Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I donated to the New York City Coalition to the Homeless

 In June I reported in this journal about giving a homeless woman a dollar and she did not even thank me.  The photo in that entry said to say no to panhandlers and giving to a local organization.  Today, I found $2 on the subway and thought about handing it over to two homeless people.  I certainly pass by many on the street, the subway, and Penn Station.  The track 1 waiting room in Newark Penn Station is likely the homeless capital of New Jersey.  When you give money to an individual, you never know how they will use it.  Perhaps they use it to purchase drugs.  There is always the story that the person needs money for train fare.

Today, I gave a $50 donation to the New York City Coalition For the Homeless so I will know that the money will go to food, clothing, or shelter for the homeless.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Mets Lose to the Miami Marlins 6-4

Maybe I should stop going to Citifield as almost every time I have been there this season they have lost.  We usually go on Sunday afternoons when they usually lose.  There was no exception this afternoon as they lost 6-4.  The highlight of the game was a three-run homer by Giancarlo Stanton that increased his major league total to 45.  The Mets ace pitcher Jacob de Grom was the loser.  A Yoenis Cespedes home run in the first inning and a three-run rally in the 8th inning were not enough.

Game Recap

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Visit to New York Transit Museum to See Exhibit on the #7 Train

If you ever read my companion commuting blog you will read about my many misadventures on the #7 train over the years.  Today we stopped by the annex of the New York Transit Museum at Grand Central Station to see an exhibit titled 7 Train: Minutes to Midtown.  It showed how the #7 train was constructed in the early 20th century and how the neighborhoods around it developed over the years.  The line was constructed through a rural area with the expectation that the train line would bring people and businesses.  It sure did!

Long Island City has really grown by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years.  Every time I pass by I observe a new building or one under construction.  Certainly, the ethnicities of the neighborhoods along the 7 line have changed as well.

Visit to the Guggenheim Museum Today

I just consulted this journal and determined that the last time that I visited the Guggenheim Museum was on December 30, 2015.  Since exhibits in museums change, I thought it was time for another trip there.  The names of the exhibits we saw today were:

Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim

Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897

Thannhauser Collection

Brancusi Collection

Jackson Pollock: Exploring Alchemy

Lenka Clayton and Jon Rubin: . . . circle through New York.

The Management of the Mets Should Offer Rebates to Fans After Dumping Salaries

The Mets have made several player moves since late July as they have given up on this season.  They have traded:

  • Addison Reed
  • Lucas Duda
  • Neil Walker
  • Jay Bruce
  • Curtis Granderson
All they have received in return are a few minor league players and a few other "players to be named later."  The result is a salary dump resulting in big savings to the Wilpons and others.

I think it would be a nice gesture if the management would give some financial relief to the loyal fans who have supported the team and are disappointed with the results this season.  They could do one of two things:
  1. Fans could send in used tickets from games after July 31 and get $2 (an arbitrary figure) back for every ticket they send in.
  2. Offer significant discounts on the food in the stadium that it already overpriced.
I really doubt if this would happen.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Mets Lose The Last Game of the Subway Series 7-5

Since 1997 we have gone to one game of the Subway Series during most years.  The season has not gone well for the Mets as several players have been lost to injuries and four major players were traded in a salary dump.  Things have looked up for the Yankees with the emergence of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and other "Baby Bombers".  The Yankees are ahead in the wild card race and are chasing the Red Sox for the AL East title.

The Mets lost the first 3 games of this year's series, but I will report on the game we attended last night.  Gary Sanchez hit a three run homer in the first inning while the Yankees rallied for 4 runs in the 4th inning against a struggling Steven Matz.  The Mets made it close in the 9th inning as Curtis Granderson hit a grand slam home run to make the score 7-5.  Dellin Betances came in and got the save.

I observed that there were more Yankee fans at Citifield.

Game Recap

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Random Comments of the Day

Of course, today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.  There is no sense of what I wrote 6 years ago as I recalled what I was doing that day.

I took the car to Sparkles for an oil change and a car wash.  My 2000 Chevy Cavalier is doing well despite its age.  I only have 64,700 miles on it in 17+ years as most of my driving is local.

