Monday, February 29, 2016

Johnny Cash Tribute at BB Kings

Lee never had the pleasure of seeing Johnny Cash in person.  By the time Lee became a fan, Johnny was too ill to tour and passed away in 2003.  I was looking at Facebook on Friday night and found out there would be a tribute concert at BB Kings on Sunday night.

We arrived at 6 PM when the doors opened and ate dinner before the show began at 7:30.  The opening act was a tribute to country star Waylon Jennings who was a big friend of Johnny Cash.  they both played in a country supergroup called the Highwaymen.  The Johnny Cash impersonator was Johnny Kinniard who played Johnny in the Broadway show Million Dollar Quartet.  He played over 30 songs from all eras of Johnny's career.  He sounded almost exactly the same as Cash, but was wearing a gray suit.  Simon Chardiet, JJ Murphy and Guy Kurshenoff were in the backup band.

Lee with his Johnny Cash shirt c. 2011

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tampa Bay Lightning 4 NJ Devils 0

Two times during every hockey season Karen and Lee meet me at the Prudential Center after work.  I finish at at 4 PM so I have to hang around for a few hours until game time.  The Devils looked a little weary as they played two nights in a row.  They lost 4-0 as Steven Stamkos of the Lightning scored in his fifth consecutive game.

Game recap

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Today Would Have Been George Harrison's 73rd Birthday

Sadly we lost George at age 58 in November 2001.  His music with the Beatles and as a solo artist will live on.  Right now I am listening to an "All George Extravaganza" on Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast with the Beatles.  I fondly remember Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversaary Concert  in October 1992 when George covered Absolutely Sweet Marie.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Trivial Pursuit on

I reported a month ago that Facebook dropped Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  I always looked forward to playing it when I went online for the first time every day.  Another of my favorite games was Trivial Pursuit.  I remember playing the board game in the early 1980s.  It was not on Facebook, but I found it on  I get 20 questions a day and must get 1200 points to get a wedge.  The Wikipedia reports that there was a television version of it that was seen on the Family Channel from June 1993 until December 1994.  I can't remember if I watched it back then.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Outlaw Blues by Bob Dylan

There are many Bob Dylan songs that seem quite ordinary and even quite nondescript.  People who dislike Dylan for his voice have rightfully criticized Outlaw Blues from Bringing it All Back Home.  There is one line in the sound that really stands out.

Ain’t it hard to stumble
And land in some funny lagoon?
Ain’t it hard to stumble
And land in some muddy lagoon?
Especially when it’s nine below zero
And three o’clock in the afternoon.
Ain’t gonna hang no picture
Ain’t gonna hang no picture frame
Ain’t gonna hang no picture
Ain’t gonna hang no picture frame
Well, I might look like Robert Ford
But I feel just like a Jesse James
Well, I wish I was on some
Australian mountain range
Oh, I wish I was on some
Australian mountain range
I got no reason to be there, but I
Imagine it would be some kind of change
I got my dark sunglasses
I got for good luck my black tooth
I got my dark sunglasses
I’m carryin’ for good luck my black tooth
Don’t ask me nothin’ about nothin’
I just might tell you the truth
I got a woman in Jackson
I ain’t gonna say her name
I got a woman in Jackson
I ain’t gonna say her name
She’s a brown-skin woman, but I
Love her just the same

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Vinny the Great Must Get on Regular Jeopardy

Vinny's run on Sports Jeopardy finally ended at 15 victories. He is certainly a walking encyclopedia of trivia in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, olympics, and last but not least boxing.  Who is Max Schmeling was the correct Final Jeopardy answer, which Vinny got correct, but was trailing Jay Sullivan who was the winner.  Even though I don't know much about boxing I got the final question right.

Vinny with his 15 victories is in very good company with Jeopardy champs:

  • Ken Jennings - 74 wins
  • Dave Madden - 20 wins
  • Julia Collins  - 19 wins
There were some very good players like Brad Rutter, Jerome Vered, Frank Spangenberg and many others who had to leave since before 2004 there was a limit of 5 victories.  There were some excellent players in Season 1 on Sports Jeopardy, but they were limited to one victory.

Both knowledge and luck are involved in being a winner on Jeopardy.  It is easy to shout answers at the TV, but one must ring in at the right time and beat the other contestants.  There is luck invovled in the categories selected and the skills of the opponents.

I am sure that Vinny who got a good education at NJIT and Purdue would do very well in regular Jeopardy and hopefully will get on the show.  The difference is the categories can be anything from A to Z.

