Monday, April 24, 2017

The Gridlock in Downtown Flushing Has Gone from Worse to Impossible


The population of Flushing has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.  Many private houses were demolished and replaced by apartment buildings.  Likewise in the downtown area, small buildings were taken down and replaced by high-rise office buildings.  Umpteen bus lines run in and out of the downtown area.  Obviously, this has created congestion.

I usually take the Q34, Q44 or Q20 from the end of the #7 line for one mile to my home.  Today there was gridlock on Main Street from Roosevelt Avenue to Northern Blvd.  Likewise, the traffic on Northern Blvd was at a standstill for a mile.

I think I did the wise thing by walking that last mile.  It is just aggravating to stand in a crowded bus while it is stuck in traffic.

I think this qualifies for an "Oy Vey."

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nationals 3 Mets 1 in Our First 2017 Game at Citifield

Since this was the first weekend afternoon game of the season, we decided to come to Citifield.  There was a Matt Harvey gnome given to the first 15,000 fans, but we decided to pass on that since we already have umpteen bobble head dolls at home.  The game started in a slight drizzle, but there were no rain delays.  Our seats were covered, so we didn't get wet.

Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom and 3 relievers struck out 15 Nats, but the hitting just couldn't get going.  The Mets only had 1 run with just two hits and lost 3-1.  Tomorrow is another day.

Game recap

Happy Birthday Karen


It worked out that Karen's birthday is one day after mine.  I guess that fellow Taurean's are compatible,  I think he helped that both of us are Met fans.  We went to our first game in together in 1981and were married in 1983.

To celebrate we are going to see the Mets play the Washington Nationals at Citifield later today,

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Oh No! Another Birthday. I think I've stopped counting


Well, tomorrow is the big day for me.  First of all, I'd like to thank radio personality Anita Bonita for this wonderful virtual birthday cake.  She even knows that chocolate cake is my favorite.  I am not going to reveal my age.  I am going to give two trivia questions.

What is the atomic number of erbium?

What is Dellin Betance's uniform number for the Yankees?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

These Should Have Been Bigger Hits


That Thing with Rich Appel is now played over 77 radio stations all over the world.  I listen every weekend on Pop Gold Radio or WLNG.  Every year Rich compiles a list of songs voted by his listeners that should have been bigger hits.  It just means that they were more popular as oldies than they were when they were originally released.  The rankings vary every year.  You can download this year's list of top 109 at:  https://www.thatthingshow.com/i-r-s-10-99 ,

I am sure that I speak for all of Rich's listeners when I thank him for all the effort he puts into compiling this list every year.

 
 
 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bruce Langhorne who Played with Bob Dylan Dies at 78

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Bruce Langhorne, seen above, played guitar on Bringing it All Back Home which is one of my favorite Dylan albums.  The obituary in the New York Times states that he played lead guitar on Maggies Farm, Love Minus Zero/No Limit and She Belongs to Me among others.  Dylan stated that Langhorne was the influence for Mr. Tambourine.

My condolences to his family.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Appropriate for April 15 Taxman by George Harrison and Eric Clapton


In most years federal and state taxes are due on April 15.  Since it is on a Saturday this year, everyone gets an extension till Monday.  Taxman, written by George Harrison,  appeared on the Revolver album in 1966.  It seems that all of the Beatles songs were taken off Youtube, but I found this concert version with George backed by Eric Clapton.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Would an AM Oldies Station Work in NYC?

Oldies are defined as music that hit the charts from 1955 (the beginning of rock n roll) until the late 1970s.  I guess the ending date is not definitive.  For many years WCBS-FM was New York's premier oldies station until it adapted the dreaded Jack format in 2005.  It came back in 2007 wth a "classic hits" formats playing music from 1964 onward.  As the years progressed it abandoned 1960s music and now plays hits from the 70s until the 90s.  They want to attract listeners from age 25-54 to be appealing to advertisers.

Now listeners of oldies must go to internet radio stations such as Pop Gold Radio and Rewound Radio which are excellent.  Very recently the station at 1260 AM in Los Angeles flipped to oldies and is known as 1260 K-SURF,  I don't think there are any ratings yet available for that station.

Could oldies on an AM station work in NYC?  What station would do it?  The ratings for the talk radio stations are very low, thus would WABC or WOR flip to oldies?  Could a less powerful AM station like WPAT (930 AM) or WSNR (620 AM) do it?  WMTR (1250 AM), a suburban station from Morristown has done oldies for many years and seems to be doing very well, but would it work in the Big Apple?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Man on Top Must Take Responsibility When Things Go Wrong


I don't know that exact wording but Richard Nixon said that as chief executive (the man on top) he had to take responsibility when his subordinates did things wrong.  This was said as the Watergate scandal exploded in 1974.  He had to pay the ultimate price by resigning the presidency since it was obvious that he obstructed justice.

A few days ago Sean Spicer, President Trump's press secretary asserted that Adolph Hitler had not used chemical weapons.  Hey, give that man a history book.  To say the least this was an insult to all Jews.  Since Spicer was appointed by Donald Trump, the President must take responsibility for what he said.  Spicer should be fired or forced to resign.  What does Jared Kushner have to say about this?