In the afternoon Karen and I went to Macy's to buy a couple of pairs of pants and a pair of shoes.  Macy's just doesn't have that good of a selection of shoes.  Years ago there was a terrific shoe store on Main Street and Northern Blvd., but it closed.  I am going to have to find a store that only sells shoes.

Right now I am reading Gould, J. (2017). Otis Redding: An unfinished life.  I actually check out the ebook for the Kindle from NYPL.

Back to watching the Subway Series on TV tonight.  I hope the Mets can win the two games at Citifield.  We will be at the game tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Yearly Trip to the Whitney Museum

It seems to be a yearly ritual for Karen and me to visit the Whitney Museum during the summer.  The exhibits that we saw were:

  • Calder: Hypermobility -featured the sculptures of Alexander Calder
  • Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney's Collections, 1900-1960
  • Helio Oiticica - To Organize Delirium
  • Willa Nasatir
  • Bunny Rogers: Brig Und Ladder
Since it was raining when we left the museum, we could not walk along the Highline to the end to pick up the #7 train at the Hudson Yards Station.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Starting My Last Staycation

 I must have reported on several staycations in this journal before.  Since I get 20 vacation days and 3 "personal days" every year, I should use them or else would lose them.  We can only carry over 175 hours on June 30.  I was told that I must use all of my vacation before I retire on December 31, 2017.  I have not yet made my official announcement, but will after I fill out the paperwork in the human resources department.  I will likely do that in early October.  I will discuss that later.

Meanwhile, I will relax at home not worrying about catching buses and trains.  I likely will take in a few museums while I am home.  I will certainly watch the Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees this week.  We are going to the game on Thursday.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Twyla Tharp Tries Dylan Again

In the Fall of 2006, Twyla Tharp choreographed "The Times They Are A'Changin" a show based on Bob Dylan songs.  As I reported in this Journal the show failed miserably as it closed after 28 performances.  It seems that there was an incongruity between the dance and the music.  Likely, dance fans were not into Dylan.

I found out by reading the British fanzine Isis that a show called "Dylan Love Songs" will premiere at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan for a limited run.  Hopefully, this show will have a story line that links the Dylan songs.  Many so called "jukebox musicals" have failed because there is no connection between the songs and the show.  I went ahead and bought tickets for Sunday afternoon, October 1.  Let's see what transpires.  If it is successful they can extend the road or move it to Broadway.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Gene Clark - The Byrd Who Flew Alone

Gene Clark has certainly appeared in Bruce's Journal before as I have been a fan of his as a member of the Byrds and as a solo artist since the 1960s.  I got hold of the video called The Byrd Who Flew Alone.  It was a good biography of him showing how his career developed before, after, and during his time with The Byrds.  It is really a shame that he never got the recognition that he deserved.  I checked my collection and found one record and two CDs with him as a solo artist.  After watching the video, I bought another CD of his playing with the Gosdin Brothers.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

If Not For You by Glen Campbell

Today we received the sad news that Glen Campbell passed away at age 81 from complications of Alzheimer's Disease.  He certainly left us some musical legacy.  Above he is singing Dylan's If Not For You which I first heard on Dylan Country, a compilation of Dylan covers by country stars.  RIP Glen, and thanks for all the good music.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

My First Visit to the Cooper Hewitt Museum - The Radio Exhibit

I have been to many museums in and out of New York, but I never visited the Cooper Hewitt Museum on 5th Avenue and 91st Street.  An exhibit on radios that was mentioned on Facebook attracted me there.  This display was not about radio programming, but about the radio as a device as it has progressed over the years.  Believe I have owned many, many radios in my life.  I still have the GE Superradio and Bose Wave radio that I bought in the 1990s.  At this museum, the patrons were given a code and a wand.  When you see an object you like, you press the wand on a bar code which stores the image.  At home, you can retrieve the images and download them.  Below, are the images of some of the radios I viewed.

The major exhibit was called The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.  It is a multi-media experience of more than 400 examples of interior design, industrial design, decorative art, jewelry, fashion, and architecture, as well as related music and film.