Good luck Vinny in all you future endeavors.  If you ever visit NJIT, please stop by the library.  I promise I won't give you another tour of the library or lecture you about the databases we have.  I will try to stump you with New York Mets trivia.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Today Marks my 10th Anniversary on Facebook

When I logged into Facebook today I got a message stating that today marked the 10th anniversary of my joining.  When I first came on board I thought that I would use it as a method of communicating library services to NJIT students after attending a seminar on that topic.  That obviously didn't work out, but I certainly found other uses for it.  The entire concept of "Facebook friend" is open to interpretation.  I should do an inventory, but I would say that I have either never met or just met once at least half of the 500+ friends I have.  My friends fall into the following categories:

  • Colleagues at work either at NJIT or at other places
  • Radio friends including radio personalities (This is likely the biggest number)
  • Bob Dylan fans
  • Baseball fans
  • People I knew in different times of my life
  • Family
I have initiated the following groups:
  • Fans of Cousin Brucie
  • Fans of Harry Harrison
  • NYC Oldies Radio Enthusiasts
Back in 2006 I would make friends with almost anybody, but now I am reluctant to make friends with people I just don't know.  I guess some people are just friend collectors.

Many posts that I read are just plain silly.  Many people use Facebook to vent.  I made friends with a librarian I met just once who discussed in detail a very painful separation from her husband.  Why must I read about "tsouris" about people I really don't know.  Many people are secretive when they are ill while others are very open about it.  One person posted photos of himself in a hospital bed.  That is just inappropriate.

Needless to say Facebook is one big time suck and can be addictive.  It looks like it is here to stay.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Writing About Historic Baseball Games

I have mention SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) a few times in this journal.  Recently I volunteered to work for the Game Project. It is a new initiative to research and write articles on major-league and Negro League regular, postseason, and All-Star Game.  I have a database of games that have already been submitted.  When I get more time, I would consider writing about the following games:

  • 2012 - the Johan Sananta No-hitter for the Mets
  • 1962 - the first victory by the Mets won by Jay Hook
  • 2008 - the last game played at Shea Stadium
  • 2003 - the Yankees were no hit by 6 Houston Astro pitchers.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Billboard Reports that Bob Dylan is Recording a New Album at Capitol Records Studio in Hollywood

Any report that Bob Dylan is recording a new album has to be good news.  He has been recording since 1962 which was before many of his fans (not me) were born.  The report in Billboard states that this will be a collection of more adult standards and will be a follow up to the 2015 album Shadows in the Night.  Since the Never Ending Tour is on hiatus until April, this is a good time for him to go into the recording studio.

I am disappointed since apparently this forthcoming album will not include any new Dylan compositions.  The Tempest released in 2012 was the last album that included Dylan compositions.  In my opinion Dylan's songwriting is his biggest strength.  His songs are vague and open to interpretation as stated by the Penelope Cruz character in the film Masked and Anonymous.  It is an avocation for many to pick his songs apart word by word and try to make sense out of them.  Adult standards is not my favorite style of music, but I don't hate that genre either.

As soon as the release date is announced, I will go to and pre-order it so I get it the day it comes out.  After 54 years, the beat goes on.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bought a New Sony CD Player Today

Early this week the CD player that I have owned since February 2010 started to act erratically.  It would play alright until it reached cut #6 and then would jump "all over the place."  This persisted for a few days so I thought it was time to buy a new one.  No product lasts forever, and I felt that after 6 years I got my money's worth out of it.  The model above plays 5 Cds.  I shopped around and saw that I could get a better deal at Best Buy than at Amazon.  Since there is a Best Buy in Flushing we went over there to buy it instead of ordering it online.  With this model one can play mp3 files from a flash drive inserted at bottom right.  I hope this player gives us countless hours of listening to our favorite music.

Jenrry Mejia belongs in the Baseball Hall of Shame

It was announced yesterday that since Jenrry Mejia failed his third test for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) he is banned for baseball.  We all make mistakes in life, but in this case three strikes and you're out.  I don't understand why he was taking PEDs during the off-season.  He would have been eligible to return to the Mets and the end of July.

It is a privilege to play in the major leagues as millions of kids dream about being there.  But Mejia just blew it.  It does have a right to apply for reinstatement in one year, but he does not deserve another chance.  As the first player to be banished for this reason, he belongs in the Baseball Hall of Shame.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Remembering Mom Today a Year After Her Passing

Photo of Mom on Mothers Day 2011

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since Mom passed away.  I always remember the guidance she gave me in all the years.  Everybody misses her on Mothers Day, Thanksgiving and other occasions when the family would get together.  I am very grateful that she lived to be ripe old age of 95.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Again The Coach is Blamed for the Team's Failure

Yesterday the Knicks fired coach Derek Fisher as the team has stumbled to a 23-31 record.  At the time of Fisher's firing the Knicks had lost 9 out of 10 games.  The Knicks have certainly improved over last year's 17-65 record.  Last year General Manager Phil Jackson dumped some good players in the middle of the season to save money on salary.  I think many of the player moves in the off season were beneficial.

