Friday, July 31, 2015

It Takes a Lot of Patience to be a Met Fan

That statement comes from someone who has been a Met fan since day one in 1962.  For the sake of this blog entry I will go back 10 years.  In 2006 we lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in game 7 of the League Championship Series as Carlos Beltran struck out.  In 2007 and 2008 the Mets lost the National League East championship on the last day of the season.  The Mets have had losing records in the first 6 years of playing in Citifield.

We were optimistic at the beginning of the season as the Mets won 11 games in a row and took the lead in the division.  As time went on the hitting went "south" and the team was hit with several injuries including the loss of David Wright.  The starting pitching has been excellent, but how can you win if you can't score runs.

Yesterday's game was absolutely terrible.  Jon Neise pitched well as the Mets had a 7-1 lead.  The bullpen collapsed as a grand slam homer by the Padres made the score 7-5.  The Mets were ahead with two outs in the 9th when a 3 run homer by Justin Upton gave the Padres an 8-7 lead.  There was then an almost 3 hour rain delay, but the Mets were out 1,2,3 and lost the game.  It has been rare this season for the bull pen to implode.

Would Carlos Gomez be a savior for the rest of the season?  We'll never know as apparently the trade fell through because the Mets didn't want to pay his salary.

We'll take the rest of the season one game at a time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Random Comments of the Day

I  logged into my laptop at home twice today but have not received the icon on my taskbar to install Windows 10.  I guess with millions of computers out there running on Windows, Microsoft is giving out access in phases.  The general advice given is to wait as there may be some bugs in the new operating system that would have to be ironed out.  I have Windows 8.1 but always use the desktop.

I recently bought two Bob Dylan books.  For the Kindle:

Wald, E. (2015). Dylan goes electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the night that split the Sixties.

Will I learn anything new about this situation that happened 50 years ago.

I was at a professional meeting in the Union Square area and passed by the Strand Book Store at Broadway and 12th Street.  This is a bookstore like they used to be.  I just had to buy something so I got:

Egan, S. (2011). The mammoth book of Bob Dylan. London: Robinson.

It is a collection of articles written about Dylan.  For $7 how could I go wrong.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mets 15 Dodgers 2 With Bob Radil in Attendance

Bob Radil at the 2011 Oldies Meet and Greet

Most of the time when I go to a ball game it is with Lee and Karen.  Last night I felt I needed a little break from the family so I went to Citfield with Bob Radil and Mary Ellen Brown (Snoopy).  Bob was going to his very first Met game, but based on what happened last night Bob should go more often.

The Mets made a trade to acquire Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe and recalled Michael Conforto from the minor leagues.  It was hard to believe that the Mets scored 15 runs with 21 hits.  There were home runs by:
  • Lucas Duda (2)
  • Kelly Johnson
  • Daniel Murphy
The Mets were 9-16 with runners in scoring position which is a complete turnabout from what they have done recently.

Game Recap

Bob Radil is a big oldies radio enthusiast who hosts The 60s 70s show heard Friday nights on Rewound Radio.  He is a walking encyclopedia of the music and artists of that era.  I think Snoopy really wanted him to come to the game.  I didn't realize that Bob is also an avid photography as he took numerous pictures inside and outside Citi Field.

After the game there was a concert by the rock group Heart.

It certainly was an eventful night.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dodgers 7 Mets 2 - At Least I Got a Jacob deGrom T-Shirt

When we ordered our ten ticket package we picked one Friday night game to get a Mets t-shirt.  The freebee last night was one with Jacob deGrom's unique hair style.  That was the best part of the evening as the Mets lost 7-2.

Starting pitcher Jonathan Niese did not have a good outing as he gave up 6 runs in the first 3 innings.  Former Met Justin Turner hit a hme run and went 3-5 against his former team.  Yasiel Puig and Jimmy Rollins also homered for the Dodgers.  This game marked the debut of Michael Conforto who was recalled by the Mets from AA Binghamton.  He went 0-3 but drove in a run with a ground out.