This radio looks like a record player

Remember these little transistor radios

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dodger 6 Mets 0 in a A Really Boring Game

We hadn't been to a Met game in about a month, but maybe we should have stayed away even further after last night's game.  We wanted to go to one Friday night game to get a free shirt.  They were giving Jacob de Grom jerseys as he started the game against Yu Darvish who was recently acquired at the trade deadline from the Texas Rangers.

Chris Taylor, the leadoff batter, hit a home run which essentially ended the game as the Mets could only muster 4 hits.  Yasiel Piug and Chase Utley also homered for the Dodgers.  Utley is still roundly booed by Mets fans who remember his slide into Reuben Tejada in the 2015 Division Series.

Before the game, as I walked on the Shea Bridge I encountered Jay Buckley who was obviously there with his tour group.  We chatted for a few minutes.

Game recap

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Forest Hills HS 1967 Class Reunion Sunday October 8th 2 - 4 PM

Yes, there will be a 50th reunion for the Forest Hills High School Class of 1967.  Here are the details:

Date: Sunday October 8, 2017, 2PM – 4 PM

Location:  Ben’s Deli 209 West 38th Street, New York, NY – this is a kosher restaurant

The organizers, Bruce Slutsky and Mike Seidman, want this to be simple and without frills.  It is not necessary to pay in advance. The cost will be $17.00 which includes, a choice of sandwich, fries, and a soft drink. You will just pay your waiter at the end of the event.  There will be a fixed price so there will be no bickering about splitting the check.  I have worked with this restaurant before and have been quite pleased with the food and the service.  This Ben’s Deli (http://www.bensdeli.net) is not affiliated with the Ben’s Best on Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.  People are certainly welcome to go to a bar or other place after 4 PM.  We are publicizing through the Facebook Group, Forest Hills Alumni, 1960-75, but ask that only 1967 graduates attend as the space in this restaurant is limited.  Please extend the invitation to 1967 graduates who are not on Facebook. We are asking someone to publicize this on Classmates.  Please respond either on the Facebook page for this event or through a private e-mail so we can get a count for the restaurant.  We have no idea how many people will come.

For further information or to register you may contact:

Bruce Slutsky (bruces8852@aol.com) or

Mike Seidman (Ms808386@gmail.com)

A splendid time is guaranteed for all

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Will Play the Jeopardy Card Game for the Next 6 Weeks

As I mentioned a few days ago Jeopardy is on hiatus for 6 weeks as they are airing reruns of tournaments played during the last season.  I found out that there was a Jeopardy card game that was available from Amazon.com.  I just had to buy it to fill in the craving for my favorite game show for the next 6 weeks.  There used to be an online Jeopardy game on Facebook, but it was taken away a few years ago.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The MLB Trading Deadline Has Passed

Let's talk about the Mets first.  Lucas Duda was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, but top prospect Dominic Smith has not yet been recalled.  However, shortstop Amed Rosario will make his major league debut against the Colorado Rockies tonight.  Asrubel Cabrera was not traded at the deadline so there will be a crowded infield situation for the time being. Reliever Addison Reed was traded to the Red Sox, while A.J. Ramos was acquired from the Marlins.  Will Jeurys Familia be back by the end of the season?  Neither Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce were traded.  I am guessing the high salary demands of both made them undesirable to other teams.  I hope the Mets will re-sign Jay Bruce, but I think Granderson's best days are behind them.  It is obvious that the Mets gave up on this season.

The Yankees acquired starting pitchers Sonny Gray and Jaime Garcia is trades involving minor leaguers.  In recent years starting pitching has been their weakness, so these moves help to solve a deficiency.  They also improved their bullpen by adding David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.  It will be a tight race in the AL East between the Yankees and Red Sox.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

MLB News of the Day

Today is Hall of Fame Induction Day in Cooperstown.  Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig will be inducted.

