Monday, September 30, 2013

Will Bob Dylan Win the Nobel Prize for Literature?

A few weeks ago I reported on my Internet radio rituals, but I also have rituals for reading on my commute to and from work.  On Monday morning I usually read the magazine section of the Sunday New York Times while on the trip home I read the Sunday Review.  In either case, I never know what articles will appear.  Many times the articles are boring and dry and not of interest to me.  I was pleasantly surprised as I found Knock, Knock, Knockin' on Nobel's Door.

The author, Bill Wyman (not of Rolling Stones fame) argues that Bob Dylan should be seriously considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature.  This Bill Wyman is a freelance writer and former arts editor at NPR and Salon.  He states:

"If the academy doesn’t recognize Bob Dylan — a bard who embodied the most significant cultural upheaval of the second half of the last century — it will squander its best chance to honor a pop poet."

I guess in any voting for an award, there are politics involved.  I tend to doubt that the voting members of the Swedish Academy are Bob Dylan fans.  Since the award is announced in October, we'll find out soon.  If he doesn't win now, we can wait until next year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Mets Salute Mike Piazza and Win 3-2 in Season Finale

About a week ago I decided to see if I could get tickets for the last Met game of the season through Stub Hub.  I was able to get tickets in the upper deck behind home plate for about $30/each.  Even though the Mets were eliminated from post season play a long time ago, Mike Piazza was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame today.  There was close to a full house as his accomplishments as a Met from 1998-2005 were shown.  Several former Mets were in attendance.

As usual the Mets hitting was anemic, but they benefited by an error in the 8th inning and won 3-2 while getting only 3 hits.

Game Recap

The Mets ended the season with a 74-88 record, the same as last year.  With so many young players with potential there is cause for optimism next season.  I assume that Sandy Alderson will make moves in the off season.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why I am Not Voting in the Runoff Election for Public Advocate

On Tuesday October 1 there will be a runoff election for the Democratic nomination for Public Advocate between Daniel Squadron and Letitia James shown above.  The role of the Public Advocate in NYC is:

 "That of a watchdog, ensuring that all New Yorkers receive the City services they deserve and have a voice in shaping the policies of their government.."

Both Squadron and James have good records in public service and would serve that role well.  Here is the issue that bothers me.

It will cost $13 million to hold this runoff election while the budget for Public Advocate is only $2 million.  Isn't there a more efficient way of running this election?  I guess most of this money will go to pay people to sit on their butts in the polling place while so few people come into vote.  There are plenty of better ways to spend $13 million:

  • Resources for the New York City Schools
  • Food for the hungry and homeless
  • Fixing the infrastructure
  • Many others
To protest this inefficient method of holding an election I am not voting for either candidate.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bob Dylan - The Complete Album Collection is Announced

The Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection will be released on November 5th.  Amazon states the price will be $263.  For me, there is no sense in buying music that I already own.  I have many of the early releases in vinyl, but I still have a turntable to play it.  This set may be tough to sell since the big Dylan fans already own the CDs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Internet Radio Rituals

I likely listen to more radio on my computer than I do on my radio.Here are some of my weekly internet radio rituals:

  • Sunday Mornings - Sounds of the 60s with Brian Matthew (podcast)
  • Sunday Early Evening - Lost 45s with Barry Scott on WROR Boston
  • Sunday at 9 PM - Doo Wop with Cool Bobby B on SirusXM 50s on 5
  • Monday Evenings - Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast with the Beatles Part 1 (podcast)
  • Tuesday Evenings - Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast with the Beatles Part 2 (podcast)
  • Wednesday Evening - Cousin Brucie SiriusXM 60s on 6
  • Friday Evening - 60s 70s Show with Bob Radil on Rewound Radio
  • Saturday Evening - Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM 60s on 6
Other Internet Radio Stations
  • Pop Gold Radio - Don Tandler
  • Hy Lit Radio - Sam Lit
  • Johnny Cash Radio
  • - Pete Freckleton
  • Bob Dylan Tracks

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Styles Section in Sunday's New York Times

I usually read the Sunday Styles section on Sunday afternoon, while I save several sections to read on my commute on Monday and Tuesday.  I would like to comment on three articles in today's edition.

