Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dreamgirls (the Movie)

We stayed close to home today and went to the multiplex and saw Dreamgirls.  Back in the early 1980s I saw the Broadway show.  The strangest part of the movie was seeing Eddie Murphy in a serious role.

Eventful Friday

The family started the day by going to the Museum of Television of Radio on West 52nd Street.  We saw:

1. Batman episode with Julie Newmar as the Catwoman

2. The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 with the Beatles.

3. A James Brown special that was originally on the air in 1968

4. A show about Teenagers on TV series over the past 50 years.

From there we walked to the Times Square area to eat dinner.  I originally wanted to go to Ellen's Stardust Diner on 51st Street and Broadway but there was a very long line at 5 PM.  As expected there were mobs of people, most tourists, in the Times Square area.  Instead of waiting on line we walked to West 38th Street where we ate at Ben's Deli.

We walked to Madison Square Garden and got tickets for the College Basketball doubleheader.

Game 1 - St Josephs beat Boston University 58-53

Game 2 - Hofstra beat St. Johns 63 - 51

It was a shame that the crowd was so small.  It seems there is very little interest in College basketball even with 2 New York schools in the finals.  At $15/ticket, it was realy a bargain for Madison Square Garden.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

David Crosby Book

It's nice to have the week off.  I don't have to schlep to Jersey to stare out at a computer lab and cope with the lunacy, hypocrisy, mediocrity and prejudice of the management.  I stopped in the Queens Public Library branch down the street from where I live.  I have very low expectations of this small branch.  I don't even go near the computers there.  I use a low tech approach by just browsing the shelves for a book that may be of interest.  Today, I found the book David Crosby: Since Then:  How I survived Everything and Lived to Tell About it.  David Crosby was an original member of the Byrds and Crosby Stills Nash (and Sometimes Young).  This book is a  sequel to Long Time Gone: The Autobiography of David Crosby published in 1988.  Today, I read the first 30 or so pages.  I looked through my vinyl collection and found one LP of David Crosby as a solo artist and several of Crosby Stills Nash and their various permutations.

Monday, December 25, 2006

We Are Marshall (the movie)

Movies are generally the only businesses that are open on Christmas Day so we walked over to the local multiplex and saw We Are Marshall.  The movie was about the tragic loss of the football team in a plane crash at Marshall University in 1970 and how the community reacted to it.  It was very touching.  The movie complex was crowded for Christmas Day.  Maybe many kids get tired of their new toys by the early afternoon and ask to go to the movies.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Walking around Little Neck Bay in Douglaston

It was very mild for Christmas Eve.  We just took a walk around Little Neck Bay in Douglaston as we did on August 13.  This time we didn't take the digital camera.  the Giants lost to the New Orleans Saints 30 - 7.  Nothing much new.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Rocky Balboa - the movie

From 1976 - 1990 there were 5 Rocky movies staring Sylvester Stallone as the fictional boxer.  He just released a new movie titled Rocky Balboa where a 60 year old Rocky fights a young boxer named Mason Dixon.  The movie was enjoyable but conceptually did not offer anything new.  It seems that Hollywood will release sequel movies as long as money can be made.  My wife Karen taped the first two Rocky movies years ago.  She found a VHS version of Rocky III in the local public library.  We dug through my old vinyl collection and found the soundtrack for the first Rocky movie.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

College Basketball St. Johns vs NJIT

This season the NJIT men's basketball team is making the transition to Division I.  Tonight they lost to the St. John's Red Storm 68-50 at the Carnesecca Arena in Queens.  I didn't go to the game, but I listened to most of it on the radio.  I worked at the St. Johns University library from 1990-92 while I have been at NJIT since 1992.  St. Johns had been a nationally ranked team.  Their famous coach Lou Carnessecca retired at about the same time I left.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Just Love that British Rock of the 60s

Regular readers of this blog should have observed that every Sunday night when I write a blog entry I am listening to Sound of the Sixties on BBC Radio 2.  Long time British DJ Brian Matthew normally hosts the show, but he has been ill for a number of months now.   Several different British personalities have substituted for him.  I enjoy listening to British hits that did not get radio play in the USA back in the 60s.  American hits are also featured.  Today with saw the movie Pusuit of Happyness with Will Smith.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Men's Basketball at Queens College

Tonight the family took a quick drive over to Queens College to watch a game with CW Post.  Queens is in Division II and now plays in the East Coast Conference ( Of course the facility is just a simple college gym, but you can't find entertainment for less that $4/ticket these days.  Queens College won 82-72.  When we got home we saw the end of the Knick/Denver Nugget game.  With about a minute to go a flagrant foul was committed and a big fight ensued.  I presume there will be several suspensions and fines.  These pro players make millions of dollars a year and just can't sho good sportsmanship.  The Nuggets won the game 123-100.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Womens College Basketball at St. Johns

Since professional basketball is so expensive the family takes in several college games every season.  Today we took a short drive over to St. Johns and saw their womens team beat Nicholls State College 63-50.  I had worked at St. Johns library from 1990-92.  To make a long story short, it was a very disappointing experience.  I had my problems with the Happy Hungarian.  With 20/20 hidnsight the only good thing about the job was the proximity to home.  Since 1992 I've had to schlep from Queens to Newark.  Next week the NJIT basketball team which for the first year is in Divison I is playing the St.Johns team at Alumni Hall now known as the Carnesseca Arena.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Random Thoughts

Yesterday was my colleague Jackie's last day at NJIT before going on family leave since she is expecting a baby at the end of January.  We had a nice party for her in the afternoon.  I woke up at 5:30 this morning.  It seems that as I've aged I need less sleep.  I got out of bed at about 6:00 and listened to Mark Simone's morning talk show on WABC.  When the rest of the family awoke at 6:40 we got ready to have breakfast out at Uncle Bill's Diner   I had my pancakes with sausages.  Later in the afternoon we saw the movie Holiday featuring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet.  Saturday night oldies was recorded tonight.  Mark Simone interviewed Dan Ingram whose theme was Tri Fi Drums.  I have an MP3 version of that which I e-mailed to 10 listeners who asked for it on the message board.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Bruce and Mark Simone

Let's go back to Saturday afternoon's Meet and Greet for Saturday Night Oldies Fans.  Mark Simone was nice enough to take pictures with his fans.  Here is a picture of yours truly with Mark who also worked for WPIX-FM, WNEW-AM, and WMCA.  We are really hoping that the management of WABC keeps the show on the air.  In recent weeks the show has been pre-empted for sports coverage.  Six months after the CBS radio executives changed format on 101.1 FM WABC put the oldies show on Saturday nights.  At least WABC management has an appreciation for the heritage of the station.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

A slow Sunday

Didn't do all that much today.  Lee's afterschool group met at AppleBees for lunch so I just took a walk in Forest Park in the morning.  Karen and I went to the local pizzeria for lunch.  I read the New York Times, listened to Jonathan Schwartz on WNYC-FM, and watched last quarter of the Jets game as they won 38-10.  When Lee returned we listened to Bob Dylan's ThemeTime Radio which featured songs about Tennessee.  Plenty of songs about Nashville and Memphis, but not Chatanooga Choo Choo.  It seems that Bob usually picks old standards and country songs for his Theme Time Radio Show.  3 more weeks of work until the Christmas break.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Saturday Night Oldies Meet and Greet

We finally had our Saturday Night Oldies Meet and Greet at Bens Deli on West 38th Street in Manhattan.  This event could only be organized by the new information technologies.  On June 3, 2005 WCBS-FM dropped the oldies format after 33 years and flipped to the dreaded Jack format.  On December 3, 2005 WABC partially filled the void by placing Saturday night oldies from 6 - 10 PM.  From 1960-82 WABC was the premier top 40 station in the USA if not New York.  I am grateful that the management of WABC appreciates the heritage of the station and put oldies back on the air even only 4 hours a week.  I helped Frank, Jeff, Alan and Cara plan this event to celebrate the first anniversary of the show.  It was nice to meet Mark Simone the DJ and his producer Frank Marano.  Several people brought digital cameras.  Frank took a picture of me with Mark.  So hopefully, he will send it to me soon so I could post it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pizza, Bowne Park. Football and Match Game

When I went to the BBC2 web site, Sounds of the Sixties was not listed.  Apparently there was some technical difficultie in putting the show on the web so I am listening to the Loft on XM Radio.  It was quite mild for the end of November so the family walked over to the local pizzeria.  Lee and I had sausage on our slice when Karen had her usually spinach.  From there we walk about one mile to Bowne Park and sat around for a while.  When we got home we saw the last waurter of the Jet game as they beat the Houston Texans 26-11.  After dinner we turned on the Giant game and saw they were ahead 21-0.  It turned out that the Tennessee Titans rallyed an won 24 -21.  At 8 PM, the Game Show Network had a one hour show about the history of the Match Game.  I watched it way back in the 1970s, but the Game Show Network shows the reruns featuring Gene Rayburn, Richard Dawson, Charles Nelson Reilly, and Bret Sommers.  I have stated in this blog that we are big fans of Jeopardy, but we watch other game shows as well.  Back to the lunacy, hypocrisy, mediocrity and prejudice tomorrow.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another Bob Dylan DVD

We went to the movies today and saw Deja Vu with Denzel Washington.  When we got home there was a package for me with a DVD that I ordered titled Tangled Up In Bob.  The producers traveled to Bob's home town of Hibbing, Minnesota and interviewed people who knew him when he was growing up in the 1950s.  For more details check out .  When we were at the movies there was a trailer for a forthcoming movie called Rocky Balboa.  It seems that the boxer played by Sylvester Stallone is being revived.  When we got home Karen check our video collection and noted we had recorded on VHS the original Rocky movie and Rocky II.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Islanders Hockey game today

