Thursday, January 30, 2014

Got a 32 inch Sony Smart HDTV

I think my family has owned Sony TVs since the 1970s when we first bought our first color set.  They are very durable as they last for years and never need service.  Whe had a Sony Trinitron for at least 12 years which was obviously obsolete.  It was still getting a good color picture but was not a High Definition TV.  We finally gave in and bought a 32 inch smart TV at Best Buy.

There is obviously a learning curve involved with a high tech device.  We called Time Warner TV to come in and swap cable boxes and set up the new TV.  What a difference!  We also put our land line phone with Time Warner cable.  I still have to experiment with the internet capabilities of the new set.  I will be able get movies from and Youtube.  I may have to cope with technostress for a little while.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RIP Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Turn Turn Turn has to be my favorite Pete Seeger song which he adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes.  Of course the Byrds covered the song which was a majaor hit in 1966.  Pete certainly was an American icon as he was an environmentalist in addition to his career as a musician.  He influenced many recording artists in the folk music genre.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Outta Space by Billy Preston - Instrumental of the Day

I just heard Outta Space by Billy Preston on The Lost 45s with Barry Scott on WROR Boston.  This song always hits the spot as it brings me back to April 1972 when I got my first car a 1972 Chevy Nova.  I was a student at the University of Rhode Island at the time and heard this on WPRO Providence.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Jersey Devils 2 Washington Capitals 1

Karen and Lee met me after work at the Prudential Center to see our second game this season. Stephen Gionta and Adam Henrique scored for the Devils with assists by Jaromir Jagr.  They held on for a 2-1 victory with a stellar goal tending performance by Cory Schneider.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sadly I Must Miss Bob Radils 60s 70s Show Featuring Number Songs

Last week Bob Radil announced that tomorrow's show will be devoted completely to number songs.  I would have loved to listen to the show, but we bought tickets to see the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center.  Anyway here are some off the top of my head.  Bob can pick as many or as few as he'd like:

1 Man Band - Three Dog Night
2 of Us - Beatles
3 Cool Cats - Beatles
Fourth Time Around - Bob Dylan
Obviously 5 Believers - Bob Dylan
6 O'Clock - Lovin' Spoonful
7 Rooms of Gloom - 4 Tops ( I think he played this last week)
8 Days a Week - Beatles
Revolution 9  - He should play only 30 seconds or else he'll annoy the audience
13 Questions - Sea Train
Only 16 - Sam Cooke
The Wreck of the Old 97 - Johnny Cash

I am sure there are thousands of number songs that Bob can play from the 1960s and 70s.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Day Today

I was a little under the weather yesterday with a cold so I decided not to come to work.  It started to snow at about 9 AM and NJIT closed at 1 PM.  Anyway early this morning I received a phone call from NJIT stating that  morning and afternoon classes were cancelled and administrative offices are closed.  Classes will resume at 6 PM, thus I assume the library will open at 6 PM as well.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Day Present and Past

For many years I have worked in academic libraries as the spring semester always begins the day after ML King Day.  The weather is usually cold so we are limited on what we can do.  For several years we went to the Knick game at Madison Square Garden.  However since the ticket prices are prohibitively expensive we only go to college games at the Garden.  It was just as well that we didn't go to today's game as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Knicks 103-80.  Plenty of people are willing to spend $100+/ticket to see a lousy team.

Karen and I went to the local multiplex to see Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and the voice of Scarlett Johansson.  It is about a man who falls in love with his computer's operating system.  Would computer nerds like this movie?

Back to work tomorrow with a forecast of 6+ inches of snow.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jim Kerr In the Still of the Night at about 6:50 PM Tonight

Bruce and Jim Kerr at the November 2012
Meet and Greet

This weekend WCBS-FM is having an all request weekend.  Since the station returned In July 2007 it adapted a "Greatest Hits of the 60s 70s and 80s" format as opposed to the oldies format in the pre-June 2005 days.  In recent years the stations has played few if any hits from the pre-Beatles era.  It seems that even late 1960s hits have been phased out in favor of 1980s music.

A few days ago I posted in the New York Radio Soundboard folder on Facebook that I thought that WCBS-FM would only play songs consistent with their current format that were requested by listeners. I stated that I voted for In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins.  For many years that song was voted the listeners' favorite oldie on WCBS-FM, but is never played any more  In the late afternoon Jim Kerr posted on my Facebook wall that at 6:48 on SiriusXM 50s on 5 he would play something that I like.  Sure enough he played In the Still of the Night and mentioned my name.

