Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Must Professional Baseball Players Act Like Children?

For many years the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox has been very hot.  I remember that back in 1977-78 when I lived in New London, CT, geographically half way between the two cities, the lines were drawn between rooters of the two teams.  While I worked at Pfizer back then  Butch Sini was the biggest Yankee fan while Dick Drolet cheered for the Bosox.  It is quite likely that one of them will win the American League East crown while the other will get the wild card.

In last night's game Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli clapped his hands demonstratively in front of Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia as he crossed home plate after hitting a home run.  When Cervelli came up to bat in the 7th inning Boston pitcher John Lackey plunked him in his shoulder.

Hey guys - Two wrongs don't make a right.  Taunting an opposing player is not the right way to celebrate.  Cervelli should have just have high fived his teammates on the bench as stated by Yankee brodcaster Michael Kay.  Throwing a baseball 90 MPH intentionally at an opponent can seriously injure the batter.  At least Lackey threw at his shoulder not like Roger Clemens who threw at Mike Piazza's head.  I hope that bastard never makes it to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

These players make millions of dollars a year for playing a boy's game, yet why must they act like children?

Monday, August 29, 2011

I will be a judge for the 2011 Battle of the Dylan Cover Bands

In July 2010 Pete Freckelton ( I spelled is name correctly this time) won the honor of becoming my Facebook Friend of the Day for being the founder of and for being a loyal New York Mets fan.  Pete appointed me a judge for the 2011 Battle of the Dylan Cover Bands.  Please see that web site for further information about the contest.

If any entrants to this contest are reading this journal I would like to give some advice.  I am looking for originality for musicians covering Dylan songs.  I will not look favorably upon anyone who imitates Mr. Zimmerman.  I have heard numerous cover versions over the years by a multitude of artists and genres of music.  Some of my favorites:
  •  Like A Rolling Stone by Sebastian Cabot - this gets an A++ for originality
  • Don't Think Twice - Wonder Who (4 seasons) - I actually heard this parody before I heard the original
  • Tomorrow is a Long Time - Elvis Presley
  • Mr. Tambourine Man - by Gene Clark as a solo artist.
Very often a good singer will cover the wrong song.  For example, Judy Collins issued a CD called Judy Collins sings Dylan Just Like A Woman.  Her version of Like a Rolling Stone was terrible because her sweet voice was trying to sing a very bitter song.  Her cover of Dark Eyes on the same CD was excellent.

Good Luck to all those entering the contest.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We Made it through Hurricane Irene

The hardest rain was during the overnight hours in Queens while winds were not too bad.  The weather reports staed that by the time the eye of the storm hit Coney Island at about 9 AM, Irene had been downgraded to a tropical storm.  By the late morning the rain ended.  About 1:30 PM we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood.  Only some small branches had fallen off trees.  When I turned on the TV I heard reports of many power outages and flooding.  The rain rather than the wind caused most of the damage.  My mother wasn't as lucky since her complex in Westbury, Long Island is still without power after losing it last night.

I still don't know if I will go to work tomorrow.  I already read the CW Post and Southern Connecticut State University will be closed, but I haven't heard yet from NJIT.  The lastest announcement from both the MTA and New Jeresy Transit said that train service will be limited tomorrow.  If I have to, I will take a personal day off from work.  I'll wait until tomorrow morning to make my decision.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Help, An Excellent Movie

It is 8:30 PM and raining very hard as I write this journal entry as Hurricaine Irene is almost here.  We were able to go out to Cunningham Park in the morning, but as it started to rain lightly at about 12 noon we walked over to the local multiplex to see The Help.  This was a movie suitable for an older audience,  Skeeter Stone, the main character, is a southern society girl who just returned from college and wants to establish herself as a writer.  The film is set in 1963in Jackson, Mississippi as the civil rights march on Washington, murder of Medgar Evers, and Kennedy assasination are discussed.  She decides to write a book about  black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families.  The movie featured Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter and Don't Think Twice by Bob Dylan.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Some Bob Dylan Songs that May be Appropriate for This Weekend