For the first time in a few years the family took in an Islanders hockey game at Nassau Coliseum.  Over recent years, I haven't shown much of an interest in hockey.  It has the reputation of being a cult sport.  The Islanders beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3 - 1.  Even though today is "Black Friday", I did not go near a shopping mall.  I will watch the Knicks play the Celtics on TV in a little while.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Soggy Thanksgiving

There was a misty rain all day today.  We drove to Forest Hills to pick up my mother.  Fromn there we drove to Dix Hills, Long Island where my sister Joyce, her husband Keith and sons Scott and Adam live.  The highlight of the day was playing with Sasha, the dog.  Lee even sent Sasha a birthday card a few weeks ago.  She is 12 years old which would be about 84 years in people years.  We watched the football game for a while as Lee played the word game Lingo online.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Beatles Love CD and DVD

Back in the 1960s it was a big thing when a Beatles album was released.  The top 40 radio stations at the time had to fight over playing it first.  They would even play Beatles songs that were only released in the UK.  Back then we had to scrape up our allowance money to buy the album.  The Beatles disbanded in 1970, but John, Geoge, Paul and Ringo recorded as solo artists for many years.  Starting in the 1980s Beatles albums were re-released and reissued as CDs.   This week a Beatles CD was released.  Producer George Martin and his son re-mixed Beatles songs for the Cirque du Soleil show now playing in Las Vegas.  I picked up the CD and DVD on the  way home at the Kmart in Penn Station.  I guess these new releases bring Beatles music to a new generation of listeners.  I still have many  Beatles  albums on vinyl and even have a turntable to play them.  Beatles albums in mint condition are collectors items and have some monetary value.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Gotta Go to Mo's

Last night we were watching the Knick game on TV and saw David Lee play.  I thought my son Lee would like a Knicks uniform with the name Lee on the back.  We walked to the local Modell's, but there were no Knick uniforms or tee-shirts.  Anyway, we each got a new pair of sneakers.  From there we walked to Macy's where I bought a few long sleeve shirts.  We got home in time to watch the second half of the Jet game.  They lost to the Chicago Bears 10-0.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sean Connery is the James Bond

I am not an expert on movies, but I do post about them from time to time.  Since the 1960s I have seen every James Bond movie.  I even remember back then reading the Ian Fleming novels featuring 007.  Today we saw the new version of Casino Royale featuring Daniel Craig as James Bond.  It made me miss the original movies featuring Sean Connery as 007.  Looking back I would say that Goldfinger is my best James Bond movie.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Review of Dylan Concert from Newsday

Modern Times’ Dylan fakes out his flock

Newsday Staff Writer

November 16, 2006

Part of the thrill of a Bob Dylan concert is never knowing what to expect.

His moods, his musical approaches and his set lists all vary so wildly that trying to predict one of his shows is like trying to pick election winners two years in advance. Dylan's live shows are known for their volatility, so how does he shake that up? He delivers a show so amiable, so avuncular that you keep waiting for a sharpened twist that never comes.

His 110-minute show at Nassau Coliseum Monday night was stylish and pretty, occasionally rocking in an elegant, gentlemanly way befitting a band dressed in suits and hats. It was also like waiting for the sky to fall. And what could be a more accurate metaphor for our "Modern Times" than that?

Dylan and his impressive five-piece band opened with a "Maggie's Farm" that was polished and devoid of protest. "I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more," was more of a dinner-table declaration than a slogan for marchers in the streets.

The encores "Like a Rolling Stone" and "All Along the Watchtower" confounded those who wanted to sing along because Dylan's delivery was so light and understated that the screaming audience would blow right past him. While the audience bellowed "How does it feel?" in ham-fisted 4/4 time, Dylan's voice fluttered around the lyrics and the expected timing, as if he was just fooling around, as if he was asking the audience, "How does that feel?"

Even the arrangements were musical head fakes, as the usual fiery guitar solos on "Watchtower" were replaced by Denny Freeman's scratch guitar which owed more to '60s soul than the raucous '60s rock Dylan helped build.

One of Dylan's major victories in recent years is his ability to escape audience expectations. "You think I'm over the hill, you think I'm past my prime," he sang in "Spirit on the Water," from his new album, "Modern Times" (Columbia). "Let me see what you got. We can have a whoppin' good time."

Dylan isn't interested in giving his audience what they want. He gives them what they need.

He doesn't want them to dwell in the past. He doesn't want to give them flashbacks to their wild, radical youth. His interest is in the present, and his unpredictable live show is designed to make them appreciate their current surroundings, even if it means easing back on "Tangled Up in Blue" or filling "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" with some Chicago blues.

Dylan provided a healthy sampling of the excellent "Modern Times," though he did stick with the more listener-friendly songs ("Spirit on the Water") instead of the more controversial ones ("Workingman's Blues #2" and "The Levee's Gonna Break").

Maybe he will tackle those -- just as masterfully, no doubt -- when he's in a different mood.

BOB DYLAN. Putting up signs of "Modern Times." With the Raconteurs. Thursday night at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.; Next Monday at City Center in Manhattan. Seen Monday night at Nassau Coliseum.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Last night's Dylan Concert

Here is the set list from the concert as posted on :

Uniondale, New York
Nassau County Coliseum

November 13, 2006

1. Maggie's Farm
2. She Belongs To Me
3. Honest With Me
4. Spirit On The Water
5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
6. When The Deal Goes Down
7. High Water (For Charley Patton)
8. Visions Of Johanna
9. Rollin' And Tumblin'
10. Ballad Of A Thin Man
11. Tangled Up In Blue
12. Nettie Moore
13. Highway 61 Revisited
14. Thunder On The Mountain
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. All Along The Watchtower

Band Members
Bob Dylan - keyboard, harp
Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar
Denny Freeman - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - electric mandolin, violin, pedal steel, lap steel

The only bad thing about last night was the weather.  It was a little drizzly, but it certainly didn't put a damper on the concert.  Bob played my favorite, Maggies Farm, and Lee's favorite, Tangled Up in Blue.  Bob is now 65 years young, but you never know when he could stop touring. When he comes back to the NYC area again, we'll be there.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Getting Ready for the Big Night

Tonight Bob Dylan is playing at Nassau Colisseum.  Since he is 65 years old, you never know when he may stop touring.  We last saw him a year and a half ago at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan.  I decided to take a personal day off from work.  I don't want to go to the concert tired from the day's work and the long commute.  I am checking the set lists from the tour each day at .  We will pick up Lee at his afterschool program about 4:45, go out to eat and then to the concert.  Check this blog tomorrow for the details.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another Quiet Sunday

The rained held off in the morning so I took Lee to Cunningham Park to shoot baskets.  In the early afternoon we saw the movie Stranger Than Fiction with Will Ferrell.  When we go home we saw the second half of the Jet game as they beat the New England Patriots 17-14.  I read the New York Times for a while and then at 5 PM we listened to the latest Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan as the DJ.  After that we listened to Modern Times the latest Dylan CD in preparation for tomorrow nights concert at Nassau Colisseum.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hofstra Football again

We drove out to Hempstead again today and saw Hofstra lose to Northeastern 34-24.  This will be our last football game of the season.  Tonight I took the subway to Manhattan to meet Jon Binstock for dinner.  I became acquainted with Jon about 10 years ago on the Prodigy radio boards.  Neither of us is in the radio business; we just follow it as a hobby.  We went for dinner at the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue and 55th Street.  I had a wopper of a pastrami sandwich.  We were talking about radio aand the woman sitting next to us said she had worked for Clear Channel radio some years back, but since then had gotten out of the radio business.

Saturday night oldies was only on from 6-6:30 tonight since WABC was carrying a hockey game.  At that time I was in Manhattan with Jon.  Someone has already downloaded it and posted it to a message board.  I am listening to a recording of it.


Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Times They Are A Changin' is closing

Hi Erin!

I don't care what the critics think.  I enjoyed this musical.  I guess Broadway is a very tough nut to crack.  The main criticism was that there was no story and an incongruity between the songs and the dancing.  I bought tickets for a preview because I sensed that it could close early as many "jukebox musicals" have.  I guess the Tee-Sirt that I bought from the show will be a collectors item


NEW YORK (Reuters) - A musical set to the songs of Bob Dylan will close less than a month after it opened on Broadway, the show's public relations firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The Times They Are A-Changin" -- which was critically panned -- will have its final performance on November 19, closing after 28 performances, a spokesman for Shaffer-Coyle Public Relations said.

The closure of the show, conceived and choreographed by Twyla Tharp who successfully transformed Billy Joel's songs into Tony-award winning musical "Movin' Out," follows failures like last year's flop "Lennon" about the late Beatle.

In his review, New York Times critic Ben Brantley called the Bob Dylan show "the latest heart-rending episode in Broadway's own reality soap opera, 'When bad shows happen to great songwriters.'"


The iconic Dylan approached Tharp three years ago but the critically acclaimed choreographer failed to woo critics, who said her fable about a struggling circus did not capture the magic of Dylan's songs.

New York columnist Michael Musto called the closing a "mercy killing."

"Dylan and Tharp didn't cohabit well in a circus setting, especially with a nearly incomprehensible storyline," he said. "But both are artists and will survive long after this becomes a camp footnote."

