Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to All Readers of Bruce's Journal

I would like to wish all readers of Bruce's Journal a happy and healthy 2011.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope that you have enjoyed my words of wisdom.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Too Painful to Remember

Over the last month or so I have reconnected with some classmates from PS 139 in Rego Park.  I was promoted from that school in 1961, so these memories go back 50 years.  The other day I received an e-mail from Michael Golden who remember something that I suppressed in my mind.  I have an excellent memory, but Mike remembered this:

You probably don't remember this, but you figure in one of my most vivid childhood memories. I was pitching in a Little League game, (perhaps Walter's Bake Shop team), and had a no-hitter going unitl there were two outs in the last inning. The batter hit a routine fly ball to right field, which you proceeded to let drop and kick around a bit, as the batter raced around the bases. Gone were my no-hitter, my shutout, and my day of glory. Of course, I've held a deep-seated grudge against you for the last half century or so, for the psychological trauma you created in my fragile psyche:)

I do remember playing for Walter's Bake Shop's team in the Forest Hills Little League when I was about 12 years old. I do not remember missing that fly ball.  This is a suppressed memory.  At least I wasn't Fred Merkle who missed second base in the Polo Grounds, or Bill Buckner who miss Mookie Wilson's grounder in the 1986 World Series, or Luis Castillo who miffed a fly ball in the subway series in 2009.  I'm sure that my poor fielding did not cost Mike a multi-million dollar contract with George Steinbrenner.  I was never known for my athletic prowess all those years ago.

I think The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand would be an appropriate way to end this journal entry

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday Afternoon at the Paley Center for Media

We try to go to the Paley Center on West 52nd Street at least a few times a year.  We even have an annual membership to this fine organization that preserves radio and television history.  It was previously known as the Museum of Television and Radio.

In the Spelberg Gallery there was an exhibit called  This Boy.....John Lennon in Liverpool.  The exhibit featured a 20 minute film about the Quarrymen and photographs of John's growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s and early 60s.

From there we went to the library where impulsively I wanted to see what they had on Shindig and Hullabaloo.  Facebook friend Jet Screamer would be in 7th heaven as we viewed shows originally aired in 1964 and 65, his favorite years.  We saw a show from October 1964 which featured the Beatles and other British acts including Cilla Black, Sounds Incroporated, PJ Proby, and others who were popular in the UK but not in the USA.  This episode featured the premier of I'm a Loser which was not released in the United States until a month later when it was a cut on the Beatles 65 LP.  I remember how WMCA taped the audio from the TV and played it on the station before its offical release.  The episode of Hullabaloo that we saw featured the Lovin' Spoonful.

While I was there I searched the database for any Clay Cole shows.  When we met him last year Clay said that none of his shows were preserved.  I thought perhaps something was there, but Clay (may he rest in peace) was correct.

The video below include both I'm a Loser and Boys that were shown on that episode of Shindig.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Seeing a Bad Movie to Cure Cabin Fever

The following actors and actresses are quite talented and have appeared in some excellent movies:
  • Ben Stiller
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Blythe Danner
  • Owen Wilson
  • Jessica Alba
  • Laura Dern
However, this all-star cast can not make a stupid  movie good.  I would never punch out my father-in-law as was done in this fim which was #1 at the box office last weekend.  What often happens is that a movie does well when it is first released, but then when word gets around that it is terrible, the box office receipts go down dramatically.  Karen, Lee and I were the only three people in the audience for the afternoon showing.  The College Point Multiplex only charges $6 all day Tuesday, but there were very few people in the entire complex.  Perhaps people were still digging out after the snowstorm.

We have seen 3 movies in the last 5 days.  It is nice to have the week off between Christmas and New Years, but it seems there is either very cold weather, a snowstorm or both to put a damper on this vacation.  I just hate sitting home!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Another Facebook Article in the New York Times

Central Park got about 20 inches of snow and just about everything is closed.  I am off from work anyway so I am stuck in the apartment all day.  On a normal Monday I would read the New York Times on the commute, but today I read it at home.  The magazine section featured short biographical sketches on many celebrities who passed away in 2010.  An article by Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford, titled You've Got to have (150) Friends caught my eye.

I have made several comments about friending and unfriending people in the Facebook sense in this journal.  Let me quote Professor Dunbar directly:

"Social networking and other digital media have long promised to open up wonderful new vistas, all from the comfort of our own homes. The limitations of face-to-face interaction that have, until now, bound us to our small individual worlds — the handful of people we meet in our everyday lives — would be overcome.


The critical component in social networking is the removal of time as a constraint."

There is only so much time that we have to socialize with people face to face or over the phone.  Sites like Facebook give us more time to virtually socialize with our "friends".  We can go to their walls and see what they are doing.  If we are acquainted with them in a business context, we can observe what they do outside of work.

I observe that one colleague is a real social butterfly outside of work.  Another young lady from another university gives me the impression of being a kook when I read her Tweets and Facebook posts.  She seems quite level headed when I see her at professional meetings.

Tomorrow is another day and I'll be able to venture outside the apartment.  At least there a super and a custodial staff who shovel snow.  I will have to clean out the area near my garage, but I won't have to use the car for several days.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Snowy Sunday

There was a forecast for a major snowstorm today starting in the late morning so Lee and I were able to get out for some basketball and a walk through Forest Park before the snow started.  For some reason I couldn't get through to the 3G network on the iPhone. When I got home I used the airplane mode to access the internet.  When I changed to mode, the 3G network returned.  I guess it was one of those strange computer things.

At 11 AM the snow began.  As I write this at 8 PM, the snow is coming down very hard.  I think they are predicting 12-16 inches.  We just didn't want to go to the multiplex for the third day in a row, so we decided to walk over to Gino's pizza while the snow was light to get out of the apartment for a little while at least.

I didn't want to watch 6 straight hours of football, so I decided to read the Sunday New York Times until 2:30.  Then we turned on the Jet game as they lost to the Chicago Bears 38-34.  Since Jacksonville lost their game the Jets cliched a playoff spot.  At 4:15 I decided to read my Sal Mineo book and turned on the Giant game for the second half.  They lost to the Green Bay Packers 45-17.

Right now I am listening to the Top 77 hits on Rewound Radio as voted by the listeners of Bob Radil's 60s and 70s show.  I am not a big fan of countdowns since if I like a song, I don't care what number it is.

I am off from work tomorrow anyway, so I don't have to worry about the public transportation in the snow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Books and Movies so far during this winter vacation

Since I bought the Amazon Kindle I had to buy books so I don't have to schlep heavy volumes on my commute to work.  Since it is so cold outside I want to think about baseball so I got this:

Glanville, Doug. The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer's Inside View. New York: Times Books, 2010

Doug Glanville played for the Cubs, Phillies and Rangers from 1996-2004.  His book is a candid account of his major league career.  He was not a superstar, but not a marginal player either.  He talks about personal and professional experiences in his major league career.  Book review from the Washington Post.

Michaud, Michael G. Sal Mineo: A Biography. New York: Crown Archetype, 2010. Print.

