Sunday, January 31, 2016

Villanova 68 St. Johns 53 at Madison Square Garden

The St. Johns Red Storm basketball team did not perform well against Villanova as they committed many turnovers and shot very poorly.  The teams were even in the first half , but Villanova pulled ahead in the second half.  I observed that most of the people in the fans were rooting for Villanova as they were wearing blue shirts.  They were either alumni from the NYC area or students who made the trip from the Philadelphia area.  Brian Cashman, General Manager of the Yankees, and tennis great John McEnroe were in the stands.

Game summary

So far during this basketball season we have seen games at:

  • Pratt Athletic Center of LIU Post
  • Barclay Center
  • Carnesecca Arena
  • Mack Arena of Hofstra
  • Madison Square Garden

Saturday, January 30, 2016

SABR Day in New York City

SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) has chapters throughout the world.  The last Saturday in January is designated SABR days as many of the local chapters have meetings.  The Casey Stengel chapter representing the New York metropolitan area met at the Mid-Manhattan Library.  The morning part of the program saluted the legendary career and life of Yogi Berra.  The panelists included:

  • Dave Kaplan - founding director of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center
  • Dave Anderson - Pulitzer Prize winning sports journalist of the New York Times
  • Lindsay Berra - oldest grandchild of Yogi and Carmen Berra
Each of the panelist spoke about their experiences with Yogi.  We were shown a video of President Obama's presenting the Presidental Medal of Freedom to Yogi posthumously.  Lindsay spoke on how you used social media to get her grandfather honored.  We were also shown a video of Yogi's interview on 60 Minutes with the late Bob Simon.

Although Yogi only had an 8th grade education, he is quoted more than Shakespeare.  I heard this Yogism today for the first time:

If Branch Rickey was alive, he'd be turning over in his grave. (He was referring to the salaries ball players get today)

I purchased a book of stories in the New York Times about Yogi over the years edited by Dave Anderson.

The afternoon part of the program commemorated the 30th annversary of the 1986 World Champion New York Mets.  The discussion was lead by Jay Goldber, proprietor of Bergino Baseball  Clubhouse.  He showed a video the the complete at bat in Game 6 of the World Series where Mookie Wilson hit the ground ball which Bill Buckner missed.

I just wish that the local chapter of SABR would meet more than once a year.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Goodbye To Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Facebook

For several years playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Facebook has been a ritual for me.  Over the many years it has been on Facebook I have won over $300 million in unreal money of course.  A few weeks ago they announced the game would close on January 31.  I could not access the game today.  Someone responded to my query saying that they pulled the game 4 days early.  I don't don't know why, bu I am guessing that real money is involved.  Perhaps Facebook no longer wants to pay the royalty required by the producers of the show.  I guess I'll have to find a new way to amuse myself.  Oh well.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Unexpected Snow Day For Me but not for the NYC Public Schools

It must be a very difficult decision for school administrators to declare a snow day.  The New York City schools were open today even though so many side streets were not plowed.  Back when I was in elementary school I could always walk to P.S. 139, but many young students must use school buses.  Since there was not a snow day for the public schools, many students and teachers just could not make it in.  Had a snow day been declared, working parents would complain that nobody was home to watch the kids.  So the Mayor and Schools Chancellor are between a rock and a hard place.

The original announcement at NJIT on Friday night was for classes to resume on Monday.  At that point the forecast was still for about 12 inches of snow.  When the actual amount was closer to 2 feet we received an announcement that the administrative offices including the library would open at 12 noon.  At about 9:30 AM we heard that NJIT will be closed for the entire day.  I am certainly appreciative of the university administation's concern for the safety of students and staff.  This semester there are two "reading days" in May when students can study for exams.  Perhaps the Monday classes that were missed today will be made up then.

I have heard from colleagues that the city of Newark does a poor job of cleaning the streets after a snowstorm.  Perhaps that was a factor in declaring today a snow day.  Back to work tomorrow.  I feel restless after staying home for three straight days.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Random Comments on Dig Out Day

There was 26.8 inches of snow measured in Central Park which is the second biggest snowfall in NYC since weather data was first recorded in 1869.  We decided to venture out of the apartment at about 12 noon.  We saw that snow was not plowed from the area where my car is garaged.  That indoor garage is really a blessing since I never have to worry about alternate side of the street parking.  The exterior of my 2000 Chevy Cavalier has been preserved by being indoors most of the time.  We took a walk to the grocery store around the corner and picked up a few things.  From there we walked over to get some pizza.  It was really difficult to negotiate around street corners.