Saturday, November 4, 2006

College Football today

If you read my biography you will see that I got a masters degree in chemistry from the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 1974.  Back then I just had to get away from my family to build my own identity.  Kingston, RI was a college town about 30 miles south of Providence.  The life style in a small town was much different than that of the big city.  Anyway today the URI football team came to the area and played Hofstra.  URI won the game 20-13.  At $8 a ticket how can you go wrong.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Start of the NBA Basketball Season

The Knicks were pretty bad last year with a 23-59 record and fired Coach Larry Brown. The new season started last night with Isiah Thomas as the coach.  The Knicks had a  19 point lead against the Memphis Grizzlies at the beginning of the 4th quarter, but regulation ended with a tie.  Finally in 3 overtimes the Knicks won 118-117.  Since Memphis is a weak time, it is safe to say that the Knicks did not perform well.  It is long season and this is only one game.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Nothing to Get Excited About Today

Nothing much happened today.  This morning I took Lee to Cunningham Park as we usually do once a weekend.  There was a big Dog Show (4 legged :)) in the park.  It was a shame that the heavy winds made it uncomfortable for the people there.  Later on the 3 of us walked around Alley Pond Park and stopped into Dunkin Donuts for a snack. 

All of the reviews for The Times They are A Changin' were bad.  The reviewers felt that Twyla Tharp did not do justice to Dylan's songs.  This may mean that the show will close soon.

Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rainy morning

Since it rained hard this morning we didn't go to CW Post to see the football game.  We went to the local movie to see The Prestige.  I drove Lee to a friend's birthday party in Fresh Meadows.  I am disappointed with the poor reviews of The Times They Are A Changin'.  I guess Broadway critics are a tough bunch.  It does not mean that the show will close soon.  Many shows with mediocre reviews have done well at the box office.  I am hoping that an original cast CD of the music will be released.

Friday, October 27, 2006

New York Times Review of The Times They are A Changin'

I disagree with this review!!!.  I enjoyed it.


And now for the latest heart-rending episode in Broadway's own reality soap opera, ''When Bad Shows Happen to Great Songwriters.''

If you happen to be among the masochists who make a habit of attending the entertainments called jukebox musicals, in which pop hits are beaten up by singing robots, you may think you've seen it all: the neutering of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys in ''Good Vibrations,'' the canonizing (and shrinking) of John Lennon as a misunderstood angel-child in ''Lennon,'' and the forcible transformation of Johnny Cash from Man in Black to Sunshine Cowboy in ''Ring of Fire.''

But even these spectacles of torture with a smile, frightening though they may be, are but bagatelles compared with the systematic steamrolling of Bob Dylan that occurs in ''The Times They Are A-Changin','' which opened last night at the Brooks Atkinson Theater.

Mr. Dylan's songs have been entrusted to the great choreographer Twyla Tharp, the woman who gloriously redeemed the jukebox genre with ''Movin' Out,'' a narrative ballet set to songs by Billy Joel. Ms. Tharp is one of the bona fide, boundary-stretching geniuses of modern dance. And when a genius goes down in flames, everybody feels the burn.

Using little more than the bodies of her dancers to tell a decade-spanning story of an American working-class generation, Ms. Tharp found unexpected depths in Mr. Joel's music. Using a whole lot more scenery, props and special effects to create a circus-themed allegory of fathers and sons, Ms. Tharp single-handedly drags Mr. Dylan into the shallows.

Among epochal popular music artists of the last 50 years, no one has matched Mr. Dylan in combining a distinctive, easily identified style with an evasiveness that defies pigeonholes. Folkie, protest singer, rock'n'roller, gospel spiritualist, symbolist poet: Mr. Dylan has invited and rejected each of these labels, wriggling out of them with Houdini-like slipperiness to reinvent himself anew.

His very style of singing -- casual, almost throwaway, yet achingly intense -- provides a remarkably complete defense system against those who would parse his lyrics into one core of meaning or belief. Divorce his words from his melodies, and pretension and preciousness rear their self-conscious heads. Most of Mr. Dylan's best songs, even his full-throttle anthems of rebellion and hedonism, tingle with ambivalence, mystery and a knowing sense of the surrealism of so-called reality.

A surrealist approach would certainly seem to have been Ms. Tharp's idea for ''The Times,'' first staged at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego last winter and extensively revised since. This songbook-driven tale of Oedipal conflict is set in a traveling circus, the sinister, down-at-heel American variety portrayed in films from the 1930's and 40's like ''Freaks'' and ''Nightmare Alley.'' But with her top-drawer design team, led by Santo Loquasto (sets and costumes) and Donald Holder (lighting), Ms. Tharp pushes the atmosphere into the phantasmagorical luridness of Fellini, with a splash of Bergmanesque darkness for shivery spice.

Sounds tantalizing, huh? The program indicates that the setting is ''Sometime between awake and asleep,'' and if Ms. Tharp had seen fit simply to keep us wandering through a shifting dreamscape, set to Mr. Dylan's music, ''The Times'' might have passed muster as a really cool head trip for unregenerate hippies in search of natural highs. This would also have allowed each Dylan fan to bring his or her own interpretation to the murky goings-on, no doubt inspiring heated postperformance debates. (''No, man, don't you see, what the little dog stands for is purity!'')

But Ms. Tharp is a precisionist in all things, and she brings to her storytelling the same exacting discipline that informs her choreography. Metaphoric images, which float miragelike when heard in song, are nailed down with literal visual equivalents. And highlights of the Dylan repertory (from ''Mr. Tambourine Man'' to ''Knockin' on Heaven's Door'') take the place of plot-propelling dialogue.

In a show like ''Mamma Mia!'' (the Abba musical) this device can be kind of a hoot. But as you might expect of Ms. Tharp, this lady's not for hooting.

The story -- or fable, as Ms. Tharp prefers to call it -- is about a creepy tyrant named Captain Ahrab (Thom Sesma, who does indeed suggest Melville by way of Tim Burton) who rules over his traveling circus with a bullwhip. His employees include a whole passel of clowns, a lovely female runaway named Cleo (Lisa Brescia) and Ahrab's son, Coyote (Michael Arden), who has the clean-scrubbed look of a sensitive high school sports star.

Will the idealistic Coyote take up his father's whip to exploit the leadership-hungry clowns? Will he steal Cleo from Dad? Will he create a more benign world order? Hint: The show begins with Coyote looking soulfully into the audience to intone, with ominousness and dewy hope, ''The Times They Are A-Changin'.''

The three principals share most of the major singing, through which we learn of both father's and son's feelings for Cleo (via a duet version of ''Just Like a Woman'') and of Cleo's lonely wistfulness (''Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'').

Ahrab's cynical huckster's world view is conveyed by his growling through numbers like ''Desolation Row'' and ''Highway 61 Revisited.''

In contrast, Coyote wonders ''how many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man,'' and Cleo senses a kindred spirit in the lad. Coyote is soon shyly proposing to Cleo that she ''lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed.'' (That I stifled a groan at this point should be honored as an act of heroic restraint.) In the meantime, the clowns are growing restless and rebel against their cruel master, who is destined to find himself ''knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door.''

Are you still with me, brave reader? Ms. Tharp turns lyrics' metaphors not only into flesh but also into flashlights, jump-ropes, stuffed animals and new brooms that sweep clean. (If there was a kitchen sink onstage, I missed it, which isn't to say it wasn't there.) Props rule in this magic kingdom, along with charadelike annotations of images.

Just mention, say, Cinderella in ''Desolation Row,'' and there she is, center stage. When the same song refers to Dr. Filth, there he is performing surgery (on a truly amazing contortionist who provides the show with its single most disturbing image).

When Ahrab breaks his son's jeweled Cubist guitar, which he has been playing so spiritedly for ''Like a Rolling Stone,'' the mournful Cleo freezes the moment by singing ''Everything Is Broken.'' And as hedonism acquires mortal shadows in ''Mr. Tambourine Man,'' who should show up but a group of black-hooded dancers straight out of Ingmar Bergman's ''Seventh Seal.''

Of the three soloists, Mr. Arden comes closest to finding a compromise between Dylanesque twang and hearty melodiousness. But all the leading players suffer from being stranded between character and allegory. (I kept thinking of the woman in Christopher Durang's parody of Sam Shepard who looked proudly at her son and said, ''I gave birth to a symbol -- and me with no college education.'')

Perversely, the songs seem to become more abstract -- and more fixed in their metaphysical meanings -- from being linked with individual characters. The orchestrations (by Michael Dansicker and Mr. Dylan) are often evocative of the original Dylan recordings, but I will say that this is the first time that it ever occurred to me that ''Rainy Day Women No. 12 and 35'' could sound, in an instrumental bridge, like ''The Trolley Song.''

The corps de clowns includes the extraordinary John Selya, who dazzled in ''Movin' Out,'' as the circus strongman and leader of the clown rebellion. But while Mr. Selya looks as buff and agile as ever, he doesn't get much chance to strut his kinetic stuff. There are a few glorious passages of Ms. Tharp's signature, tight-muscled choreography, in which angular body tension becomes its own philosophical statement, an expression of raw existential frustration.

Mostly, though, Ms. Tharp concentrates on stylish variations on circus stunts -- including stilt walking, tumbling and tightrope walking -- some of them truly jaw-dropping. A trampolinelike surface has been built into the stage, allowing the dancers to appear to levitate.

But if the choreography at times defies gravity, the show itself may be the most earthbound work Ms. Tharp has produced. Even as the dancers seem to fly, Mr. Dylan's lyrics are hammered, one by one, into the ground.

