Sunday, June 29, 2014

There are Very Short Acceleration Lanes on the Northern State Parkway

Most of my transportation complaints about subways and commuter railways can be find in my alternative blog.  I have a complaint about the Northern State Parkway in Nassau County.  My mother now lives in the Amber Court Assisted Living Facility on Brush Hollow Road in Westbury.  When I go home from there I have to enter the parkway where there is a very short acceleration lane.  Very often I have to come to a dead stop and then try to get onto to the parkway.  This can be a difficult maneuver.  Don't engineers know how to design a highway?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Remembering the Summer of 1974

Bob Radil tonight will be featuring the music of the summer of 1974 tonight.  Back in those days I listened to WABC which had a very tight playlist.  Some of the big hits of that summer were:

  1. Rock the Boat - The Hues Corporation (RCA)      
  2. You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics (Avco)        
  3. Billy, Don't Be a Hero - Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods (ABC)
  4. Rock Your Baby - George McCrae (T.K.)                      
  5. Sundown - Gordon Lightfoot (Reprise)                      
  6. The Streak - Ray Stevens (Barnaby)                        
  7. Band On the Run - Paul McCartney & Wings (Apple)          
  8. Be Thankful For What You Got - William deVaughn (Roxbury)

I am sure that Bob will feature many of the rarities of that summer that were not played on WABC.  Anyway when I hear the music of a specific time period, I go back and think of what I was doing at that time.  Many of the entries of this Journal are autobiographical.  In 2008 I detailed my time in New Brunswick, NJ from May 1974 - December 1976.  In this entry I'll focus on the Summer of 1974.

In the Spring after several months of job hunting I landed my first professional job at a chemical company called Rhodia which was the American division of a French chemical company called Rhone-Poulenc. It was involved in the manufacture of fragance chemicals. Some of my co-workers (I am only giving their first names) were Jack, Lou, Richard, Alexandra, Marshall, Karin and Joe.  It was dificult making the transition to industry as I had spent my entire life as a student.   In the previous journal entry I discussed my social life at that time.  In June 1974 I went on singles weekend at a dude ranch in upstate New York.  I also remember a Jewish singles group at the YMHA in Highland Park.  During that summer I lived at 9 Hartwell Street until the fall when I moved into a high rise building called the Colony House.

I found out that Rhodia abandoned the New Brunswick plant in 2000.  A few years ago Rhodia was bought out by a chemical company named Solvay.

I guess I will be thinking of the events of that summer as Bob plays the music.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mets 10 A's 1 as Bartolo Colon Beats Scott Kazmir

Back in 2004 the Mets sent Scott Kazmir to Tampa Bay for Victor Zambrano in one of the worst trades in their history.  Although Bartolo Colon was 18-6 for the A's last year, he was not re-signed and hooked with the Mets as a free agent. Last night Colon got revenge by beating his former team as Kazmir pitched in Queens for the first time.

The Mets socked 4 home runs last night.  There were rumors that Chris Young would be released, but he hit two homers.  Curtis Granderson and Travis d'Arnaud also hit home runs. I wish as I was at this game as most of the games I attended this year were boring.

Box Score

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jersey Boys on Broadway and on the Big Screen

It has been 6 years since we saw Jersey Boys on Broadway .I remember that we paid $100/ticket and sat in the very last row, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It has been very successful venture as many juke box musicals have failed.  The show is still running, but this weekend the movie version directed by Clint Eastwood was released.  Certainly a movie is not the same as a live show, but I enjoyed it very much.  I only had to pay the senior citizen price of $10.25 :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Orioles 6 Yankees 1

The only time I root against the Yankees is when they play against the Mets.  Even though I root for the Mets I like to visit Yankee Stadium a few teams a season.  Before today's game Tino Martinez was honored with a plaque in Monument Park.  Since tomorrow is Old Timers Day several of his teammates were there to honor hi
The Yankee starting rotation has been decimated by injuries and Sabathia, Pineda, and Nova are on the disabled list.  Thus Vidal Nuno was the starting pitcher today.  He did not fair well as he gave up home runs to Adam Jones, Steve Pearce and Nelson Cruz.  He was relieved by Jose Ramirez who gave up a home run to J.J. Hardy.  Yankee fans in the outfield seats emulated Chicago Cub fans by throwing the home run ball back on the field.  Mark Teixeira hit a homer for the Bronx Bombers.