We are rapidly approaching the trade deadline.  It was just announced that the Yankees acquired left handed pitcher Jaime Garcia for two minor leaguers.  The Mets who are really out of contention for the playoffs traded away Lucas Duda, but acquired pitcher A J Ramos.  They still can make more moves in the next 36 hours, but I hope they won't decimate the team.  They should be competitive for the rest of the season for the sake of their fans.  I would like them to keep Jay Bruce and sign him in the off-season.  It is time to bring up Amad Rosario and Dominic Smith.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Jeopardy Season Ends after 46 Weeks and 230 Shows

Today Alex Trebek announced that the Jeopardy season has ended.  He stated that with 230 shows it has the longest season of any game show.  The only other game shows on the air today are Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Wheel of Fortune.  For the next 6 weeks, tournaments will be rerun, but I will likely go online an hour earlier than usual until the next season begins in September.

Jeopardy has some long run.  The Art Flemming version on NBC aired from 1964-1979 while the syndicated  Alex Trebek version started in 1984 and is still going strong.  How long will Alex stay as host?  Who will succeed him?  Time will tell.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Tweets Made a New York Newspaper

If Donald Trump's Tweets can make the newspapers, so can mine.  There is a relatively new paper called AMNY  that one can pick up for free in or near a subway station.  It has a column called Today's Chirps.  If one adds #amny at the end of the Tweet, the paper may publish it.  Most of the Tweets in this column deal with public transportation issues in NYC.  4 of my Tweet were accepted for publication.

Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  Jul 26
 To help alleviate crowding on the subway employers should stagger hours for workers.  Please don't remove seats. #amny

 Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  May 24
 Anyone who can fix the signals in the subway system should get $3M as stated by the governor and a ticker tape parade down Broadway #amny

 Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  Apr 17
 Mazel Tov! No train delays on NJ Transit or the 7 Line both ways on my commute from Flushing to Newark #amny

Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  Mar 27
 There should be a Nobel Prize awarded to anyone who can fix the signals in the subway #amny

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dedication to David McMillan

Best of luck to David McMillan as he moves to Muskogee, Oklahoma as he assumes the position of Head Librarian at Bacone College.  I am sure he will do well there.  New Jersey's loss is Oklahoma's gain.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Buying a Vagrants CD 50 Years Later

When I was a student at Forest Hills High School (1964-67) there was a rock group called the Vagrants whose members were 4 students of my class.  Their names were:

  • Peter Sabatino
  • Larry West (Weinstein)
  • Leslie West (Weinstein)
  • Jerry Storch
They usually played local gigs and even appeared at the prom for FHHS 1967 (my class - but I didn't go).  I vaguely remember in the Summer of 1967 I did see and hear them at the Singer Bowl as they were the opening act for the Rascals.  I think Scott Muni of WNEW-FM was the host.

Anyway, there was a web site with an article with narration from NPR .   This clip was heard on a show called Fresh Air.

In 1968 Leslie West formed a better-known group called Mountain who played at Woodstock in 1969. The other three left the music business, but the article states that Peter Sabatino has formed a group called the New Vagrants.

Anyway, reading the article inspired me to buy the CD shown above. on Amazon.com.  I'll have to find the time to listen to it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hey Bulldog by the Beatles

It really should have been a bigger hit!

If you're lonely you talk to me.

Blog Statistics - Blogger and Google Analytics - Which is Correct?

Since I started Bruce's Journal in October 2005, I have been curious how many times this blog has been accessed and who is reading it.  I can also find out which entries are hit more than others.  For many years I have used Blogger provided and Google Analytics to get statistics.  The values of the two services have varied greatly with the former giving higher numbers.  The latter gives the city of the user but did not include my hits last week from Houston.  It will never reveal the name of the person or the IP address.  There is someone from Monroe Township, NJ who has accessed my journal for years, but I don't know who he/she is.  In general, the number of hits for recent entries are higher, but I have some classic posts.  A high percentage of my readers are from New York and New Jersey, but I get readers from all over the world.

My question is which service gives the correct data?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Here We Go Again - The News Media is Creating the News - OJ gets paroled

Back in 1994, we experience the "Trial of the Century" as OJ Simpson faced charges of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.  This dominated the headlines for weeks if not months as he was acquitted of criminal charges, but found liable in civil litigation.

Yesterday, there was a parole hearing and all the news outlets stopped their regular programming to report this.  OJ was granted parole and will be released from prison soon.  Hopefully, he'll get his life together.  I also expect the Goldman family to get money that he never paid after his civil suit.