Step Away from the Phone  - When cell phones first became popular in the 1990s, it was so annoying to be on a bus or train and have to listen to someone's conversation.  Often people would discuss personal issues in a public place.  Now that everyone and his brother has a smart phone, people are always texting or checking Facebook while not paying attention to anything else.  This article describes how smartphone addicts are trying to break the habit.

Love to Loathe You Baby - this article describes "hate reading" of social media posts.  I am certainly guilty of looking up people whom I have not seen in years.  I would never want to reconnect with these people, but I do it out of curiosity.  For example, I found out that a former college roommate has been living in North Carolina for many years.  He divorced his wife whom he dated when I knew him.  This type of cyberstalking is really harmless. I am sure there are people in my past who find me but don't want to contact me.

Divorce after 50 Grows More Common -  I guess I can understand this situation.  As people age they may develop different interests and grow apart.  I guess the "empty nest" very often leads to divorce.  I guess if Al and Tipper Gore can split, it could happen to anyone.  Some divorces are bitter while others are amicable.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Eliot Rivera and His New York Boogaloo Orchestra

There are more than books at public libraries.  Today we walked over to the Flushing branch of the Queens Borough Public Library to see a performance of Eliot Rivera and his New York Boogaloo Orchestra.  This group played an eclectic mix of salsa, boogaloo and boleros in English and Spanish.  I even found a Youtube video of one of their performances.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Harry Harrison

It is hard to believe that it is over 10 years since Harry left the weekday morning show on WCBS-FM.  He came back to do a Saturday morning show from late 2004 to May 2005.  My best wishes for a happy and healthy birthday and many many more.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fourth Time Around - Bob Dylan Song of the Day

The words and music of Fourth Time Around have little to do with what happened today.  It is "significant" since for the fourth time I had treatment by a periodontist (gum specialist) today.  If you read my blog entry of August 26 , you will see that the dentist and her assistant listened to WKTU while they were working on my gums.  Today the dentist was humming to the music.  Well, at least they weren't listening to Hot 97.

The worst part of it as I described in my blog entry of July 29 was that for one hour I had to keep my mouth wide open and keep my chin down.  It is hard to do since my lips dried up during the procedure.  I am happy to say that the Fourth Time Around Will be the Last.  For the next week I will have to eat soft food and chew on one side of my mouth.  There will be a brief follow-up visit next week, but then I will have to return every three months for a cleaning.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jeopardy Begins its 30th Season

The message is clear.  Please not phone me between 7:00 and 7:30 since after a 7 week break Jeopardy has begun its 30th season..  The only visible change is a new set.  I am hoping there will be some specials during this milestone anniversary season.  Hopefully they will tape some shows at Radio City Music Hall or the Theater at Madison Square Garden.  Maybe there will be a tournament with some of the big winners over the 30 year history of the show.  I would love to see Ken Jennings, Frank Spangenberg, Bob Harris, Brad Rutter, Jerome Vered, and Eddie Timmanus and others return.  Perhaps there will be speculation as to who succeeds Alex Trebek as host when he retires.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Mitchell-Linden Branch of the Queens Borough Public Library Reopens at a New Location

Even though I have worked in science/engineering libraries for many years, I always like to visit my local public library.  The Mitchell Linden branch of the Queens Borough Public Library just reopened two blocks away in a modern facility.  The book collection is very small as expected.  There are more computers and a larger seating area.  Friday afternoon I stopped by and checked out the following book.

Francona, Terry, and Dan Shaughnessy. Francona: The Red Sox Years. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. Print.

Article in Queens Chronicle

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Easy Fast for those observing Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a very solemn holiday as Jews repent for their sins.  On this day of atonement our fate for the year is sealed.  I certainly wish all my Jewish friends all the best for 5774.  If you choose to observe the holiday, I wish you an easy fast.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Yankee Reportedly are Signing with WFAN in 2014

Neil Best in Newsday reports that the Yankees are on the verge of signing a radio deal with WFAN.  This will end a long tradition of the Mets being on WFAN.  Back on July 1, 1987 on 1050 AM WHN became WFAN.  In October 1988 WFAN moved to 660 on the dial.  Earlier this year WFAN took over 101.9 FM.  So a 26 year tradition will come to an end.