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Conceived by Twyla Tharp; music and lyrics by Bob Dylan; directed and choreographed by Ms. Tharp; music arranged, adapted and supervised by Michael Dansicker; sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto; lighting by Donald Holder; sound by Peter Hylenski; orchestrations by Mr. Dansicker and Mr. Dylan; music director, Henry Aronson; music coordinator, Howard Joines; technical supervisor, Smitty; production stage manager, Arthur Gaffin; associate producers, Jesse Huot, Ginger Montel and Rhoda Mayerson; general manager, the Charlotte Wilcox Company. Presented by James L. Nederlander; Hal Luftig and Warren Trepp; Debra Black; East of Doheny; Rick Steiner/Mayerson Bell Staton Group; Terry Allen Kramer; Patrick Catullo; and Jon B. Platt and Roland Sturm. At the Brooks Atkinson Theater, 256 West 47th Street; (212) 307-4100. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

WITH: Michael Arden (Coyote), Thom Sesma (Captain Ahrab), Lisa Brescia (Cleo) and Lisa Gajda, Neil Haskell, Jason McDole, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, Jonathan Nosan, John Selya and Ron Todorowski (the Ensemble).


GRAPHIC: Photos: The Times They Are A-Changin' -- Michael Arden as the son of a creepy ringmaster in the Twyla Tharp musical with music by Bob Dylan at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. (Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)(pg. E1)
Going to the carnival: Thom Sesma, center, as the tyrannical Captain Ahrab in ''The Times They Are A-Changin' '' at the Brooks Atkinson. (Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)(pg. E2)

LOAD-DATE: October 27, 2006

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bob Dylan's American Journey 1956-1966

Today the family went to the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan to see the Bob Dylan exhibition devoted to his formative years.  I was like a kid in a candy store viewing the Dylan memorabilia of my favorite era of his career.   For example, there were signed copies of Dylan albums from that era.  I enjoyed a booth which featured clips from the films Don't Look Back and Eat the Document.  The latter was a documentary of Dylan's 1966 tour of England.  It featured a clip of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash singing together.  The Slutsky family is in 7th heaven when we see those two together.  There were booths for each of Dylan's albums from that era.  One could press a button and hear each song from that respective album.  There was a copy of the Hibbing High School yearbook with his picture.  For more information please see 

The Morgan was certainly a very exquisite museum suited for very cultured people.  From there we went to Mendy's kosher restaurant on 34th and Park Avenue where I had my pastrami sandwich with chicken soup.

Sounds of the Sixties was not available on the Internet this week.  Apparently the BBC had some technical difficulties, so I listening to XM's the Loft which is very similar to WFUV.  It seems I never listen to Dylan when I am writing a blog entry about him.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

I bought an HD radio today

In one of my earlier posts I described how I have been a radio enthusiast over many years.HD radio is a relatively new innovation.  The quality of AM and FM stations are significantly better.  It also allows for more than one station on a frequencey.  For example WKTU at 103.5 FM plays dance music, but there is a WKTU-HD2 station that plays country music.  NYC has not had a country music station in over 10 years.  Similarly after the morons at CBS radio flipped WCBS-FM to JACK-FM, they moved the oldies format to WCBS-FM-HD2.  Until now I was able to hear HD stations through my computer, but the sound on the HD radio is clearly superior.  When a new technology is introduced the prices are high.  Until very recently the only table model HD radio on the market cost $300.  The Accurian model that I bought today  at Radio Shack cost $175 after a rebate.  Why I am listening to XM radio when I just bought an HD radio?  The answer my friend is that the computer is in the bedroom while the radio is in the dining room :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mets Lost the LCS

What else can I say.  The Mets hitting died in the LCS.  They lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 3 -1 in Game 7.  They left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning.  It is now the St. Louis Cardinals against the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.  The Mets will have to make the appropriate roster changes in the off season and create a winning team for 2007.

Monday, October 16, 2006

23rd Wedding Anniversary

It was October 16, 1983 at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation on Long Island when I married Karen. I was 34 years old at the time which is old for someone marrying for the first time.  In some ways it seems like yesterday, but in others it seems like an eternity.  It was a sunny and mild day when we tied the knot.  I guess I should talk about what has transpired over 23 years of marriage.  We honeymooned on Hawaii where I got a very bad sunburn.  Since then I was never much of a beach person.  At that time I worked for the big New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.  Lee was born on March 28, 1988.  Time imposes changes on all of us, but Karen has been extremely resistant to any kind of change.  She is very set in her ways which has frustrated me very much over the years.  You can't have everything.  In this day and age many marriages don't last very long, so I guess ours have passed the test of time.  But my former sister-in-law Arlene who introduced me to Karen back in 1980 divorced Paul (Karen's brother) some years back after 24 years of marriage.  My parents were married for 51 years when my Dad died in 1997.


The Met Cardinal game was rained out tonight so I guess that Din G from the NJIT library will not respond to this entry. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

First anniversary of this blog

I won't talk about how the Mets lost last night.  It was a year ago today that I started this blog.  There have been 1600 hits, half of which must have been my own.  I do not want to do a statistical analysis of this blog.  That would be bean counting which I define as compiling statistics just to keep busy as is done all the time at work.  I'd like to thank the people who have responded to my postings:

Mike B - former NJIT colleague and Red Sox Fan

Heather H - current NJIT colleague and great advocate of instant messaging.  Last night I had a dream about getting an instant message in the library asking how automotive spark plugs work,

Din G - another current NJIT colleague and Yankee, Net and Jet fan

Mike S - from Forest Hills High School class of 1967

Some of the popular topics of this blog:

Bob Dylan

The Mets

Weekend Activities with the family.


I will keep this blog going!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

CW Post Football again today

We drove out to CW Post to see their football team bet Bentley College 14-7.  Since it was homecoming weekend there was a bigger crowd than usual.  Both teams could not mount much of an offense.  At least it was close.  The last game we saw there was a one-sided victory for Post.  You can't complain at $5 a ticket.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

A Met fan's bragging rights

There will not be a subway series this year.  The Yankees choked during the big games.  The media  is making Alex Rodriguez the scapegoat since he only got one hit in 14 at bats in the ALDS.  There is even a story in the Daily News that Joe Torre will be fired and Lou Pinnella will be named new manager.  I really don't fault Joe, but you can't fire the team.  I think the Mets can now win the World Series.  I am hoping that San Diego wins their series so that Mike Piazza will come back to Shea.  How are you doing Din?

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Times they are a Changin"

Thank goodness for RSS feeds.  We were going to leave for Manhattan by taking the bus to the #7 Flushing line.  About 11 AM while I was surfing the web the RSS feed from WCBS-TV came up saying that a building collapse on Roosevelt Avenue necessitated the closing of the #7 train.  Luckily I was able to change my plans by driving to Forest Hills and taking the F train to Manhattan from there.  We arrived at the Brooks Atkinson theater in plenty of time for the show.  There seemed by by mostly baby boomers and even older people in the audience.  The show featured the music of Bob Dylan and choreography by Twyla Tharp.  The show was absolutely marvelous.  Most of the Dylan songs were classics from the 60s but some newer material was also featured.  I got a lick out of Like a Rolling Stone.  The dancers showed placards of the lyrics as was done in the 1967 movie Don't Look Back.  I'll never forget the opening scene with Subterrean Homesick Blues with Dylan flipping the cards while Alan Ginsberg is in the background.  The show is in previews until October 26th.  I really think this show will make it.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

The Mets Win 6 - 5

It was announced that Orlando Hernandez, El Duque, is also out for the playoffs with an injury.  The Mets started rookie pitcher John Maine and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6 - 5 in the first game of the NL division series.  I brought my radio to work and started to listen when the #7 train went above ground.  When I got home I turned on the television.  It was a closed game, but with clutch hitting by David Wright and Carlos Delgado, the Mets held on for the victory.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Yom Kippur is over

Yom Kippur is the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar.  We pray for a good year.  There was an orthodox temple in my neighborhood that closed on account of changing demographics in the neighborhood.  The Mitchell-Linden area of Flushing was built up in the early 1950s and was populated mostly by Jews.  Over recent years the Jews either passed away or moved to Florida and Koreans moved to the area.  Although the orthodox temple closed, the nursing home next door allowed the congregants to pray there.  For the last 3 years we went to the orthodox services held in the community room of the nursing home.  I don't observe Yom Kippur to the letter of the law, but I did fast for 24 hours.  Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous year.

John Lennon was a Red Sox Fan

Yesterday we took a short drive to the Kew Gardens Cinema to see the movie U.S. versus John Lennon.  This small theater shows many independent films that are not shown in our local multiplex.  Back in the early 1970s tricky Dick Nixon wanted to do anything to be re-elected with a big landslide.  Back then John Lennon assosciated himself with political radicals such as Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and others.  Lennon was convicted of marijuana posession in England some years bag.  Nixon and his stooges like J. Edgar Hoover did everything to get John deported.  This was the theme of the movie.  There was a scene in the movie showing John and Yoko as hosts of the Mike Douglas show with Bobby Seale as the guest.  John was wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform during the show.  Hopefully this film will be shown in Prescott or Pagebyrner will have to wait until it comes out in DVD.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

CW Post Football today

We drove out to Long Island today and saw CW Post beat St. Anselms 34-0.  We could never get tickets to the Jets and Giants so we'll have to settle for college football.  At $5 a ticket, how could anyone complain.  Too bad it was a one-sided game.  Saturday night oldies was delayed since WABC carried the Army Rice football game.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oy Vey Pedro gave up 7 runs in 2 1/3 innings

Hey Din and Mike - I am really worried now.  The Mets are slipping badly since they clinched the NL East.  Assuming they lose tonight it will be 3 wins in their last 13 games.  Pedro Martinez was knocked around pretty good by the Atlanta Braves tonight.  It is obvious that he is not ready for the playoffs.  Maybe  he just can't get any velocity on the fast ball.  It is a brand new season once the playoffs begin.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

