Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Bad Thing Aboout NYC - No terrestrial country music radio station

WYNY at 103.5 was the last New York City radio station to play country music. In early 1996 it became WKTU. There were 4 suburban stations at 107.1 FM that played country music from 1998 to 2003, but there was a very weak signal into Queens. I must get a weekly dose of Country music on the radio. Right now I am listening to Willies Place on Sirius/XM. I can also get country music on WLTW-HD2 and on numerous internet streams including terrestrial stations from other cities. There was an announcement today that there will be a new country music stream suited to NYC called the Elephant on WORCountry. I will have to check it out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Most Objective Story about the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

In my professional opinion the following article is the most objective that I have read on this terrible environmental disaster. It is written in the Chemical and Engineering News which is sent to all members of the American Chemical Society. However, people not educated in chemistry will understand it.

JOHNSON, JEFF, and MICHAEL TORRICE. "BP'S EVER-GROWING OIL SPILL." Chemical & Engineering News 88.24 (2010): 15-24. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 28 June 2010.

Please contact me at Bruce.Slutsky@njit.edu if you would like me to send you a copy of it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Agony and the Ecstacy of Phil Spector

This is likely the first time I have ever written a movie review before I saw the film. This morning Karen gave me the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times because there was an article about the release of a DVD set with all episodes of Leave it to Beaver. When I finished that article, I found another one titled "In Documentary, Wall of Sound Meets Wall of Sound." Phil Spector is arguably on of the most infuential producers of popular music in the 1950s and 1960s. He even put his mark on the Beatle's Let it Be album. My favorite hit that he produced is River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner. Sadly he was convicted last year of the murder of Lana Clarkson and is now in prison.

The article describes the documentary produced by Vikram Jayanti which was built around interviews with Spector during his first trial in 2007. In the film Jayanti used 21 Spector songs played or performed in their entirety. However Jayanti never received a signed release from Spector allowing him to use the recordings. This brings up the issue of copyright and fair use.

This article has pursuaded me to see the movie which will be released this Wednesday and will play at the Film Forum in Greenwich Village. I hope my friends who are oldies enthuisasts will also see it. Please see the trailer.

There is a good biography of Phil Spector in the Wikipedia.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CBS Radio Expo at Yankee Stadium

As you can see Mr. Lee did meet Mr. G at the CBS Radio Expo at Yankee Stadium today. His dad wasn't the greatest photographer since Lee's head was cut off. For readers of Bruce's Journal who are not radio enthusiasts CBS owns the following NYC stations:
  • 92.3 Now
  • Fresh 102.7
  • WFAN
  • WCBS Newsradio 880
  • WINS

Each station had a kiosk with its personalities there to meet listeners. The entire WCBS-FM on the air staff was there:

  • Dan Taylor
  • Mr. G
  • Bob Shannon
  • Broadway Bill Lee
  • Ron Parker
  • Joe Causi
  • Sue O'Neal

Many of my radio friends were there including:

  • Alan Berman
  • Mary Shaw
  • Linda Cohen
  • Amy Auerbach
  • Andrea Wiener
  • Gary Fishbein
  • Jerry Gillespie

It is certainly safe to say that the WCBS-FM radio personalities appreciate the support of their listeners. Photos are on my Facebook profile or they can be seen at http://picasaweb.google.com/bigtownman/cbsradioexpo2010

The biggest attraction had to be the athletes who were there to give autographs. The line must have been a mile long by the WFAN kiosk. I was never an autograph hound. Some of the athletes included:

  • Dwight Gooden
  • Darryl Strawberry
  • Luis Tiant
  • Mark Gastineau

There were a few miniconcerts. We saw one by Eddie Money who was introduced by the WCBS-FM team.

Mets 5 Twins 2

Last night's game was part of the 6 pack that we bought earlier. Mike Pelfry won his 10th game as K-Rod picked up his 17th save. David Wright was the hitting star. After this series with the Twin ends, the interleague play will be over for the season.

Box Score

Friday, June 25, 2010

Catching Up with Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour

I obtained this information from Bill Pagel's Boblinks site. He is completing a European tour within a week and this will take a one month break as the tour resumes in Texas and moves to the west coast. Let's hope Bob stops by the Big Apple in the Fall.