Selfie of Yours Truly with a Yankee Cap

Friday, June 20, 2014

Remembering the Summer of 1964

Right now on Bob Radil is featuring music from the summer of 1964 on his 60s 70s show on Rewound Radio.  Of course this opens up my memories of that summer at Wel-Met at Narrowsburg, NY in the Catskills. I was in Pioneer Camp for 15 year olds.  I was in Tent H with a tall counselor named Steve who looked like Abraham Lincoln.  My fellow campers in that tent were Doug Kaye, Dave Karp, Stan Rowan, Jeff Oster and Howie Levine.  I remember they took the campers on a trip to Scranton, PA to "see poverty".  We also went to Stratford, CTto see the Shakespearian play Richard III.  Beatlemania was still around that summer.  I remember a few of us had transistor radios which could only pull in WABC with its very tight playlist.  Certainly Bob Radil is playing a lot of songs we didn't hear on the radio that summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

In Memory of Gerry Goffin who passed away at 75

In January Karen and I saw the broadway musical Beautiful which discussed the personal and professional relationship between  songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.  Today we heard the sad news the Gerry Goffin passed away at age 75.  In his memory I am featuring one of their big hits of the early 60s Up on the Roof by the Drifters.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today's Radio Log

Most of my radio logs have been on the weekend when I have more time to listen.  I can listen to music on my computer at work when I am doing tasks that do not require great concentration.  Here is what I heard today:

  • WFUV - only listening on a radio not computer
  • Q104.3
  • Watercolors on SiriusXM (smooth jazz)
  • Pop Gold Radio
  • AT 40 with Casey Kasem on the iHeart Radio App
  • Breakfast with the Beatles with Dennis Mitchell (podcast)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Thoughts on the Passing of Casey Kasem

Today Casey Kasem passed away after a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia.  Sadly his family problems were in the news over the past several months.  When radio enthusiasts think of Casey the first first thing that comes to mind is countdowns and American Top 40.  Back in the 1960s I used to copy down countdowns from WMCA and WABC in New York City which represented the popularity of records locally.  Back then there were 3 national publications: Record World, Billboard, and Cashbox which reported Record Surveys.  We always liked to compare chart positions of our favorite hits.

As we got in the 1970s my interest in surveys declined, but on July 4, 1970 American Top 40 hosted by Casey premiered.   I described this show in a journal entry a few days ago.  I always enjoyed the chart trivia and anecdotes that Casey gave.  Certainly there were many people behind the scenes that made the show possible. I am not into Top 40 radio today, but I will always listen to the archived shows.  Casey was really a gem and a great asset to his profession.

Please check out this article from All Access.

Mets 3 Padres 1

Its was Dull (The Mets) vs Duller (Padres) this Fathers Day at Citifeld.  The highlight of the game was a monster of a home run hit to the Pepsi Porch by Curtis Granderson in the first inning. Daisuke Matsuzaka started the game for the Mets, but had to leave after the first inning due to an upset stomach.  Carlos Torres, Vic Black, and Jenry Mejia pitched the final 8 inning.  The game was dull since the Mets on several occasions left runners in scoring positiin as they have done very often this season.  A better team than the Padres would have beaten the Mets today.

Game recap

Remembering Dad Almost 17 Years Later

When I remember Dad (Irving Slutsky 1917-1997) I remember that he introduced me to many of the things that I enjoy to this day.  It was July 15, 1957 when he took me to my first baseball game at Ebbetts Field as the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Braves 20-4.  He was disappointed when the Dodgers moved to LA in and greatly anticipated the return of National League baseball to NYC.  Thus he and I became Met fans in 1962.  Thus, today Karen, Lee and I will be going to see the Mets.  I also remember first hearing top 40 radio in Dad's car all those years ago.

I also remember him for encouraging me when there were disappointments in life.  I miss him after all these years.

Happy Birthday to readers of Bruce's Journal who are Dads.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Remembering Alan Berman a Year Later

It was the Saturday before Fathers Day a year ago when Karen, Lee and I met up with Alan at Citifield.  It was a boring game as the Mets lost to the Chicago Cubs.  Who knew that would be the last time I would see him.  On Sunday he drove to Yonkers to play golf.  On Monday I received a e-mail from Terri saying that she was concerned that she hadn't see Alan online for the day as he was a Facebook addict.  At that time I didn't think there was a problem.  But when I didn't hear from him by Tuesday I was alarmed.  I called his home and cell phones and did not get an answer.  I searched his name in Google News and found out about the tragic car accident.

The small and large oldies meets and greets have not been the same since he left us.  I greatly miss his enthusiasm for baseball, oldies, and New York radio.  I am sure that all his friends feel the same way.  I have thought about what song to dedicate to Alan on this anniversary.  Alan was not a fan of 1980s music, but I thought Missing You by Diana Ross would be appropriate as she sings about how she misses Marvin Gaye who died under tragic circumstances.