There are numerous parole hearings all the time, but since OJ Simpson is a celebrity, he gets all this media attention.  It is just hard to ignore.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Last Day in Houston: 2 Museums and the Mets on TV

We started out today by visiting the Holocaust Museum of Houston.  We received a tour by a docent who was a Holocaust survivor born in Poland.  I didn't realize that about half of the Jews killed were from Poland. The goal of the museum is to educate the public about the dangers of hate, prejudice, and apathy.  The museum will close very shortly for a major renovation and expansion.

We left about 1:30 PM and headed for the John R. Museum of Health and  Medical Science.  It was similar in scope to the Hall of Science in Flushing.

Right now I am doing what I would normally do on a Wednesday evening:  listening to Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM.  Tonight's Met game is on ESPN, so I am watching it while listening to the radio.  Since Jacob deGrom is pitching, the Mets have a chance.  It hasn't been a very good season.  Maybe a celebrity will catch a foul ball in the stands.

Another Day, Another Museum, Another Ball Game

In the morning we took the MetroRail to see the Museum of Fine Arts. It houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 65,000 works of art created throughout the world, from antiquity to the present.  I thought there was a minimal amount of American Art from the 20th and 21st centuries.  There were two buildings in this museum that were connected by an underground tunnel.

In the evening we went to a second game at Minute Maid Park with the Astros playing the Seattle Mariners.  Evan Gattis hit two home runs for the Astros to lead them to a 6-2 victory.

Game recap

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Science Museum in the Morning - Minute Maid Park at Night

When I go on vacation, I like to be active all day.  In the morning we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science which was a short ride away on the MetroRail.  We saw a show in the Planetarium about black holes and from there saw a film called Dream Big that described the achievement of engineers throughout the world.  It was a good film to recruit young students to the profession.

This facility seemed to be a small version of the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.  There were three floors of exhibitions covering all aspects of the natural sciences.

In the evening we went to Minute Maid park to see the Houston Astros play the Seattle Mariners.  It was a wild back and forth game that was tied 7-7 at the end of 9 innings.  The Mariners hit 4 home runs including two in the 10th inning by Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia to win it.  Jake Marisnick and Carlos Beltran both homered for the Astros in a losing effort.

Game Recap

Sunday, July 16, 2017

First Full Day in Houston - Tour of the City and Trip to the Johnson Space Center

We walked over to a neighboring hotel and got on board a bus that gave us a tour of  Downtown Houston.  Many of the tall buildings looked relatively new as the city has grown greatly.  I must assume that the ubiquity of air conditioning spurred the growth of the city which is very spread out.

From there the bus took us about 25 miles to the Johnson Space Center.  The museum offered many artifacts of the history of NASA from the 1950s to the present.  There is actually capsule that went into space during Project Mercury in the photo above.  There were plenty of activities for kids there as well.

We boarded a tram that gave us a tour of the Johnson Space Center.  We entered a few buildings including the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center.  NASA is now into Project Orion which will bring man back to the moon and beyond.  The goal is to land a man on Mars by 2035.  Will that happen?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Houston - We Have Landed

We left LaGuardia Airport at 8:30 AM on United Airlines for our flight to Houston.  It actually arrived at George Bush Airport 35 minutes ahead of schedule!  Commuter trains in New York and New Jersey never arrive early.  We took a cab to the Hampden Inn Downtown.  When we got settled we took a little walk around the area to see what was there.  Tomorrow we will take a tour of the Johnson Space Center.  We will see two games at Minute Maid Park on Monday and Tuesday.  It is sure good to get away.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Another Milestone Anniversary - But 40 Years Ago I Missed It

People are writing on social media their memories of the NYC blackout on July 13, 1977.  I don't have any memories of that event since at that time I was living in New London, CT while I was working as a chemist for Pfizer.  It was very said as there was a lot of looting that night.  I remember listening to WCBS 880 AM for a while that evening and phoning my parents the next day to make sure that everything was OK.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It was 10 Years Ago that WCBS-FM Returned, but since then it has changed

It was 10 years ago today  that WCBS-FM returned after two years of airing the dreaded Jack format.  It was rebranded as a "Greatest Hits"  instead of an oldies station.  Back in the "good old days" the station played music from the 1950s to the 1970s.  In July 2007 the pre Beatles music was eliminated and more 80s hits were played.