6/26/10 Vitoria, Spain - Azkena Rock Festival
6/28/10 Carcassonne, France - Theatre Jean Deschamps
6/29/10 Bordeaux, France - Patinoire Meriadeck
7/1/10 St. Herblain, France - Zenith Nantes Metropole
7/3/10 near Paddock Wood, United Kingdom - Hop Farm Festival
7/4/10 Limerick City, Ireland - Thomond Park Stadium
8/4/10 Austin, Texas - The Backyard
8/6/10 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Zoo Amphitheatre
8/7/10 Kansas City, Kansas - Starlight Theatre
8/8/10 Lincoln, Nebraska - Haymarket Park
8/10/10 Sturgis, South Dakota - Buffalo Chip Campground
8/11/10 Billings, Montana - Dehler Park
8/12/10 Casper, Wyoming - Mike Lansing Field
8/14/10 Jackson, Wyoming - Snow King Resort
8/15/10 Boise, Idaho - Idaho Botanical Gardens
8/17/10 Park City, Utah - Deer Valley Resort
8/18/10 Las Vegas, Nevada - Colosseum at Ceasars
8/19/10 Ontario, California - Citizens Business Bank
8/21/10 Monterey, California - Monterey Fairground
8/22/10 Lake Tahoe, Nevada - Harveys Lake Tahoe - Outdoor Arena
9/3/10 Yakima, Washington - Yakima County Stadium (unconfirmed)
9/4/10 Seattle, Washington - Bumbershoot

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ball Parks that I have visited over the years

Here is a list of the ball parks that I have visited over the years (in no particular order)
  1. Fenway Park
  2. Yankee Stadium (1923 original)
  3. Yankee Stadium (Reconstructed in 1976)
  4. Yankee Stadium (2009)
  5. Shea Stadium
  6. Citifield
  7. Citizen's Bank Park
  8. RFK Stadium
  9. PNC Park
  10. Progressive Stadium
  11. Keyspan Park (Brooklyn)
  12. Great American Ball Park
  13. Comerica Park
  14. Wrigley Field
  15. Busch Stadium (2006)
  16. US Cellular Park
  17. Target Field
  18. Kauffman Stadium
  19. McAfee Stadium
  20. AT&T Park
  21. Nashville - Greer Stadium
  22. Memphis - Autozone Park
  23. Ebbets Field
  24. Polo Grounds

I have a long way to go to catch Laura Nygaard (46 ball parks)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mr. Lee wants to meet Mr G.

Mr. G (real name Irv Gikofsky) has been the weatherman on the morning show on WCBS-FM since the Harry Harrison days. I believe that for the two years that the station was hijacked he appeared on Mix 102.7 FM. He is also on WPIX-TV.

Lee just loves it when Mr. G comes on the air at 6:20 AM. Very often a version of Mr. Lee by the Bobbettes is played as he is introduced by Dan Taylor. Other times he is introduced by a modified version of the Mister Ed theme. "Hello, I'm Mister G."

I bought tickets today for the CBS Radio Expo to be held this Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Lee said he was most anxious to meet his favorite weatherman. "Schlep the umbrella!"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Final Comments

If you are a baseball fan, this trip is for you. Don't go if you like vacations when you can sit around the pool. People can certainly take similar trips on their own, but Jay arranges the hotels and transportation for you. His getting the hotel rooms at a group rate, certainly saves money. He has run these tours for 28 years, so it is safe to say that he is successful. Many people have taken several of his tours. Laura Nygaard has been on 25 tours and visited about 46 stadia. There is great camaraderie among the people on the bus. Many have kept in touch for years.

The tour is very fast moving. It can be a little tough to travel all day, see the game, go back to the hotel, go to sleep, eat breakfast and travel to the next city. St. Louis was the only stop where we had a little time to tour the city. I would have like to have spent more time in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City to see museums and other attractions.

What was the worst part of the tour for me?

Missing Jeopardy for the week. I guess I could have recorded it, but didn't. It didn't go off the air. I also enjoy checking out the radio stations when I visit a city. I had very little time to do it on this trip. I did it in Chicago and on the bus ride through Iowa.

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Day 6

Saturday June 19

We had to wake up at 5 AM so we could leave the hotel in Collinsville, IL by 6 AM to reach Wrigley Field by 12 noon. The time of the game was changed to accommodate the television schedule. We traveled via I-55 to Chicago. It was smooth sailing until we hit heavy traffic in the city. We arrived at the stadium exactly at the time the game began. As I approached my seat I turned around and saw Howie Kendrick lead off the game with a home run. It turned into a blowout as the Angels beat the Cubs 12-0. Box score.

After the game we returned to the Shearaton by O'Hare airport. We originally decided to catch our breath for the evening. We left for New York on Sunday.