About 3:30 I walked back to the garage area and saw that it was still not plowed.  This is very unusual for my co-op.  It didn't matter that much to me as I don't take my car to work.  I will eventually have to go there to shovel the snow that  blocks my garage door.  A few of my neighbors were angry saying "what do I pay rent for?"  Oh well.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How I Fought Cabin Fever

There was about two feet of snow in NYC today so there was no other choice but to stay at home.  The first thing that I did was to upgrade the Windows 8.1 on my laptop to Windows 10.  I was a little apprehensive aboujt doing it, but it worked out with no problems.  It took about 2 1/2 hours to do.  I caught up on some reading.  I put on my chemistry hat and read a couple of issues of the Chemical and Engineering News.  I also read part of:

Guralnick, P. (2015). Sam Phillips: The man who invented rock 'n' roll.

 I listened to several radio stations (of course) In no particular order:

  • WINS
  • WFAN
  • WFUV
  • Johnny Cash Radio
  • WOLD
  • Pop Gold Radio

Radio XL5

It is Looking Good for the 2016 New York Mets

The Mets got into the World Series in 2015, but there is a good chance they can go all the way in 2016.  They just signed Yoenis Cespedes for $75 million over 3 years.  He can opt out of his contract after one year.  He could have made more money by signing with the Washington Nationals, but he is coming back to Mets.  They certaining improved themselves with trades and free agency signings over the off season.  Of course there are always question marks.  Will there be significant injuries during the season?  How much can David Wright play with the spinal stenosis condition?  Spring training is right around the corner.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Support Your Favorite Internet Radio Station

Sadly broadcast radio in recent years has soured as terrestrial stations are trying to appeal to listeners 25-54 years old to attract advertisers.  Oldies stations that used to play music from 1955 to the 1970s are now labelled as classic hits stations that play music from the 70s, 80s, and even into the 90s.  To hear my favorite music I must listen online to several oldies stations on the web.  One of my favorites is Pop Gold Radio run by Don Tandler of New Jersey 101.5 .  Don uses his own money to run the station which has listeners all over the world.

Of course owners of any kind of radio station must play royalties for the music they play.  Unfortunately the Copyright Royalty Board is raising its rates for webcasters.  It is somewhat complicated but there is an article in Billboard that explains everything.  I certainly do not want to see Pop Gold Radio to cease webcasting so I made a small donation to keep the station going.  If you click on Pop Gold Radio there will be a link where you can make a donation to support the station.

Your truly with Don Tandler at Long Island Radio Day
at C.W. Post in April 2009

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I Think I Will Finally Upgrade to Windows 10

I am usually a proponent of "if it's not broken, don't fix it."  I have owned this Dell laptop since August 2014 with Windows 8.1 installed.  Last July Microsoft made Windows 10 available for free for one year.  I have been reluctant to make the upgrade, but one of the computer experts at work said that version 8.1 will not be supported that much longer.  So I think I will make the plunge and upgrade to 10 within the next month.  If millions of users have already upgraded, I guess I should follow the crowd.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Predicting Snowstorms: Better to Be Safe Than Sorry

So far this has been a mild and almost snowless winter in NYC.  The photo above is reminiscent of some previous winters, but not this year.  Last night there was about 1/2 inchof snow, but I heard of a multicar accident in Westchester early this morning caused by slick roads.  Small snowstorms are more of a nuisance since people have to go to work or school while major snowfalls close everything down.

A weather forecast that came out today states that there could be a major storm Friday night into Saturday.  Of course, we have to take things one day at a time and long range forecasts could always change.  There have been fiascos in the past such as the Lindsay Snow Job of 1969 when it took several days for plows to come to parts of Queens.  Mor recently there was a big storm just after Christmas in 2010 while the city was unprepared.  So it is certainly better to be safe than sorry and be prepared.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Random Comments on Martin Luther King Day Weekend

Hello Olivia N.  It was nice to see you at the VALE meeting.  I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Yesterday, we drove over to Hofstra to see the basketball team.  They lost to James Madison University 86-82 in overtime.  Simultaneusly I was watching the NJIT team play Stetson University on my smartphone.  The Highlanders won 71-59 to get their first victory in the Atlantic Sun Conference.  Their overall record is now 10-9.

