What does or does not work for me could be rugged-country-miles away from your tastes and your needs. All products, places, and miscellany that I review for this blog are purchased / rented / leased at retail price by me. I do not accept payment, gifts, discounts, freebies, products on loan, demon alcohol, drugs, plea-bargains, probation, parole, Papal Blessings, Presidential Pardons, or sexual favors for doing any review or blog post. TRACKING COOKIES: Google et al stick tracking cookies on everybody. If you are online, you are being spied on via one method or another, for one reason or another; 'nuff said. You may be able to minimize your online DNA residue by using Tor and Duck Duck Go. Vive la liberté! Vive all y'all! Ante omnia armari. To each of you, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it!

Friday, April 22, 2011



Available at

G.A.T. Guns, Inc.
14N915 State Route 25, Dundee, IL 60118
Phone: 847-428-4867

CLICK HERE for details.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Northern Illinois Women's Introduction to Handguns


by Excel Training Group at

G.A.T. Guns, Inc.
14N915 State Route 25, Dundee, IL 60118
Phone: 847-428-4867

CLICK HERE for details.


An F4 tornado hits Lake Zurich Illinois April 21, 1967

Just for nostalgia, here is a circa 1970 winter shot of the intersection of Old Rand Road and Rt.22
Dunno where I originally got it from.
Photo added 4/15/2018

Path of the 1967 Lake Zurich Tornado
Photo added 4/24/2017 from HERE

All members of the Lake Zurich Volunteer Fire Department were heroic during the search and rescue following the 1967 tornado devastation.
Fire Chief at the time was Alvin Knigge; he served as Fire Chief from 1966 - 1973.
Photo added 4/21/2017 and is from the Ela Township Historical Society

Three photos above added 4/12/2017 and are from the Chicago Tribune 

Photo added 4/12/2017
This era photo looks like it could be a bit pre or post Christmas sometime in the mid to late 1960s.  That one car looks to be a 1963 Chevy and the other looks like maybe a 1964 or newer Pontiac.  I dunno where I got this copy from ... it has been knocking around my computer files for a while.  If someone recognizes this photo, I would like to give credit.

UPDATE 4/12/2017
50-years-ago, an unfathomable half century ago, on April 21, 1967 a devastating tornado hit the town of Lake Zurich, Illinois.  This online site is for all of us.

Recollections and photos are always very welcome here.  Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are welcome to share family lore.  Tell us your family story.

This photo is from THIS COLLECTION; that site is worth a visit if you enjoy photos of Lake Zurich and Ela Township during the old days (many photos are from before our time).  

As kids, we were told that the Lake Zurich Fire Siren (also used for tornado warnings; noon whistle, in case of air raid,  etc.) was high up somewhere on this tower. 

UPDATE 4/20/2016
Tomorrow, at roughly 5:05 PM, is the 49th anniversary of Lake Zurich's devastating tornado.  This blog entry started off as an inconsequential, brief, cathartic, personal recollection (that I have yet to finish writing).  Thanks to all of you, over the past 5-years this entry has morphed into a major online reference source regarding that tornado and its aftermath.  I am humbled; the personal recollections that you contributed via the comments section, along with your photos that were added to the original post, have become an invaluable part of the history of Lake Zurich, Illinois.  

Additional recollections are always welcome; nothing is too small; nothing about that day was insignificant.  If you are uncomfortable using your real name, there is nothing wrong with leaving an anonymous comment or using a pseudonym.  Additional photos are also welcome.

You people are awesome.  Again, I extend many thanks to you all.

The above photo was added to our collection here on 4/5/2015. The squiggling line through the vacant property at the top of the photo is Flint Creek.  How many of you remember Scott's Barn on the North side of Miller Road?  The barn's very substantial foundation is just to the left of that circular driveway.

We get a lot of traffic here every year, especially around the month of April.  Many of you have been very kind in sharing your memories about that event.  Thank you, one and all.

Edit 12/7/2014:  Scroll down to the comments section.  Just before Thanksgiving, Bob Johnson sent us a narrative via EMAIL and gave permission for me to copy and paste it into the ever-growing comments area. It is a very valuable addition; it is an excellent narrative of what the 1967 tornado did to portions of Lake Zurich on the West side of Highway 12. Many thanks, Bob!