Since that time the music has transitioned away from the 60s and early 70s to play more 80s and even 90s music.  Demographics must come into play as the station is trying to attract listeners from age 25-54 who are desired by advertisers.  They don't want old farts like me.  Thus, I listen to the station much less than I used to.  When I want to listen to oldies I must go to SiriusXM or internet stations such as Pop Gold Radio and Rewound Radio.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Carole King Tapestry Live in Hyde Park - Movie on a Tuesday Night

It is very unusual for us to go to the movies on a weeknight, but Carole King Tapestry Live in Hyde Park was playing at our local multiplex for just one showing tonight.  She played the entire Tapestry album to an audience of over 65,000 in London and followed that with Goffin-King compositions that were hits for other artists.  A 2 CD set of the concert will be released on September 1.  I hope that a DVD of the movie will also be forthcoming.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Elected Officials Often Use Wrong Metaphors and Can Cause Anxiety Among Citizens

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been quite verbal in describing the situation at Penn Station as the "Summer of Hell".  This has created much anxiety among commuters including myself as you can read in my last journal entry.  The media has exacerbated this by constantly repeating "Summer of Hell" in news reports.  I think the governor should have been a "cheerleader" by asking commuters to be patient during this period of repairing track at Penn Station.  There have some hellish situations on mass transit, especially in recent months.  The recent derailment at 125th Street was an example.  There were some accidents on mass transit that caused deaths.  There have been long delays causing great inconvenience for many in all types of weather.

Andrew Cuomo is smiling in the photo above,  But, would he be smiling if he regularly had to take mass transit to work?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Anxious About the Summer of Hell Starting Monday July 10

Beginning this Monday and continuing until September 1 Amtrak will be working on repairing the tracks in Penn Station.  Over the years I have encountered many delays on NJ Transit and the NYC Subway which were documented on my companion commuting blog.

These repairs are being done during the summer when many commuters are on vacation.  I will be on vacation the weeks of July 17 and August 14.

The schedule for the trains that I usually take on NJ Transit is the same.  My major concern is encountering major delays entering Penn Station in the late afternoon and leaving it in the morning.  These delays are quite common under normal circumstances.  Many NJ Transit and Amtrak trains have been rerouted so hopefully, these delays will be minimal.

The people who will be most inconvenienced are NJ Transit passengers on the Midtown Direct line who will be rerouted to Hoboken.  Their commute will be longer since they will have to change to fthe PATH there.  Many LIRR trains will be rerouted to Brooklyn or to Hunters Point Avenue.  Those people will have to change to the #7 train which is crowded enough.  This would affect me.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Some Thoughts About Facebook

It’s been a while since I have commented here about Facebook.  I just looked and I see that I have 519 friends, but how many of them do I really “know”.  Many of them I have never met, but some I have only met once.  Some people are very open about what they say on Facebook, while others are very tight lipped.  DS is a Facebook friend who I have known online for many years, even before Facebook, but I never met him.  I think I spoke to him over the phone many years ago.  He constantly talks about his medical problems on Facebook.  One woman whom I met just once at a professional meeting described in detail how her marriage fell apart.  Do I have to read about a stranger’s problems?  I met AL at an oldies meet and greet and friended him.  Every day he greets everyone and later says when he is going to sleep.  Is all of this necessary?

Whenever I go to Citifield, I post that I am there and ask if any of my Facebooks friends are there.  Here are a few people whom I met for the first time there:

  • Joanna Ente
  • Ira Sonin
  • Kate Kosturski

There were a few people at the game, but I just couldn’t get to their seat during the game:

  • Amy Kearns
  • Alan Stern

I guess I am often guilty of posting nonsense.Must 519 people know that I am at Ben’s Deli eating a pastrami sandwich?  It seems that Facebook is not a fad and is here to stay.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Remembering Mike's Barbecues from 1969-1971

Back when I was an undergraduate student at CCNY I belonged to Sigma Beta Phi fraternity.  Back then one of my best friends was Mike who lived in Floral Park.  His birthday was on July 4th so from 1969-71 he invited everyone to his house for a barbecue.  In 1969 there were only guys there, but in late 1970 he met Heidi whom he married in 1973.  So in 1971, there were several girls there.