I got this book from the Queens library branch in my neighborhood.  Sal Mineo was a child actor  from the Bronx who came to prominence in the movie Rebel Without a Cause.  It is a shame that he died at age 37 in 1976.  Some informal book reviews may be found at Goodreads.

Yesterday we saw the remake of True Grit with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and James Brolin.  The other day Karen taped the original John Wayne version from Turner Classic Movies.

Finally today we saw The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams.  In this film the women used the "F word" more than the men.

A big snowstorm is forecasted for the next 2 days so we may be making another trip to the multiplex.  Anything is better than staying home.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour will Continue in 2011

I just checked Bill Pagel's Dylan tour page and noted that Bob has two dates scheduled for Austalia in April.  He usually takes a break during the holiday season as the tour resumes early in the year.  I am really looking for something special on his 70th birthday on May 24th.  May he stay Forever Young.  And the beat goes on.......

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Henry Kissinger - Hypocrite of the 20th Century

I usually don't like to comment on political issues, but some statements made by Henry Kissinger just burns me up.  The forner secretary of state made the following statement “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern."  He made the odious remarks on March 1, 1973, to President Nixon after Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir had requested American intervention on behalf of Soviet Jewry.

Kissinger is a hypocrite since he and his family were given refuge in the United States when they fled Nazi persecution in 1938.

In the photo above you can see Tweedledee and Tweedledum - two hypocrites who deserved each other.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

British Oldie of the Day - Save Me - Dave Dee Dozy Mick and Tich



Would your favorite oldies show play this British hit from 1966?  I think Brian Matthew would. I am sure that Bob Radil would have it in his collection. This is one of the groups who never had a hit in the United States.  I won't post them but here is the link for the lyrics.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trying to think warm thoughts on the first day of winter



Surfin' USA by the Beach Boys makes me feel warm on the first day of winter.  One consolation is that the days will gradually be getting longer.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Superior Autobiographical Memory - Not Me

On 60 Minutes tonight Leslie Stahl did a story describing Superior Autobiographical Memory.  This is  very rare ability to remember each day of your life as if it happened yesterday.  People have complimented me on my very good memory but mine is not nearly as good as the subjects profiled in the story.  Leslie gave these people (including actress Marilu Henner) a specific date and they were able to tell her exactly what happened that day.

I can remember very specific events in my life, but I rarely remember the exact date.  I remember going to a Met game in August 2009 when David Wright was beaned by Matt Cain, but I can not recall the exact date.  There are certain positive and negative events in my life that stick out and even clutter my mind, but the exact date is not important to me.  I can usually not filter out the good and bad events that I remember.  It is often for the better to move on and let go of many unfortunate experiences.  On the other hand it is often nice to reminisce about things that happened years ago.

Clay Cole with the Slutsky Family

The photo above was taken by Bill Dillane at the Long Island Radio and TV Day in April 2010 at CW Post.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

R.I.P. Clay Cole

Harry Harrison used to say "Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift."  We never know what the day will bring for us.  Nobody knows how many days the lord has written for us.  We never know how or when we will leave this world.  One can linger for many years with a chronic disease or die all of a sudden.

I was visiting my mother this afternoon and as the family was watching the Rangers game I was using my iPhone and received an e-mail from Alan Berman stating that Clay Cole had died.  I quickly perused Facebook and observed that several of my  friends were sending condolences.  I phoned Alan a little later as he found that Clay had suffered a heart attack at home.  Everything was fine and then all of a sudden he just collapsed and died at age 72. You just never know.

For readers of Bruce's Journal not familiar with Clay, you may read a short biography in the Wikipedia.  However I highly recommend his book:

Cole, Clay, and David Hinckley. Sh-boom!-- the Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll, 1953-1968. Garden City, NY: Morgan James, 2009. Print.
 
I had the pleasure of meeting Clay at the Beatles Expo in Stamford, CT in November 2009.  I bought the book from him there.  I also met him at the Long Island Radio Show at CW Post in April of this year.  I wrote a review of the book last December in this journal.  Clay actually wrote a comment stating that he was pleased with my review.
 
My condolences to his family.

Nashville Predators 3 New Jersey Devils 1

Lee seems to be the big hockey fan in the family.  Since it is usually diffficult to get single game tickets for the Rangers we find it convenient to see the Devils at the Prudential Center since NJIT is close by.  The Devils are not doing too well this season.  As of today their record is 9-20-2.  In last night's game they lost to Nashville 3 to 1.  3 out of the 4 goals were scored on the power play.  Recap

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Halls of Fame - Who Gets In? - Politics, Achievements, Ethics

Just yesterday the 2011 inductees the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame were announced: 
  • Dr. John
  • Neil Diamond
  • Darlene Love
  • Alice Cooper
  • Tom Waits
  • Leon Russell - Musical Excellence Award
We can think of others who deserve induction including some recently nominated.  The Moody Blues, Donovan, Neil Sedaka, Clay Cole, and Chubby Checker among many others come to mind.  Facebook friends Joe Postove (Happy Birthday Joe) and Alan Berman are advocates for Chubby's induction.

Why are some inducted while others are not?  This is not an easy question to answer.  Is it fair to quantify a musical performers achievements by records sold or chart statistics?  Is a performers impact on society measurable?  It is sad to say that politics often plays a role into election into a Hall of Fame.  Other entertainment genres have Halls of Fame and likely politics are involved.

Let's take a look at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  In baseball and other sports performance atheletes are easily evaluated by tons of statistics.  But should 500 home runs by a batter and 300 victories by a pitcher automatically qualify one for induction?  Mark McGuire who has excellent credentials has not been elected since the sportswriters are well aware that he used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).  Likely in the years to come Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and others who obviously used PEDs will be denied.  Pete Rose was banned from baseball and is ineligible for induction into the Hall since as manager he bet on games that his team played.  This obviously compromises the integrity of the game.  Use of PEDs by the above mentioned players attacks the integrity of the game even more.  So if Rose can not  inducted turkeys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be denied entry.  I especially hate Clemens for intentially throwing at Mike Piazza twice.

Here is another double standard - I think almost every rock star has used illicit drugs at some point in their careers which enhanced their creativity.  That issue is ignored.

Finally, let me talk about impact.  Sandy Koufax  pitched only from 1955-1966 when arm problems forced him to retire prematurely.  But, in the early 1960s he was the dominant pitcher of his era.  That qualified him for the Hall of Fame.

Chubby Checker was dominant in rock music during the same time period.  The Twist hit number 1 on the charts in 1960 and 1962.  Back then the twist and other dances promoted by Chubby were quite popular yet he been denied election to the Rock Hall.  But Leonard Cohen who is essentially a folk singer is there.  Go Figure.  I guess you can just cry politics.

It is a shame that in many aspects of our lives politics rears its ugly head.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg should not be Time's Person of the Year

Time Magazine's person of the year is a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."   Persons of the Year in the past include:
  • 2008 - Barack Obama
  • 2004 - George W. Bush
  • 2003 - The American Soldier
  • 1999 - Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon.com)
  • 1993 - The Peacemakers
  • 1982  - The Computer
A complete list from 1927 to the present may be found in the Wikipedia

Certainly much has been written in the popular press (including Bruce's Journal) about Facebook and how it has changed our lives.  Facebook  has allowed people who have not seen each other for decades to reconnect.  The movie The Social Network related how Mark Zuckerberg formed the company and how he became so wealthy in a short period of time. 