Derek Fisher was hired without any experience as a coach or assistant coach at any level.  He was also given a 5 year contract for $25 Million.  I presume that the team must pay him that amount or come to an agreement on a buyout.  Kurt Rambis has been made the interim coach, but likely will not be hired permanently.  At the end of the season Phil Jackson will evaluate what experienced coaches are available.  I am rooting for Patrick Ewing to get the job as he has several years experience as an assistant coach in the NBA.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New York Islanders 8 Edmonton Oilers 1 at Barclay Center on Super Bowl Sunday

We really wanted to see at least one hockey game at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn this season.  Karen wanted to go in the daytime so I picked Sunday February 7th a few months ago not realizing that it was Super Bowl Sunday.  The Islanders were really hot as they scored 3 goals in the first 11;24 of the game driving out starting goalie Anders Nilsson.  It seems to be unusual when a team changes goalies in the middle of the game. Islanders scored 5 more goals including a hat trick by Kyle Okposo.  Fans did throw their hats on the ice after he scored his third goal.  It was the Islanders biggest offensive performance since they beat Pittsburgh 9-3 in February 2011.

Game recap

We left the arena as the game ended and arrived arrived home at about 6:45 missing a few minutes of the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Remembering Super Bowl I in 1967

Let's turn back the clock to January 1967 when I was a senior at Forest Hill High School.  Earlier in the 1960s there was a rivalry between the NFL and the upstart AFL which was resolved by an agreement to merge.  In 1967 the merger had not been completely consumated, but there was an arrangement to play a game pitting the champion of the AFL vs the champion of the NFL.  The moniker Super Bowl came a few years later.

Back then color TV sets were not common as my family still had only black and white TVs.  My mother played Mah Jongg in a group including Shirley Dule who live across the street.  Her husband Irving invited my father and I to see the AFL-NFL Championship game on a color TV in his apartment.  The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

Irving and Shirely Dule had two daughters, Ellen and Linda.  Years later they moved to Arizona.  I have kept in touch with them through Facebook.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Random Comments of the Day

There was about 2-3 inches of snow on the ground today as I drove with Lee to Cunningham Park.  Since the basketball court was still snow covered he couldn't play.  There was a pathway around the path, but there were too many icy spots.

Karen and I went to the Ridgewood Bank and renewed some CDs that came due this week.

We walked over the the Flushing branch of the Queens Library and saw a performance of Indian music.  The only two instruments were a tabla and harmonium.  I wonder if the sitar is still a popular instrument after the passing of Ravi Shankar.  I stopped off at Modells and got a pair of sneakers.

I watched the NJIT Men's basketball team play Kennesaw State on ESPN 3.  The Highlanders won 78-59 and are now 14-11 overall and 5-4 in the Atlantic Sun conference.

After dinner I saw one episode of the Adventures of Superman and one episode of Batman.

I am listening to Cousin Brucie as I am writing this journal entry.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I Bought a Package of 13 Games at Citifield Today

For the last several seasons I purchased 10 game packages for Met games.  At the end of last season they announced packages for 20, 41, and 81 games which were just too much for me.  At that point I thought I would buy tickets for single games.  When tickets first went on sale I bought ticket for the games against the Yankees and Kansas City Royals figuring that those games would be sold out quickly.  I was going to wait until February to buy more tickets.  I found out a few days ago that the Mets were selling 13 game packages which are discounted.  So I took the plunge and bought the package.

See you at the ball park.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Some Minor Radio News in the New York Area

Back in the 1960s when AM radio predominated WWRL was a big R&B and soul station.  Some major DJs like Bobby Jay and Frankie Crocker worked there.  For the last few years the format has been Mexican music.  Just now they have changed to a format featuring talk and music for Indians.  This seems to make sense as there is a large Indian population in the NYC metropolitan area.

WFAS at 1230 AM is now broadcasting the CBS Radio Sports Network.  Until now it could only be heard in NYC at WCBS-FM HD3.  This station is aimed at Westchester County.  I could get it very weakly on my GE Superradio in Queens.

WNLK (1350 AM) and WSTC (1400 AM) in Connecticut are for sale by Sacred Heart University.  Both are airing oldies as a placeholder format.  It does seem that AM radio is fading all over.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Old Snow is Ugly

Since we got 26 inches of snow on Saturday January 23 the weather has been mild.  Today the temperature went up to the 50s melting much of the snow that remains.  Snow looks nice for a few days, but after that it looks plain ugly.  The piles created when the Sanitation Department moves snow can take a long time to melt.  Today alternate side of the street parking in NYC was back in effect so the sanitation trucks could smash some the mounds of snow and spread it out so it could melt faster.  Hopefully the rain predicted for Wednesday will wash the rest of it away.
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