By 1972, we had all moved on from CCNY so the barbecues ended.  Those were the days.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Phillies 7 Mets 1

What else can I say? The stinking Mets could only get 2 hits off the Phillies.  After winning 4 in a row there was a big letdown today.  At the halfway mark of the season, they are 38-43.  Over the long run, things will even out, but I predict only 75-80 wins this season.  The only way they could get into the playoffs if for all the injured players to come back and get very hot.

Game Recap

Video Lowlights

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Friday and Saturday at the SABR Meeting

The first talk that I attended was a celebration of 70 years: Jackie Robinson's journey.  The four speakers discussed Jackie's impact on baseball and more his influence on society.  After he retired from the game he became the first Black executive at a major company (Choc-Full-of-Nuts).  There will be a Jackie Robinson Museum opening in NYC in about a year.

I saw a poster session and a short talk on the Dodgers in Jersey City in 1956 and 1957.  It emphasized the games where the Dodgers played the Giants there.  Those games there back then foreshadowed the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn for Los Angeles in 1958.

From there it was off to Citifield.  The group met at about 1:30 in the lobby and took the #7 train to the stadium.  We were brought to section 331 and heard talks by

  • Coach Tom Goodwin 
  • Broadcasters Steve Gelbs, Josh Lewin, and Wayne Randazzo
  • General Manager Sandy Alderson
On Saturday I attended the following meetings:
  • The Legacy of Mel Ott, a superstar of the New York Giants who never received the recognition he deserved
  • Milestone transformations  of 1968-1969 in major league baseball
  • Chronicling Banner Days at Shea Stadium - it was fun to view photos of some of the banners that were brought by fans.  The event peaked in popularity in the 60s and 70s, but then leveled off and eventually was discontinued.
  • Jim Bouton: A life in baseball.  The former Yankee pitcher was there as he and the panelists discussed the impact of his book Ball Four.  I read it when it first came out in 1970 1969but didn't know that there were updates.
  • 1969: A baseball centennial - Mark Armour discussed many of the events that commemorated the 100th anniversary of professional baseball.
Photos of the event

Mets 2 Phillies 1 on Friday Night

This journal entry will only consider the actual game.  I will discuss the SABR meeting in another entry. Jacob deGrom was really on the mark as he struck out 12 in 7 innings.  The only "blemish" for the Mets was Curtis Granderson's losing a fly ball in the twilight which was scored a triple by Andrew Knapp which led to the only run by the Phillies.  Addison Reed got the save as the Mets won 2-1.

Game Recap

Thursday, June 29, 2017

First Full Day of SABR Meeting and Other Baseball News

I had a short commute this morning as all I had to do was take the #7 train to Grand Central Station to go to the meeting at the Grand Hyatt.  I attended several meetings and even volunteered for a few hours at the registration desk.  I met some people that I have been in touch with through e-mail including Tom Brown, Jacob Pomrenke, Len Levin and Alan Cohen.  I was the co-chair at the meeting of the Games Project committee.  There were much more people there than I expected.  Some people wrote articles for it while others were readers who enjoyed the articles.

When I looked at my phone in the early afternoon, I found out that Bartolo Colon was designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves.  His record was 2-8 with a very high ERA.  Perhaps he should have retired at the end of last season.  It turns out for the better that the Mets didn't offer him a big contract.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Opening Night for the SABR Convention

After work, I took the train back to Penn Station as usual, but from there I walked over the Grand Hyatt at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue.  The welcoming reception named after Ross Adell who lived in the Mitchell-Linden section of Flushing began at 6 PM.  I was looking at name badges as I tried to meet some people I have communicated with through e-mail.  This was reminiscent of the times in the mid to late 1990s when I went to American Chemical Society meetings and encountered those people I saw on the chemistry librarians listserv.