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Day 5

Friday June 18

We left the hotel in Independence, Mo and drove on I-70 to St. Louis. We were let off by the Gateway Arch. Since we went up there in 2006, we decided to do something else. We wanted to take a short cruise along the Mississippi River, but the current was too rough that day. We walked in the hot weather to Union Station which was once a railroad terminal but was converted to a shopping mall. We walked around there for a few hours.

We met radio friend Ken Hawkins who lives in the St. Louis area. I have known Ken for over 10 years through a radio club called Decalcomania. I met him back in 1999 when he invited some friends over to his sister's home in Elizabeth, NJ. We ate dinner at Houlihans and then walked over to Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals cam from behind to beat the Oakland A's 6 - 4. Box Score. The many people on the tour from northern California were disappointed.

We followed the subway series on the iPhone as the Mets won 4-0.

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Day 4

Thursday June 17
We left the hotel in Bloomington at 8:30 and passed by the Mall of America which was constructed at the site of the old Metropolitan Stadium. We obviously did not have time to go shopping there. We headed south on I-35 through southern Minnesota and Iowa and saw nothing but farms by the roadside. We stopped for lunch near Des Moines. The escorts turned on the radio so that we could hear the Cub game. They defeated the Oakland A's 3-2.
Kauffman Stadium opened in 1973 but was renovated over the past few years. Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the KC Chiefs is adjacent to it. Before the game we visited the KC Royals Hall of Fame. There was even an exhibit about the notorious pine tar game that was played at Yankee Stadium in 1983.
We had good seats behind third base as the KC Royals beat the Houston Astros 5-2. You can read about a strange reversal of a call by the umpires in this recap .
On the way back to the hotel we followed the 7th game of the NBA finals on the iPhone. When we checked into the hotel there was about 2 minutes left to play. The Lakers beat the Celtics 83-79 to win the NBA championship.
I can't resist posting this video of Kansas City by the Beatles that they performed on Shindig in 1964. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOYq9JiBW3s

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Day 3

We left the hotel in Chicago at 8 AM for our first long bus ride. We travelled for about 8 hours along I-94 on the way to Minneapolis. The tour escorts did a good time in entertaining us during the long bus rides. I did bring two baseball books to read:

Chafets, Ze╩╝ev. Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues, and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009.

To give a mini book review, there are certainly a lot of politics in the election of people for the Hall. It will be interesting to see if the suspected steroid users will be elected when they become eligible.

Raanan, Jordan, and Joe Benigno. Rules for New York Sports Fans. Chicago, Ill: Triumph Books, 2010

Joe Benigno is a host for sports talk radio station in New York. I highly recommend this book for NYC people.

Getting back to the baseball trip, each person was invited to talk about themselves. I said that I actually attended games at Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds all those years ago. I talked about how I have been a Mets fan since the inception of the team in 1962.

The tour escorts organized run pools and other contests to keep everyone amused. I guess one of the highlights of the Jay Buckley Tour is the guess the attendance contest for every game.

We passed by the Metrodome where the Twins played until this season. The Minnesota Vikings football team will continue to play there. The Target Center home of the Timberwolves basketball team was across the street from the Target Center.

One of the reasons we went on this particular tour was to see this new home of the Twins. It is a beautiful ball park with all the modern ammenities. Since any new ball park will attract crowds, our sears were down the left field line. We couldn't see the scoreboard from our seats.

We met Dave and Louise Anderson at the stadium. I have been in touch with them since our 2007 Buckley Tour. We were surprised to see that 3 people on this tour had been with us in 2007.

The Twins beat the Colorado Rockies 2-1.

Box Score

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Day 2

Tuesday June 15

As I was going to breakfast at the hotel, Sheration O'Hare, I saw a Fed-Ex truck pull up to the entrance. I wonder if someone was spying on me. Anyone I must complement Jay for picking an excellent hotel for the start of the tour. Since we had a little free time this morning I listened to my favorite NYC radio stations (WCBS-FM, WFUV, and WBGO) on the iPhone.
At 11AM we left for Harry Caray's restaurant in downtown Chicago. I must say that the food there was excellent. I would recommend that anyone traveling to the Windy City stop there. For readers who are not baseball fans Harry Caray was best known as a broadcaster for the Cardinals, Cubs, and White Sox.
From there we went to the Navy Pier ,a family attraction featuring entertainment, shopping, dining, cruises, and events, featuring more than 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants and more. We did have the time to take a 30 minute cruise of Lake Michigan.
We arrived at Wrigley Field about 4:30. Any baseball fan should go there once to experience a ball park in the middle of a neighborhood. It is one thing to see a game on TV, but you really must experience the environment in and around Wrigley Field. We met George Castle a journalist and writer who gave us a tour of the neighborhood. He showed us the exact location where a 600 foot home run by Dave Kingman landed.
Just before game time it started to rain. Fortunately it stopped and the game began at 8:45 PM. The Oakland A's beat the Cubs 9-5. Box Score . We had several people on the tour from northern California who were quite happy with the result.