No Jeopardy Tickets This Time

A few weeks ago Jeopardy announced there would be a taping of several celebrity shows at Radio City Music Hall in October.  I sent in a self addressed stamped envelop hoping to get tickets.  Yesterday, I recieved my envelop back.  Instead of the tickets it said that there were over 200,000 requests for tickets and that I lost the lottery.  3 years ago I did get tickets for a taping of a super tournament.  Oh Well.  I'll be watching on TV.  Right now I am reading a new book titled Brainiac by Ken Jennings, the greatest Jeopardy champ.  In part the book talks about how he got on the show, but he does discuss the history of trivia.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rosh Hashana today

Rosh Hashana is the first day of the Jewish new year.  On this day we stand in judgement and pray for a good year.  It is said that on Rosh Hashana our fate is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed.  I am not especially religious, but I enjoy many of the traditions of Judaism.  The family has not belonged to a temple since Lee's Bar Mitzvah 5 years ago.  There was an orthodox temple within walking distance of my home.  Over the years the Jewish population of my neighborhood has diminished drastically.  Most of the buildings opened in the early 1950s when the Jews who moved in were young adults.  As time went on most passed away or moved to Florida.  The synagogue building was sold to the adjacent nursing home.  As part of the deal the congregants were allowed to use a community room in the nursing home for services indefinitely.  So for the last 3 years we have gone to those orthodox services.  Almost all of the service is in Hebrew.  I enjoyed the reeform service more since it was mostly in English.  A happy and healthy new year to all readers of this blog.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

2006 American league East Champs

Even though the Yankees lost last night they still clinched the American League East title for the 9th straight year.  The Red Sox lost allowing the Yankees to clinch.  So Pagebyrner, if you are reading this, you have 84 years to go before the Red Sox will win another World Series.  I am really hoping that there will be a rematch of the 2000 World Series with the opposite result.  There are no Mets left from the 2000 team.  Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano River, and Bernie Williams are the only Yankees from the 2000 team sill playing for the Yankees.  Senor Garcia and el jefe quien no tiene pelo por la cabaza will be losers this year.  I hope my Spanish is gramatically correct :)

Monday, September 18, 2006

2006 National League East Champs

The New York Mets beat the Florida Marlins 4-0 and finally clinched the National League East Championship.  This is our year.  Bring on the Yankees!!  This Time the Mets will win.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Semiannual trip to Rockaway Beach

It was hot for mid-September with the temperature going into the 80s.  The family took our semiannual trip to Rockaway Beach.  It was pretty much the same as reported in the April 2, 2006 blog entry.  I noticed many new homes are being built.  It seems that old single unit houses are demolished and replaced with small apartment buildings.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Since the 1950s yours truly has been a big Superman fan.  Since then I watched the TV series starring George Reeves.  For years it was on Channel 11 in NYC and then TVLand showed it for a while.  So I saw each episode umpteen times.  How could Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen not figure out that Clark Kent was Superman?  Great Cesaers Ghost!  I have a couple of VHS tapes of shows that I recorded over the years.  Today we saw a movie called Hollywoodland about the controversial death of George Reeves.  The original story in 1959 was that he committed suicide since he couldn't find any acting jobs since he was stereotyped as Superman.  The movie was about an investigation that his death was likely a murder.  There were some books written about this.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Another Cemetery visit

My grandparents on my mother's side are buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Farview. NJ.  Today my Uncle Abe (89 years old) flew into Laguardia to meet with my mother, Karen, Lee and I to pay our yearly trip to the cemetery.  My Grandfather, Boruch Wagman, died of cancer at the age of 49 in 1942.  My grandmother, Lena Wagman, lived to age 90 and died in 1979.  After the visit, we had lunch at Ben's Deli in Bayside.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

EL Duque had the Wright Stuff Today

We went to our last Met game of the season today.  Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez had good stuff as the Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 as David Wright had the game winning hit.  The Mets will clinch the National League East Championship soon.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Look Who's Number One!

For the first time in 30 years, Bob Dylan tops The Billboard 200 with "Modern Times." Not only is it the legendary songwriter's first album to reach the throne since "Desire" in 1976, it's also his highest debuting album and his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The Columbia set moved 192,000 copies in the United States in its first week.

"Modern Times" is Dylan's third consecutive top 10 studio set, following 1997's "Time Out of Mind" and 2001's "Love & Theft." Aside from "Desire" and "Modern Times," only two other Dylan albums assumed the plateau on the chart: 1974's "Planet Waves" and the 1975 classic "Blood on the Tracks."

Not bad for a 65 year old


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Bought Dylan Tickets for Nov 13 at Nassau Coliseum

I bought tickets for Bob Dylan at Nassau Coliseum on Monday November 13th.  Ticketmaster charges increase the cost of tickets by 25%.  The only alternative is to go to the venue to buy the tickets.  I always buy Madison Square Garden tickets there since I pass by the Garden on my way home.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Visited Dad's Grave today/Happy Birthday Mom

It is customary in the Jewish religion to visit the graves of loved ones right before the High Holy Days.  Karen, Lee and I went with my mother to visit my Dad's  grave in New Montefiore Cemetary out on Long Island. It is hard to believe that 9 years have passed since he died in 1997.  We also visited the graves of Karen's mother and grandmother in nearby Beth Moses Cemetary.  From there we went to the Scobee Diner in Little Neck for my Mom's bithday.  Since she was born in Europe, she never knew her exact date of birth, but she always celebrates in on September 4.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Went to Macy's Today

I just turned on Sounds of the Sixties, one of my favorite Internet radio shows, and heard a new DJ named Johnnie Walker.  He said that Brian Matthew was taking a vacation.  I think Brian deserves some rest and relaxation.  Reg at NJIT who is British told me that Brian has been on the air in the UK for over 40 years.  The sun finally came out today.  I took Lee to Cunningham Park in the morning to shoot baskets.  In the afternoon we went to Macy's.  I bought 3 long sleeve dress shirts to replace three shirts that were worn out.  All of my dress shirts give out when there is a tear on my left elbow.  I spoke to my old buddy Anthony yesterday who works at a public library on Long Island.  Sadly, his boss is really giving him a hard time there and he is having trouble coping with it.  I wish him well.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Rainy Day - Movie today

The remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto hit New York today so the weather was pretty gloomy.  We went to see the movie Invincible about a football player who walked onto a tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles and made the team.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

26 years ago today

In late July 1980 for the very first time I was stood up for a date.  I had made a date with this young lady over the phone.  When I came to her door, she just said I just don't want to go out.  For a short time I was "down in the dumps" over this.  At that time I worked for Schering-Plough in Bloomfield, NJ.  A few weeks later my colleague Arlene Shapiro asked me if I would like to meet her sister-in-law Karen who lived in Queens.  I made a date with her for Saturday night August 30, 1980.  We went to see an ice show at Nassau Coliseum.  To make a very long story short we were married on October 16, 1983.  It shows that one can "bounce back" from a disappointment.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Modern Times by Bob Dylan Out Today

As expected the new CD Modern Times by Bob Dylan was released today.  Yes, it is hard to believe that Bob has been recording since 1962.  How many recording artists from that era are still around today?  The librarians reading this blog can Google to find reviews.  To be more professional they should search Lexis Nexis :)  I found out some more good Dylan news today.  He will be playing at Nassau Coliseum on November 13th.  Back in the 1960s I had to scrape up my allowance money to buy albums.  I remember running to Alexanders in Rego Park on Friday to see what albums were on sale.  The problem today is that there are so few stores selling CDs.  I could have downloaded Modern Times from Itunes, but I wanted the booklet that comes with the CD.  For a few more dollars there was a DVD of four videos.  Since Lee is off from school Karen took him to the Times Square area.  They went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum where Lee took a picture with Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.  From there they went to the Virgin Record store where Karen bought the CD, DVD and Rolling Stone magazinine with Dylan on the cover.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Baseball Tour - Day 4

Day 4 – Saturday August 26


We left the motel near St. Louis at 8 AM and arrived in Chicago at 2 PM.  The first stop was Harry Caray’s, a restaurant named for the famous broadcaster for the Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox.  We ate from a delicious Italian buffet.  From there we went to US Cellular Field on the south side of Chicago.  The game was briefly delayed by a shower at 5:45 PM.  This game between the Minnesota Twins and White Sox turned out to be the best of all we saw on this trip.  Many of the people in our group were from Minnesota or Wisconsin and were avid Twin fans.  The Twins had a 6-3 lead but the White Sox rallied to tie game a 7 at the end of 9 innings.  The Twins scored in the top of the 11th and won the game 8-7.

Baseball Tour - Day 3

Day 3 – Friday August 25th


 We left the hotel at 10:30 AM for downtown St. Louis.  Our first stop was the landmark Gateway Arch.  We took a tram to the top where we were able to see Illinois on one side and St. Louis from the other.  There was also s museum with artifacts concerning the opening of the west.  From there we went to the new Busch Stadium, which just opened this season.  The tour guides showed us the luxury boxes and let us sit in the dugouts.  The next stop was the St. Louis Cardinals Museum and Bowling Hall of Fame that were in the same building.  Dinner for us was in Mike Shannon’s a restaurant owned and operated by the former Cardinal player.  The game, which started at 7 PM, was a match up between regional rivalries the Cubs and Cardinals.  The Cardinals won the game 2-0 in spite of leaving 15 men on base. (  Although the Cubs scored 11 runs against the Phillies yesterday, the Cards shut them out today.  When we arrived back at the hotel Jay was selling t-shirts with logos of his tour company.