It is my sincere hope that a "Trumpgate" will develop and the 45th president will be impeached or be forced to resign.  We can only impeach a president if he commits a crime and is found guilty by a 2/3 vote in the Senate.  I almost cry when I read what he is trying to do as Chief Executive.  I think that historians will determine that he is the worst president in history.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mini Vacation For Passover


First of all, I'd like to wish all my readers who observe the holiday a Happy Passover.  Chag Sameach.

I certainly have plenty of vacation time in my bank, so I decided to take a few days off for the holiday.  My car is due for inspection in April so I took my car to a local mechanic.  Of course, they found that I needed new brakes, so that was an unexpected expense.  I can't complain since my car is now 17 years old.  I do almost all local driving so it has about 64,000 miles and is running well.

I watched the Yankee opening day on TV as Michael Pineda had a perfect game for  6 2/3 innings.  The Yankees won the game 8-1.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

It Was Confirmed that British Broadcaster Brian Matthew Has Died at Age 88


 A few days ago it was erroneously reported that British radio personality had died.  The BBC retracted the story and stated that he was in the hospital in critical condition.  The Telegraph in the UK reported that Brian had died at age 88.

He had joined the BBC in the early 1950s and became the host of Sounds of the 60s in 1990.  Readers of Bruce's Journal know that I am an avid listener to that show that now airs live at 6 Am Saturday morning in the UK.  I listen to the podcast every Sunday morning.

Tribute to Brian Matthew from the BBC

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Very Few Day Games at Citifield in April

Usually, on the first weekend of the baseball season, we are out at Citfield watching the Mets.  But this season both the Saturday and Sunday games are at night.  We don't like to sit in a cold stadium to watch a game.  Last night as the TV cameras scanned the seats, we saw so many people with blankets.  Why go to the game and be so uncomfortable?  The likely reason for this is that the TV ratings are much higher for night games resulting in more money which is the name of game.  Sunday night's game is on ESPN.

Our first game is Saturday April 22 when the game starts at 4 PM.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Random Comments for Thursday

Even a large and reputable news organization like the BBC can make errors as they had mistakenly reported the death of radio personality Brian Matthew .  I had even posted here about that, but deleted that entry a few hours later.  The most recent reports say that he is in the hospital in critical condition.

There are still problems with NJ Transit, Amtrak, and the LIRR after the derailment on Monday,  Yesterday, I was off from work for an eye doctor's appointment.  Today, I am going to a professional meeting at Hunter College in Manhattan so for two days I was spared extra inconvenience.  According to this report from CBS News Amtrak is aiming for a return to normalcy on Friday.  I saw on the news last night that the derailed train was removed and that Amtrak was working around the clock to fix the signals that were destroyed.  We'll see.

And the beat goes on

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Random Comments of the Day

The derailment of an NJ Transit train in New York Penn Station is still causing havoc for commuters.  For the last two days, I had to take the PATH train from NYC to Newark.  There is limited service in and out of Penn Station, but I assume there must be a bottleneck of trains entering and leaving the station.  It is like that on a normal day so it must be much worse under these circumstances.  I have an eye doctor appointment for tomorrow so I won't be coming into work.  I don't think service will be back to normal until Friday.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely heart Clubs Band album.  I read there will be  1 CD, 2 CD, and 6 CD anniversary editions.  I assume they will include outtakes.  One CD may include Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever which were originally released earlier in 1967.

I am glad that baseball season has started.

I actually saw a commercial for Nellie's Eggs featuring Bob Dylan singing All I Really Want To Do.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Why Must New York City Poiticians Raise Campaign Funds Out of State

I just can't understand why Bill de Blasio who is running for reelection with minimal opposition must travel to the west coast to raise funds.  This article in Politico states that our beloved mayor will be traveling to Sacramento, Seattle and San Francisco for fundraisers. Why?  There are plenty of urban problems that the mayor must confront.  Hey, Bill, just stay home and do your job.

POLITICS SUCK!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Photographic Exhibit of a Young Bob Dylan Coming to NYC - April 20 - June 3


On April 21, my birthday, I will not be listening to Bob Dylan but viewing photographs of him from 1961-1964.  The details may be found at https://www.theguardian.com/music/gallery/2017/apr/01/portraits-of-a-young-bob-dylan-in-pictures?

Steven Kasher Gallery
515 WEST 26TH STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10001

My Ding-A-Ling by Chuck Berry

The girls in the audience are really having a good time.  Back in 1972,  WABC did not play this song.  I guess the "suits" there just did not have a sense of humor.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Triplicate Arrived Today


You can't run to record stores to buy a new release because they just don't exist anymore.  So instead I received a package from Amazon.com since I pre-ordered Dylan's new 3 CD set.  I am just disappointed since there are no new Dylan compositions here.  They are all covers of adult standards from years ago.  There is actually a track called P.S. I Love You, but it was not the same song done by the Beatles in 1962.

