Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Another Staycation Week

It's that time of the year when I take a week off from work and stay home and relax.  The last few months were very difficult with train delays so I need to get away from New Jersey Transit and the #7 train.  Yesterday I drove in the rain to LIU Post to meet with a colleague to discuss a research project.  On the way there she sent me a text message saying that she had to leave.  So when I arrived at the Post library, I just picked out a book and read for an hour or so and drove home.  Later in the day I had a phone conversation with her about our project.

Today, I will walk to the Social Security Office in Flushing to ask questions about benefits.  If I want to retire at the end of 2017, when do I apply for benefits?  It will be nice to get money back after putting so much into the system over 40+ years of working.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mets Lose to the L.A. Angels 12-5: Maybe I shouldn't Go To Any More Games

Yours truly at today's game

As you can see from the photo above, I don't look very happy as I am sitting through a 12-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Citifield.  The Angels took an early 9-0 lead as they hit 3 home runs off starting pitcher Tommy Milone.  They hit a total of 5 homers and won 12-5.  The only hope is that the Amazins will not fall too far back until the injured players return.

Game Recap

So far the Mets have lost all 3 games that we've seen at Citifield:

May 7 - Mets lose to the Marlins 7-0

April 22 - Mets lose to the Nationals 3-1

Maybe if the Mets lose every time I go to Citifield, I should stop attending games.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Good Luck to Bob Radil on His Move to a New Residence in Connecticut

Photo of Bob Radil at the 2011 Oldies Meet and Greet

Bob Radil and Mary Ellen will be moving this week from " Beautiful, Rural, Connecticut Countryside" to another location in Connecticut.  I haven't moved in over 30 years, but know it is pain to "schlep" all your belongings from one place to another.  In his case, he must have thousands of records, CDs and radio equipment that has to be moved.  Of course, he must move furniture and other personal effects to the new location.

I have been a fan of his Friday night 60s 70s show for many years on Rewound Radio.  I shall continue to listen when he signs on from his new location.  On Friday nights I have to juggle listening his show with watching baseball.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant by Billy Joel Really Should Have Been a Bigger Hit

I just checked my Joel Whitburn book and found out that this was released in 1977 but did not even reach the Top 100 chart.  It was on the album The Stranger so perhaps it was never released as a 45 RPM single.  In any event, I should dedicate it on the radio to Maria Denaro and Nanette DiLauro who according to their Facebook posts must have been to every Italian restaurant in New Jersey and many in Manhattan.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Look Who's Number 1 in the NYC Radio Ratings

For April 2017 WCBS-FM was number 1 in the radio ratings.  They got 6.1% of the listeners nosing out Lite-FM by 0.1.  It looks like they are attracting younger listeners who grew up listening to WPLJ and Z-100.  It appears that getting Scott Shannon for morning drive really helped them.

I was elated in July 2007 when CBS-FM dumped the dreaded Jack format and played "classic hits" from 1964 - 1989.  As the years went on they dropped 60s music and now play hits from the 70s-90s.  Last weekend featured 90s number one hits.  I have listened less to the station, but they don't want old farts like me who are not desirable to advertisers.  You can't argue with success.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Missing Mom on Mothers Day

Lillian Slutsky in 2011

Mothers Day just isn't the same since Mom passed away in February 2015.  We are grateful that she lived to the ripe old age of 95.  Today I think of the many things she did for me over the years.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Rare Oldie of the Day - World Without Love by Bobby Rydell

Peter and Gordon had the hit version of this Lennon/McCartney composition in 1964.  Bobby Rydell's cover version only charted at #80 in Billboard but did better in New York.  It was a Pick Hit of the Week on WABC.  If I remember correctly, WMCA played it as well.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10, 1982 WABC Radio Drops Music For Talk

It was 35 years ago today that WABC changed its format from rock to talk.  From 1960-82 it was the premier top 40 station in the nation with classic personalities including Harry Harrison, Ron Lundy, Dan Ingram and Cousin Brucie.  In the early 80s, more people listened to music on FM since the quality is so much better.

Back in those days, WABC was the dominant radio station in the New York market, but obviously, times change.  I just think that over the years talk radio has become too political and promotes the conservative point of view.  I rarely if ever listen to talk stations.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

All I Really Want to Do by Bob Dylan in Nellie's Egg Commercial

All I Really Want to Do by Bob Dylan is in this commercial

I guess he doesn't mind since he must get a good royalty for the use of his song in a commercial.  You don't have to be a Nobel Prize winner to have your song used in a TV commercial.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

We See the Mets Lost 7-0 to the Marlins Amid a Matt Harvey Controversey

This morning we heard that the Mets suspended Matt Harvey for three days without pay for violating team rules.  No specifics were given, but there was all kind of speculation on social media.  The Mets recalled Adam Wilk from AAA Las Vegas to pitch today.  He didn't do well as he allowed 6 runs and 8 hits in 3 2/3 innings including 3 home runs (2 by Giancarlo Stanton).  There were some extenuating circumstances as Wilk had to take an overnight flight to get to NYC in time for today's game.  There was no excuse for the Mets poor hitting as they could only get one against Miami pitching.