Jay Buckley Baseball Trip Day 1

Monday June 14

Our flight for Chicago's O'Hare airport was scheduled to leave LaGuardia at 1:05 PM, but it was delayed since there were hazy conditions in Chicago. When the plane reached Chicago's airspace it was also delayed. We arrived about an hour late, but we were in plenty of time.

After dinner, we saw the tour bus in the parking lot. Larry Zorn and Fred Monk, the tour escorts were displaying merchandise available to the people taking the Jay Buckley Baseball Tour. Each person is given an allocation of "Buckley Bucks" to purchase shirts, hats and other souvenirs of the tour. One can use cash to buy more stuff.

Afterwards, we went back to our room to watch the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Seattle Mariners on ESPN. If we didn't have a live game, we may as well see a game on TV.

I listened to Dick Biondi on WLS-FM on the radio. I have listened to his show online many times, but this was the first time I heard him on the radio.

Why were there no entries for Bruce's Journal last week?

I was away on vacation and I didn't take my laptop with me. I was also advised that for security reasons people should not announce on a public web site that they will not be away from home. I have a unique name and someone could easily look up my address and burglarize my apartment while I was away.

I arrived home at about 2:30 this afternoon and my apartment was the way I left it last week, so my strategy worked. Now please read on to see what I did on my vacation.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Games on my iPhone

  • Jeopardy
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Solitaire
  • Soduko
  • Monopoly
  • Sporcle

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paul Vernon - Facebook friend of the day

Today, I reconnected on Facebook with my old buddy from Forest Hills High School, Paul Vernon. He seems to be enjoying himself at a swimming pool in the photo above. I best remember Paul since we went to so many New York Knick games back in the mid 1960s at the old Madison Square Garden at 8th Avenue and 50th Street. Back in those days we were able to get tickets for games for $1.25 with our high school G.O. cards. There were even all NBA doubleheaders on Tuesday nights there. Those were the good old days when the Knicks had:
  • Willis Reed
  • Dick Barnett
  • Em Bryant
  • Cazzzie Russell
  • Dave Stallworth
  • Butch Komives

Back then the Knicks were mediocre at best.

I remember that in Spanish class Paul would wiggle his ears at me. One of our classmates with Ron Chernow who is now a famous writer. I even remember some of teachers:

  • Antoinette Giusto - Spanish
  • Harvey Pollack - Physics
  • Morris Wigler - Chemistry
  • Arthur Lazerus - Advanced Science
  • Anna Sullivan - Mathematics

Those were the days.

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 2001 - Hershey PA

I have eaten Hershey's candy since I was a little boy. I fondly remember that my grandmother would leave Hershey's kisses in the refrigerator for me after she visited my mother. 9 years ago we drove out there. We obviously visited the factory where the chocolates are manufactured. They did a good job of explaining the process from harvesting the cocoa beans to the final product. You even got a free sample at the end of the tour. We also went to the Hershey Park which must be the roller coaster capital of the world.

I think the perfect song for this journal entry would be Candyman by Sammy Davis Jr. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRf1Ad_Txsg

Lake George Vacation - June 2002

We drove up to the Adirondacks that year for a restful vacation. Let me scratch my head to try to remember what we did:

  • We took a boat ride up the lake
  • We drove to Fort Ticonderoga which was about an hour away
  • We went to a Six Flags park nearby

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 2003 - Memphis

We just had to go to Memphis to see Graceland. I remember flying on AirTran and have to change at Atlanta to get a cheap fare. When we were there I observed that most of the visitors were not yet born when Elvis died in 1977. We took a tour of the city and as the bus passed by the hospital where Elvis died there was a shade at the window of his room. While we were there we:

  • Saw a minor league baseball game with the Memphis Redbirds
  • Visited the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. It is now a civil rights museum
  • Took a boat ride along the Mississippi River
  • Saw the Sun Records studio
  • Walked along Beale Street
  • Toured the Memphis Rock and Soul Museum