I did meet Mike Huber and Steven Weiner who wrote articles for the Games Project.  Tomorrow will be a full day. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Some Thoughts on Bobblehead Dolls from the Mets

Over the years we have collected several bobblehead dolls from the Mets.  It used to be that all people who bought tickets got one as they entered, but now they limit it to the first 15,000 customers.  In order to get one, you must arrive at least 2 hours before game time and wait on line to get one.  Of course, some entrepreneurs get a doll and sell it on Ebay for as much as $100.

Some years ago we got one for Mo Vaughn while he was on the disabled list.  It turned out that he never again played for the Mets.  This weekend the Mets are giving away a bobblehead for Asrubal Cabrera who has just demanded a trade.  It is quite possible that less than a month after people get the doll, he will be on another team.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Another Bob Dylan Covers CD

I saw this mentioned on Facebook and saw that it got a good review in the Washington Post.  Of course, I had to order it so it should be in the mail today or tomorrow.  I guess I can't get enough of Bob Dylan covers.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Looking forward to the SABR Convention This Week

I was always interested in the history of baseball and heard of SABR, but a few years ago I joined it.  As I am approaching retirement, I wanted to have an outlet and become active in the organization and then "step it up" when I actually retire.  For about a year I have been the record keeper for SABR Games Project .  I wrote a few articles for a book about key Met games, but I really want to do more once I retire.

This year the annual convention will meet at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  So I going and will try to meet many of the people that I have contacted through email.  The program is really excellent and I am looking forward to going.  There will be reports here later in the week.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Panhandlers Should Show Some Gratitude

For at least a few years there is a thin woman in downtown Flushing who shouts out "One Dollar, One Dollar."  I have probably passed her at least 100 times.  As a general rule, I don't give money to panhandlers, but this afternoon I felt kind hearted and gave her a dollar bill.  She didn't even say thank you.  Can't these people show a little gratitude?  Maybe the only words in English that she knows is one dollar.

Panhandlers often make up stories and use the money they get to buy drugs, but this woman obviously needed the money for food.  After this little experience, I will follow the advice on the photo above and donate to reputable charities that help out the hungry and homeless.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Just Loved Today's Double Jeopardy Categories

The writers on Jeopardy must have known that I was watching tonight because they picked 6 categories in Double Jeopardy that made me smile:

  • Blowin' in the Wind
  • Tangled Up in Blue
  • It's Alright Ma (I'm only bleeding"
  • Things Have Changed
  • Forever "Young"
  • Bob Dylan

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Missing Dad on Fathers Day

It is almost 20 years since my Dad, Irving Slutsky, passed away.  I still miss him after all these years.  For many years he worked for 6 days a week to support his family.  He is certainly not forgotten.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Disabled List for the Mets Continues to Grow - Oy Vey

As of today, here are the Mets on the disabled list:


Noah Syndergaard
Matt Harvey
Jeurys Familia
Josh Smoker
Tommy Milone


Neil Walker
Asrubal Cabrera
David Wright


Juan Lagares

Other players who returned from the disabled list

Lucas Duda
Yoenis Cespedes
Seth Lugo
Steven Matz
Travis d'Arnaud

Did I forget anyone?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today is the 40th Anniversary of the Tom Seaver Trade

It seems that June 2017 is a month for milestone anniversaries.  June 15, 2017, is the 40th anniversary of the Tom Seaver trade.  At that time I worked as a chemist for Pfizer in Groton, CT and lived in nearby New London.  It was not a happy time in my life, but that is another story I won’t discuss here.  I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it that night and I had to see or hear at least 3 media reports until I realized that it happened.  The Mets sent Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman.

Seaver was “The Franchise” as he was the team’s premier pitcher, but M. Donald Grant, the cheapskate general manager, just didn’t want to pay him a competitive salary.  Three of the four players the Mets got from the Reds had decent careers, but they just couldn’t replace Tom Seaver.  It took several years for the Mets to become competitive again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It is Also The 50th Anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival

In recent weeks much has been written about the 50th Anniversary of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, but as I just read the latest issue of Goldmine Magazine  I just realize that June 16-18 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival.  I just found a website about events associated with the anniversary.

I remember seeing the film Monterey Pop in 1969 in Manhattan with a date that didn't work out.

Web site about the festival.
Personal-Journals blog