The list of nominees for the 2010 Person of the Year show several politicians, entertainers, and business executives.  IMHO The Unemployed American should have been Time's Person of the Year.  There has been some recovery from the recession, but the unemployment rate is still very high.  Many hardworking Americans have been jobless for years now.  An unemployed person obviously must lower his/her standard of living as he/she loses self-esteem.  Unemployment insurance only goes so far.  I especially feel for an older jobless person.  Even in the best of times there is ageism in hiring, but some are just too young to retire and too old to be re-employed.  My heart goes out to them.  The unemployed situation in the United States is much more important than Facebook.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Big Jeopardy Tournament on Jeopardy in February

The producers of Jeopardy have really come up with a unique idea.  The two biggest Jeopardy winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings will compete against Watson a computer program developed by IBM's artificial intelligence team with the winner getting $1 Million.  This tournament will be on the air February 14-16.  I thank Alan Berman for bringing this article to my attention at 6:44 PM 16 minutes before Alex Trebek announced it on the show.  I am looking forward to this.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Comments on WCBS-FM Past and Present

Today's journal entry is in response to statements made by former music director Richard Lorenzo in an article by Facebook friend Jerry Barmash in FishbowlNY.  I agree with Lorenzo that the WCBS-FM of today is not the same as the station we heard from 1972-2005, but I disagree with his premise that the station has no style.  Unfortunately "the suits" in the radio business must think of the almighty buck and appeal to advertisers who are not interested in listeners over 54.  People who enjoy the music of 1955-75 (give or take a few years) are leaving the desired 25-54 demographic.  Thus, in 2005 the morons at the top of CBS Radio abruptly changed 101.1 to the dreaded Jack format.  New York radio listeners voted with their radio dials and did not accept that format which was an insult to the loyal listeners of CBS-FM.  In 2007 the new management came to their senses and adoped the "Greatest Hits" format ignoring the moniker "oldies".  In this new incarnation the station played mostly hits from 1964-1989 to try to appeal to the desired demographic.  Hits from the early days of rock 'n roll were minimized.

The strength WCBS-FM Version 1 were the personalities and the depth of the playlist.  Many of those DJs and Program Director Joe McCoy either retired or moved on.  I certainly miss Harry Harrison, the late Ron Lundy, Don K Reed, Norm N Nite, Cousin Brucie, Bill Brown and others.  Brian Thomas, the new program director, has given the station style albeit different from his predecessors.  He has added some innovative Hall of Fame features usually played at the top or bottom of the hour.  I have enjoyed many of the features like airing Artists A-Z and the entire playlist of the station during holiday periods.  The newer DJs with backgrounds in other New York stations like Broadway Bill Lee, Joe Causi, Ron Parker and Sue O'neal do project their personalities.  As Lorenzo says, the only personality with a link to Version 1 is Bob Shannon.  He seems stifled by the tight  automated playlist that he must use.  He is livlier and seems much happier when he does his WLNG show on Tuesdays.  Dan Taylor's banter with weatherman Mr. G is somewhat reminiscent of the Harry Harrison days.  Dan does a good job in the morning.

I perceive that the playlist on Monday - Friday 6 AM - 7 PM is somewhat tight, bust loosens in the evening and on weekends.  I am not a night owl and am usually in deep sleep between midnight and 6 AM, but a voicetracked show is not the best thing.  New York is the city that never sleeps, but economics have compelled many major radio stations to save money by voice tracking.  Years ago Max Kinkel had a very big following in the overnight period.

To conclude I will say that no radio station can please all of its listeners all the time.  People who know me are aware that I listen to many over the air, satellite, and internet stations in various formats.  I do listen to WCBS-FM, but not as much as I did in their "hey day" from 1985-1995 or so.  Alan Berman, the Dean of Oldies Listeners, tells me that he rarely listens to the station since he prefers Sirius, Hy Lit Radio, WLNG and other stations.  Others like Mary Shaw, Linda Cohen and Cara Sieden are still loyal listeners. I would make one suggestion:  There should be a "Heart of Rock 'N Roll Show" on Sunday nights with alternating hosts Norm N Nite and Don K Reed.  This would be a good link to the station's heritage.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Analysis of Facebook Friends

I just did an analyis of my Facebook friends today.  I also did an analysis in July 2009 with somewhat different categroeis of friends

December 2010

NJIT Library - 4%
NJIT other -17%
NY Librarians - 9%
NJ Librarians - 5%
Other Librarians - 11%
Radio Enthusiasts - 35%
Dylan Fans - 1 %
People from my past - 10%
Baseball Fans -  2%
Family - 3%
Other 4%

July 2009

New York Librarians -  8.4%
New Jersey Librarians - 5.3 %
NJIT Colleagues - 11.0%
American Chemical Society Colleagues -  6.8%
Other Librarians -  4.8%
Radio enthusiasts -  22.6%
Family - 2.0%
NJIT Students - 25.1%
People from my past -  3.2%
Other Slutskys  0.2%
Bob Dylan Enthusiasts  0.2%
Others - 7.1%

Notice that I did not do this in the form of a spreadsheet.  I see enough of those at work. :)  I will also refrain from doing a statistical analysis.  This is not a peer reviewed paper.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

TunedIn Radio App for the iPhone

Thank you Facebook  friend Walter MacEachern for bringing this app to my attention.  I haven't since Walter since we graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1967.  With this app you can tune in about 40,000 terrestrial and internet radio stations from all over the world.  For the first time I was able to get WLNG from eastern Long Island on the iPhone.  You can browse by location or format.  There is even a feature which allows the user to record segments from the radio.  You can access this service from a PC by going to http://www.radiotime.com/ .

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can you keep away from Social Networking Sites for a Week?

What would you do without Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, a cell phone, or one of the multitude of Web 2.0 services that promote social networking for a week?  None of these services were there in 1995 when I got my first PC at home.  I guess we would talk more to people face to face and perhaps watch more TV and listen to the radio on AM or FM.  I do the latter anyway.  There was a story on ABC News tonight called Video Diaries of the "Social Experiment" where students from Shorecrest High School in Washington gave up these electronic services for a week.  Check it out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Hot Stove League is Lukewarm at Best for the Mets

When the Mets recently hired Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins there was hope for improvement in the team for 2011.  It seems that since they are stuck with big contracts for Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo, they don't have money for free agents who could make an impact.  The only deals so far have been:
  • Ronnie Pulino as a backup catcher
  • D. J. Carrasco as right handed reliever
  • Infielder Brad Emaus and right-handed pitcher Pedro Beato in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft
  • Pitcher Boof Bonser to a Minor League contract
So far the loss of pitchers Hisanori Takahashi and Pedro Feliciano to free agency has hurt the Mets the most in my opinion during this off season.  It it obvious that they have lost more than gained in player transactions.

