Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Happy and Healthy New Year to All

I wish a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to all readers of my journal
Bruce, Karen and Lee

I Guess I am Chicken to Drive in the Snow

A few months ago I bought tickets to the New York Islanders hockey team for today since it was during the holiday break and a rare day game. When you buy tickets for anything over the winter, you never know what the weather will be. A nuisance snow storm began this morning. It was only about an inch or two, nearly not as bad as the snow in the photo above. The worst time to drive is during the storm since visibility is very poor and the roads have not yet been salted. All morning I was grappling over whether we should drive out to the Nassau Coliseum which is 20 miles away. The trip takes about 30 minutes in normal driving conditions. At about 12 noon the snow stopped and the sky brightened. We left the apartment at 12:30 and saw that it was snowing a bit harder and sticking to the ground. We went back upstairs and thoguht that we would make our final decision at 1 PM. It continued to snow so we decided not to go. The only consequence was that I lost the money that I spent on the tickets. I think I will phone the Islanders ticket office and ask if we can exchange these tickets for a future date. I doubt it they will do that, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Since I have taken public transportation to work for many years now, I just don't have much experience driving in the snow, so I was a little apprehensive, since it was not essential that we go. We watched part of the game on TV which the Islanders won 4-2.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Starting to get ready for the paint job

Believe me our apartment does not look like the photograph above. Anyway, even though the paint job is two weeks away we had to clear through some of the clutter that has accumulated over the years. We also started to look for boxes to store things during the painting. It is almost as bad as moving. I found some books that Lee had since pre-school, so I donated them to the local public library. This is the reverse of my work situation where retired engineers bring their old books to the NJIT. We generally donate them to students since there are usually more recent editions available. I am sure that the Queens Library will either add them to their children's collection or sell them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Not looking forward to painting the apartment in January

We called a painter today to make arrangements to paint our aparmtent in January. We took care of the bathroom and the kitchen last year, but the rest of the apartment needs to be painted since we hadn't done it in many years. The worst part of a paint job is putting stuff away in boxes and moving the furniture away from the walls. It is almost as bad as moving. I have found stuff that I didn't remember having. Over the past few weeks we have dicarded some junk that we never use any more. They will not be painting until January 15, so we have a few more weeks to discard some unneeded stuff. Over the years we have collected numerous records, video tapes, audio cassettes, and CDs. I will not throw those out. Believe me I am not looking forward to this, but it really has to be done.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Who is the Biggest Elvis Presley Fan in the Family?

Lee must have been about 4 years old when we took him to the Westchester County Fair at Yonkers Raceway. he feel in love with a figurine of Elvis Presley. When he was 7 years old he sent a letter to Bob Shannon of WCBS-FM asking for Crying in the Chapel and dedicated it to his Mom and Dad. Elvis Presley music was featured at his Bar Mitzvah in 2001. When we visited Graceland in 2003 I noticed that most of the visitors were not yet born when the King died in 1977. Lee's grandmother gave him Channukah money which Lee spent to buy an Elvis Presely DVD. I think it is safe to say that he is the biggest Elvis fan in the family.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thoughts of the Day

We took the subway the Madison Square Garden to see the St. Johns University Red Storm basketball team play the University of Miami Hurricaines. Miami won 70-56. (Box Score). It was very disappointing that only 5,000 people came to see a college basketball game at the world's famous arena. We only paid $15 for a half decent seat while a Knick ticket would be three times as much to sit in the stratosphere. I guess there is not much of an interest in college basketball in New York City these days. St. Johns has not had a nationally ranked team since Lou Carnesecca retired in the early 1990s.

Since Seton Hall basketball is being heard on WABC tonight at 7 PM, Saturday Night Oldies was only on until 6:45 PM. I don't think SNO fan #1 will apply to become a distinguished professor at Seton Hall. (Frank, please let me know what time Google picked up this posting, thanks) The show started off very well with Mark playing Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women #12 and #35. I was disappointed that he only played a very short clip of the interview he did with the late Eartha Kitt. I am sure that if this were a full show he would have played the entire interview. Anyone who missed the show can hear the recording of it thanks to Medium Wave Dx. Check the Yahoo Board for the details.