Today we walked over the to College Point Multiplex to see the Renevent movie.  I must say that Leonardo DiCaprio was superb.  That film got several academy award nominations.

No plans yet for tomorrow except for going over to Uncle Bill's Diner for breakfast.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Go Vinny Go - Spoiler Alert

A new episode of Sports Jeopardy is seen on Crackle TV on Wednesday and is available until the following Tuesday.  If you haven't seen the current show, please don't reader further.  I usually watch the show on Saturday mornings.

Vinny did it again.  He won for the 12th time and beat his opponents decisively.  He really lucked out as they changed the rule for season #2.  If he was a contestant last season, he could only win once.  The same thing happened with regular Jeopardy as Ken Jennings won 74 games the first season after the rule limiting the champion to 5 wins was changed.

There was a nice article written about him by Christina Crovetto of the NJIT Office of Strategic Communications.  Since Vinny was a civil engineering major at NJIT, I hope he attended my lecture in Envrionmental Engineering 262 on how to find information in that discipline.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thinking Ahead to Retirement

Today I spoke to the benefits coordinator in my HR Department.  I had some questions about what benefits that I get after I retire after 25 years of service.  I also asked some questions about Social Security benefits.  I tentatively plan to retire at the end of 2017 which will be here before I know it.  After working for 40 years, I'd like to enjoy whatever time I have left.

I have seen too many retirees not knowing what to do.  It is very important to keep active when retired.  About a year ago I joined the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) with the thought in mind of becoming active in that organization.  Today I volunteered to be an editor for SABR Baseball Games Project.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mini-Staycation Today

Lat week I looked at my vacation bank and saw that it was high.  I remember back in 1990 when I left NYPL I had 6 weeks vacation and was able to cash it in.  Whenever I retire from NJIT, I can only leave with 2 weeks vacation.  Since the library is slow during the intersession, I decided to take a day off during the week.

It was about 32 degrees at 9 AM so I thought I would take a walk around Douglaston and Little Neck as I have done many times in the past.  Iwent home and decided to view Birdman featuring Michael Keaton on HBO.  Not the greatest movie I have seen, but not the worst either.

I went downstairs again and bought one ticket for the Powerball drawing tomorrow.  I have no gambling spirit and rarely buy lottery tickets, but a single winner gets $1.5 Billion.  The only thing I have to lose is the $2 I spent for the ticket.

Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I First Heard David Bowie on WPRO Providence in early 1973

I woke up this morning to the sad news that David Bowie passed away at age 67.  I thought back to the first time I heard his music.  It was early 1973 as I was a student at the University of Rhode Island and lived in the Scarborough Beach area of Narragansett.  In Rhode Island everybody listened to WPRO as Salty Brine was the morning DJ.  I don't think it was during the morning, but I heard Space Oddity by David Bowie on WPRO, the station that reaches the beaches.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Vinny Varadarajan Sports Jeopardy Superstar Is A Graduate of NJIT

Regular Jeopardy dates back to the Art Fleming version in 1964 while the Alex Trebek version started in 1984.  In the Fall of 2014 Sports Jeopardy debuted on Crackle TV.   Players win points as the winnings are limited to $5000 for the champion.  I watch it mostly on Saturday mornings on .  In season one players could only win once, but could come back for a tournament at the end of the season.  In season two there is no limit on games won as there is in regular Jeopardy.

Vinny Varadarajan seen above has become the Ken Jennings of Sports Jeopardy as he has now won 11 straight games.  He is absolutely awesome as he has won most of his games in runaways.  Questions on Sports Jeopardy cover many sports not just baseball, football, basketball, and hockey,

When Vinny is interviewed on the show he is described as an engineering graduate from New Jersey.  I thought he could be an alumnus of NJIT.  I did a Google search on his name and NJIT and found this site listing 2012 graduates.  There is a Vinay Varadarajan from Fords, NJ in the list of graduates.  I really think it is him, but I am not 100% right now.  I found him on Twitter and sent him a tweet asking if he graduated from NJIT.  I just checked his Facebook page and saw that Bryan Sutphen whom I knew at NJIT is one of  his Facebook friends.  I think indirect evidence says he is an NJIT alumnus.