People in the east coast are bracing for Hurricaine which may be a really bad one.  Meteorology is not an exact science so we don't know exactly what will happen until it gets here.  Hopefully the storm will lose some of its punch before it comes here.  Anyway, when there is a hurricaine or storm, a few Bob Dylan songs come to mind.
  • The obvious one is Hurricaine that tells of the saga of Ruben Hurricaine Carter which is not a weather event.  Thank you Bob Radil for playing it tonight
  • Then there is Blowin' in the Wind.  In this case the "wind" in the song is philosopical in nature.
  • Hey, I just thought of Rainy Day Women #12 and #35, but anyone who know Dylan knows that this song often a favorite at concerts has nothing to do with H2O
  • Lastly there is Shelter from the Storm.  A storm in this context is a difficult situation that we must confront.
Please click to follow the links to read the lyrics

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yankees Hit 3 Grand Slams in one game

Whenever the Mets or Yankees play a weekday afternoon game, I usually don't find out the score until I get home since the games take so long. It rained in the early afternoon, so the game didn't start until about 2:30.  I took my radio today so I was able to listen to part of the game.  The Yankees were far behind at 7-1, but eventually won the game 22-9.  The amazing thing about the game was that for the first time in major league history a team hit 3 grand slam home runs in one game.  Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson did the honors for the Bronx Bombers.  In the last inning Jorge Posada played second base.

Game summary

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Days by Bob Dylan - song for late August

A few years ago I posted Summer's Almost Gone by the Doors at the end of August.  For this year I will post the lyrics for Summer Days by Bob Dylan.  We may as well enjoy summer while it is still here.

Summer days, summer nights are gone (almost gone - my interjection)
Summer days and the summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

I got a house on a hill, I got hogs all out in the mud
I got a house on a hill, I got hogs out lying in the mud
Got a long-haired woman, she got royal Indian blood

Everybody get ready—lift your glasses and sing
Everybody get ready to lift your glasses and sing
Well, I’m standin’ on the table, I’m proposing a toast to the King (I assume he means Elvis)

Well I’m drivin’ in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say, “You’re a worn-out star”
My pockets are loaded and I’m spending every dime
How can you say you love someone else when you know it’s me all the time?

Well, the fog’s so thick you can’t spy the land
The fog is so thick that you can’t even spy the land
What good are you anyway, if you can’t stand up to some old businessman?

Wedding bells ringin’, the choir is beginning to sing
Yes, the wedding bells are ringing and the choir is beginning to sing
What looks good in the day, at night is another thing

She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She says, “You can’t repeat the past.” I say, “You can’t? What do you mean,
you can’t? Of course you can.”

Where do you come from? Where do you go?
Sorry that’s nothin’ you would need to know
Well, my back has been to the wall for so long, it seems like it’s stuck
Why don’t you break my heart one more time just for good luck

I got eight carburetors, boys I’m using ’em all
Well, I got eight carburetors and boys, I’m using ’em all
I’m short on gas, my motor’s starting to stall

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin’, pretty baby, but the nails ain’t goin’ down

You got something to say, speak or hold your peace
Well, you got something to say, speak now or hold your peace
If it’s information you want you can go get it from the police

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin’ the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes—you been teasing me

Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
Standing by God’s river, my soul is beginnin’ to shake
I’m countin’ on you love, to give me a break

Well, I’m leaving in the morning as soon as the dark clouds lift
Yes, I’m leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in—set fire to the place as a parting gift

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days, summer nights are gone
I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on

Copyright © 2001 by Special Rider Music

Sunday, August 21, 2011

List of Radio Stations that I listened to this week

Maybe I need a few sets of ears, but here goes:

Over the air stations
  • WFAN
  • WCBS
  • WINS
  • WBGO
  • WFUV
  • WEMP
  • WEMP-HD2
  • WAXQ
Over the Air stations in other cities that I listened to via the internet
  • WLNG - Sag Harbor Long Island
  • WLS-FM - Chicago
  • WOGL - Philadelphia
  • WODS - Boston
Internet Radio stations
  • Pop Gold Radio
  • Hy Lit Radio
  • Dylan Radio
  • BBC Radio 2
  • Dennis Mitchell - Breafast with the Beatles
SiriusXM Stations

  • Fifties on 5
  • Sixties on 6
  • Elvis Presely Channel
  • Classic Vinyl
  • Deep Tracks
  • Willie's Place
  • The Loft
  • Real Jazz
That makes 26 radio stations in one week.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brewers 11 Mets 9