Tempest released in 2012 was the last Dylan album with his compositions.  Does he write songs anymore?  How long will this adult standards phase last?  And the beat goes on.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hey Apple - Take it Easy With the Updates IOS 10.3 is Here


A day or so ago I found out the Apple has released IOS 10.3 for the iPhone and iPad which is an upgrade from 10.2.1.  It took about one hour to download and install this update, which is in my opinion, no big deal.  The only thing that I like is that it increases the disk space available.  I have an iPhone 6 with a 16 GB hard drive.  It increased my available space from 2 GB to 3 GB, so I'll be able to download a few more apps.  From what I know the smallest hard drive on in iPhone 7 has 32 GB.

I think the Youtube video seen above answers all questions about IOS 10.3

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bob Dylan Archive at the University of Tulsa Opens


It was announced in Rolling Stone that the Bob Dylan archive at the University of Tulsa is open, but not just anybody can access it.  This archive will be granted to individuals wth a qualified research project.  Qualified researchers must consult with the finding aid and make a request to the librarian.  Hmm, maybe I should apply to become a librarian at the University of Tulsa.

I am quoting directly from the article in Rolling Stone:

Select items from the collection will eventually be exhibited at the Bob Dylan Center, the primary public venue for the archive. The George Kaiser Family Foundation's Executive Director Ken Levit, and University of Tulsa President Gerard Clancy, announced that they are now accepting design proposals for the Bob Dylan Center, which will be housed in an existing building in Tulsa's Brady Arts District. An expected opening date has yet to be announced.

The opening state could be at least several years away since design proposals are first being accepted now.  Be assured that when it does open, the Slutsky family will be making a trip to Tulsa.

More information from Rolling Stone.

After reading these articles, I am tempting to make my retirement home in Tulsa.  :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy Birthday Lee! You are 29 years Old! Where did the years go?


It is hard to believe that March 28th is Lee's 29th Birthday.  I can remember bringing him home from the hospital in my white 1985 Chevy Cavalier.  I also remember his Bar Mitzvah in 2001 when he entered the room as the DJ played Mr. Lee by the Bobbettes.  I think I picked the right photo as he is the #1 Wheel of Fortune player in the family.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pilot of the Airwaves by Charlie Dore - One of My Favorite One Hit Wonders



This hit was released in late 1979 and first charted in Billboard in February 1980 and peaked at #13.  Charlie has had a multifaceted career as indicate in her website and Wikipedia entry .  I checked the list of songs that should have been a bigger hit that I sent to Rich Appel, and I forgot to vote for it.  Hey Rich, can I send an amended return?  I don't to create any additional work for him, so I'll be sure to vote for it next year.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

School of Rock at the Winter Garden Theater For Lee's Birthday


Every year we take Lee to a concert or a Broadway show for his birthday.  This year he chose to see School of Rock.  We saw the movie a few years ago, but live music is always better.  The show follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school.  It includes 14 new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and all the original music from the movie.

After the show, we wanted to eat at Ellen's Stardust Diner, but the line to get in was literally a block long.  It seems that after the matinees ended, people just flocked there.  It seems that the best way to get in is to go while shows are in progress.  We haven't been there in a few years, but we really enjoy the singing waiters and waitresses.  Instead, we ate at TGIFridays.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Preview of Bob Dylan's Triplicate CD and An Unusual Interview With Him


Facebook friends often provide useful links especially when there is a shared interest that made you connect on Facebook.  Scott Warmuth is certainly a Bob Dylan fan extraordinaire as he has been referenced in the Dylan fanzine ISIS,  Today he made a link to selections from the forthcoming CD set called Triplicate.  It will be released on March 31, but I am sure that radio stations like WFUV will start to play these cuts.

Anita Bonita is a Facebook friend whom I met at one of the oldies meets and greets.  She is best known as a voiceover professional.  She made a link to an interview of Dylan by Bill Flanagan.  It is very unusual when Dylan give a lengthy interview that is quite forthcoming.  Since it is on the BobDylan.com website, it really means that he wants to communicate this with his fans.  It is very rare when he gives an interview on radio or TV.  I wish that the late Pete Fornatale would have interviewed him back in the 60s or 70s.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tim Tebow is Assigned to Mets Class A Farm Team at Columbia, SC


Likely, few players at the Class A level will ever make it to the major leagues.  The dream for many baseball players ends somewhere in the minor league.  Tim Tebow gave up on pro football and signed with the Mets last Fall and played in the Arizona Fall League.  His performance there and in the Grapefruit Leagues have been mediocre at best.  He deserves a chance to prove himself over an entire season.  He was just assigned to the Mets minor league Class A farm team at Columbia, SC.  If he does well, he'll be promoted.  If not he'll be released like any other minor leaguer.

The Wikipedia actually provides a list of players who played in both Major League Baseball and the National Football League.  Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are the most famous.  Time will tell if Tim Tebow will make that list.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Favorite Jimmy Breslin Book - Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?


I just found out that New York City newspaper columnist extraordinaire Jimmy Breslin just passed away at age 88.  I am not a political person, but over the years I have read his columns in various New York newspapers.  I also remember in 1969 he ran for President of the City Council on a ticket headed by mayoral candidate Norman Mailer.

My favorite book of his has to be:

Breslin, J. (1963). Can't anybody here play this game?. New York: Viking Press.

This book was about my beloved 1962 New York Mets.