Thank you Jim.  You are indeed a Radio Mensch.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Random Comments of the Day

I left work early today since I had a dentist's appointment in Rego Park near the Knish Nosh seen above.  When I got off the train at Penn Station I walked over to the Circle in the Square theater where I bought advance tickets for Bronx Bombers.  I had a discount coupon that was good until March 16, so I got tickets for the Saturday before that as we usually take Lee to a Broadway show for his birthday on March 28.

I'll have a few more visits to the dentist before I am finished.  The only alternative is losing my teeth.  Too many senior citizens have dentures these days.  I am looking forward to a three day weekend before classes at NJIT resume on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Man Was Fatally Shot in a Movie Theater after a Dispute Over Text Messaging

A few weeks ago I reported in Bruce's Journal about a minor incident in our local multiplex as I politely asked a woman a few rows ahead of me to put her cell phone away as the glare the phone generated was annoying.  She seemed pissed off and reluctantly put her phone away.  The second the movie ended she pulled out her phone.  If you want to text message, why waste your money on a movie.  Just stay home and use your smart phone to your heart's content.

There was a story in today's news that a man was shot to death in a movie theater over a dispute over texting.  Oy vey.  You don't have to kill someone over this.  It's sad in this day and age we all must pass through a metal detector when going to a sporting event.  After this incident we may have to frisked when going to the movies.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Looking Forward to the Beatles Fest in February

Since 1974 there has been a Fest for Beatles Fans in the NYC area.  In 2002 we went to the one in a hotel near the Meadowlands.  It was shortly after the untimely passing of George Harrison.  It is hard to believe that it is 50 years since the Beatles came to the USA for the first time.  In February to celebrate this anniversary the Fest will come to Hyatt near Grand Central.  I bought my tickets for Saturday and will be looking forward to seeing Donovan and Cousin Brucie.  Check back on February 9.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Villanova 74 St. Johns 67 at MSG

Since it was a rainy and dreary day, we decided to take the subway to MSG to see the Red Storm of St. Johns play Villanova.  For mos the game it was pretty even as neither team was able to get a big lead.  The defenses were tight as the shooting percentages for both teams were low.  Villanova pulled ahead in the last few minutes and won the game 74-67.  D'Angelo Harrison scored 22 points for the Johnnies, but it wasn't enough as they fell to 0-3 in Big East Play.

Game Summary

Thursday, January 9, 2014

This is Why I Hate Politics

Bridget Anne Kelley, former deputy chief of staff for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs with NJ Governor Chris Christie

An important responsibility of any elected  official is to make appointments of people to positions of great responsibility.  A manager in business or government is responsible for the actions of his subordinates.  What happened in Fort Lee, NJ on September 9th was an absolute disgrace.  Ms. Kelley in an email sent to David Wildstein, director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority, which maintains the George Washington Bridge stated "It's Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."  Several lane were closed created horrendous traffic jams.  There were four medical situations where emergency responders were delayed due to the gridlock.  A 91 year old woman died on cardiac arrest possibly since she did not get medical attention in time.

What was the cause of this?  POLITICS

It seems that the Christie administration was taking revenge at Mark Sokolich the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee who did not support Christie for governor.  Why should thousands of drivers trying to earn a living be badly inconvenienced by this nonsense.  How many gallons of gasoline were wasted by cars being stuck on this traffic.

Governor Christie did the right thing by firing Kelley and asking for the resignation of Wildstein.  I heard that he has gone up to Fort Lee and apologized.  There must be a thorough investigation of this entire event!  Perhaps there should criminal charges made against the perpetrators.  If Christie was in any way involved in the planning of this, he should be forced to resign.  This could be another Watergate.

Another lesson from this is that everybody should be careful of what they say in e-mail as it creates a paper trail.  These e-mails were sent using private accounts.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When the Beatles Met Elvis - Documentary to be Released This April

Today would have been Elvis's 79 birthday so when I got home tonight Lee put a CD of his hits on the player.  Today as I perused my Twitter feed I found a post announcing the release in April of a documentary about when Elvis met the Beatles on August 27, 1965.  Tom Jikomes the producer of this film also announced there will be a "concert to simulate Elvis and The Beatles touring together in their primes with the advantage of their full catalogs to draw from."

The name of the film is One Day Two Legends.