The question is what radio station will carry the Mets.  It could be ESPN 98.7 or WOR.  I would not rule out the Mets moving to WCBS 880.  We will just have to wait to find out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Electioneering should not be allowed within 1000 Feet of the Polls

The candidates for public office often treat the voters like morons.  The law in New York State forbids electioneering within 100 feet of the polls.  I vote at PS 214 in Flushing and every time I vote they are 101 feet from the poll on the same block as the school.  Over the past months I have heard enough on TV, radio, and newspapers from the candidates running in the primary for citywide office.  Certainly anyone with half a brain has his mind made while they are walking to their polling place.  Yet there are people campaigning handing out flyers.  One time I changed my vote because a campaigner was aggressive and too close to the school.  I think the limit should be raised from 100 feet to 1000 feet so they are completely away from the building.

I arrived home at 5:45 PM and have received 6 phone calls in two hours.  I am not answering my phone.  Perhaps Mr. Weiner will send me a text message.  I should vote the candidate who doesn't phone.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Evening

It's nice to have the College Point Multiplex within walking distance,  but the mass appeal movies they show are just for the under 35 set.  I wish they would use one of their 12 screens for independent films, but I guess they would lose money.  Today we took a 10 minute drive over to the Bay Terrace Theater to see Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine featuring Cate Blanchett.  Mos of the people in the audience were senior citizens. Anyway, I thought there were too many relationship issues involved in a short period of time.

Cousin Brucie played the Orange Blossom Special by Johnny Cash while Lee was in the other room watching the Mets.  They are losing to the Cleveland Indians 9-4 in the 7th inning.

The Yankee pitching staff is just giving up too many runs.  The first two loses of this series were just heartbreaking while they lost today 13-9.  I really doubt if they will make the playoffs.

The New York City Schools open on Monday meaning that the buses and subways will be more crowded in the morning.

It is primary day on Tuesday, so thankfully the phone calls from the candidates will end.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cedric the Entertainer is the New Host of Millionaire

I have mentioned my enthusiasm for Jeopardy many times in this journal.  Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is my second favorite quiz show.  In fact I play the computer version every day on Facebook.  Regis Philbin was the original host when the show was seen in the evening.  Since the show was syndicated seen at 12:30 PM in NYC Meredith Viera was the hostess.  This week Cedric the Entertainer succeeded Meredith as the host.  Of course he brings a different personality to the show.  He is more of an actor while Regis was a talk show host and Meredith was a new anchor.

I wish Cedric well in his new job.  It will take me a little time to get used to him after watching Meredith for many years.  On today show a contestant proposed to his girlfriend.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Remembering Rosh Hashanah at the Lost Battalion Hall in Rego Park

I have written several journal entries about growing up in Rego Park.  Back in the 1950s and 60s the neighborhood was predominantly Jewish.  During the high holy days most of the retail establishments were closed.  My parents were members of the Rego Park Jewish Center (RPJC), but could never buy tickets for the holidays.  To accommodate the overflow, the RPJC rented the Lost Battalion Hall on Queens Blvd.

I would sit with my father, Uncle Ben, Willie, Leon, Mr. Horowitz, and Mickey.  They would never pay attention to the service, but talk about everything else.  I also recall that many women did not attend the services, but stood outside for hours to show off their outfits.  If I remember correctly the services continued there until the early 1980s, but stopped as the Jewish population of Rego Park diminished.  Those were the days.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yankees 9 White Sox 1

Even though the Slutsky family is big Met fans we rarely root against the Yankees and usually go to two games a season.  Today's game started at about 1 PM, but at 1:30 the game was stopped for a  2 hour rain delay with the Yankees ahead 1-0.  The game resumed about 3:30 as both starting pitchers were removed.  The Yankee bats came alive in the 4th inning as they scored 8 runs and eventually won the game 9-1.  Since we had to sit through a long rain delay we left after the 7th inning with the big lead.

Game Recap

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy 94th Birthday Mom

My mother was born in eastern Europe in 1919, but the exact date was never recorded.  She remembered it was near Rosh Hashanah so she celebrated it on September 4th.  We had a little family gathering at my sister Joyce's house to celebrate it today.  Thankfully she has been doing well lately.  I wish her at happy birthday and best of health.  When you have your health, you have everything.

Casey is crazy about his great grandmother :)

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