Anyway, I suggest my readers check out this excellent obituary in New York Magazine.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Columbus Blue Jackets 3 NY Islanders 2 in OT at Barclay Center


We took a long subway ride to Brooklyn to see the Islanders play the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Barclay Center in an unusual afternoon game.  The game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, but Cam Atkinson stung the Islanders playoff push with the game-winner 1:19 of overtime.

Game recap

No Particular Place to Go - My Favorite Chuck Berry Song


Early this evening I found out that Chuck Berry passed away at age 90.  Needless to say, he is the father of rock 'n roll music.  I remember hearing "No Particular Place to Go" on WABC when I was at Camp Wel-Met in Narrowsburg, NY in the summer of 1964.

RIP Chuck

Friday, March 17, 2017

One Irish Rover - Van Morrison and Bob Dylan


Saluting our favorite Irish singer on St. Patrick's Day.  He has a very distinguished friend.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Wintry Mix is Worse Than All Snow


The original weather forecast for the March blizzard called for 12-18 inches of snow in NYC.  All the models were wrong as the storm moved inland with warmer air by the coast.  Thus the snow turned into a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain.  Although the snow accumulation was limited to 6 inches there was a sheet of ice over the snow.  Thus, it was very difficult to dig out.  When the precipitation is just snow, it is lighter and easier to shovel.

This weather is expected in January, but not in the middle of March.  People talk about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Day During Spring Break Week


The original forecast was for 12-18 inches of snow in NYC, but I think the actual amounts are now projected to be 8-12 inches.  It seems that there will be some sleet that will minimize the accumulation.  Most schools announced closures yesterday afternoon in anticipation of a big snow storm.

I just hate it when it snows this late in the season as I'm looking forward to the baseball season and nicer weather.  Just a week ago we had 60-degree weather, but all of sudden it got colder.  Snow in March usually melts quickly as the temperatures are warmer and the sun is stronger.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Random Comments of the Day

They are calling for 12-18 inches of snow on Tuesday.  This has been some strange winter as a few days ago the temperatures hit 60 degrees.  At least the usually melts quickly in March.  NJIT is on Spring Break this week, so it seems likely they will close the administrative offices if there is a significant snowfall.  If not, I can take a vacation day.

It is a shame that Preet Bharara was fired by King Trump as the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York.  He was a man of utmost integrity and was doing his job quite well when politics reared its ugly head.  I just hope that his probe of DiBlasio's campaign finances will continue under his predecessor.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has hired two Florida fundraisers as he eyes a possible bid for the 2020 presidential nomination.  I really hope he goes for it.  I think he will have a good chance of beating Trump or Mike Pence.

Friday, March 10, 2017

My Interview with Teddy Smith on WPAT about Oldies Radio


In November 2015 I met Teddy Smith at the Oldies Meet and Greet at Ben's Deli.  He invited me to his studio, so over a year later, I took him up on that.  He interviewed me on oldies radio.  You can hear it by clicking on the link below.  I come on after Bennie and the Jets by Elton John.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

American Radio Stations Should Play Elton John's Music

There was a report in the Daily Mail stating that Elton John complained that American radio stations are ageist and didn' t play his latest album because he and his listeners are just too old.  I guess these are the same people who killed the oldies, adult standards, and beautiful music formats because the listeners are just too old.  Screw them!  Here is one of my favorite Elton John hits.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Oh No Another HD Radio - This one is from Sangean


A couple of days ago I reported that my TEAC HD radio broke down after 6 years use.  It didn't take me long to get a Sangean HDR-16 HD Radio/FM-Stereo/AM Portable Radio which is a relatively new model.  I didn't get much of a chance to play it tonight, but it is much smaller than the TEAC radio.

I have said before that programming on HD-2 and 3 stations is disappointing.  I wish 101.1 HD2 would be the WCBS-FM of old playing the 50s and 60s music.  Likewise, I wish the old WNEW-FM would be recreated on 102.7 HD2.  Right now a smooth jazz station is on that frequency.  For a few months, the HD on WFUV has been off.

One of these days I will have to inventory the radios that I have kept.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Tony Blackburn Takes Over As Host of Sounds of the 60s on BBC2


I am listening to the podcast of Sounds of the 60s as I usually do on Sunday mornings.  Tony Blackburn has become the permanent host of the show after a 3 month stint by Tim Rice.  There is a good biography of him in the Wikipedia.

I am disappointed that Brian Matthew will not return after recovering from an injury.  He is certainly an icon in British broadcasting and deserved to return to the show.  Sadly, ageism has reared its ugly head.  Brian will do specials for the BBC in the future.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

My TEAC HD Radio Finally Went Kaput


In April 2011 I bought a TEAC HD radio as documented in this journal. Over the 6 years that I owned it, it has acted erratically as it often changed stations by itself and even turned itself on.  The reception and sound quality were always good, but at times was "goofy" for lack of a better word.  Since I live in Queens I am able to pick up the HD2 and HD3 signals.  Smooth Jazz on 102.7 HD2 was the only station I listened regularly.

Today the radio just stopped playing.  It just doesn't pay to have it repaired so I ordered a Sangean HDR-16 HD Radio/FM-Stereo/AM Portable Radio from Amazon.com.  It is supposed to arrive on Monday.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Let's Abolish the Electoral College

Below is an e-mail I received from Congresswoman Grace Meng who responded to my e-mail to her about abolishing the Electoral College.  There is something very wrong when the candidate who has about 3 million more popular votes loses the election since we have an anachronistic Electoral College.