Current roster

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What if he had lived

There will be a lot written and said today about the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of John Lennon.  Last year I recalled that I went to sleep early that night and didn't find out about the murder until the next morning.  Last night I listened to a recording of Vin Scelsa on WNEW-FM that need.  Subscribers to Reel Radio can hear it.  The murder was shortly after the release of the album Double Fantasy.  It is very possible that John would have been a prolific composer and recording artist had he lived.  We will never know what work he would have done had he lived.  We also will never know if there would have been a Beatles reunion.  Rest in peace John.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brought the Kindle to Work Today

The purpose of the Kindle is for me to avoid schlepping heavy books on the trains. I brought the Kindle with me to work today for the first time.  I found the contrast of the print to the screen very helpful making for easy reading.  I just have to be careful about not running a big bill purchasing e-books.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bob Dylan and the Band: What Kind of Love is This


It’s daytime in the big city as I approach the 14th Street Y near 2nd Avenue. I am meeting my old friend Roy Herschaft whom I have known since high school. I remember our walks on Saunders Street to Forest Hills High School when we argued about who was better Dylan or the Supremes. We were going to a symposium called Bob Dylan and the Band: What Kind of Love is this? I have always enjoyed the Band whether they played by themselves or with Dylan. The were originally known as the Hawks as they were Ronnie Hawkins backup band and later backed up Dylan in his 1966 and 1974 tours.


I took notes during the symposium and will discuss some of the highlights in this journal entry.  It is not meant to be exhaustive.

Greil Marcus was the keynote speaker wrote the following 2 books among many other publications:

Marcus, Greil. Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010. New York: PublicAffairs, 2010. Print

Marcus, Greil. Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes. New York: H. Holt & Co, 1997. Print.



He mentioned that in 1961 when Dylan first came to New York, the musicians in The Band including Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm were already established . He said that later Dylan and the Band were attracted to each other since they were opposites. Thus, the subtitle of this symposium “What Kind of Love is this” refers to the love between Dylan and The Band who were very disciplined musicians while Dylan was not interested in following any rules. He showed a photo of Dylan who“took the Band to school” in 1967.

Christopher Ricks ( Ricks, Christopher. Dylan's Visions of Sin. New York: Ecco, 2004. Print.) talked about versions of the following Dylan love songs that were recorded by Dylan himself and with The Band:


Just Like a Woman
It Ain’t Me Babe

All 4 recordings were played so that the audience could hear the changes in the singing the changed the meaning of the song. The symposium did not consider cover versions of Dylan songs where different artist change the meaning of the song. This would certainly be a good topic of discussion for a future gathering of Dylan scholars.

Wesley Stace whose stage name is John Wesley Harding contributed to the discussion. He considered Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 as a love song and mentioned that the word women was never mentioned by Dylan. Most of his fans consider this a song about marijuana.

The next speaker, John Niven read an excerpt from:

Niven, John. Music from Big Pink. New York: Continuum, 2005. Print.

It was a fictional account of events in Big Pink when Dylan and the Band were there. Reviews of this book may be found at http://www.blogger.com/goog_793584435

The next session was titled Rock and Utopia: Through the Lens of Bob Dylan and the Band.

Spiotta, Dana. Eat the Document: A Novel. New York: Scribner, 2006. Print.

Eat the Document was a documentary about Dylan’s 1966 British tour that was supposed to air on ABC television but was withdrawn. It did appear on WNET TV in New York. I have a bootlegged copy in VHS format. Dana Spiotta talked about the book which has nothing to do with Dylan. A good review from the New York Times may be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/03/books/03kaku.html?_r=1

Matthew Friedberger, Co-founder of the visionary rock band The Fiery Furnaces,remarked on the following quote by Dylan:

“I heard Elvis and knew that I wasn’t going to work for anyone.” It really is nice when you can be a performer and earn a living doing what you love. That happens for very few people. There are plenty of aspiring actors, singers, and songwriters out there who must live on the wages from their day jobs. Greil also contributed to this discussion.

The next session was titled “Representing Dylan & the Band” with the following speakers:

John Niven - fiction

D.A. Pennebaker - film

Greil Marcus - non-fiction

D.A. Pennebaker filmed Don’t Look Back and Eat the Document. He didn’t know much about Dylan before he did the film back in 1965. Dylan appeared in films like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Masked and Anonymous and others, but these were not discussed. There were certainly plenty of documentaries about him including Martin Scorcese’ s No Direction Home.

Greil quoted Bob Gottlieb who said “Dylan seduced an entire generation of writers to become musicians.”

It was 5:30 and I was getting hungry and tired and decided somewhat reluctantly to leave before the last hour of the symposium. I am relating the information below from the program.

William G. Scheele, Equipment/Stage Manager for The Band and Bob Dylan from 1969 to 1976., talked about photos that he had taken that were on display in the 14th Street Y.

Stephen Hazan Arnoff, the executive Director of the Y gave both the Introduction and the closing remarks. He wrote the following article: Understanding the Myth and Music of Bob Dylan.

Dana Spiotta concluded the program by reading an excerpt from her book Eat the Document described above.

What a day!







Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hofstra 74 Towson 62

Today was our first trip of the college basketball season to see Hofstra play.  The game was close until about 3 and a half minutes to go when the Pride pulled ahead with a 9-0 run. Senior guard Charles Jenkins (Queens, N.Y.) had 19 of his 26 points in the second half  while Sophomore forward David Imes (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Hofstra.  For $10/ticket how can we go wrong.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Amazon Kindle Arrived Today

I ordered the Amazon Kindle on Monday and it arrived today.  I opened it up as soon as I got home and charged the battery for about 1 1/2 hours.  I read through the instruction manual and then connected through my home wi-fi and searched for an appropriate book to start my collection.

Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (33 1/3)

Yes, my readers know that I had to pick a Bob Dylan book that I never read before.  A review of the book states that the author interviewed several of the musicians who worked with Dylan on this seminal album.  Hopefully, Al Kooper was interviewed for this book.  I will find out soon.

When I bought my first CD player in 1985 or so Highway 61 Revisited was the first CD that I bought.  I just hope I don't run up too big of a bill, but books in the public domain where the copyright has expired are free.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Check out my Delicious Links

Delicious is a service that allows a user to store bookmarks to web sites and be able to move them from one computer to another.  These bookmarks can be shared to people with similar interests.  Today I compile tow lists:

Bookmarks for work

Radio related bookmarks

Please feel free to suggest any additions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Chanukah

Chanukah is early on the secular calendar this year.  I wish all my Jewish friends a happy holiday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I ordered an Amazon Kindle today

Since today is Cyber Monday I just had to jump on the bandwagon and purchase something online.  Of course I wouldn't have to fight the crowds and wait on line at a shopping mall.  I have been mulling this over for several months and today finally took the plunge and bought an Amazon Kindle.  I very often purchase books which are large and heavy and difficult to schlep to work.  If a book is heavy, I can't read it unless I get a seat.  The Amazon Kindle obviously solves that problem.  I have to think of what will be the first book that I order online.  Hmm, I have probably read every Bob Dylan book that has ever been written.  I have a couple of days to think about it until my package arrives.  Readers of Bruce's Journal or my Facebook friends are welcome to make suggestions.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan

How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan


When I listen to the radio, I try to be play close attention to what the DJ says.  This morning as I was listening to my favorite show Sounds of the 60s on BBC2 Brian Matthew played Maggies Farm by Solomon Burke who recently passed away.  Brian said that this cut was from a compilation CD titled How Many Roads: Black America Sings Bob Dylan.  I have several CDs of Bob Dylan covers in different genres of music.  I did some quick research and found it on Amazon.com.  I ordered it right away after I saw the track listing:

1. BLOWING IN THE WIND - O.V. Wright
2. GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY - Howard Tate
3. I PITY THE POOR IMMIGRANT - Marion Williams
4. MAGGIE'S FARM - Solomon Burke
5. DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALRIGHT - Brook Benton
6. FROM A BUICK 6 - Gary US Bonds
7. THE MAN IN ME - The Persuasions
8. LIKE A ROLLING STONE - Major Harris
9. WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE - The Neville Brothers
10. MR TAMBOURINE MAN - Con Funk Shun
11. MASTERS OF WAR - The Staple Singers
12. I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT - Bill Brandon
13. MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY AND I'LL GO MINE - Patti La Belle
14. KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR - Booker T Jones
15. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER - Bobby Womack
16. JUST LIKE A WOMAN - Nina Simone
17. I SHALL BE RELEASED - Freddie Scott
18. LAY LADY LAY - The Isley Brothers
19. TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH YOU -Esther Phillips
20. EMOTIONALLY YOURS - The O'Jays

I am familiar with only a few of these versions of Dylan songs.  I greatly anticipate my package from Amazon.com this week.  Thank you Brian Matthew for bringing this compilation CD to the attention of your loyal listeners.  You are truly a "Radio Mensch".

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Last Boy Mickey Mantle

I bought this book a couple of weeks ago and finally found some time to read it.  I am about half way through it.  Baseball as a game and as a business was certainly much different in the 1950s than it is today.  Back then the owners had the upper hand since there was a reserve clause.  Every player had to fight for a raise after every year and could not declare free agency.  It was certainly difficult for Mickey who was born in Commerce, Oklahoma to play in New York.   Despite his many injuries he really could smack the ball.  The author Jane Leavy devoted much time to a home run that he hit in Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC that supposedly traveled 565 feet.  Sadly the Mick's drinking problem lead to his early passing at age 64.

From 1958-1961 I rooted for the Yankees since there was no National League baseball in NYC back then.  The book brought back memories on how the Yankees dominated baseball in that era.  When I pick up the book again I will read about the historic 1961 season where Maris and Mantle aimed at Babe Ruth's 60 home runs without steroids.  I highly recommend this book to younger baseball fans so they could learn about Mickey Mantle's impact in that earlier era.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Random Thoughts on "Black Friday"

Wikipedia reports that the term Black Friday was first used in Philadelphia in 1966 to describe the shopping frenzy on the day after Thanksgiving.  The article states that the term became more common starting in 1975.  Since I just hate shopping, I just stayed away from all shopping malls today,  I just hate the crowds and waiting to pay.  For those reasons I have become a big online shopper over the years.

The closest I got to a shopping mall was the College Point Multiplex where we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Since this was the second week of its release the theater was not too crowded.  These fantasy movies are just not for me.

Karen and Lee voted for their top 5 oldies on the poll done on the Oldies Message Board.  After Christmas Bob Radil will play the top 77 hits as voted by the listeners.

 The TV show Live with Regis and Kelly is holding a contest for a male radio co-host of the day.  I voted for Cousin Bruce Morrow.  I hope my radio friends vote for their favorite host.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Alice's Restaurant - A Thanksgiving Tradition on New York Radio

For as long as I can remember Alice's Restaurant has been played at 12 noon on both WFUV and Q-104.3 here in NYC on Thanksgiving.  Years ago it was played on heritage radio station WNEW-FM.  You can read the lyrics written by Arlo Guthrie at http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/alices.shtml .  If you have 18 1/2 minute free you can see and hear Arlo Guthrie perform it.  Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8DtpdXZi0M&feature=related

Bob Dylan at Terminal 5 November 24

It's night time in the big city as I get off the New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station.  The place is a mad house as people are traveling to their destination for Thanksgiving.  I am early so I decided to walk up 8th avenue to 57th Street where I met Karen and Lee at 6:30.  We walked over to Terminal 5 at 6:45 where there is already a long line. Some people likely arrived hours earlier to get a close standing spot.  When we entered we got a standing place in the middle of the floor.  Many of the early birds were standing in the balcony where they had a birdseye view of the stage.  My only complaint was that the people were standing very close to each other like a rush hour subway train.  In the past I stood up for Bob at the Roseland Ballroom, Manhattan Center, and William Paterson University where there was some room to move around.  A loyal Dylan fan does mind standing.

At 8:10 the show began with Gonna Change my Way of Thinking. Before I write any further I must applaud Bob's backup band who was absolutely superb:

Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar
Charlie Sexton - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - banjo, violin, electric mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel

Here is the set list from Bill Pagel's web site.  It actually appeared on Facebook before 11:15 PM.


1. Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking (Bob on keyboard)
2. The Man In Me (Bob center stage on harp, Donnie on electric mandolin)
3. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar, Donnie on trumpet)
4. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob center stage on harp, Donnie on electric mandolin)
5. The Levee's Gonna Break (Bob on keyboard)
6. Spirit On The Water (Bob on keyboard and harp)
7. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (Bob on guitar)
8. Can't Wait (Bob center stage on harp)
9. Summer Days (Bob on keyboard)
10. Forgetful Heart (Bob on center stage on harp, Donnie on violin)
11. Honest With Me (Bob on keyboard)
12. Nettie Moore (Bob on keyboard)
13. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob center stage on harp)

(encore)
15. Jolene (Bob on keyboard)
16. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
17. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)

Dylan fans know that he varies the set list with each performance.  This set leaned heavily on the more recent recordings.  I was disappointed that there was no acoustic set but he can't please all the people all of the time.  He did play Lee's favorite Tangled Up in Blue as #4.  I just loved the harmonica part on this.  Bob's voice was good considering that he performed for the third night in a row.  When I heard Like A Rolling Stone, I just wished that Al Kooper was on stage with him.  All of the concerts had only 16 songs, but we were surprised to hear Watchtower as the third encore.

As I left the concert I wondered when the Never Ending Tour will end.  We have seen him in NYC 3 Novembers in a row.  Next year will mark Bob's 70th birthday.  Will there be a special concert on 5/24/11 as there was for Ringo Starr on 7/7/10?

Thanks for a great concert.  At least I got a seat on the subway going home :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tomorrrow is the Big Night Bob Dylan at Terminal 5 in Manhattan

Dylan is at Terminal 5 for 3 nights.  Here is Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues from lat night's concert.  "I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough."



Here is a short article about the 3 concerts from the Villiage Voice.  I thank Alan Berman for bringing this to my attention.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A few thoughts on the Anniversary of the Kennedy Assasination

Most people alive today were not yet born when John F. Kennedy was assasinated 47 years ago today.  Last year I wrote about where and when I was when I heard the news.  In recent years there have been no new conspiracy theories which used to surface on the anniversary.  There are certainly many unanswered questions about exactly what happened on that fateful day in Dallas, but it is unlikely that there was a conspiracy.  A lot more will be written about the assasination 3 years from now when we reach the 50th anniversary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sources Report that Terry Collins will be New Mets Manager

It hasn't been officially announced, but reliable sources report that Terry Collins will be named manager of the New York Mets.  It appears that the decision has been made, but the details of his contract must be worked out.  I assume that when that happens a press conference will be held to announce it formally.