I like to congratulate Pete Fornatale on the 26th anniversary of his Mixed Bag show which was heard on WNEW-FM, WXRK is now on WFUV from 4 PM - 8 PM on Saturday Nights. He is playing cuts from 26 artists that have been heard on the show over the years.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Spotlight on Al Kooper

Tonight Lee selected Al Kooper's Rare and Well Done a 2 CD compilaton of his recordings. Al goes back to the 1950s when as a 14 year old he played with the Royal Teens who charted with the novelty hit Short Shorts. In 1965 he played the organ on Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. In 1966 Al fronted a group called the Blues Project which was also known as the Jewish Beatles. He left them to form Blood, Sweat and Tears. He was kicked out the group and replaced by David Clayton Thomas. He later played with Steven Stills and the late Mike Bloomfield on two Super Session albums. Kooper played on hundreds of records, including The Rolling Stones, BB King, Cream and the Who. He discovered the group Lynyrd Skinner and produced their first three albums. I have his biography called Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards, Memoirs of a Rock 'n roll Survivor.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What I did on Christmas Day

Christmas is a strange day when you are Jewish and don't observe the holiday since almost everything is closed. I remember in the late 60s and 70s there was always a Jewish Singles Dange on Christmas Eve or Night. It was your last chance to get a date for new Years Eve. I didn't go to Ben's Deli today, but I'll get to that later.

Right after breakfast I surfed the web as I usually do on non-workdays. Afterwards I decided to go to the local schoolyard to shoot some baskets with Lee. Since the last two days were warm, most of the snow melted, so we could play. We then took a quick ride to Forest Hills to visit my mom. She was frustrated since she couldn't go out for several days due to the weather. Karen brought her Lee's graduation photos while Lee received his Channukah gelt.

When I got home I received a phone call from oldies radio enthusiast Cara Seiden who told me that Ben's Deli in Bayside renewed its lease for another 10 years. If you check my memo of November 27th, you will note that it was feared that Ben's would close, but they negotiated a new lease.

The local multiplex was one of the few places open so we saw the movie. Seven Pounds with Will Smith which I highly recommend. It was better than the movies that we've seen recently.

Since there was an basketball game we watched Jeopardy at 5 PM on WLNY from eastern Long Island. Yes, it is nice to have to times to watch Jeopardy.

At 6:30 SNY reran the final ceremony at Shea Stadium on September 28, 2008. We were sitting in the upper deck, so we were able to see closeups of the players on TV.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Some Changes to Bruce's Journals

At the sugestion of my good friend Dave DuBrow, I have made some changes to my journals. As you can see I have ESPN news on this journal. I made a more significant change in my work related journal ( I am certainly interested in receiving comments on my design. I consider myself more a a "text person" than a "design person" anyway. You can reach me at

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Letter from the New York Mets Ticket Office

Today I received a letter from the New York Mets ticket office saying that on January 6th and 7th I will have a chance to buy a 15 game ticket plan to the new Citifield for the 2009 season. They said that 7 packs which I bought in the past will no longer be available. The seating capacity of Citifield will be only 42,000 while Shea Stadium was able accommodate 55,000 fans. This will cost me about $1200 for 3 tickets, but Lee will be graduating from high school and I will reach a milestone birthday. Sometimes you have to go for a buck in this world. The plan I want has 10 Saturday games plus 5 during the week.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lunch with Roz, Galen and Aron at Seabra Rodizio

Yesterday I went out to lunch with Roz, Galen, and Aron and the Seabra Rodizio in Newark. They usually work on the night shift at the NJIT Library so I don't get much of a chance to see them during the academic year. For Monday and Tuesday of this week the library was open only from 8:30 AM until 4:45 PM so everyone was working at the same time. Please see the Wikipedia definition of Rodizio. It is a meat lover's delight.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why Destroy a Building after 24 years?