Baseball Tour - Day 2

Day 2 – Thursday August 24th


We left the motel in Milwaukee at 9 AM and traveled to Chicago where we arrived at 11 AM by Wrigley Field.  We walked around the neighborhood called Wrigleyville until 12:30 Pm when we went into the ball park.  We had great seats just on the third base side of home plate on the lower level.  The game turned out to be a blowout with the Cubs defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2.  ( )  The actor Harold Ramis sang Take Me Out To the Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch.  Jay Buckley, our tour guide, gave us 1 ½ hours to eat dinner near the ball park.  We departed Wrigley at 5:15 PM.  Jay gave us a little tour of Chicago as we drove toward St. Louis.  He showed us a video of the history of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He later gave everyone a chance to talk about themselves.  I went up to the microphone and spoke about my history with the New York Mets.  We arrived at the motel in Collinsville, IL at 11:15.  We spent about 8 hours today on the bus.

Baseball Tour - Day 1

Day 1 – Wednesday August 23rd


As expected the beginning of the day was uneventful.  After we ate a continental breakfast provided by the hotel, we walked around the area for a short time but there was nothing there except for warehouses and factories.  We spent most of the morning watching television.  At 12 Noon when we had to leave the room we met several of our “tour mates” in the lobby.  We met people from San Francisco, North Dakota, and Minnesota.  The tour bus, which picked up people in Wisconsin, arrived at 1:45 PM  It left at 2 PM and arrived at Miller Park in Milwaukee at 4 PM when our tailgate party began.  There were plenty of hamburgers, bratwust and beer for all.  Miller Park which opened in 2001 is certainly a beautiful stadium.  Since there was a threat of rain, the retractable dome was closed.  The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 7 –1.  Kaz Matsui who was dropped by the Mets earlier in the season played for the Rockies.  For a recap please see

Baseball Tour - Prelude

Last winter I did some Google searching for baseball tours.  I found that Jay Buckley in La Crosse, Wisconsin runs many such trips each year.  We picked this trip in late August which was most convenient for us.  We would be visiting Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wrigley Field in Chicago, the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis and back to Chicago to see US Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.


Tuesday August 22nd.


We left the house at 9:30 AM and arrived at LaGuardia Airport at about 10:00 AM.  The line for security was not too bad, but we had to take off our shoes and were not allowed to take liquids on the plane.  American Airlines Flight 325 left on time at 12 noon and we arrived at Chicago-O’Hare at 1:15 PM.  Our motel, the Exel Inn was about 15 minutes away in an industrial area.  We decided to arrive a day early to make sure we met the tour bus on time on Wednesday.  There was just nothing to so at or near this motel except to watch television or read.  A Subway Sandwich shop was the only place within walking distance to eat dinner.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Off to the Midwest Tomorrow

The flight leaves tomorrow at 12 noon for Chicago.  We'll have to get to LaGuardia by 10 AM in time for the rigorous security.  Then it is off to Miller Park, Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium and US Cellular Stadium  I am taking a pen and paper to take notes and will add to this blog when I return. Most hotels have WIFIs these days, but I don't have a laptop so I'll have to wait until I return.  If I find an internet cafe, I will not check my work e-mail.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hot and Humid today

Since it was hot and humid today we decided not to go to Shea to see the Mets.  We will be seeing 4 games later in this week, so we decided to go to a movie.  We saw Accepted which was about some kids who create a college who would accept them.  The kids in the movie were Lee's age.  The Mets won 2-0 without us, but let's hope that Tom Glavine's condition is not serious.  The Yankee-Red Sox Game should be starting in a few minutes.  I hope that after Tuesday the Red Sox can bounce back and win the wild card so the Yankees can beat them in the ALCS to make up for 2004.  I am really hoping for a repeat of the 2000 Subway series with the opposite result.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Crocheron Park/Bayside Marina

We went to Crocheron Park in Bayside today just to walk around.  You can see a picture of me by the Bayside Marina.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Baseball Books for my Baseball Trip

Back in the old days there were small bookstores all over.  Today I had to drive over to a Barnes and Nobles superstore at Utopia Parkway and Union Turnpike to buy some books for my trip.  It certainly would make sense to buy baseball books for a baseball trip.  I certainly don't want to read anything about library science, chemistry or micromanagement.  No Dilbert books for me, please. I resisted the temptation get yet another Bob Dylan book.  I will listen to his new CD at the end of the day on Tuesday August 29th. I bought Tales from the Mets Dugout by Bruce Markusen and Did Babe Ruth Call His Shot and other Unsolved Mysteries of Baseball by Paul Aron.  I hope that readers of this blog don't criticize me from not putting my bibliography in MLA or APA format.:) 

Thursday, August 17, 2006

On Vacation!!!

I don't have to put up with the lunacy, hypocrisy, mediocrity, and prejudice of the management at work until Monday August 28th.  I'll be taking it easy until Tuesday when I take off for my baseball tour in Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Louis.  Then on August 29th the CD Modern Times by Bob Dylan is released.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

More on the digital camera

It was a nice day so we decided to take a walk around Little Neck Bay in Douglaston today.  We took the digital camera to get some more experience using it before our trip.  Above is a photo of Lee and Karen.  I will not take my camera to work to take pictures of students in the information commons.  This has been done umpteen times by my beloved friend :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

We got a digital camera

My wife Karen was always very slow at adapting to new technologies.  I had a computer in the house for about 8 years before she even touched one.  We didn't get a cell phone until late 2002.  Whenever we go on vacation, she always took a cheap disposable camera.  I finally convinced her to get a digital camera.  We went over to the local Radio Shack and bought a Kodak digital camera.  It wasn't necessary to get the most expensive model, but we got one.  Anyway, we experimented with it for a while.  You can see photos of Karen and Lee.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Today's photo of me

For some strange reason, I don't pose for many pictures.  Today, my colleague Heather, a regular reader of this blog, brought in her digital camera and took some pictures of me outside the NJIT Library.  I ran into someone last week whom I haven't seen in 14 years who said that I did not age.  I have my full head of hair with very few grays.  I guess at the NJIT Library one must either be follically challenged or have a pony tail to get into the managerial ranks.  3 day weekend coming up.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The Times They Are A Changin' Musical

I think one of my earlier posts discussed the coming of The Times They Are A Changin' musical which features the music of Bob Dylan with choreography by Twyla Tharp.  This will be similar to the Movin' Out musical that she did with Billy Joel's music.  Anyway, the tickets just went on sale.  I ask Karen to go to the Box office of the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Broadway so we could save on the Ticketmaster fee.  She went there and found out that the actual box office does not open until September 6th.  I decided to get the tickets for Saturday October 7th through Ticketmaster.  Remember the new Dylan CD Modern Times comes out August 29th.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Funeral Today

The Herschafts have been friends of the Slutsky family since the 1950s.  My mother met Eleanor back then when they were active in the Rego Park Chapter of Deborah.  I met their son Roy in Forest Hills High School back in the mid 1960s.  I remember walking with him to Forest Hills High School all those years ago.  We used to memorize the WABC and WMCA surveys of the top hits of that era.  Roy used to be a big fan of Diana Ross and the Supremes while I was an advocate of Bob Dylan and the Beatles.  We have been good friends since then though both of us had moved around quite a bit since then.

Roys mother Eleanor passed away Thursday after being ill for several months.  We thought she was on the road to recovery but she apparently suffered a second heart attack and passed away at the age of 85.  Today was her funeral at the Mt Zion Cemetery in Maspeth Queens.  There were only 20 or so people since she had a small family and had outlived many of her contemporaries.  Karen, Lee and my mother were there to give Roy our support.  It's always better to get together at Simchas.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Just Shopping and a movie today

I needed a pair of shoes so we went to the Macy's in downtown Flushing and bought a pair of shoes.  We returned home and then walked over to the local multiplex where we saw Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby starring Will Ferrell.  It had its funny moments.  I would assume that this movie would be more popular down south where Nascar racing is very popular.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Two Mazel Tovs at Work Today

Today when I arrived at work, I found out the Rhonda had just given birth to a baby boy.  She told everyone that she was not due until late August, but last Thursday she was really enormous and wasn't feeling well. I certainly wish Rhonda the best.

This morning my colleague Jackie announced that she was expecting at the end of January.  This certainly came as a surprise to everyone.  She is in her late 30s and of course a pregnancy at that age may be risky.  She said that the tests she had taken indicated everyone was OK and that the baby is going to be a boy.  I didn't find out that Lee was a boy until the instant he was born.  I was in the delivery room and gave Karen all my support.  Likewise, I wish Jackie and her family all the best.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Miami Vice The Movie

As I am writing this entry Brian Matthew is playing I Shot Mr. Lee by the Bobbettes, a minor hit in 1960.  It is a follow-up to Mr. Lee by the Bobbettes, a Slutsky family favorite since 1988 when Lee was born.  At Lee's Bar Mitzvah in 2001 the DJ played Mr. Lee while Lee walked into the reception.

Enough reminisicing for now.  I had seen an advertisement for a free Jazz festival at Queens College for today.  We didn't go since it was oppressively hot again.  We certainly didn't want to stand on a hot campus and be uncomfortable.  It would have been nice to do something different but the weather did not cooperate.  Instead we walked to the local multiplex and saw the Miami Vice movie.  The producers of movies these days can't think of any new ideas so they make movie versions of old TV series.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Semi-Annual Visit to Yankee Stadium

For the last few years we have made a habit of going to two Yankee games, one before the All-Star break and the other after.  It is just a nuisance to schlep up to the Bronx by subway.  It would be worse to drive there.  Anyway the Yankees were creamed by the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays 19-6.  Got home in time to catch the last 1/2 hour of Saturday night oldies.