We'll have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

To Become a Jeopardy Contestant - I Can Only Dream

It's that time of the year again when I take the online test to try to become a contestant on Jeopardy.  Each applicant is given 50 questions with 15 seconds to answer each one.  There were no Bob Dylan questions but there were a few related to chemistry.  I knew that Cu is the symbol for copper.  I have a masters degree in chemistry, but  even a high school student should know that one.

Anyway there must be thousands who take the test while only a few eventually become contestants.  There is certainly nothing to lose by trying.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street is the King of the F-Word

I am not writing this as a review of this movie, but as a comment as to the language used in it.  I don't know if I should blame Martin Scorcese, the producer, or Terence Winter the writer of the screenplay for the excessive use of the F-Word in this film.  I do not exaggerate when I say I must have heard F- about 1000 times from almost every character in this movie.  I think this vulgarity has been used so much that it has lost its meaning.  It is OK to use it in a movie, but was it necessary to include in almost almost every dialogue?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bob Dylan Songs in Other Words from Jeopardy

"Borne Along By Gusts"  

"In The Manner Of A Moving Mineral Aggregate"
"Get Prone, Noblewoman, Get Prone"

"Pounding At The Gates Of Paradise"
"Honorific Hand Percussion Guy"

Beautiful The Carole King Musical

In recent years many “jukebox musicals” have failed likely because there is either a weak or no story line.  Karen is the Carole King fan in the family and really wanted to see Beautiful The Carole King Musical before a birthday or anniversary came up.  I was pleasantly surprised as it was a biography of Carole King with her songs interspersed throughout.  Perhaps the title is a little misleading since her personal and professional relationships with Gerry Goffin (her husband) and the songwriting team of  Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were detailed during the show.  Believe me this is NOT A JUKEBOX MUSICAL.  The songs and their performances by actors portraying the Drifters, Little Eva and others were integrated into the story line.

I know that many of my oldies enthusiast friends will be reading this.  I highly recommend that you see this show.  I expect that it will be as much of a success as Jersey Boys.

Review of the San Francisco Production in Variety

Friday, January 3, 2014

Does Televsion News Spend Too Much Time Covering Snowstorms and Their "Aftermath"?

The news media must properly advise the public that a snowstorm is coming and that people should prepare for it.  Meterology is not an exact science and it is often difficult to predict exact amounts of snowfall.  It is my experience that TV meteorolgists generally overpredict the amounts of snow.  I think it is better this way than to underestimate a snow event.

The prediction of 6 to 10 inches in NYC and its immediate suburbs today was correct.  It was a significant snowfall, but not the "blizzard of the century."  I do feel that TV news very often unnecessarily spends too much time covering the cleanup which I saracstically describe in the title above as the "aftermath".  Is it necessary for mainstream TV stations like WCBS, WNBC, and WABC to send crews out to different parts of the metropolitan to show how the cleanup is going once the storm has ended?  If a person is interested in extensive coverage they can turn to an all news station such as NY1 or News12.

Today I was annoyed since WABC-TV expanded its 12 noon newscast to one hour as I missed Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  At that point the storm was over and they were covering the cleanup in different areas.

Snow Day Today

We got about 6 inches of snow, but it was very cold and windy so NJIT announced last night that the administrative offices which include the library are closed.  Certainly it would not be safe for people to travel by car or even by public transportation to get to work.  There are no classes at the present time anyway.  I'll try to do some reading today.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Random Thoughts on New Year's Day

My holiday vacation ended on an expected high note.  For the first time in a few years there was a complete category on Jeopardy devoted to Bob Dylan.  It was "Dylan Songs in Other Words."  Since Jeopardy is so fast paced it is impossible to write down the answers and questions.  There is a web site called Jeopardy Archive where all shows are documented.  In a few days when today's show is on that site, I'll post everything.  I was pleased that the 3 contestants got all 5 questions.

On this vacation I saw 3 college basketball games:

  • St. Johns vs Columbia
  • Kansas State vs Tulane
  • Hofstra vs NJIT
I saw 3 movies:
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • American Hustle
  • Grudge Match
Visited 1 museum
  • Jewish Museum
Went to 2 restaurants
  • Ben's Deli in Bayside
  • Applebees
There were 259 posts in Bruce's Journal in 2013 down from 292 in 2012.  My most prolific year was 2009 with 428 posts.

It is back to work tomorrow, but there is a forecast for a major snowstorm Thursday night into Friday.  Hopefully there will be enough snow to close NJIT.  There are only a few classes given during the Wintersession, but the library and all administrative offices are open.  I'll have to wait and see.
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