There was a story on the news last night that the RCA Dome in Indianapolis was imploded (see the photo above). I did a little research and found out that it was first used for professional football in 1984. My concern is why is a necessary to destroy a building after just 24 years? Are aparment buildings, schools, or shopping malls demolished after such a short lifetime? It seems that society places too much value on sports. I guess the Indianapolis Colts must have threatened to move if they didn't get a new stadium.

There is a new football stadium being built in the New Jersey Meadowlands for the Jets and Giants to be ready for the 2010 season. I must presume that Giants Stadium that was completed in 1976 will be demolished. Who benefits by these new stadia that are supported by the taxpayers? Likewise most of the funding for Citifield and the new Yankee Stadium came from New York City and state funds. Will the average baseball fan be able to get tickets?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I just hate it when there is snow on the ground

The only snow that I like is the type that is soft and fluffy. Yesterday's snow truned to sleet so the snow that is on the ground is very hard and icy. I couldn't take Lee to play basketball as we do on most Saturday mornings. I surfed the web in the morning while I listened to Bob Porter's Function, an R&B show on WBGO. At 10:30 we went to the local public library where I took out a book on the therapeutic uses of stem cells. At 12 noon we went to the local multiplex and saw The Day the Earth Stood Still which was a remake of a 1951 movie. We bought some Dunkin' Donuts and went home to eat them with hot chocolate. We saw the tape of yesterday's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." At 6 PM we listened to Saturday Night Oldies (Hi Frank) which was only 45 minutes due to sports programming on WABC. We then watched the DVD of the Traveling Wilburys that I bought a few weeks ago in Greenwich Village. Everyone in the group was interviewed except for Bob Dylan. That is to be expected. I am now listening to Cousin Bruce on XM/Sirius.

Friday, December 19, 2008

First Snowfall of the season

The weatherman was right as we got about 4 inches of snow with some sleet mixed in. It was not quite as bad as in the picture above. The boss let us go home a little early. It was supposed to be the list day a finals at NJIT, but since the school officially closed at 5:30 PM, evening exams were postponed until Monday evening. On a day like this taking public transportation is advantageous to driving.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Need to Think of New Ideas for This Journal

Readers of this journal must be getting tired about reading about:

  • Radio
  • New York Mets
  • Problems with Commuting
  • Bob Dylan

I will have to think of some new things to discuss. This has just come to mind. I have talked about different eras in my life but I haven't discussed my elementary and junior high school years. I will have to scratch my head and go back 45-50 years. I think I can do it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Crazy Commute Today

Here is Murphy's Law for Commuters: If there is a possibility of a train delay, it will happen. Since I am on the late shift today, i didn't have to be at work until 1 PM. At about 11:15 AM I arrived at the Main Street Flushing subway station. As I sat in the car waiting for it to leave, it was announced that the #7 was not running. They suggested we take the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station. That train came at 11:40 and arrived at Penn Station at 12 noon. I caught the New Jersey Transit train and arrived at work on time. This is only the second time in 16 years that I had to take the LIRR to manhattan from Flushing. I didn't have to pay an extra fare. You just never know where and when there will be a problem on mass transit.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bob Dylan Song of the Moment - Trust Yourself

This time I am not taking anything out of context

Trust Yourself

Trust yourself,Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best.

Trust yourself,Trust yourself to do what's right and not be second-guessed.

Don't trust me to show you beauty

When beauty may only turn to rust.

If you need somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Trust yourself,Trust yourself to know the way that will prove true in the end.

Trust yourself,Trust yourself to find the path where there is no if and when.

Don't trust me to show you the truth

When the truth may only be ashes and dust.

If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Well, you're on your own, you always were,

In a land of wolves and thieves.

Don't put your hope in ungodly man

Or be a slave to what somebody else believes.

Trust yourself

And you won't be disappointed when vain people let you down.

Trust yourself

And look not for answers where no answers can be found.

Don't trust me to show you love

When my love may be only lust.

If you want somebody you can trust, trust yourself.