What the heck!  The season is essentially over for the Mets, anyway.  Those bases on balls really can hurt you.  Starting pitcher Chris Capuano gave up home runs by Braun, Fielder, and Betancourt to take a 7-1 lead for the Brewers.  Several players who walked scored on the home runs.  At that point people started to walk out of Citifield.  In the 7th inning the Mets scored 5 runs to get close.  In the 8th inning the Brewers brought in former Met closer Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) to hopefully hold off any further scoring.  He allowed 3 runs including a 2-run homer by Angel Pagan which gave the Mets a 9-7 lead going into the 9th inning.  Closer Jason Isringhausen gave up 3 walks and a single.  Terry Collins then brought in Manny Acosta who pitched poorly as 4 runs scored giving the Brewers and 11-9 victory.

Box Score

There was a Bob Dylan angle in this game.  All along the Watchtower by Jim Hendrix was played when Lucas Duda came to bat for the firts time late in the game.  When Nick Evans batted Twitter and the Monkey Man by the Traveling Wilburys was on the loudpeaker system with Dylan singing the lead.

Elvis Tribute Spectacular at Westbury

I was never much of a contest nut, but about a week ago I clicked on the WCBS-FM website for a chance to win tickets to an Elvis tribute at the NYCB Theater at Westbury.  A few days ago I picked up a voice mail message saying that I had won.  This was the third contest that I won on WCBS-FM over the last 10 years or so:
  • Temptations video won on Gary Clark's Sunday morning show
  • Tickets at Westbury to see Lou Christie and The Righteous Brothers won on Holly Levis's Thursday night's show.  Sadly a few weeks later Bobby Hatfield died.
There were 4 Elvis impersonators at this show:
  • Shawn Klush
  • Donny Edwards
  • Rick Virga
  • Steve Mitchell
Hits from all era's of the King's career were played.  The audience called out for My Way which was sung near the end of the show.  There were appearances by

DJ Fontana, who played the drums for Elvis who is in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

The Sweet Inspirations who sang backup for Elvis and other groups.  Sadly two of their members passed away

Since Elvis is no longer with us, a tribute band will have to suffice.  This show was very realistic.  We had seen Greg Peters impersonate Elvis at Herb Hollander's 50th birthday party in 2002.  We saw another act when we visited Nashville in 2004

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blowin' in the Wind - A Timeless Dylan Classic

Facebook friends can see the video at

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Copyright © 1962 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1990 by Special Rider Music

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Remembering Where the Action Is

I remember my high school days when I turned the TV on at 4:30 PM and watched Where the Action is hosted by Dick Clark.  He featured the top 40 hits of the day.  There were several regular performers on the show including:
  • Steve Alaimo
  • Paul Revere and the Raiders
  • Keith Allison (Paul McCartney look a like)
  • Tina Mason
I subscribe to Goldmine Magazine which advertises vinyl, CDs, and DVDs from the oldies era.  I just received two DVDs featuring shows from that series.  It certainly brought back some nice memories of the mid 1960s.  Some months ago I viewed some shows of Shindig and Hullabaloo at the Paley Center in Manhattan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Remembering the Day that Elvis Died

In August 1977 I was working at Pfizer in Groton, CT.  My New Jersey friend Jay drove to my house where we got into my car and went on vacation in Cape Cod.  We took a drive around the area that evening of August 16 when I heard on the radio that Elvis Presley had died.  When we got back to the motel room in Hyannis we watched the TV news.

In 2004 the family took a vacation in Memphis where we obviously toured Graceland.  We took a city tour which passed by the hospital where Elvis died.  There was a closed shade at the window of the room where he died.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bob Dylan and Leon Russell at Jones Beach

Over the years we have seen Bob Dylan at Jones Beach with opening acts including Laura Nyro, Paul Simon, Ani DiFranco, and Santana. Last night’s opener was Leon Russell who played with Bob at the Concert for Banga Desh in 1971. Leon played a blusey set with songs including Jumpin’ Jack Flash, I’ve Just Seen a Face, Delta Lady, Roll Over Beethoven and Wild Horses. I recognized these cover versions of Top 40 hits, but I was not familiar with some of the other songs played. I was disappointed that he didn’t play A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall or Watching the River Flow. Bob and Leon did not play together.