Of course, this would require a constitutional amendment.  Thus both houses of congress would have to pass it and then the president would have to sign it.  At that point, state legislatures in 75% of the states would have to approve it.  I doubt this will happen, but let's give it a try.

Dear Mr. Slutsky

      Thank you for contacting me to express your support for eliminating the Electoral College.

      The framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College as a compromise to protect the interests of both small and large states. I understand your frustrations that the Electoral College winner determines the outcome of the presidential election and not the winner of the popular vote.

      As you may know, H.J.Res. 19 would propose a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the Electoral College thereby determining the winner of the presidential election based on the majority vote. H.J.Res.19 is currently pending before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.  Should H.J.Res.19 or any other legislation that would restructure the Electoral College reach the House Floor for a vote, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

      I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me, and I hope that you will continue to do so in the future.



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Another Injury for David Wright


David Wright has missed most of the past two seasons with major injuries and medical conditions including spinal stenosis.  Today he was diagnosed with an infringement of his right shoulder and is being sent to New York for medical treatment.  For most athletes, this would be a minor setback, but there seems to be a cumulative effect with the other conditions.

Could this be a career ending injury?  Like anything else, we have to take this situation one day a time and hope for the best.  It is possible that David could be moved to first base where he wouldn't have to throw as much.  The Mets must still pay him $67 million over the next 4 years.  There is nothing we can do but wait.

Report in the New York Daily News.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Brian Matthew Does His Last Sounds of the 60s Show for BBC2


Brian Matthew has certainly been a legend in British Broadcasting since the 1960s.  On yesterday's Breakfast with the Beatles  Dennis Mitchell featured his interviewing George Harrison.  For 27 years Brian has hosted Sounds of the 60s on BBC2.  Over the past 7 years or so I have listened to the podcast every Sunday morning.

About 3 months ago Brian suffered a fall at home and could not narrate the show.  This weekend he is doing his last show as he presents a compilation of his favorite moments from his time behind the mike.  From what I have read Brian wanted to continue, but the "powers that be" at BBC felt he should retire.  Brian will return for special shows in the future.

I suggest everyone listen to his final regular show which will be archived for 28 days.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Light My Fire by the Doors - I Must Hear the Long Version


Back in the late 1960s I just hated it when AM radio stations played the short 45 RPM of Light My Fire.  I always preferred the long album version with the instrumental solos.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More Financial Planning Today

Since I have worked for universities of over 25 years most of my pension money is in TIAA.  I have some other funds "squirreled away" in smaller IRAs.  Karen and I met with a financial adviser to start to think about strategies for my cashing in my pension money once I retire in 2018.  He felt that I did a good job in saving money over the years,

There is a saying "People don't plan to fail, but they fail to plan."  I think I have done a reasonably good job in planning for the future.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


I can not remember the last time that I visited this wonderful museum on 5th Avenue and 82nd Street.  It was actually the Burdick Collection of Baseball Cards that was the motivating factor in bringing me there today.  Mr. Burdick had donated over 30,000  baseball cards to the museum, but only a few hundred were on display.  We took about 20 minutes to look at this display, but there were umpteen other exhibits in the museum.  The current exhibitions are listed at http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions

There were many other permanent exhibitions that spread out over this enormous museum.  I think I put plenty of mileage on my feet today.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Thank You Tim Rice for a Job Well Done on Sounds of the 60s


Sir Tim Rice, best known a lyricist and librettist in the UK has admirably filled in for Brian Matthew on Sounds of the Sixties for the last 3 months.  There is a lengthy biography of him in the Internet Movie Database.  Brian had fallen at his home and Tim was selected to fill in.  It seems that Brian wanted to return, but the powers that be at the BBC didn't want him back.  He will come back for one more show on Saturday, February 27.  It will be a compilation of his favorite moments of hosting the show.

He did play two requests of mine:

  • Nikki Hoeky - PJ Proby
  • I Couldn't Live Without Your Love - Petula Clark
The show is heard live on BBC2 very early Saturday mornings, but I hear the podcast on Sunday.  I believe the podcast is archived for 28 days.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

UNCW 83 Hofstra 76


We took a ride over to the Hofstra campus to see the Men's basketball team.  We have been there many times over the years as it is a nice arena with reasonably priced tickets.  I was disappointed to see so few of their students at the game.  I assume that most of their students are from Long Island and go home for the weekend.

The game was pretty much even at the start but UNCW pulled away late in the first half.  Hofstra came close a few times but fell short.  Justin Wright-Foreman led Hofstra with 26 points, but it wasn't enough.

Game summary


Friday, February 17, 2017

The Eggplant that Ate Chicago - Novelty Song of the Day


Since 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Group Chicago, songs somehow related to the Windy City was the 4th-hour theme.  He played The Eggplant That Ate Chicago by Dr, West's Junk Band and Medicine show.  I hadn't heard that one in many years.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Never Know Who Reads Bruce's Journal


Bruce's Journal has been around since October 2005 with over 3300 entries. There are some autobiographical posts while mostly I discuss hobby related activities such as music, radio broadcasting, movies and ball games. Nobody needs to reveal their identity when reading it, so I rarely know who reads it.  It is linked to my Facebook page so I know much of the audience is from there.