Monday, July 24, 2006

John Lennon Quote

You can listen to Breakfast with the Beatles any time of the day or night.  The late John Lennon once said "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."  It applies to something I did at work today.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday night oldies on WABC with Mark Simone

Regular readers of this blog (if they still do :)) should recognize that I am always listening to Saturday night oldies on WABC with Mark Simone.  About 6 months after WCBS-FM dropped oldies for the dreaded Jack format, WABC started an oldies show on Saturday night.   From 1960-82 WABC was the premier Top 40 station in the USA if not NYC.  From 1982 to the present it has been a conservative leaning talk station.  This oldies show gives enthusiasts of 60s and 70s music a place over the air to listen to their favorite music for 4 hours a week.  The show has a message board at:

A little after 8 PM he played an obscure oldies called Ma Belle Amie by a Dutch group called the Tee Set.  I wrote on the board that back in 1970 when this was a hit Dan Ingram would say "Who is Ralph Bellamy's mother?"  Ma Belle Amie.  Mark Simone read my post.


Today the terrific trio braved the rain and went to Shea Stadium.  On the way to the game it started to rain.  The game was supposed to start at 1:20, but it was delayed until 2:20.  The Mets came from behind to beat the Houston Astros 4-3 with El Duque as the winning pitcher.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hot day today

It hit 90 degrees in NYC today.  They are predicting a heat wave for the next week.  We went ot the movies to see Pirates of the Carribbean.  What can I say.  It was for kids.  Some of the action scenes seemed to frighten Lee.  The Mets just beat the Chicago Cubs 13-7.  They scored 11 runs in one inning which is a record for runs scored in one innings.  They also hit two grand slam home runs in that inning.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Grease the Musical at Hofstra

I was looking at Newsday yesterday and saw a listing for the musical Grease playing at Hofstra University.  We have gone to Hofstra many times over the years to see football and basketball games.  The price was reasonable so we decided to go.  I had seen the movie version years ago, but never the show.  At the beginning there was a recording of Dan Ingram, the WABC and WCBS-FM radio personality,  introducing the show.  It turns out that Dan graduated from Hofstra in 1956.  It has been 3 or 4 years since Dan has been on the radio, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear him do the introduction.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Musical based on songs by Bob Dylan set to open on Broadway in October

NEW YORK (AP) - Twyla Tharp took on the music of Billy Joel and created Movin' Out, which ran for more than three years on Broadway.

Now the director-choreographer has turned to another pop superstar, Bob Dylan, for her next project - The Times They Are A-Changin'.

The musical, a coming-of-age story set in a circus, opens Oct. 26 at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Preview performances begin Sept. 25.

The Times They Are A-Changin concerns a young man, played by Michael Arden; his tyrannical father, portrayed by Thom Sesma, and a beautiful circus performer (Caren Lyn Manuel).

The musical received mostly encouraging reviews when it premiered last February at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. The San Diego Union-Tribune called it an "exciting, flawed, phantasmagoric fable," while the San Francisco Chronicle said it "looks like a success," praising the production's "dynamic performances and imaginatively acrobatic choreography."

Among the Dylan hits in the show - besides the title song - are Blowin' in the Wind, Mr. Tambourine Man, Lay Lady Lay, Subterranean Homesick Blues and Don't Think Twice, It's All Right.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Doubleheader Today at Shea

Back when I was growing up in the late 1950s and 1960s there was usually a doubleheader in New York on Sunday.  Times have changed in baseball.  Games are a lot longer now since the batters work out long counts and foul off a lot of pitches.  Back then there were relatively few pitching changes, but now there are often 5 or 6 pitchers for each time.  These pitiching changes take time.  Most games these days are 3 hours or longer.  Today, Saturday, there was a doubleheader at Shea with the Florida Marlins to make up a game earlier rained out.  We went to the first game that started about 1:30.  The Mets lost 3-2.  We decided to stay for part of Game 2 since we didn't want to spend 7 hours at the stadium.  We left after the first inning with the Mets ahead 5-0.  Mke Pelfrey was making his major league debut.  When we got home and turned on the TV, we heard that the Mets wallopped Florida 17-3.

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Johnny Cash – ‘American V: A Hundred Highways’

I was listening to Shawn Nagy's oldies station and a Johhny Cash song It's About the Time comes up.  I was getting to write a blog entry about the release of the Johnny Cash CD American V: A Hundred Highways.  Lee and I drove over to the FYE in Bayside to buy it today.  I was suprised that it was open on the 4th of July.  A good review may be found at

The CD was somewhat morbid.  Johnny recorded it during his last year and the songs reflect dieing.

The New York Mets this weekend

Before the season began we bought a 6 pack of tickets to see the Mets this season.  It included the July 3rd game which was also fireworks night.  The Mets were just awful as they lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-1.  At this point the Mets had lost 6 out of 7 games.  Any good team goes into a slump at some point of the season.  The Mets still hold a 10 1/2 game lead in the National League East.  Let's hope that the slump has ended and that we can coast into the playoffs.  However, there have been some collapses in penant races in the past.

A few days ago I was sitting with Lee outside my building.  A neighbor passed by and said she had some extra tickets for todays game against the Pirates.  How can I say no.  The Mets feel behind but scored 3 runs in the 8th inning to win 7-6.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Brooklyn Cyclones

Today, the family took our yearly trip to Coney Island to see the Brooklyn Cyclones, a farm team of the Mets, play.  We got to the game a little early for some time to walk around the boardwalk.  Since there was no place to sit at Nathans, we ate our hot dogs at Keyspan Park.  Larry King and his son were at the game and were introduced to the fans.  Also the Blues Brothers performed between innings.  The Cyclones lost to Aberdeen 6-4.  For details, please go to

Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman Returns

Your truly has been a Superman fan since the 1950s.  Back then I watched the Adventures of Superman with George Reeves on Channel 11.  There was John Hamilton as Perry White,  Noell Neill and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane, and Jack Hamilton as Jimmy Olson.  There is a Yahoo Group devoted to George Reeves at  Later on in the era of VCRs I taped many episodes. In the late 1970s there were the 4 Superman movies with the late Christopher Reeve staring as the Man of Steel.  Today we went to see the new movie Superman Returns with Brandon Routh.  We enjoyed it but my favorite is still the George Reeves TV version.  I am sure that in the years to come there will be more Superman movies with Brandon Routh.

What is wrong with the picture?

The three guys in this picture are mixed up.  The guy in the middle is wearing a Mets shirt, but out in Arizona he must be ecstatic since the Red Sox just beat the Mets 3 games in a row by the scores of 9-2, 10-4, and 4-2.  The guy on the right is wearing a red shirt, but is he wearing red socks?  The guy on the left is completely lost.  He doesn't know the difference between Fenway Park and Central Park

Anyway, the Mets are still 11 games ahead in the National League East.  Baring a complete collapse, they will be in the playoffs.  They start a 3 game series against the Yankees in the Bronx tonight.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rain threatened today - Another crummy movie

Since it didn't rain overnight, Lee and I left for Forest Park about 8:15 AM.  About 2/3 of the way there, it started to rain so I turned around to go back home.  When we arrived in Flushing it wasn't raining.  Sometimes a few miles can make a difference between rain and no rain.  I took Lee to the PS 214 school yard in the neighborhood.  About 15 minutes later it started to rain.  We went to the multiplex to see another silly movie called The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift.  In order to avoid a jail sentence, Sean Boswell heads to Tokyo to live with his military father. In a low-rent section of the city, Shaun gets caught up in the underground world of drift racing.  It is a good movie if you like to see cars being smashed.  Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Rainy Saturday

It rained on and off all day today.  There was nothing much to do but to go to the local multiplex.  We saw "Click" starring Adam Sandler.  It was kind of silly, but there was nothing else to do.  The Mets lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 7-4.  The weather forecast for tomorrow is not very promising.  If it rains, we'll check out another movie.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Wright Stuff

Lee got 2 free tickets to a Mets game since he belongs to the Mets Fan Club for Kids.  Karen was working today as a substitute school aide and I am still on vacation so the tables were turned and I went to the game with Lee.  David Wright hit two two-run home runs as the Mets beat the Cincinati Reds 6-2.  Pedro Martinez started the game and was the winning pitcher.  I think we will have some post season baseball in Flushing this year.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Circle Line around Manhattan

Karen wasn't working today so the three of us took the #7 Train to Times Square and walked to the Hudson River and got on the Circle Line.  We took this trip around Manhattan about 7 yers ago, so it was time to do it again.  It is interesting to be a tourist in your own town.  We observed many new buildings on both sides of the East and Hudson Rivers.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mr. Mom Day 2

I tokk Lee to Cunningham Park at about 9 AM so that he could play basketball.  We walked around the park for a while and then we did our recreational reading.  We drove up to the Bay Terrace Shopping Center where we ate lunch at Ben's Deli.  From there we walked over to the Barnes and Nobles where I resisted the temptation to buy the new Bob Dylan encyclopedia.  I think I have enough books about him.  I did buy a book on fans of the New York Mets. I also bought a book for Lee about the forthcoming Superman movie.  I guess I should write a blog entry about my interest in the Man of Steel.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mr. Mom for the week

Since I work at a university I get 20 vacation days plus 3 personal days a year.  You may as well take them even if you are not going away.  Lee is finished with school since he does not have any regents exams at Francis Lewis High School.  Karen had a job today as a substitute school aide.  All 3 went out to breakfast at Uncle Bill's Diner in the neighborhood.  We went back home.  Lee and I drove to Alley Pond Park where we walked around and then sat down and did some leisurely reading.  When we got home we tunred on the Ovation Channel at 4 PM and saw another special on the life and music of Johnny Cash.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fathers Day 2006

The is the first Fathers Day in several years that I've been home.  Let's look back:

2003- Memphis

2004 - Nashville

2005 - San Francisco

Since we we home, we resumed the tradition of Karen's going down to buy the Sunday New York Times.