Friday, June 13, 2014

American Top 40 Channel on iHeart Radio

One of my favorite syndicated radio shows in the 1970s was American Top 40 with Casey Kasem.  I will not talk about his health problems and family issues here.  Back then it was heard on New York radio at various times on WNBC, WXLO, WPLJ and WPIX-FM.  Perhaps a few other  radio stations carried it, but I just can't remember right now.  In recent years there has been a syndicated version airing classic shows from the 70s and 80s.  Although no New York station has picked it up, I have heard it on WLS-FM (Chicago) and WOGL (Philadelphia) on the internet.  I just found out that iHeart radio has a channel airing classic shows with Casey Kasem and Ryan Seacreast.  Now I can tune it in whenever I want.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Taylor Teagarden - Hero of the Night

The Mets had lost 6 games in a row.  Could this mean that the team wasgoing through its annual tailspin?  Very often the Mets have been competititve for the first 60 games or so and then start losing regularly.  They returned home last night to play the Milwaukee Brewers as Taylor Teagarden rose to the occasion and hit a grand slam home run to lead the Mets to a 6-2 victory.  Taylor is a marginal player who the Mets signed in the off season.  He was recalled from the minors when Travis d'Naurd was sent down after poor hitting this season.  Taylor and Colin Cowgill are the only Mets who hit grand slam their first game for the team.  Cowgill had a brief Met career and is now doing well for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stu Dolgon - New York Rangers Fan Extraordinaire

I met Stu Dolgon online back in the 1990s when we both posted in the WCBS-FM folder on America Online.  I met Stu a couple of times at the oldies meets and greets that we had at Ben's Deli in Manhattan.  A few years ago I found out that he was a big fan of the New York Rangers.  He lived in central New Jersey and was a season ticket holder at Madison Square Garden.  About a year ago he retired and moved to Florida, but kept his enthusiasm for the Rangers.  He drove up from Florida to attend the games in the final series at Madison Square Garden.  As I am typing this journal entry he is there rooting for his favorite team.  I will soon join Karen in the living room to watch the game.  The LA just scored a goal with 0.7 seconds to go in the first period.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Dylanologists and Other Comments of the Day

Today I spent much time reading The Dylanologists by David Kinney.  There are so many Dylan books written, but this is unique since it discusses the activities of many Dylan fanatics.  Many of the people he discusssed were familar to me including Nina Goss, Lucas Stensland, Peter Stone Brown, Christopher Ricks, Stephen Scobie, and Andrew Muir among many others.  I was disappointed that he didn't mention Pete Freckelton or Mel Prussack.  He talked about some people who waited outside Terminal 5 for hours on the west side of Manhattan in November 2010 to stand in front to see Bob.  I went to one of those concerts and stood in the middle.  Please take a look at the author's blog at

Now that there is no triple crown winner 99% of the people who watched the Belmont States will immediately lose interest in horse racing.  I think interest in the sport has waned over the years.

The Rangers have taken a 2-0 lead in tonight's Stanley Cup final game, but I am writing this blog post and listening to Cousin Brucie.  Right now he is taking a phone call from a 10 year old who just requested Surfin' Bird by the Trashmen.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It Is Nice to Have Fridays Off Over the Summer

One of the advantageous of working for a university is that employees get more time off.  When I started in 1992 we had to work only 30 hours a wek spread out over 5 days.  Thus we worked one less hour a day.  I forget they year, but we were given Fridays off from the beginning of June until the third week of August.  We have to work an extra 1/2 hout a day Monday to Thursday to get to a 30 hour work week.  The university offices are open on Friday with a skeleton staff.  Those people get Mondays off.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

There is a Mountain by Donovan - Oldie of the Day

Since today is Wednesday aka Hump Day WFUV is playing a set of songs about mountains and hills.  Thus I suggest they play There is a Mountain by Donovan.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Congratulations Julia Collins on Your 20 Victories on Jeopardy

All good things have to come to an end as Julia Collins lost on tonight's show to Brian Loughnane.  She had a commanding lead at one point, but faltered toward the end and was trailing going into final Jeopardy.  She got the last question wrong anyway.  She is to be congratulated on her 20 victories which makes her the number one woman contestant.  There were many excellent woman players in the first 20 years of the show who had to retire at 5 victories.  She will certainly return in the Tournament of Champions next season.

Sorry Joe M.  I decided not to write about the Mets tonight.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It Only Took 11 Innings and 3 1/2 Hours Today

It looks like I am making this a New York Mets blog.  Anyway, I visited Mom today and got home in the top of the 9th with the score tied 2-2.  I decided to watch the game only until the 10th inning since I wanted to go outside and get some fresh air and read the Sunday New York Times.  I found out that Lucas Duda hit a two run homer in the top of the 11th, but Marlon Byrd hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning as the Mets held on to win 4-3.

Again, I thought that Terry Collins misused his pitching staff as Scott Rice pitched to one batter and Vic Black to only two.  What would happen if this turned into another marathon game?  You can't expand your roster in the middle of the game.  Thankfully Jon Niese pitched 8 innings.  Alls well that ends well.

Box Score
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