There is a tool called Google Analytics which tell where a hit is from.  There is someone in Monroe Township, NJ who reads it regularly. but I don't know who he/she is.  Are there any other regular readers out there?  Perhaps some former friends are cyber stalking me.

Does it have any impact on anyone?  I get a report of the number of hits, but I assume many of them just look at the entry  and move on to something else on the web.

I'll get writing, but it is frustrating not knowing who reads it or if it has an impact on anyone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Guess Who I Saw at Newark Penn Station Today?


It was a normal commute today as I got off the train and Newark Penn Station.  I started to walk toward the stairs to get to the Light Rail and who do I see?  Governor Chris Cristie.  He seemed to be having a casual conversation with two women,  There was no crowd around him.  I just found this article from CBS News stating that the Governor was going to Washington to see President Trump.  He was likely waiting for an Amtrak train to Washington.

I sincerely hope that the Governor encountered a major train delay on Amtrak so he'll know how we feel.  Many of the NJ Transit delays on the Northeast corridor are caused by Amtrak.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Rare Oldie of the Day - 2120 South Michigan Avenue by the Rolling Stones


It is somewhat unusual when I group noted for its vocals has an instrumental track.  The Rolling Stones named this song after the address of Chess Records in Chicago.  It obviously appeared on the album 12X5 which I bought in 1965.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

St. Johns 78 Seton Hall 70 in Big East Basketball at MSG


We may as well enjoy college basketball before the post-season tournaments begin.  It was easy to get tickets at Madison Square to see a Big East matchup between St. Johns and Seton Hall.

The Red Storm got off to a slow start but took a 10 point lead at halftime.  They seem to be improving in the Chris Mullin's second year of coaching.  Toward the end of the game, legendary coach Lou Carnesecca was shown on the big screen.  I think he is about 90 years old.

Game recap

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow Day Activities


I obviously did not venture outside today, but we received the announcement that NJIT will be open tomorrow.  No train delays, please.  Anyway, here is what I did today:

As usual, I spent some time surfing the web.  This is nothing new.

I did some reading:

Genovese, G., & Taylor, D. (2015). A Scout's report: My 70 years in baseball. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.

I watched a rerun of Sports Jeopardy where Vinny won his 4th game.  I wish they would show some new episodes.

I listened to my police band radio

I played Wheel of Fortune with Lee

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Random Comments of the Day

"Bob Dylan Wins The Nobel Prize" was one of the puzzles on The Wheel of Fortune tonight.

Today the temperature exceeded 60 degrees, but a big snowstorm is predicted for tomorrow.  At about 4:30 NJIT announced it would be closed tomorrow.  It is unusual that the announcement was made so far in advance.  Likewise at about 6:30 PM the mayor's office announced that the New York City school system would be closed.  It is nice to have a snow day once in a while.

Right now I am listening to Cousin Brucie as I usually do on Wednesday nights.  He doesn't get older, he gets better.  It is worth the subscription to SiriusXM just to listen to him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Crazy Dreams

Everybody has dreams during rapid eye movement sleep.  Fortunately, most of the time we forget our dreams when we wake up in the morning.  Last night I had a dream about a train delay on New Jersey Transit.  Believe me, this is a dream that has come true many times over the years.  At least when I retire, I will not have to ride on New Jersey Transit again.  I'll have to ride on the New York City subways, but much less often.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Testimony - An Autobiography of Robbie Robertson That Ends Too Soon


This is an autobiography of one of the founding members of the Band.  The others are:

  • Levon Helm
  • Garth Hudson
  • Richard Manual
  • Rick Danko
Robbie and Garth are the only members of the group still living.

The book is very readable as it does not include many irrelevant details.  He talks about his family in Canada and how he met the other members of the groups as they became The Hawks who backed up Ronnie Hawkins.  The group broke off from Hawkins and toured with Bob Dylan in 1966 and 1974.
 
The final chapter covered the Last Waltz which was their final concert in San Francisco in November 1976.  But it ends 40 years too early!  What has Robbie done since then?

In the 1980s the Band reformed without Robbie Robertson.  I heard that he had a big fight with Levon Helm who was his biggest friend in the 1970s.  Robbie wrote some musical scores for Martin Scorcese and made several solo recordings.  This was not at all in this autobiography.  Why did he stop at 1976?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ben's Deli, Ben's Best and The Comedian (Movie)

Although the Carnegie Deli closed there is still Ben's Best Deli in Rego Park and Ben's Deli with locations in Bayside, Long Island, and Manhattan.  The later is the restaurant where we hold the annual oldies meet and greet in November.  There has always been some confusion between the two.  Ben's Best with just one location has been in Rego Park since 1945.  While growing up, my mother would send me there on Sundays to get cold cuts and hot dogs for dinner.  I remember Ben, the original owner who passed away,  His son Jay Parker now runs it.   I believe the Ben's Deli of oldies meet and greet fame didn't open until the early 1990s.