It was pretty hot and humid today, so we stayed close to home.  We saw X-Men The last stand at the local multiplex.

Last night we went to Shea to see the Mets lose to the Baltimore Orioles 4-2.  Today the Amazins bounced back and won 9-4

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Rain, the Beatles Tribute band

Still trying to beat that lousy cold.  I am not completely over it.  Last night we saw Rain, a Beatles tribute band at Town Hall on West 43rd Street.  Since it is not possibile to see the Beatles in concert, seeing a tribute band is the next best thing.  Their web site is:   They played Beatles songs from all eras of the groups history.  I saw the Broadway show Beatlemania back in 1979.  I saw other Beatles tributes bands in 1980 at Queens College and in 1995 at a high school on Long Island.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Felt lousy all week

My cold got worse and I took off from work on Monday and Tuesday.  Business in the NJIT Library is very slow over the summer, so I didn't miss much.  I returned to work on Wednesday, but I still was not 100%.  For two days I had train problems getting into work.  Yesterday, the #7 train was not running in the morning, so I walked over and took the Long Island Rail Road to Manhattan.  Luckily, the conductors did not collect tickets.  This morning the #7 had door problems at Hunters Point Avenue.  They took the train out of service.  The delay caused me to miss my connection to New Jersey Transit.  Hopefully, by tomorrow I'll be completely over this cold.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Still fighting a cold

I sure wish that someone would come up with a cure for the common cold.  I just wasn't up to par so I took it easy near home.  I took Lee to Forest Park in the morning to shoot baskets.  In the early afternoon we walked over to the Wendys in the neighborhood for some hamburgers.  Over this weekend I downloaded 5 Theme Time Radio shows with Bob Dylan as the host.  For years I have grappled with buying an XM radio and subscribing to the service for $13/month.  Since AOL offers the music channels on XM, I decided not to subscribe.  In May they introduced a show called Theme Time Radio with Bob Dylan as the host to be heard on the Deep Tracks Channel.  When I tried to listen they said that XM listeners on AOL and Direct TV could not get that program.  Somebody post the shows on a web site and I downloaded them.  These are songs selected by Dylan, not his songs.  Bob sure knows his music.

The Mets are killing the Arizona Diamondbacks 15-2.  It looks like we will have some post season baseball at Shea this year.  I am hoping for a replay of the 2000 World Series with the opposite result.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Took it easy today

I had a cold today so I wanted to take it easy.  We just walked over to the local multiplex and saw the Break Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Fridays off this summer

For the past 4 years or so NJIT has given everybody Friday off over the summer.  We have to work 7 1/2 hours a day for 4 days for a total of 30 hours.  The university saves $200,000 each year in energy costs.  I lived like a retiree today.  I drove to Hempstead Lake State Park in the morning, ate lunch and sat around the neighborhood and did some leisurely reading.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Disappointing day at Shea

The Mets lost to the San Francisco Giants 7-6 in a 4 hour 12 inning marathon.  Barry Bonds was roundly booed by the Mets Fans.  The score was tied at 4-4 at the end of 9.  The Giants scored two runs in the top of the 10th.  In the bottom of the 10th, Jose Valentin and Lasting Milledge homered to retie the game, but the Giants scored in the top of the 12th to win.  David Wright hit two home runs earlier in the game.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Gathering of WCBS-FM enthusiasts today at Ellen's Stardust Diner

Today marked the first anniversary of worst format change in radio history.  On June 3, 2005 the Infinity Broadcasting executives dropped oldies on 101.1 FM after 33 years and changed to the Jack format.  The station featured wonderful radio personalities and a deep playlist of hits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  I really enjoyed the specialty shows such as the Top 20 Oldies Countdown, Soul of the City, and the weeknight Hall of Fame shows.  My fondest memory of the station was hearing Lee's birthday announcement on the Harry Harrison morning show.  In May 2001, Harry announced Lee's Bar Mitzvah on the air.  We played back the tape at his reception.  A year ago today the format was abruptly dropped while the radio personalities were let go with no notice.  There is no sense to rant anymore here. 

A few months ago I began to plan a gathering for today.  In this era of e-mail and message boards it was easy to reach people to invite them.  I got help from fellow oldies enthusiast Jeff Scheckner.  We picked Ellen's Stardust Diner at Broadway and 51st Street .  The waiters and waitresses sing oldies while you eat.

About 40 people came.  I already received some photos.  Above you see me in a crowd.  I am wearing the yellow shirt with blue horizontal stripes.  The highlight of the show was the appearance of Bobby Jay and was a DJ at the station for about 18 years.  I remember winning a call in contest on his show c1987.  When Bobby walked in, he received a standing ovation.  I must say that he has a lot of class.  He said he was very appreciative of the support that we gave him.  Unfortunately, he has not gotten a full time gig since CBS let him go a year ago.  Tonight he is emceeing a show at the Westbury Music Fair.  I certainly wish Bobby the best.  He sure deserves it.

You can see photos at



Friday, June 2, 2006

What a miserable trip home

Mazel Tov - this is hit #1000 on this blog.  Obviously, many of them were my own.  Anyway, my commute from NJIT in Newark to Flushing is tough enough under normal circumstances.  Today when I left work at 4:15,  a heavy rain shower began.  When I got to Newark Penn Station there was announcment that the New Jersey Transit trains were not running.  I took the PATH to 6th Ave. and 33rd Street.  It was only a ten minute delay, but the worst was yet to come.  I got on the subway and took the B train to 6th Avenue and 42nd street.  There was a mob of people trying to get to the #7 train.  I presumed that due to flooding the #7 was not running.  I turned back and tried to get to the F train.  They said the F was not running to Queens.  I left the subway system as was able to phone Karen to say I would be late.  I had my radio with me which didn't say anything about the 7.  I walked over to the #7 entrance right near the New York Public Library where I worked from 1983-90.  There was a mob of people waiting to go to Queens.  I used my subway smarts and took the #7 back to Times Square where the trains turns back.  The trip on the #7 to Queens was very slow and crowded.  I finally made it home at 7:20.  Oy Vey.

Monday, May 29, 2006

WABC Rewound

My January 1, 2006 entry described my interest in radio.  From 1960 until 1982 WABC was the number one radio station in NYC.  Back in those days the station played no more than 40 current hits with some recurrents.  Since more music was heard on the FM band, WABC became a talk station in 1982.  On Memorial Day for the last 7 years WABC plays records of its days as a rock station and calls it WABC Rewound.  You can hear shows with legendary DJs including Harry Harrison, Bruce Morrow, Ron Lundy, and Chuck Leonard.  In previous years, I taped the shows, but I have enough old radio tapes in my collection.  I am sure that someone will post this show on the web.  WABC now has an oldies show on Saturday night with Mark Simone.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


It seems that everybody and his brother is on Myspace these days.  Just for the heck of it, I set up an account at .  If you are curious, you can go there, but it will refer you to this AOL blog.  There is no sense of maintaining several blogs.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Poseidon/The Mets

Today, the Slutsky crew went to the local multiplex and saw Poseidon.  Back in 1972 when I was a student in Rhode Island, I saw the original Poseidon Adventure which I thought was better.  When we got home we turned on the Met game.  Tom Glavine retired the first 15 batters.  He lost the perfect game, and the Mets eventually won 7-4.  In 45 years, no New York Met pitcher has hurled a no hitter.  The Mets historically have had good pitching, but never a no hitter.  In 2004 we went to a game at Shea where Glavine was 4 outs away from a perfect game.  Maybe some day.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

My yearly visit to Rego Park

Thank goodness I was on vacation today.  There was a very serious power failure along the Northeast Rail Corridor between NYC and Washington.  New Jersey Transit trains were out.  the power failure occurred at 8 AM when I would have been on the train.

Once a year a take a walk around my old neighborhood in Rego Park Queens.

When I was two years old (1951) my family moved there from Brooklyn.  I stayed there with my parents on Saunders Street until 1972 when I went off to school at the University of Rhode Island.  I returned in 1974 when I didn't get a job immediately after graduation.  In May 1974 when I got my first job I moved to New Brunswick, NJ and from there to New London, CT.  Circumstances forced me to move back with my parents in late 1978.  In 1980, I got my own apartment on Wetherole St. a few blocks away from my parents.  Later in 1980 they moved about a mile away to Forest Hills.  IN 1983 when I was first married, Karen and I moved to an apartment on 99th Street in Rego Park.  In 1984 when my father-in-law moved to Florida we took over his co-op in Flushing which is only 4 miles away.  We have lived there ever since.

When I make my yearly trip to Rego Park (usually in May) I observe the retail establishments.  Only a few have remained since the 1960s.  The demographics of the neighborhood have changed.  It is not as Jewish as it once was.  Today, I observed several stores with signs in Greek.  I made it my business to pass by the three apartments where I lived over the years.

The biggest retail establishment was Alexanders Department Store which closed about 15-20 years ago.  That site is now occupied by 5 smaller stores.  I stopped by Circuit City where I resisted the temptation to buy an XM radio.  I can get the XM radio stations on AOL anyway.

Until next year.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Salute him when his birthday comes

It is Bob Dylan's birthday and I am off from work.  WFUV is playing the 15 essential BobDylan songs as voted by listeners and Dylan covers.  I just heard a reggae version of Maggies Farm followed by I Shall be Released.  I remember in 1971 seeing a Peanuts strip saying Oh My Bob Dylan is 30.  When Mr Zimmerman is now 65 years Forever Young.  Many happy returns and many more years Bob.

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

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