A manager is as good as his players.  He must motivate each player to perform to his potential and to foster an environment of teamwork.  Casey Stengel and Joe Torre were big winners with the Yankees, but losers with the Mets.  Once Terry is signed, sealed and delivered, he must meet with new GM Sandy Alderson and determine what player moves must be made.  I feel that with the large dimensions of Citifield, the Mets must excell at pitching and defense.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Donated To Hungerthon Tonight

I made a small donation tonight to Hungerthon.  Cousin Brucie just said that 1 out of every 4 children today go to sleep hungry.  Please see the web site for more information.  Several radio stations in the New York area are participating in this fund raising drive. I am asking all readers of Bruce's Journal to make a donation in any amount to support this worthy cause.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Symposium for Bob Dylan and the Band on Sunday December 5

Today I found out about a symposium celebrating the collaboration between Bob Dylan and the Band in early December at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan.  On Friday night December 3 there will be a gallery exhibit opening night featuring  photos by William G. Scheele, equipment/stage manager for Dylan and the Band.  The major part of the event will be a symposium featuring:
  • Greil Marcus
  • Christopher Ricks
  • D.A. Pennebaker
  • Stephen Hazan Arnoff
The event will end that Sunday evening with an all-star tribute concert.

For further information go to http://www.14streety.org/Dylan

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Radio Greats Reunion Friday November 19 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM WPAT-AM

David Hinckley reports in today’s Daily News that there will be a radio greats reunion Friday night from 7:00 - 10:00 on WPAT-AM. The lineup with some live and some on tape includes:

Harry Harrison
Dan Ingram
Herb Oscar Anderson
Don K. Reed
Cousin Bruce Morrow
Dan Taylor
Mike Fitzgerald

I have no URL for this.  It appeared in the print New York Daily News.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

I got the idea for this blog post from Twitter. Someone from the midwest needs to move on and let go. I hope Alan Berman gets a good laugh.

There Has Been Better Communication from the MTA and New Jersey Transit

The worst thing about a transit delay is not knowing what is going on.  Very often there are alternative routes that I can take when there is a delay.  The conductors on New Jersey Transit always make anouncements when there is a significant delay in service.  There is also a service where riders can get e-mail or text messages alerting them of delays.  The loud speaker systems on subway cars and stations have improved over the years.  The announcements used to be so garbled that we could not understand them.

With colder temperatues coming it is inevitable that there will be delays caused by weather conditions.  I hope that the transit agencies can improve their maintenance to minimize such problems.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gary Brefini - My Facebook Friend of the Day


Back in the 1990s I traded radio tapes with Gary Brefini who lives in the Boston area.  If I remember correctly I received several tapes of the Lost 45s with Barry Scott from him.  We reconnected several months ago on Facebook.  For several weeks Gary was my #1 follower on Facebook until he was overtaken by Alan Berman, though Gary consistently finishes in the Top 10.

Today Gary sent me this report from http://www.pddnet.com/  :


The head of New York City's transit union wants to go after an anonymous blogger who has blasted him, asking a court to force Google to give up his critic's name.


John Samuelsen says in court papers filed Friday that the blog has repeatedly defamed him with false accusations of incompetence and financial improprieties.


There was no immediate answer to an e-mail sent to an address posted on the blog. It's housed by Google's Blogspot.com.


Google Inc. declined to comment. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company says it doesn't discuss individual cases to protect users' privacy.

In the past I have been critical of the MTA and New Jersey Transit when there have been delays that could have been avoided by better maintenance.  It is certainly unfair to pin the blame on one person, thus I do not mention any names.  It is certainly fair game to criticize a public figure when a govenment agency performs poorly.  Google was correct in this case to protect the privacy of its user.  My journal has my name on it and I stand by what I say here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Afternoon at the Queens Historical Society

Lee found an announcement in one of the local Queens newspapers that there would be a talk at the Queens Historical Society about a book titled The Greater New York Sports Chronology by Jeffrey Kroessler.  We took a walk on a pleasant fall day to the Society's headquarters to hear the author talk.  It seems that most of the significant sports events in the history of the United States happened in New York City.  The author mentioned some of them including:
  • The Don Larsen Perfect Game
  • The Mets winning the world series in 1969
  • The Football Giants winning the greatest game ever played in 1958
  • The Knicks beating the Lakers for the NBA championship in 1970
  • Secretariat winning the Triple Crown
The book lists hundreds of sporting events in NYC in chronological order.  I recommend it for all sports fans.

Congratulations to Al Kooper for his election to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame



Al Kooper has been mentioned several times in this journal.  I have followed him since his days in the Blues Project in 1966.  In my opinion he is one of the most underrated performers in rock history.  Yesterday after I returned from the Oldies Meet and Greet I turned on WFUV where Pete Fornatale was playing tribute to Al for his election to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.  Pete was playing hits where flute music was featured in honor of Flute Thing which appeared on the Blues Project Projections album.  I actually have a vinyl copy of that album that I bought back in the 1960s.  At 7 PM Pete's interview with Al was aired on WFUV.

Congratulations to Al for this honor.  If I had my way he would be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

5th Annual Meet and Greet and Oldies Radio Enthusiasts

For those of you who don't know him the gentleman in the photo above is Alan Berman who today was the happiest man of the face of the earth.  For 365 days a year (366 on leap years) he talks about the annual Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts.  Yours truly, Alan, and Jeff Scheckner organized this event held at Ben's Deli on 38th Street in Manhattan.  This year a record setting 75 people attended.  We had some radio personalities including:
  • Jim Kerr (Q-104.3)
  • Don Tandler (New Jersey 101.5)
  • Big Jay Sorensen (WCBS-FM)
  • Bob Radil (Rewound Radio)
  • Anita Bonita
  • Famous Amos
  • Rich Appel
Over the past 15 years people have formed "electronic friendships" with people having similiar interests.  I have certainly met many radio enthusiasts through Facebook and message boards.  It was nice to see some old acquaintances for the first time in a few years.  The following names come to mind:
  • Frank D'Agostino
  • Gary Fishbein (I think he is a bigger Met fan than I)
  • Andrea Wiener (the oldies diva)
  • Linda Cohen ( I have known her for years)
  • Mary Shaw
  • Terri D
  • Rich Appel
  • Bill Dillane
  • Larry Stoler
It is always nice to meet people for the first time.  I met Stu Dolgon on the WCBS-FM AOL folder back in the 1990s, but I met him for the first time face to face today.  Some years ago I traded radio tapes with Scott Lowe a member of the radio club Decalcomania.  I met him for the first time today.

I think everyone really enjoyed this and are looking forward to another one next year.  I prefer smaller gatherings where everyone knows each other, but a large "Meet and Greet" once a year is a good thing.