After the game the Mets made a deal with the Atlanta Braves acquring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson in an attempt to improve the offense.

Game Summary

Friday, July 24, 2015

Heaven Forbid This Man Should Become President of the United States

I usually don't comment about politics, but I would like to quote from this article in the New York Times.

"Yet again, Christie’s mismanagement is linked to serious transportation and traffic problems in New Jersey,” said Kaylie Hanson, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. “Whether it’s the state’s crumbling economy, mismanaged infrastructure repairs or causing traffic jams for political retribution, Christie and his team are putting politics over the people of New Jersey. Imagine if this guy ever got to the White House.”

The article states that he refused to respond to a reporter's questions about New Jersey Transit delays.  He single handedly vetoed a desperately needed third rail tunnel under the Hudson River.  He should be forced to ride NJ Transit and suffer through massive delays.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Facebook Friends I Would Like To Meet

Over the years I have made many friends on Facebook whom I have never met in person.  Here is a list of some of those I'd like to meet.  The list is in no particular order:

  • Gary Brefini - radio enthusiast extraordinaire.  He runs internet radio station XL5 which features current hits.
  • Amy Kearns - a New Jersey librarian and a big Met fan.  She was actually at the same Met game as me about a month ago
  • Joanna Ente - I knew her late husband Bernie and brother-in-law Phil back in high school.  She is also a big Met fan.
  • Michael Judge - his Facebook postings remind me of the late Alan Berman
  • Joy Jeong - a young radio enthusiast.  He actually lives in Queens
  • Kate Kosturski - a graduate of the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science who lives in Connecticut
  • Dave Stein - an oldies enthusiast extraordinaire
  • Steven Jay Gilinsky - owns a radio station in Binghamton and is a personal friend of Harry Harrison
  • Terry Morgan - a radio enthusiast who works at the New York Public Library
  • Dave Freeman - another radio enthusiast who is big aircheck collector

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sometimes it Takes a Lot of Patience to Be a Met Fan

It was a hot and humid day so it was good to stay home in an air conditioned living room.  We turned on the Yankee game as Mark Texeira hit a home run in the 8th inning to lead the Bronx Bombers to a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

We then turned on SNY to see how the Mets were doing.  It was no score in the 6th inning at that point.  One inning after another neither the Mets nor the Cardinals could score.  In recent seasons the team played reasonably well until the All-Star break and then fell apart.  After losing the first two games after the break, it appeared this could happen again.

Kevin Plawecki drove in the go ahead run in the top of the 13th.  Jeurys Familia who is usually "lights out" came in the bottom of the inning but gave up a game tying home run to Kolten Wong.  No runs were scored until the 18th inning.  In the top of the inning Ruben Tejada drove in run #2 while Eric Campell got an insurance run with a suicide squeeze.

The game took 5 hrs and 55 minutes as the Mets left 25 runners on base.  At least they won as they travel to Washington to play the Nationals.

Game recap from ESPN

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cinemart Theater and Eddies Sweet Shop in Forest Hills Today

I didn't care for the movies that were playing at the local multiplex as they were the mass appeal type that are suited for much younger audiences.  I certainly read much about Amy Winehouse in Rolling Stone Magazine, but wasn't familiar with her music, so I thought we'd take a short drive over to the Cinemart Theater on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills.

The film Amy was a documentary about her life and tragic death at age 27.  It is quite sad when entertainers abuse themselves using too much alcohol and drugs but it is more tragic when a singer passes away at such a young age.

After the movie we went across the street to Eddie's Sweet Shop which is an ice cream parlor the way it should be.  When you go there you are taking a trip back to the 1950s  I can't remember the last time I was there but back in the early 1980s I went their regular with Herb, Gary, Howard, and Lenny from Queens B'nai Brith Singles.