Copyright ©1985 Special Rider Music

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spotlight on Bob Radil

If you are an oldies geek Bob Radil's 60s and 70s show heard 6 PM - 10 PM Friday nights on WNHU from the University of New Haven is for you. It can be heard in the New Haven area on 88.7 FM, but I of course must listen on the internet. Bob plays requests that are sent to him via e-mail or through the oldies message board. Most of the songs that Bob plays are rarities which are never heard on any terrestrial oldies or classic rock station. Bob knows the music and the artists. I try to listen to at least part of his show on Friday nights. I get home about 6 PM, eat dinner and watch Jeopardy so the earliest I can access the show is 7:30. Bob, Mike Riccio, tom Natoli and perhaps a few others are known as the "Chart Guys". I am sure they ahve memorized every WMCA, WABC, and Billboard survey from the 60s and 70s.

Why I Enjoy Cousin Bruce Morrow's Show on XM/Sirius

For a few years I was able to get the music channels of XM Radio through my AOL subscription. About 6 months ago this arrangement ended, but I was offered XM online for $2.99/month for 6 months and then $7.99/month. I have resisted the temptation to buy a radio. When WCBS-FM was hijacked in June 2005 Cousin Bruce came to Sirius Satellite radio. Since the XM/Sirius merger was consummated I have been able to get his show online. He is heard on the 60s channel on Saturday Nights from 8 PM till Midnight and the 50s channel on Wednesdays from 5 PM - 9 PM. I believe these shows are repeated. I enjoy his show for the following reasons:

  1. He is always friendly in interactions with listeners. Whenever I have met him in person, he was friendly to the people in the audience.
  2. He takes requests from his listeners. He play what we want.
  3. The playlists on his show are a good blend of familiar hits (even burnouts) and relatively obscure records.

Cousin Bruce is a mensch. His show has become my first choice for radio listening on Saturday Nights. He really seems to enjoy his gig at XM/Sirius since he is not bound to a tight playlist as he was on terrestrial radio. For those readers of my journal who are not radio enthusiasts, his Wikipedia entry provides a good biography.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Queens College Basketball Today

We decided to go to Queens College which is a 10 minute ride to see Queens College play St. Thomas Aquinas. Queens lost 63-62. they could have tied the game with 2 seconds to go but they missed a foul shot. Divison II basketball may not be the best quality, but you can't get entertainment for $5/ticket anywhere else.

I guess the Saturday Night Oldies diehards would be ashamed of me for missing most of the show. I am not thrilled about hearing repeats of interviews, so I listened for a while and then watched the game. I am now listening to Cousin Bruce Morrow on XM/Sirius.

Friday, December 12, 2008

From the Facebook Profile of a Camera Shy Man

There are some people that are just camera shy. I have only seen two photos of him on the web in all the time I have known him. What is this contraption that this man uses as his Facebook profile?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spotlight on David McMillan

The gentleman in this photo is David McMillan, now a librarian at Caldwell College. I first met Dave in Spring 2001 when he worked as a temporary librarian at NJIT. I am disappointed that my esteemed boss didn't hire you for a permanent position. I am glad that things have worked out for you and wish the the best in your career and personal endeavors.

Since you told me you have read this journal, you must know I am a radio enthusiast. But did you know that our mutual friends Anthony Grimaldi and Mike Byrnes associated you with a famous radio personality? I going to make you guess which one it is from the one's below:

  • Bill O'Reilly
  • Bob Grant
  • Mark Simone
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Dan Taylor
  • Jonathan Schwartz

You get only one guess, Dave.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bill O'Reilly - Strong Roman Catholic Values

Since I have a long commute from Flush to Newark, I have time to read on the trains. It is ideal to read a book at long periods of time, but for me this is impossible. At times, I can only read 10 pages of a book and then have to put it down. Anyway, when I go to the small public library in my neighborhood, I don't even touch a computer and just browse the shelves for a current book. A week or so ago I picked up Bill O'Reilly's biography as seen above. I consider myself an apolitical person and rarely if ever watch Bill on the Fox News Channel. You can find more out about Bill O'Reilly by reading Dave DuBrow's World Journal File.