Edit 3/14/2014:  Awesome news!  Many momentous 1967 Lake Zurich tornado aftermath photos (complete with annotations) and news-clippings have been generously submitted by Jim Herron and his father, Larry Herron.  Many thanks to both of them for sharing, and for the narrative that Jim left in the comments section.  Please pass the word about these valuable additions!

282 Pine Tree Row & Rugby (this garage still stands today)

282 Pine Tree Row (Floor Decking only)

282 Pine Tree Row (Front Door)

282 Pine Tree Row (what was left after tornado struck)

282 Pine Tree Row Yard Debris (Manor Park at Rugby & Pine Tree Row in Background)

Aerial view of 282 Pine tree row - my house center(Corner of Pine Tree Row and Rugby Rd)

Back door of 282 Pine Tree Row Snow storm before tornado

I think this is Fenners House on Pine Tree Row

I think this is Seth Paine

Inside front door of 282 Pine Tree Row (room we laid in under couch during tornado)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (1)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (2)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (3)

Lake Zurich Tornado 1967 (4)

Larry Herron owner of 282 Pine Tree Row (Cleaning up after tornado - Same Day)

National Guardsmen Carrying Torsion Spring for Garage Door

Newspaper Article

Page 3 Aerial view (That is the St. Pius Shrine in upper left corner, which sits on north side of Miller Road, a bit east of where Rugby meets Miller; the long curved road from bottom left of photo to the top left is Rugby)

Pic of truck and carpenter (I think)

Pine Tree Row near Rugby

State Truck

Tom Skilling Article

Unidentified Car

View just west of Manor Park off Rugby

(End items from the Jim Herron LZ tornado files.)

Edit 4/26/2011:  In 1967, Mindy’s family lived just up the street from us in the subdivision known as The Woodlands. Her brother Chris has his recollections of the tornado, along with an account written by his father in 1967, posted HERE. It is well worth your time to click on over there and give it a read. Note: The “Boy Scout Trail” Chris refers to was a path along a portion of the abandoned Palatine, Lake Zurich, and Wauconda Railroad. For a short time, the local Boy Scouts held campouts near the abandoned Lake Zurich station house, hence the name. The path was a shortcut from the Manor and the Woodlands subdivision to downtown Lake Zurich, which many of us used to circumvent the curfew and the requisite access-passes during the aftermath of the tornado. As kids, we experienced many good times along that trail; many of us used to hunt and camp in those woods and fish at the slough and Echo Lake. Alas, we were a brokenhearted group of kids when they extended Lions Drive the entire length of the trail and subdivided the area for houses.

Edit 4/25/2011: The following photos of the 1967 Lake Zurich, Illinois tornado damage were generously contributed by Mindy Sherwood.  Many thanks for sharing, Mindy!

Depending on your browser, you may be able to click on the photos for a larger view.

The view in the above photo looks like it is facing west down Miller Road, as seen from standing approximately halfway between Vista Road and Crescent Road (shown just to the left).  I believe the blob of debris on the right is the rubble from the corner of the gymnasium / lunchroom portion of the Seth Paine Elementary school.  The storm tore a gap in the row of houses on the left, sparing a few here and there.

The view in the above photo looks like it is facing northwest from Miller Road as seen from standing approximately halfway between Vista Road and Crescent Road, looking toward the remains of the Seth Paine Elementary School. The school entrance would be at the far left of the photo, with the gymnasium / lunchroom portion not shown beyond that. What you see in the photo from left to right is the classroom portion of the school.  If I remember correctly, the school was brand new in 1959 when I was in the second grade.  It was a stout building, constructed from brick, block, and steel.  Providentially, school was out for the day when the storm struck.


I was a high school student back then. A scant few minutes after 5 PM forty-four years ago today, the small town I grew up in was hit by one of the many tornadoes that raked northern Illinois that same day. This tornado was not the stereotypical funnel that we have all seen in many photos and videos… it was a low, surprisingly fast moving, non-uniform, swirling black cloud looking much like dense smoke. As it mowed through our subdivision, I witnessed it ripping the Eisenhower era houses to shreds. Our house was among those spared by the storm, which demolished 75 and extensively damaged another 200 or so. It also destroyed the Seth Paine Grade School that was down the street from our house. A couple of days later, with the entire area still without electricity, natural gas, or water, the temperature dropped below freezing and we had about 3-inches of snow. For a good while, we all lived a primitive existence.