More photos of Eddie's from the Rego Forest Preservation Council

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Installed a New Wireless Router Today

I bought my first wireless router about 6 years ago when I got my first laptop.  Lately it has been erratic as many times it didn't connect to my computer and had to hard wire the internet directly.  I ordered a TP Link router and set it up tonight.  It is running fine.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Threat of Rain Cancelled my Yearly Trip to Yogi Berra Stadium

Since the Newark Bears folded Galen, Aron and I started a yearly tradition of going to Yogi Berra Stadium to see the CanAm League New Jersey Jackals play.  They schedule a few games to begin at 11 AM to accommodate local day camps.  We wanted to go today, but the weather forecast called for showers, some heavy at times all day.  Thus, we cancelled our trip.  It only rained in Newark from 12:15 - 12:30 which would have been during the game.  Oh well.

Monday, July 13, 2015

One Birthday and Two Anniversaries Today

I have been following Roger McGuinn since the Byrds hit the charts with Mr. Tambourine Man in 1965.  He enjoyed great success with that group and as a solo artist.  Below is Roger singing that Dylan song as a solo artist.

The second New York City blackout happened on July 13, 1977.  I missed that one since I was living in New London, CT as I was working at Pfizer in nearby Groton.

The Live-Aid concert was July 13, 1985 in Philadelphia and London.  I taped much of it on a VCR while the audio was on WXRK.  It was a Saturday as I was working at the big New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street at the time.  It is hard to believe that it has been 30 years already.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Kirk Nieuwenhuis The Man of the Hour

It has been a very strange season for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.  He started out as a backup outfielder and pinch hitter but after getting 3 hits in 38 at bats he was designated for assignment.  After a few days the Mets sold his contract to the LA Angels of Anaheim where he didn't hit as well.  The Angels put him on waivers and the Mets unexpectedly claimed and sent him to AAA Las Vegas.  A few days ago he was recalled and started today against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

His bat all of a sudden came to life as he hit three home runs in his first 3 at bats.  In the 54 year history of the Mets this is the first time a Met has hit 3 home runs in a home game.  The following 7 had done it on the road:

  • Jose Reyes
  • Edgardo Alfonzo
  • Gary Carter
  • Darryl Strawberry
  • Claudell Washington
  • Dave Kingman
  • Jim Hickman

Now there is a 4 day break for the All-Star Game.  Will the hitting pick up in the second half?  Will there be any trades?  Will David Wright and other injured players come back soon?  Time will tell.

Friday, July 10, 2015

NSU Art Museum and Reconnecting with an Old Family Friend

In the morning I found a Barnes and Nobles in town since I needed a book to read on the flight home tomorrow.  From there we went to the NSU Art Museum (NSU=Nova Southeastern University) which was close to our hotel.  They featured the following exhibits:

  • Highlights from the William Glackens collection
  • The History of Haitian Photography
  • Painted Ceramics of Pablo Picasso
In the evening we went to dinner with Helen Kessler who has been a family friend  for many years.  Back then she lived on Wetherole Street in Rego Park. She is now 93 years young and lives in Margate.  Back in 1961 her late husband Mickey took me to Yankee Stadium as we saw game 161 just before Roger Maris hit his 61st Home Run.

Yours truly with Helen

Marlins 2 Reds 0 with 3 Met Fans in the Stands

We spent most of yesterday at the Miami Seaquarium which was very similar to aquariums that we visited in Long Beach, Baltimore, and Atlanta.  Of course, it was best suited for young children.

From there we drove over to Marlins Park.  Since the team gives seniors over 55 a special deal on Thursdays, we could have gotten free tickets, but they were in the outfield far from the action.  We decided to buy tickets on the lower level about 20 rows behind home plate.  It was nice to sit in an air conditioned stadium.

It was a pretty boring game as the Marlins won 2-0.  Marlin pitcher Jose Fernandez pitched seven innings Thursday and tied the modern record for most consecutive home victories by a starter to begin a career at 14.