On the front cover you can see young Bill reading a prayer book while on the back cover he is seen with Sister Mary Lurana who was his teacher at St. Brigid's School in Westbury, Long Island. Bill later attended Marist College. He traces his journalistic career and constantly refers to his Catholic upbringing from his parents and his teachers. He projects his sense of humor throughout the book which is a relatively easy read. He does not use scholarly language, but does not insult his readers either. I have about 50 pages to go which I might not finish until Saturday. Since I am working late tomorrow, I bring my Radio/CD player on the trains. Friday is my Sports Illustrated day, so I may not get to Bill's book until Saturday. Dave will likely review the book in either his World Journal File or his new personal journal.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Who is your friend on Facebook

Social networking has become very popular over the past few years among people of all ages. I attended a conference where a librarian talked about how she used Facebook to develop relationships with students. She mentioned that it works better to reinforce friendships that you already have rather than creating new friends. When it began Facebook was available only to academics. One had to have a .edu e-mail to join, but that changed to allow everyone to join. I made friends with many NJIT students even though I did not "know" them. Yesterday a student asked to see me and as you approached my office she seemed impressed that I knew who she was. I did say I made friends with her through Facebook. I also made friends with several of my students from Freshman Seminar.

Over the last 3 years I have made "friends" with

  • NJIT colleagues
  • NJIT students
  • College friends (from 40 years ago)
  • High school classmates (from over 40 years ago)
  • Radio enthusiasts
  • Bob Dylan fans
  • Mets fans
  • Colleagues from other universities
  • Relatives
  • People with the surname Slutsky, even though we are not related
  • People I don't even know. Other people take the expression "friend" literally.

I have about 350 Facebook "friends" many I don't even know

I have found out some interesting facts about people:

  • Mark and Richard who are librarians at other New Jersey universities are also Bob Dylan fans.
  • Joe, my beer drinking buddy from CCNY is still a big Mets fan even though he moved to California years ago. He is also a radio enthusiast
  • My nephew, a student at SUNY Oswego attended a Bob Dylan concert there
  • The librarian who spoke about Facebook is dating one of my NJIT colleagues
  • My colleague at an upstate New York university had a baby recently
  • A former NJIT colleague was recently granted tenure at another university

We all must be careful about what we write on Facebook since anyone can see what was written. People do have minor conflicts all the time. I think it is quite immature to de-friend a person after a difference of opinion about something. This has happened to me a few times.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Line from a Bob Dylan song taken out of context

There is a line from I am a Lonesome Hobo from the John Wesley Harding album that applies to an incident yesterday.

I Am A Lonesome Hobo
I am a lonesome hoboWithout family or friends,
Where another man's life might begin,
That's exactly where mine ends.
I have tried my hand at bribery,Blackmail and deceit,
And I've served time for ev'rything'Cept beggin' on the street.

Well, once I was rather prosperous,
There was nothing I did lack.
I had fourteen-karat gold in my mouth
And silk upon my back.
But I did not trust my brother,
I carried him to blame,
Which led me to my fatal doom,
To wander off in shame.

Kind ladies and kind gentlemen,
Soon I will be gone,
But let me just warn you all,
Before I do pass on;
Stay free from petty jealousies,
Live by no man's code,
And hold your judgment for yourself
Lest you wind up on this road.

Copyright ©1968; renewed 1996 Dwarf Music

That guy on the upper east side seems to have some problems with me. I was willing to reach out to him, but he just has no dignity or class. I guess I should congratulate myself on my dissociation from him.

Theme Time Radio Hour - Street Maps

Lee was absolutely thrilled to hear that this week's theme of Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour is "Street Maps". He brings his mpasw whenever we leave the house. At yesterday's "Meet and Greet" he insisted that I take a photo of him with his map. Below is the set list from the show.