Click HERE and then click HERE to read some historic information in pdf files.

For many weeks now, I have tried to put my thoughts and recollections down about that day and the following recovery period but I keep freezing up when I sit down at the keyboard. I organize my thoughts each day but when I sit down to type, something akin to a melancholy sets in. Even after so many years, my memories are still vivid; perhaps I want the portraits in my mind to obey the inevitability of senescence and just fade away. For now, this entry will serve as a bookmark; I’ll fill in the blanks below when my moods allow.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Yard and garden journal entry 4/18/2011


It has been cold and rainy lately. We had a covering of 2’’ of snow this morning; about half of it was gone by late afternoon. I usually apply my lawn weed-and-feed in mid-April (I only do one application per year), so I decided not to let the snow stop me today. In fact, the tracks left in the snow by my drop-spreader made keeping track of the job easier. I like putting the weed-and-feed out in the early spring when the weather is going to give it a good soaking; it dissolves and spreads evenly because my lawn is thick and prevents runoff. In a couple of weeks, I will look the lawn over and reapply to areas that I might have missed today. This is the first year that I have used the “phosphorus free” fertilizer; I am curious to see if the lawn greens as nicely as it has in the past. I don’t bag my clippings for disposal, I just let it mulch into the lawn…I doubt that the lack of phosphorus in the fertilizer will be a problem. Some of my neighbors use professionals to care for their lawns… and their lawns look bad for some reason…I am not sure that the annual core-aeration and dethatching is a good thing... and the four applications of that expensive liquid weed-and-feed every year does not seem to do as good a job as my one application of the dry stuff. 

I moved the six flowerpots from the front of the house to the backyard patio in anticipation of the homeowner’s association getting cranky (the pots actually did not look good the way I had them set). My tulips (some in the pots, some in the gardens) seem to be growing okay but I doubt that I will have any serious blooms until May. My daffodils were a big bust this spring; only a few of the ones I planted last fall sprouted and the few blooms that I do have look pretty weak. I need to do some studying to find out what I did wrong. I was hoping for an explosion of daffodil blooms to complement the forsythias; maybe next year will be better.

Much work still to do on the flowerbeds…I hope we get a string of fair-weather days soon.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yard and garden journal entry 4/14/2011, the Forsythias are flowering.


It is nice finally to have some color in the yard.

The forsythia bush on the east side of the house is large and doing well. The two newest bushes in the front yard are stunted because they are competing for root space with a large tree. Some aggressive root feeding may help.

NOTE TO SELF: Although it already is a bit crowed, I believe the front yard could use two or three more forsythia bushes for a bigger splash of early spring color. Since the two newest bushes are growing slowly, it is advisable to plant stock that is more mature.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chorus frogs announce the official arrival of spring.


Last night was the first time that I heard them this year; no symphony ever sounded so sweet.

The calendar “first day of spring” means little to me. When I hear the chorus frogs, then I know the long cold winter is officially over.

When I was a youngster, Mom and Dad tolerated my bringing home buckets full of swamp water filled with tadpoles. I’d watch them go grow into adult frogs then I would set them free back into the swamp. My folks became less tolerant when I started bringing home buckets full of snakes…


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back from a short trip


We were tired of waiting for summer to arrive in Chicagoland, so we decided to chase it down. We made the drive down to Florida in two days, spent six days touring and beachcombing, and made the drive back home in two days. When I leave town it is for a change of pace so I always leave the laptop (and internet) at home. We are now unpacked and settling back to the norm of home life, catching up on the backlog of U.S. Mail and email, paying bills, etc.

Some trip observations:

1) The high gasoline prices are not yet keeping people off the interstate highways; plenty of folks seem to be making and keeping vacation plans.

2) People were driving like high-octane maniacs and we saw the aftermath of many accidents, including this one involving a busload of kids.

3) Commercial truck traffic was not as heavy as it was on a similar trip last September.