I have to revise this he just responded to my Tweet and confirmed he is a graduate of NJIT,  He remembered that I gave him a Freshman Seminar tour several years ago and that he spent many hours in the Van Houten Library.

Please remember that a new episode of Sports Jeopardy can be seen on Crackle TV every Wednesday.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Don't Think Twice It's Alright by Elvis Presley

Elvis covers Dylan's Don't Think Twice Its Alright.  Today would have been the King's 81st birthday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Congratulations to Mike Piazza on His Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame

The fourth time was the charm as Mike Piazza was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 83% of the vote.  Ken Griffey Jr. was also elected with 437 out of 440 votes.  I certainly hope that Mike will go into the Hall wearing a Mets hat.  He along with Tom Seaver would be the only two Mets in Cooperstown.  There are other Mets in the Hall, but they played most of their careers with other teams.  A hearty congratulations to both of them.

Article in Baseball America

Hall of Fame Voting

Mike Piazza's career statistics

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Thank You President Obama For Your Actions on Gun Control

I need not repeat here reports of tragic incidents in recent years involving gun violence.  Too many innocent people have been killed by terrorists or deranged individuals who have gotten their hands on guns.  Today President Obama made a passionate call for a national "sense of urgency" to limit gun violence.  He will be  expanding and bolstering the background check system to cover sales that take place online and at gun shows.

Unfortunately the National Rifle Association and other lobbyists will fight tooth and nail to fight this.  The President respects the right to safe and responsible gun ownership.  I pray that the next President of the United States will take the same stance on gun ownership as President Obama has.  He is to be commended for his initiatives.

Report on CNN

Police Deserve More Recognition When They Go Beyond the Call of Duty

This evening at about 6:50 I was watching the ABC Nightly News and saw a very brief report on how a police officer in Albuquerque, New Mexico rescued a child who had been abducted when her mother's car was carjacked.  This report was about 15 seconds and did not mention the police officer's name.  According to this report in the New York Daily News she was missing for about 5 hours and as the temperature was in the 20s.  The officer's name is Chris Poccia.

Officer Poccia who went beyond the call of duty to rescue this child has received little media attention. However whenever a police officer acts inappropriately the story is top news for weeks if not months.  Within a day or so this story will be forgotten.

Kudos to Officer Poccia for a job well done.  Hopefully he will be properly recognized by the people in Albuquerque.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

4 Movies and 3 Museums During The Winter Break

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Concussion
  • Joy
  • Point Break
  • Paley Center for Media
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • New York Historical Society

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Visit to the New York Historical Society Today

The New York Historical Society Museum was the third cultural institution that I visited during this holiday break,  I was attracted to Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York City.  This exhibit displayed images, artifacts, interactives, and oral histories, that explore local innovations that were key to computer development, from vacuum tubes and punched cards to transistors.  It showed how New York was a hub for imagining, developing, and selling the computer technology that changed our lives

Another exhibit that I enjoyed was Superheroes in Gotham  which tells the story of the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City and the leap of comic book superheroes from the page into radio, television, and film.  It featured my favorite Superman as well as Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, and Wonder Woman.

A replica of the famous Batmobile was in the exhibit

Friday, January 1, 2016

Random Thoughts on New Year's Day

There were 267 entries in Bruce's Journal in 2015 which is consistent with the number of of postings over the last 3 years.  I don't like having two days in a row without my "words of wisdom" on the web.

We really didn't do anything special last night as we just stayed up to see the ball drop on TV.

The Sy Fy Channel is running a marathon of the Twilight Zone.  They say they are showing every episode in order all weekend long.  I did watch about 3 episodes yesterday.

I will watch at least part of the outdoor hockey game starting at 1 PM.  This year the game is at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA and will feature the Bruins against the Canadians.

There is no football game on Channel 7 this afternoon so Jeopardy will not be pre-empted today.  For the last few weeks there have been only 1 and 2 time winners.  This morning Lee and I watched Sports Jeopardy as Vinny Varadarajan won his 10th game.

Personal-Journals blog