Dylan and his band took the stage at 9:10. Here is the set list as reported on Bill Pagel’s Boblinks page:

1. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
2. To Ramona
3. Things Have Changed
4. Tangled Up In Blue
5. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Bob on guitar)
6. Mississippi
7. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
8. The Levee's Gonna Break
9. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
10. Highway 61 Revisited
11. Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on guitar)
12. Thunder On The Mountain
13. Ballad Of A Thin Man

14. Like A Rolling Stone
15. All Along The Watchtower

His voice was better than it was the last few times that I heard him. He didn’t mumble or slur his words as he has done sometimes in the past. The set list was almost the same as other concerts on this leg of the Never Ending Tour. This concert included The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, and the Ballad of Hollis Brown which have political overtones. The people in the crowd were older than they have been in recent Dylan concerts that I have seen. Since many older music fans don’t go to concerts, there were many empty seats. I observed several people using their smart phones during the show. A man a few rows ahead of me was actually looking at the Boblinks set lists. We had paper copies, but couldn’t see them in the dark. There were two large screens that were not working, thus I could not see Dylan’s face at all. Dylan introduced his backup band, but otherwise did not talk to the audience.

Every time I leave a Dylan concert, I am always afraid that I will be seeing him for the last time. He just past has 70th birthday and you just never know when he will stop touring. I am sure that he still enjoys what he does. Hopefully he will release a CD with new songs and complete his autobiography.

Lee is wearing his Dylan t-shirt at the concert

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Summer Friday

It is August 12th already and summer is slipping away.  We only have one more Friday off and then back to the 5 day weeks.

I was lucky not to have to go to work today.  There were more delays on New Jersey Transit caused by signal problems.  It was a bad week for commuting.

Thank goodness for the quick oil change places.  Years ago I had to leave my car at a mechanic and come back a few hours later to pick up my car.  I have been going to Sparkles which is near my apartment.  You even get a car wash after the oil change.

The bank interest rates are really low these days.  I just renewed a CD for 4 years at 1.25% interest.  Can it get any lower?

101.9 FM in New York finally made its format change to all news.  I am glad they have kept smooth jazz on the HD-2 station.  I will not express any opinions here.  Please check the New York Radio Message Board and Radio-Info boards for the opinions of the many amateur radio executives who post there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

There is a Bob Dylan Connection to the Mets

Since Carlos Beltran was traded Lucas Duda has seen more playing time.  For a while he was playing in right field, but since Daniel Murphy was injured he has started at first base as well.  Whenever Lucas comes to bat at Citifield the Jimi Hendrix version of the Dylan classic All Along the Watchtower is heard on the PA system.  Apparently, it is Lucas's favorite classic rock hit.  Perhaps Dylan will sing Meet the Mets when we see him this Saturday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just Missed a Derailment on New Jersey Transit This Morning

On a normal day I usually arrive at New York Penn Station at about 7:30.  Today I boarded the 7:36 which stops at Newark and arrived at NJIT shortly after 8 AM.  When I turned on the radio this morning I found out that there was a derailment just out of Penn Station.  This report from the Star-Ledger  indicates that the derailment occurred just before 8 AM.  If I had missed the 7:36 I may have boarded the train that derailed.  The article stated that there were no injuries.  The photo above was from a derailment in Chicago.  The situation had not been rectified by the evening so I had to take the PATH train back to Manhattan.


I really hope someone in charge sees that.  It wouldn't do any good.  Every day there are either signal problems, stuck trains, or a derailment.  When the fares go out, the quality of the service goes down.  When I started at NJIT in 1992, a monthly ticket from NYC to Newark was $70.  It is now $139.  If I decided to drive I would have to take out a loan to pay the bridge tolls.  You just can't win.

Mets Beat Padres 9-8 in a Walk Off - Duda! Duda!