My Facebook friends can see photos on my profile.  I'm  sure others will be posting within a day or so.  Readers of Bruce's Journal not on Facebook can see my photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/bigtownman/2010oldiesmeetandgreet

Bill Dillane's photos may be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/20172574@N02/sets/72157625378712912

Jerry Barmash's article about the gathering may be found at:

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/dozens-of-oldies-fans-gather-to-meet-jim-kerr-radio-pros_b20859

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Finally got my laptop back

It turned out to be a wild goose chase, but after 4 weeks I finally got my laptop back from repairs.  It should not have taken this long, but I will no longer shop at a certain electronics retailer.  I just don't want to go into all the details.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Condolences to Karen's Family on the Passing of Paul

My brother-in-law Paul Shapiro is on the extreme left (#52).  Sadly he passed away last Saturday after a courageous battle against cancer.  To his left is his son Scott, daughter Faith, son Justin, and Justin's fiancee Rachel.  Scott and Justin are twins.  It seems like just yesterday when Karen called me to say that Scott and Justin were born.  Time goes by much too fast.  Faith will be 19 in January.

It must be difficult to lose a parent at such a young age.  It also must be difficult to lose a son as my father-in-law Will did. My deepest condolences to Karen's family at this very difficult time.  She seems to be holding out well.

This photo was taken just a few weeks ago when Paul flew to Houston to visit the family as the Giants played the Houston Texans.  It was nice to get together with the family, but better at simchas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jews and Baseball

Saturday we drove to the Kew Gardens Theater to see the documentary Jews and Baseball. Over the years there have been very few Jewish professional athletes, but this film tells a little about several Jewish baseball players. Much time was devoted to Hank Greenberg who played from 1933-47 except for his service in World War II. One season Hank hit 58 home runs and it was believed that many fans did not want him to break Babe Ruth’s record since he was Jewish.


Al Rosen who played for the Cleveland Indians and later worked as a baseball executive was also profiled.

Sandy Koufax was arguably the best left-handed pitcher of all time. Sadly, his career was cut short by an arm injury. Of course the film mentioned the fact that Sandy refused to pitch on Yom Kippur during the World Series of 1965 against the Minnesota Twins. I didn’t realize that Elliot Maddox who played for the Yankees and the Mets was Jewish. It is believed that Rod Carew was Jewish, but he was not. There was only a brief reference to Ark Shamsky of the 1969 Mets. Shawn Green who played for the Blue Jays, Dodgers and Mets was one of the more recent players profiled in the movie.


I recommend this movie for all baseball fans Jewish or not.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bob Dylan Song of the Week - Got My Mind Made Up

Got My Mind Made Up

Don't ever try to change me,
I been in this thing too long.
There's nothin' you can say or do
To make me think I'm wrong.

Well, I'm goin' off to Libya,
There's a guy I gotta see.
He's been living there three years now,
In an oil refinery.
I've got my mind made up.
Oh, I 've got my mind made up.

Call your Ma in Tallahassee
Tell her her baby's on the line.
Tell her not to worry
Everything is gonna be fine.

Well, I gave you all my money
All my connections, too.
There ain't nothin' in this world, girl
You can say I didn't give to you.
I've got my mind made up.
I've got my mind made up.

You will be alright, girl,
Someone's watchin' over you.
He won't do nothin' to you
Baby that I wouldn't do.

Well, if you don't want to see me,
Look the other way.
You don't have to feed me,
I ain't your dog that's gone astray.
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up
I got my mind made up

Copyright ©1986 Special Rider Music

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hello Dolly, Jeopardy, Casey Kasem and My Cassette Walkman



Yesterday I brought my cassette walkman (remember them?) to listen to music on the commute to work.  I listened to a tape of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem.  He featured a countdown of the 40 top girls name songs.  As I left the train last night Casey was going to play Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong, but I had to shut the cassette player off.

When I got home I watched a tape of Jeopardy from earlier in the evening.  The final Jeopardy answer in the category Billboard #1 hits was:  Song that kicked Can't Buy Me Love by the Beatles out of number 1 in 1964 (Jet Screamers favorite year).  The question:  What was Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong.  What a strange coincidence.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Missed Another Train Delay This Morning

On days that I must work on the late shift I don't have to leave home until about 10 AM.  When I checked my e-mail this  morning I saw that there was a delay on the Newark Light Rail formerly known as the Newark City Subway.  I take it from Newark Penn Station to the Warren Street stop at NJIT.  When I arrived in Newark at about 11:30 the delay was over.

Back when I first began at NJIT in 1992 the system used PCC cars which resembled trolley cars.  But late in the decade the system was modernized and used light rail cars seen above.  The service is usually reliable, but you never know when there is a delay.  I can always walk the one mile to NJIT if the cars are not running.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Electioneering should be prohibited on Election Day

Candidates for public office treat voter like morons through their incessant campaigning.  We see plenty of commercials on TV and radio, receive tons of mail promoting every candidate and get bombarded by phone calls. An informed citizen will view news programs on TV or read newspaper articles to make an educated decision on whom to vote.  However, every election day there are people electioneering close to the polls. This insults the intelligence of the voters. Any good voter has his mind made up before Election Day.

At 6:45 AM as I approached PS 214 near my home I noticed people giving out flyers.  I told them that my mind was made up.  I thought they were too close to the polls but they said there was a 100 foot limit as seen in the image above.  A police officer nearby said the same thing.

I would go even further to say that electioneering on election day should be prohibited.  It would likely take an act of the state legislature to do that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Listening to the Radio on Saturday


I haven’t reported much on my radio listening, so here is my log for Saturday. I did most of my listening early in the day since I wanted to watch the World Series starting at 7 PM. This is the earliest starting time for a World Series game in over 20 years.

6:30 AM – WINS – I heard a commercial promoting NJIT to prospective students and their parents. The commercial talked about the research of Kam Sirkar, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. I have known Kam since I started at NJIT in 1992.

6:45 AM – Sue O’neal on WCBS-FM. She is Ms. Reliability at the station since I can not remember her missing any weekend shifts since she joined in 2007.

8:00 AM – the Saturday morning function with Bob Porter on WBGO

8:30 AM – Classic Vinyl or Sirius/XM

9:45 AM – Richard Neer on WFAN. The callers were speculating on whom the Mets will hire as the next manager.

12:15 PM – back to WCBS-FM with Broadway Bill Lee behind the mike. The station featured hits by artists who have passed away.

3:45 – WCWP – since we left the CW Post football game a few minutes early, we wanted to hear the very end of the game in the car.

4:00 PM – WCBS-FM with Dave Packer. It seems that every week there is a different DJ in the 2-7 PM slot on Saturdays.

5:00 PM - Norm N. Nite on Sirius/XM 50s on 5. I would certainly name him as the Distinguished Professor of the Heart of Rock N Roll.

6:00 PM – Pete Fornatale on WFUV

I missed Cousin Brucie on Saturday night, but I heard on Sunday interviewing Zacherle.