Since this was a day game there were many young kids in the stands.  I just can't understand why parents take them to the game when it is obvious that they are not interested.  Seeing these kids restless and just standing around and blocking people's views was just distracting.

Game Summary

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Dylan Photo Exhibition, Photos of Subway Graffiti, and Hudson Yards

On April 21 I posted in this journal that I became aware of an exhibition of photographs of Bob Dylan taken by Ted Russell from 1961-64.  Today we finally made it to the Steven Kasher Gallery on West 26th Street.  It was a special treat for Lee since he saw for the first time the 34th Street-Hudson Yards station on the #7 line.  We saw that exhibit but were surprised to see another display of photographs of subway graffiti by Martha Cooper.  Back in the 1970s, the subway yards were open and graffiti inside and outside subway cars was extensive.  From there we visited a few other art galleries in the area.  We then walked on the Highline back to the Hudson Yards subway station.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Interview with Pete Fornatale A Few Months Before He Passed Away

I found a link to this interview on Facebook today.  Hopefully, I will find time to watch it tomorrow morning.  I had the pleasure of meeting Pete at the Long Island Radio Expo in April 2010

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Have To Remember to Watch This Video About Joel Whitburn

Joel Whitburn is an American author and music historian based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin who founded Record Research Inc. in 1970 and put together a team of researchers to examine in detail all of Billboard's music and video chart.  Over the years he has edited several books summarizing music chart data.  Over the years I have bought some of his books and have referred to them while listening to terrestrial or internet radio.

Ken Kaiser whom I met once at an oldies meet and greets posted on the Oldies Message Board the video seen above which is a video tour of Joel's fantastic record archive.  It is 34 minutes long and I just have to listen to it.  It is so hard to find the time during baseball season to watch it, so I am posting it on my blog so I'll know where to find.  Hopefully, this weekend I'll find the time.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

All Beatles Channel Coming to SiriusXM

I really enjoy SiriusXM for the variety of music that it provides.  I never had a special radio for it as I only subscribe to the internet version.  I listen on my laptop and iPhone.  I can send the signal from the phone to a Bluetooth speaker.  I was pleased to find out today that there will be an all Beatles channel coming on May 18th.  I will certainly listen to it a few times a week.  There is only so much time in a day to listen to the radio.

Article in Rolling Stone.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Oy Vey - The Mets Lost to the Nationals 23-5

Well, on the positive side, it is only one game.  It is only one loss whether it is by one run or 18 runs.  Noah Syndergaard should not have started this game as he developed pain in his arm and came out in the second inning.  The bullpen really imploded and catcher Kevin Plawecki had to pitch late in the game.  Anthony Rendon went 6 for 6, hit 3 home runs, and drove in 10 runs.

The rest of the season starts tomorrow.

Game recap

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Yankees 12 Orioles 4 with 4 Homers by the Bronx Bombers

Even though I am a big Met fan, I don't hate the Yankees and like to see them in the Bronx twice a year.  The only time I root against them is during the Subway series.  The D train was really packed as we boarded it a 42nd Street for the last leg of the subway trip to the stadium. We also had to wait for several minutes to get to the security check.  I understand that it is necessary in this post 9/11 world, but it was a very slow process.

The pitching matchup was Michael Pineda against Ubaldo Jimenez.  The Yankee bats came alive with 2 home runs by Brett Gardiner.  Austin Romine and Aaron Judge also homered as the Bronx Bombers coasted to a 12-4 victory.  Through the "magic" of Facebook I found out that my brother-in-law Keith and nephew Scott were also at the game, but our seats were too far apart to meet with them.

Game recap

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Injuries on the Mets are Killing Them

So far the Mets are 8-13 at the end of April and have lost 6 in a row and 10 out of 11.  Much of the poor performance can be attributed to injuries.

  • David Wright - we don't know when or even if he'll be back
  • Steven Matz - we need a good left handed pitcher
  • Seth Lugo - he did well at the end of last season
  • Noah Syndergaard - he missed his start yesterday because of a dead arm.  We don't know how serious this is.
  • Lucas Duda - hopefully, he'll be back soon
  • Wilmer Flores - infection
  • Yoenis Cespedes - hamstring problem
Let's hope for the best.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alternative Version of Mr. Tambourine Man Sung by Gene Clark

The hit version of Mr. Tambourine Man was sung by Roger McGuinn.  Gene Clark was the first original Byrd to leave the group to become a solo artist.  His version of Mr. Tambourine Man is out of this world.  Give it a listen.

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

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.


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
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?
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