Anyway, today we went to the Kew Gardens Cinema to see The Comedian starring Robert DeNiro.  He played an aging insult comedian named Jack Burke.  His brother played by Danny DeVito and sister-in-law played by Patty Lupone managed the deli.  Jay Parker appeared in a cameo role.  I highly recommend seeing this movie.


Friday, February 3, 2017

February 3, 1959 - The Day the Music Died

I almost forgot that today is the 58th anniversary of the airplane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper.  It is also known at the Day The Music Died.  With that thought in mind, here is I'm Gonna Love You Too by Buddy Holly.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bob Dylan in Triplicate Coming March 31


It was certainly a surprise finding out today that Bob Dylan will be releasing a 3 CD set called Triplicate at the end of March.  Of course, I just pre-ordered it on Amazon.com.  If you look at the tracklist you will tell that it is another album of adult standards.  Has Dylan stopped writing songs?  The last CD of his compositions was the Tempest released in 2012.  Perhaps, his recording of these songs was his reason for not attending the Nobel Prize ceremony in December.  Below is "I Could Have Told You", a sample from the album.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Radio Legend Herb Oscar Anderson Passes Away at 86


While growing up Music Radio WABC was the premier top 40 station in NYC.  Herb was the morning man there from 1960-1968. He also was heard on WMCA, WOR, and WHN.  He opened every show by singing Hello Again as seen and heard on the Youtube video above.  I refer my readers to a profile of him written by Scott Benjamin.

Herb was actually a Facebook friend of mine.  I guess he liked to friend radio enthusiasts.  He appeared on several of the radio greats reunions heard on WCBS-FM.  I also have in my collection of cassette tapes an album of his singing adult standards.

My condolences to his family.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR in NYC Today

Today the NYC Casey Stengel chapter of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) held its annual meeting at the Mid-Manhattan Library.  It is traditional that the local chapters meet on the weekend before the Super Bowl.  This is the third meeting that I have attended.  Ernestine Miller, the moderator, made some introductory remarks stating that 2017 marks some significant milestone anniversaries:

  • 1947 – Jackie Robinson breaks the color line
  • 1927 – New York Yankees Murders Row Team – Babe Ruth hits 60 HRs
  • 1962 – The New York Mets are born


She introduced Max Mannis who talked about baseball cards.  There is a baseball card exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which will close on May 14.

Marc Appleman, the CEO of SABR spoke about the national convention that will take place in NYC from June 28-July 2.  I should make sure that I ask for vacation at that time.

Kristie Ackert, the New York Daily News reporter for the Mets spoke of her experiences as a woman sports reporter.

I walked around the area during lunch as I had worked for the Science and Technology Division of NYPL from 1983-1990.  Certainly, that area has changed dramatically over the last 26 years.  Back then Bryant park was a real dump back then with drug dealers and homeless people.  There is now a skating rink and several restaurants there.

After lunch, Eric Weiss ran a trivia contest.  I didn’t do very well.

The next speaker was Marty Appel, an author and public relations professional who spoke about his forthcoming book about Casey Stengel.  He related several anecdotes about the “Ole Professor”.   I didn’t realize that in the early days of the Mets his coaches, Solly Hemus and Cookie Lavagetto, were the “defacto” managers of the Mets.  Back then the nascent Mets needed a noted figure like Casey to promote the team.

Steve Nadel showed videos of some controversial calls that would have likely been overruled had the replay rule been in effect.  Johann Santana would have lost his no-hitter for the Mets in 2012 as a ball that was called foul would have been a double.  Also, it was obvious that the infamous fan Jeffrey Maier obviously interfered with a home run in 1996.  It would have been ruled a catch by the outfielder.

I wish that the local SABR chapter would have more than one meeting a year.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Brian Matthew Will Not Return to Sounds of the Sixties on BBC2


I have reported several times that I am an avid listener of Sounds of the Sixties on BBC2 for several years.  The show is broadcast live in the UK only Saturday morning, but it is a ritual for me to listen to the podcast on Sunday mornings.  It was reported in late November that host Brian Matthew was out for health reasons while Tim Rice became the host at least temporarily.  The nature of the illness was not revealed.

It was announced today in Radio Today and the Telegraph, two British publications, that Brian will not be coming back to the show.  Brian who is 88 years old fell in his home and was taken to the hospital.  He returned home and wanted to return to hosting the show.  However, the BBC felt that it was the right time to leave the show.  It is presently unclear whether Tim Rice will become the permanent host or if someone else will take over the show.

This is really a shame since Brian has hosted Sounds of the Sixties since 1990 and has worked at the BBC since 1954.  It is sad that organizations just don't reward loyalty.  I certainly wish Brian all the best.

Statement by the BBC  - I still take this with a "grain of salt".  I really think that Brian wanted to continue as host of Sounds of the 60s.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bad Fire in Downtown Flushing This Afternoon


They say that a picture is worth 1000 words.  Regular readers of Bruce's Journal may not be aware that I have a companion blog NYNJcommuting.wordpress.com where I document my commuting woes from Flushing to Newark.  You can read about today's adventure here.