Game recap

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Two Museums and a Visit Today

We left the hotel at 9 AM and set out for the  Bonnet House Museum & Gardens.  The history of this musem is detailed at .  A docent gave us a tour of the buildings where Frederic Clay Bartlett lived with his family when part 2 was a tour of the grounds.  It must be very difficult to live in South Florida in the summer.  It is not the heat, but the humidity.

From there we drove to the Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum which featured a collection of Packards which were luxury cars manufactured in the early days of the automobile.  The cars in th museum were in pristine condition and were actually operational.  The cars stay in the museum and are rarely if ever appear at car shows.  Packard went out of business in 1958.

Finally we drove up to Delray Beach where we visited with my father-in-law Will Shapiro for the second time.

Lee with his grandfather

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mini Oldies Meet and Greet in Boca Raton Florida

I met Stu Dolgon in the mid 1990s on the AOL WCBS-FM folder.  Mary Shaw, Al Gordon, and Linda Cohen were the other regular posters.  Stu came to a few of the gatherings that we had in Ben's Deli over the years.  A few years ago Stu retired and moved to South Florida, but kept in touch with the NYC Oldies Radio Enthusiasts.

Today we met up at the Ben's Deli in Boca Raton.  It offered the same menu as its sister restaurants in NYC and Long Island.  It was much larger than the delis in Bayside or Manhattan.  Stu said that it was the only kosher deli in the region. Apparently there it appeals to Jewish retirees from the New York area.

Happy Birthday Ringo Starr

Where did all these years go?  Ringo Starr is 75 years old today.  I remember seeing the movie Yellow Submarine for the first time in 1968 at the Fresh Meadows theater.  Happy Birthday Ringo!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lee Reconnected with His Grandfather Today

Since the mid 1980s my father-in-law William Shapiro lived in Boca Raton, Florida.  About 6 months ago he moved to an assisted living facility in nearby Delray Beach.  We hadn't seen him in a few years so we thought the family should visit South Florida and spend sometime with him as we did today.  He was impressed on how much Lee had grown since he last saw him.  Grandpa Will is now 93 years old and is doing reasonably well.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Driving a 2015 Chevy Cruze

In April 2000 I bought a Chevy Cavalier which I still own today.  In 15 years I have slightly less that 60,000 miles on it.  It is still running good and thankfully it hasn't needed many major repairs so I may as well keep it.

Some years ago Chevrolet discontinued the Cavalier and introduced the Cruze.  Today as I began my vacation in South Florida I rented a Chevy Cruze as seen above.  It seems a little strange to drive a recent model car.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Folk Music Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

I just searched Bruce's Journal and saw that we went to the Museum of the City of New York in July 2007 to see an exhibit on baseball in NYC from 1947-57.  Almost 8 years to the day we returned to see an exhibit on folk music in NYC which peaked between 1958 and 1965.  There were artifacts from artists including Joan Baez, Peter Paul and Mary, The Weavers, Judy Collins, and of course Bob Dylan.  The hit of the show for me were hand written manuscripts of Bob's writing of:

  • Maggie's Farm
  • Blowin' in the Wind
  • Mr. Tambourine Man
  • Masters of War
There was a TV screen showing clips from the early 1960s hit TV series Hootenany which featured folk music. There were photographs of many of the venues in Greenwich Village where folk music was played.  Gerdes Folk City and Cafe Wha were two such locations. The only disappointment was that the exhibit did not consider the transition to folk rock in the mid 1960s.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mazel Tov - The Mets Scored a Run Today

I was at work this afternoon and could not pay attention to the game.  On the way home I checked the ESPN app on my phone and saw that the Mets lost 6-1.  Now they are going to the west coast to play 6 games against the Dodgers and Giants.  It is hard to believe that earlier in the season they won 11 games in a row.  The posters on the Met fan Facebook groups are saying "trade for hitting".  As I said before they should not make a trade for the sake of making one.

Stay tuned.
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