Things have not been going well for the Mets lately.  They just lost Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy, two of their better hitters to injuries.  Thus, we went to Monday night’s against the San Diego Padres with very low expectations for the rest of the season.  The game started off well as Angel Pagan,  David Wright and Jason Bay homered to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.  But, the Met pitching faltered as the Padres took an 8-4 lead in the 8th inning.  However the Mets scored two runs in the bottom of the 8th to cut the lead to 8-6.  In the 9th the Padres brought in their closer Heath Bell whom the Mets traded to them a few seasons ago.  Small miracles do happen as a Met rally was capped off by a walk off single by Lucas Duda which drove in two runs giving the Amazins a 9-8 victory.  The Mets are back the .500 mark at 57-57.
Summary from ESPN

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Googling People

This journal entry was inspired by another article in the Sunday New York Times section titled "An Ex Blogs. Is it OK to Watch by Helen Schulman.  The author starts by saying that she has a good friend who is addicted to Googling ex-boyfriends.  She continues by saying that she hit a goldmine by googling a former boyfriend who was the keeper of multiple blogs.

I have an excellent memory but not quite extraordinary autobiographical memory as described in a 60 Minutes story earlier this year.  I have Googled numerous people who I have known over the years.  I successfully found EMC whom I dated in 1976 (I have been married since 1983).  I was able to find out since I knew who she married.  She moved from New Jersey to Connecticut to Baltimore and has one daughter.  I really have been trying to find KL whom I dated in 1971.  She has a very common name and I just haven't been able to locate her. I did find out that a woman I dated once in 1968 passed away in her late 50s after emigrating to Israel with her mother.

Since I have a unique name, it is very easy for ex-girlfriends or anyone else to find me.  I use Google Analytics to analyze the hits to Bruce's Journal.  Most people use a search term and find one article in this blog.  I have evidence that a former friend from the midwest checks me out almost every day.  Maybe he want to see if I am writing about his favorite pompous radio personality.  There is also someone in Manhattan whose internet service provider is Psinet reads this journal regularly.

Thank you Helen Schulman for your article.  You are certainly most welcome to Google me.  The New York Times article didn't say that you are on the faculty of the New School.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Observing Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday and other things at the Paley Center

As I stated before in this journal I like to go to the Paley Center for Media a few times a year.  We decided to go today not realizing that it is Lucille Ball's 100th birthday.  The center showed videos of Lucille's appearances on the Carol Burnett Show, Dinah Shore Show, and Donnie & Marie among others.  There was also a retrospective of Judy Garland's career on television.  We saw her appearances with Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet in the early 1960s.  There was also a showing of Elvis Presley's early appearances on TV in 1956 on Stage Show hosted by Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, the Milton Berle Show, and Steve Allen Show.

Finally in the Steven Spielberg Gallery on the ground floor there was a summer festival of rock music.  We saw parts of shows by the Rolling Stones and Simon & Garfunkel.  We certainly saw a lot in 4 1/2 hours.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bought an Insignia Pocket HD Radio

The radio shown above sells at $50 at Best Buy, but I was able to get one at Ebay for only $22.  There was no auction, I just bought it for that price.  I felt that for that low amount I could not go wrong.  HD radios have not caught even 5 years after they were first introduced.  101.9 HD2 still plays smooth jazz after the station was sold.  106.7 HD2 seems to have gone off the air at least for the time being.  So, I have a new toy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Annual Newark Bears Game for the NJIT Library Staff

The Newark Bears, a minor league team in the Can-Am league, play at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium within walking distance of NJIT. It is a yearly ritual for a group from the library staff to go over to see an afternoon game each summer. Today Galen Faison, Aron Nemeth, Joe McGuire and I went over to see the Bears play the Pittsfield Colonials. It was a blowout as the visitors won 11-1. After the game we all returned to work.

Box Score

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Concert for Bangla Desh - 40th Anniversary

I was not at the Concert for Bangladesh 40 years ago today at Madison Square Garden.  I remember I was playing board games with my then girlfriend and another couple in Brooklyn.  Some years later I bought the three record set of the concert and later on the VHS tape of it.  Bob Dylan's appearance was certainly a surprise since he wasn't touring at the time.  The above video (over 9 minutes - Facebook friends can see it at ) features Leon Russell singing Jumpin' Jack Flash and Youngblood.  Leon and Bob are on the stage again during the current leg of the Never Ending Tour.  More on that in about 2 weeks.
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