The song for today is a no brainer. Chuck performed Memphis at a concert in London in 1972. You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADCz4pXYoVo

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 2004 - Nashville

Since Lee is such a fan of Johnny Cash, we decided to tour Nashville in June 2004 about 9 months after Johnny passed away. We stayed at a beautiful Sheraton hotel in downtown. Let me try to recall some of the places we visited:

-Country Music Hall of Fame
-Ryman Auditorium
-Minor League baseball game with the Nashville Sounds
-Recording studios
-Opryland Hotel
-Performance of the Grand Ole Opry
-LP Field (home of the Tennessee Titans) - we didn't see a game there
-Tennessee Performing Arts Center - we saw Jesus Christ Superstar

To remember the trip, I'd like to post Nashville Cats by the Lovin' Spoonful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4p7prURvIk

Monday, June 7, 2010

San Francisco Vacation June 2005

Our San Francisco vacation occurred about 4 months before I started Bruce's Journal. Since I don't have anything new to report, let me scratch my head and think about that trip.

On our first full day we rode the BART to the McAfee Coliseum to see the Oakland A's play. Later on we saw the SF Giants play at the AT&T Park. So you can say this was a mini baseball tour.

We road the trolley cars over to Fisherman's Wharf. The PCC Cars on the trolley were the same that were used on the Newark City Subway. We took one boat ride around the bay and another trip to Alcatraz. We also saw

SF is such a beautiful city; I wish I could live there.

Three San Francisco songs come to mind, but I will post Scott MacKenzie's San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)


Sunday, June 6, 2010

World Science Festival Street Fair at Washington Square Park

For many years I have been a proponent of the popularization of science. I even had a publication on the subject:

Slutsky, Bruce. Communicating Science to the Public: An Address to Non-Science Librarians. The Reference Librarian, No. 40:73-87

The World Science Festival consisted of 40 events held in NYC over the past 5 days. The final event today the Street Fair took place in or near Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.

We saw a demonstration by Physics Professors at Rutgers University where they demonstrated some very simple physical properties. From there we went over to the Discovery Theater at the Kimmel Center of NYU where we heard 3 brief talks by scientific authors:
  • Dave Bolinksy - Inner Life of the Cell
  • Vanessa Woods - Bonobo Handshake
  • Dennis Shasha - Natural Computing

We finished the day by seeing demonstrations of robots designed by students at the Bronx High School of Science and Virginia Tech.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mets 6 Florida 1

Why couldn't all ball games be like this. The Mets breezed to a 6-1 victory over the Florida Marlins. Jonathan Niese came off the disabled list and pitched 7 nifty innings. Ike Davis went 4-4 as David Wright hit a home run. It was nice to see the home run apple come up. The game took only 2 hours and 15 minutes. Those 3 hour games with many walks and pitching changes can be very boring. The Mets are now 21-9 at Citifield.

Box score

Places Named for Radio Personalities

Instead of writing a journal entry, I recorded this entry.
You can download the file at http://www.4shared.com/audio/8laMrp0V/June-5-Post.html

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mr. Tambourine Man - Gene Clark

The members of the original Byrds are:
  • Roger McGuinn
  • Gene Clark
  • Mike Clarke
  • Chris Hillman
  • David Crosby

The group had many personnel changes over the years. The members also recorded as soloists. Roger McGuinn was the lead singer on the hit version of Mr. Tambourine Man in 1965. I have a Gene Clark CD where he sang the Dylan classic. The video below is from the TV show Solid Gold seen in the 1980s. Facebook friends and readers of Bruce's Journal can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HXa3wfzWKQ . I am not able to post the video.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Suggestion for Using Replays in Baseball

The Jim Joyce blown call that ruined a perfect game by Armando Galarraga has made me think about a replay rule that should be applied in major league baseball. As of now, it can only be used for disputed home run calls. My suggestion is that a manager can call for two reviews a game that can be applied to anything except balls and strikes. The replay must be definitive to overrule an umpire's call. There would be no penalty if the umpire's call is not changed by a replay. In the NFL, a timeout is lost if the call is not overruled by the replay. Below is the controversial play last night. I actually watched it live on the MLB Network which switched to the game in the 9th inning. Facebook friends can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OEfAlOyN7s

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

I guess I am still not in the mood for writing. This cartoon was done by Matt Davies of the Journal News, Tribune Media Services.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

Dr. Winston O'Boogie is also known as John Lennon. I hope my silence of today will speak louder than words of the past.
Personal-Journals blog