It can best be described as Oy Vey.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Call Me Lightning by the Who - Classic Hit of the Day


Nothing much to report today.  I was reading Don Tandler's Facebook feed today as he mentioned this song by the Who.  He seemed to be intrigued by Dum Dum Dum Duway (whatever that means).  I guess he'll play it on Pop Gold Radio.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Another Saturday of College Basketball


For many years we have gone to Hofstra to see college basketball.  It is about a 1/2 hour drive from Flushing and the seats are reasonably priced.  Today the Hofstra Pride held on to beat Northeastern 78-73 after almost losing a 16 point lead.


When I got home I logged into ESPN3 to see the NJIT Highlanders play Florida Gulf Coast University.  Unfortunately, NJIT lost 84-71 to bring their Atlantic Sun record to 1-4.  Superstar Damon Lynn suffered an injury and had to leave after the first 5 minutes.  Hopefully,  it will not be serious.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Was A Winner on That Thing With Rich Appel


I listen to That Thing With Rich Appel on Sunday nights on Pop Gold Radio or WLNG.com.  I believe it is now heard on over 70 radio stations.  Rich had a contest where he asked listeners to email to him the name of the first 45 RPM record that they bought.  For me, it was Bits and Pieces by the Dave Clark 5.  Winners would get a copy of Ranking the 60s a reference book that listed the top songs and recording artists in the decade.

I came home today and didn't remember ordering anything, but I opened up the package and there was the book.

Thanks Rich!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tonight's Meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society


Last May I wrote a journal entry reminiscing about Lou Mintz of the New York Public Library.  Using the "magic" of social media his son Gary read my journal entry and want to talk to me.  We did speak over the phone about Lou and NYPL when I worked there from 1983-90.  Gary mentioned the New York Giants Preservation Society.  I never discussed baseball in general or the Giants specifically with Lou while we were both at NYPL.  Gary did put me on the mailing list for his group.

Tonight I went to the group's meeting at Bergino's Baseball Clubhouse on East 11th Street a few feet from the former home of the Metropolitan New York Library Council.  I passed by Bergino's many times but tonight was the first time I came in.  What a collection of memorabilia!  I wish I had big bucks to buy some of the stuff in the store.

Tonight's speaker was Dan Taylor (not of WCBS-FM fame) who is a big Giant fan, television sportscaster, and author of  "A Scout's Report: My 70 Years in Baseball".  This man is a walking encyclopedia of baseball scouting.  He wrote the book with "super scout" George Genovese.  I didn't realize how intricate it is to scout a ball player and predict his success in the major leagues.  I guess it is like any hiring process as you never know how an employee will work out until they actual are hired by the organization.

It was certainly a worthwhile evening.  After I complete writing this journal entry, I will watch Jeopardy which Lee recorded for me on the DVR.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Listening to Music on the Amazon Echo


We always play music when I arrive home from work about 6 PM until 7 PM when Jeopardy comes on.  Until recently we played something from my CD collection, but we now often ask Alexa to play music for us.  Since I am a Prime Member I can millions of songs, playlists, and stations.  If I joined Amazon Music Unlimited I would have access to even more music.  Since I already pay for SiriusXM, I just don't want to join any other subscription music service.

I am a little confused as to what I can get as a Prime Member.  Tonight, I said "Alexa, play the Moody Blues."  It played Nights in White Satin and then just stopped.  Likewise, I said "Alexa, play the Dave Clark 5 and it played Chiquita which was the B side of Bits and Pieces which I hadn't heard in 50 years.  But, it didn't play anymore from the group. When I did ask to hear Billy Joel there were several songs available.

Go figure.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2 Movies and 1 Basketball Game on MLK Weekeng


I reported on the college basketball game at MSG in my last posting, so it is not necessary to repeat it here.  The only thing to add was that subways and buses on weekends can be as jam-packed as they are during rush hours during the week.  There are fewer people on public transportation, but since there is less service, crowding results.

With that thought in mind, we decided to stay close to home on Sunday and Monday.  At least this weekend there were a few films that appeal to an older audience.  On Sunday we saw Patriot's Day which gave an accurate account of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  What the hell were those two brothers trying to prove by killing and maiming innocent people?

Today we saw La La Land a romantic movie starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.  I highly recommend it.



Saturday, January 14, 2017

College Basketball Today


I used to go to Knick games a few times a season, but in recent years the ticket prices have gone through the roof.  The cheapest ticket for a game at Madison Square Garden is $85.  I guess someone has to pay for the multimillion dollar salaries of the players and the renovations made to the facility.  Several times a season we see college games where the ticket prices are more reasonable.went to

Today we went to the Garden to see St. Johns play Villanova who won the NCAA tournament last spring and are currently ranked #3 in the nation.  The Red Storm took an early lead, but the visitors from Philadelphia dominated most of the game and won 70-57.

Game summary

When I got home I turned on my computer and watched on ESPN3 the NJIT Highlanders play the North Florida Ospreys.  Senior guard Damon Lynn led the Highlanders with 6 three-point baskets and 33 total points as we won 84-78.  The visitors made a run late in the game, but NJIT won its first Atlantic Sun game of the season.  I just hate all the stoppages of play in the last two minutes with all the intentional fouls and timeouts.  But, all's well the ends well.

Game summary


 
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