New Jersey Nets Basketball and CW Post Football This Weekend


For the next two seasons the New Jersey Nets will be playing at the Prudential Center in Newark before moving to their new home in Brooklyn. I met Karen and Lee there after work on Friday night to see the Nets play the Sacramento Kings. It is a shame that the arena was half empty. One advantage of the Prudential Center is the proximately to public transportation when you needed to drive to get to the Izod Center in the Meadowlands. It was only the second home game of the season so fans may need time to gravitate to winter sports.

The Nets had an 18 point lead at one point, but the Kings rallied to take an 8 point advantage. The Nets closed with a 17-3 surge in the final 3:40 to win 106-100. Devin Harris had 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Nets.

On Saturday we drove out to CW Post to see their football team for the third time this season. It is Division II, but at $5/ticket how can we go wrong. There were two unusual plays:

1. CW Post scored on a safety when their opponent, Bloomsburg University was called for holding penalty in the end zone.
2. Bloomsberg who was ahead at the time successfully recovered an onside kick. Usually the team that is trailing will try such a move to get back in the game.

CW Post lost 36-16. They just could not generate much of an offense.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mets to Name Sandy Alderson as General Manager Today

This is obviously the first step in changes for the 2011 New York Mets.  Sandy Alderson will have to make some drastic changes after two terrible seasons at Citifield.  Some questions:

  • What will he do with Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo whose large salaries must be assumed by the Mets.  It seems very doubtful that other teams would assume the contracts of these overpaid players.
  • Who will be the next manager?
  • What player moves will be made in trades or free agents?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Terrible Service from an Electronics Retailer

About two weeks ago I reported that my laptop needed to be repaired since it was not powering up. Since I had an extended warrany I brought it back to the store to be fixed.  I am not naming this retailer because I don't want to be sued.  There may be some lawyers reading this saying that I am guilty of libel.  Anyway after two weeks my laptop was not even sent out.  The reason.  They didn't have the right box needed to ship it out.  Come on guys, I paid $180 for a service contract.  Doesn't that cover the cost of shipping?  This is extremely bad customer service to say the least.

I will likely not purchase anything from this store again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bad Teams Should Not Raise Ticket Prices

I have followed the Knicks since the early 1960s when I would watch the game with my father.  Later in that decade I would go with Paul Vernon and some other buddies from high school to the old Madison Square Garden at 8th Avenue and 50th Street.  In recent years the Knicks have absolutely stunk making some bad trades and draft picks.  Last season the record was 29-53.

In recent years it has been a Slutsky family tradition to go to a game on Martin Luther King Day.  On the way to work today I stopped by the Garden to by tickets for that game.  By going directly to the box office I saw about $8/ticket by not using Ticketmaster.  The tickets in the 300 level behind the basket went up from $44.50 to $49.50.  Why should a bad team raise ticket prices?  I guess we all have to pay Amare Stoudamire's salary and for the renovations.  I think the problem with the Knicks goes all the way up to the ownership.  We were especially disappointed when popular player David Lee was traded. 

The season actually begins tonight, the same time as the World Series.  I'll decide when I get home which game to watch.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The PATH train saved me yesterday

A train  that derailed just outside New York Penn Station yesterday caused havoc on New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.  Since I received an e-mail alert, I knew in advance that there would be problems on the commute home.  Luckily the PATH runs from NYC to Newark.  New Jersey Transit costs more than PATH, but it is a much faster ride.  When I arrived at Newark Penn Station I immediately boarded the PATH especially since NJ Transit tickets were cross honored.  It certainly saved me from a lot of aggravation.  It is nice that there is often redundancy in mass transportation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You are What You Read


 
I gave some thought today to what I read regularly. Let’s start with the Sunday New York Times that has been a ritual for years. There is so much to read there so it takes me two days to finish it. Let me quote a one time advertising slogan “You don’t have to read it all but it’s nice to know that it’s all there”

 
Of course when I put my hands on the Times I go for the Sports section. In recent years I’ve had to fight with Lee to get it first. I usually let him get it first. Then there is the Metropolitan section which reports on news from the 5 boroughs. Today’s paper really piqued my interest since it concerned the subway system. I was especially amused by an article titled “Stand Clear of the Snarling Herd” by Ron Lieber. It considers many of the situations that irritate the average straphanger. I especially hate people who refuse to move into the center of the car when the board the train. The author also discussed people who eat on the train, luggage schleppers (my term), and Metrocard problems among others. I admire young students who must carry their books to school, but their book bags just take up too much space. Another article discussed MTA Chairman Jay Walder and the many fiscal problems that face the system.

 
Let’s move on to the main system that is usually very boring. There were several articles in today’s paper about the forthcoming congressional elections and how the Republicans could take over one or both houses. Much of the detailed international news is just not of interest to me. The New York scandal sheets whose names will not be mentioned

 
The Sunday Styles section includes articles about interpersonal relationships. Today there was another Facebook article titles “How to Get Unfriended.”

 
I conclude my Sunday reading by looking at the Arts & Leisure section. I often find out about movies, concerts and shows that I would like to see.

 
I must finish reading the Sunday Times on my Monday commute. I regularly read:

 
  • The Magazine
  • News of the Week
  • Business
  • Book Review

 
I generally do not read

 
  • Real Estate
  • Travel
  • Automobiles

 
I remember in the 1970s I had a subscription to the daily New York Times, but I really need to spend time with other publications. Here are some of the magazines that I read regularly:

 
  • Sports Illustrated
  • The Sporting News
  • Discover
  • Scientific American
  • Chemical and Engineering News – I must go back to my educational roots
  • Rolling Stone (what is an old guy like me reading this? – The subscription cost only about 50 cents an issues so it was a no brainer)
  • Goldmine ( a magazine for collectors of music and videos)

 
If that isn’t enough, I read plenty of books on my favorite topics. However, I never read novels. I can not remember the last time I read a work of fiction.

 

Saturday at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center

Lee wanted to see the movie Secretariat but since it wasn’t playing at the local multiplex when drove out to the Bay Terrace Shopping Center to see it there. It has been since 1973 since a horse won the Triple Crown. We see how Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes that year. The Top 40 hit Oh Happy Day by the Edwin Hawkins Singers was played in the background as the horse won the Belmont Stakes. I thought that some religious Christians may be offended by hearing a gospel praising the birth of Jesus Christ celebrating a racehorse victory.


We skipped Ben’s Deli this time. I will eat my next pastrami sandwich at their branch in Manhattan on November 13. We walked across the center to Barnes and Nobles. It’s nice to browse a bookstore instead of buying books online. I was looking for the new Greil Marcus book on Bob Dylan, but it was not in stock. I did find a book “The Last Days of Shea: Delight and Despair of a Mets Fan by Dana Brand. I just couldn’t resist buying it. Do I have more books about the Mets or Dylan? Lee found a Jeopardy calendar for 2011. He gets out of bed every morning and reads the question of the day, a Slutsky family ritual.


We walked to another dinosaur, the FYE Music Store. We just looked around but didn’t buy anything. I buy most of my CDs online anyway.


From 6 – 7 PM Pete Fornatale played a set where the song featured laughter. Just at 6:58 he started Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream when Lee turned on the TV. It is a big no no to do that when a Bob Dylan song comes on the radio. If Lee does that again to me his punishment will be 5 weeks of jury duty.
 
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