14th Street - Laura Cantrell (2005)
Straight Street - The Pilgrim Travelers (1955)
Streets of Gold - The Skatalites (excerpt)
King of the Road - Roger Miller (1965)
Lonely Avenue - Ray Charles (1956)
Hit the Road, Jack - Percy Mayfield (1961)
Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Green Day (2004)
61 Highway - Mississippi Fred McDowell (1959)
Lost Highway - Hank Williams (1949)
Willin' - Little Feat (1971)
(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 - Nat King Cole (1942)
Route 90 - Clarence 'Bon Ton' Garlowe (1954)
The Dark End of the Street - Mud Boy & The Neutrons (1993)
Going Down the Road Feeling Bad - Woody Guthrie with Cisco Houston & Sonny Terry (1944)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Today's Oldies Meet and Greet in Manhattan

For the third year in a row there was a Meet and Greet of Oldies Radio Enthusiasts at Ben's Deli on West 38th Street in Manhattan. It was held on the third anniversary of Saturday Night Oldies, but we considered this a celebration of all oldies radio be it SNO, WCBS-FM, XM/Sirius or anything else. It was nice seeing people that you know only through e-mail and message boards. I have known some people for over 10 years and see them once a year. This year I came with Karen and Lee who met some of my radio enthusiast friends for the first time. There were about 50 people there which was a little less than last year. Perhaps some people did not want to travel. There have been radio personalities at each of this gatherings:
2006 - Mark Simone
2007 - Bobby Jay
This year there were 4 guests:
Big Jay Sorensen - best known for doing overnights at WNBC in the 1980s. He has also worked at NJ101.5 and WJRZ in Toms River, NJ

Anita Bonita - worked with big Jay at WJRZ and also a Z-100
Broadway Bill Lee - see him with yours truly in the photo above. Bill came to WCBS-FM when it returned on July 12, 2007, but he worked at WKTU and Hot 97

Pat St. John (see yours truly with him in the second photo) - He has done part-time work from WCBS-FM but is best known for many years at WPLJ and WNEW-FM.

Jeff Scheckner, the main organizer thanked Frank D'Agostino, myself and Alan Berman for helping to organize the event. Frank who documents every song on the show thanked me for helping him identify some instrumentals that Mark Simone played. He told everyone that I was a big fan of Bob Dylan. I would certainly say that this event was a great success.
Photos may that I took may be found at Many other attendees took photos, and I will post the links in this journal.
Here are some more links with pictures:

Another Night of Jazz at Flushing Town Hall

Last night we saw the Hendrik Meurkens New York Samba Jazz Quartet. This group featured Henrik on harmonica with a bassist drummer, and pianist backing him up. Most of the time a harmonica accompanies a vocalist. Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan are prime examples. But the harmonica was the lead instrument in this quartet. He sounded great. I vaguely remember that years ago (1950s-60s) there was an instrumental group known as the Harmonicats.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Changing Demographics in Queens

Around the high holidays I wrote in this journal that an orthodox temple near us on Union Street and 33rd Avenue closed about 5 years ago and is now holding services in the community room of the adjacent nursing home. Today, as I passed by that location on my way to work there was a sign on the building saying that it was a Korean church. I don't know if they are renovating the old building or demolishing it and erecting a church on the same site.

Lee's Bar Mitzvah was held in 2001 at Temple Israel of Jamaica at 188th Street and the Grand Central Parkway. This congregation lost membership and merged with another reform temple in New Hyde Park. The building was sold to a Muslim organization who converted the building to a mosque.

It seems that younger Jews are not staying in Queens. They must be moving out to the suburbs. At least 2 synagogues have closed an sold their buildings to other religions.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Writer's Cramp Today

It's one of those days when I just don't want to write. Everyone in the family is fine. I think there will be a very long entry written on Saturday night.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Congratulations Judy Mermelstein

For the first time ever I saw a contestant on Jeopardy who I know. Judy Mermelstein nee Judy Goldberg was a classmate of mine at Forest Hills High School. I didn't know her well back in 1967, but we became reacquainted through Mike Seidman a few years ago. She was at a party held at Mikes house a few summers ago. Judy won $38,401 on Jeopardy today with the chance to win more tomorrow. When Alex Trebek interviewed her tongiht, she said she appeared on the old Jeopardy with Art Fleming in 1972.
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