Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bob Dylan in Triplicate Coming March 31

It was certainly a surprise finding out today that Bob Dylan will be releasing a 3 CD set called Triplicate at the end of March.  Of course, I just pre-ordered it on Amazon.com.  If you look at the tracklist you will tell that it is another album of adult standards.  Has Dylan stopped writing songs?  The last CD of his compositions was the Tempest released in 2012.  Perhaps, his recording of these songs was his reason for not attending the Nobel Prize ceremony in December.  Below is "I Could Have Told You", a sample from the album.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Radio Legend Herb Oscar Anderson Passes Away at 86

While growing up Music Radio WABC was the premier top 40 station in NYC.  Herb was the morning man there from 1960-1968. He also was heard on WMCA, WOR, and WHN.  He opened every show by singing Hello Again as seen and heard on the Youtube video above.  I refer my readers to a profile of him written by Scott Benjamin.

Herb was actually a Facebook friend of mine.  I guess he liked to friend radio enthusiasts.  He appeared on several of the radio greats reunions heard on WCBS-FM.  I also have in my collection of cassette tapes an album of his singing adult standards.

My condolences to his family.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR in NYC Today

Today the NYC Casey Stengel chapter of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) held its annual meeting at the Mid-Manhattan Library.  It is traditional that the local chapters meet on the weekend before the Super Bowl.  This is the third meeting that I have attended.  Ernestine Miller, the moderator, made some introductory remarks stating that 2017 marks some significant milestone anniversaries:

  • 1947 – Jackie Robinson breaks the color line
  • 1927 – New York Yankees Murders Row Team – Babe Ruth hits 60 HRs
  • 1962 – The New York Mets are born

She introduced Max Mannis who talked about baseball cards.  There is a baseball card exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which will close on May 14.

Marc Appleman, the CEO of SABR spoke about the national convention that will take place in NYC from June 28-July 2.  I should make sure that I ask for vacation at that time.

Kristie Ackert, the New York Daily News reporter for the Mets spoke of her experiences as a woman sports reporter.

I walked around the area during lunch as I had worked for the Science and Technology Division of NYPL from 1983-1990.  Certainly, that area has changed dramatically over the last 26 years.  Back then Bryant park was a real dump back then with drug dealers and homeless people.  There is now a skating rink and several restaurants there.

After lunch, Eric Weiss ran a trivia contest.  I didn’t do very well.

The next speaker was Marty Appel, an author and public relations professional who spoke about his forthcoming book about Casey Stengel.  He related several anecdotes about the “Ole Professor”.   I didn’t realize that in the early days of the Mets his coaches, Solly Hemus and Cookie Lavagetto, were the “defacto” managers of the Mets.  Back then the nascent Mets needed a noted figure like Casey to promote the team.

Steve Nadel showed videos of some controversial calls that would have likely been overruled had the replay rule been in effect.  Johann Santana would have lost his no-hitter for the Mets in 2012 as a ball that was called foul would have been a double.  Also, it was obvious that the infamous fan Jeffrey Maier obviously interfered with a home run in 1996.  It would have been ruled a catch by the outfielder.

I wish that the local SABR chapter would have more than one meeting a year.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Brian Matthew Will Not Return to Sounds of the Sixties on BBC2

I have reported several times that I am an avid listener of Sounds of the Sixties on BBC2 for several years.  The show is broadcast live in the UK only Saturday morning, but it is a ritual for me to listen to the podcast on Sunday mornings.  It was reported in late November that host Brian Matthew was out for health reasons while Tim Rice became the host at least temporarily.  The nature of the illness was not revealed.

It was announced today in Radio Today and the Telegraph, two British publications, that Brian will not be coming back to the show.  Brian who is 88 years old fell in his home and was taken to the hospital.  He returned home and wanted to return to hosting the show.  However, the BBC felt that it was the right time to leave the show.  It is presently unclear whether Tim Rice will become the permanent host or if someone else will take over the show.

This is really a shame since Brian has hosted Sounds of the Sixties since 1990 and has worked at the BBC since 1954.  It is sad that organizations just don't reward loyalty.  I certainly wish Brian all the best.

Statement by the BBC  - I still take this with a "grain of salt".  I really think that Brian wanted to continue as host of Sounds of the 60s.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bad Fire in Downtown Flushing This Afternoon

They say that a picture is worth 1000 words.  Regular readers of Bruce's Journal may not be aware that I have a companion blog NYNJcommuting.wordpress.com where I document my commuting woes from Flushing to Newark.  You can read about today's adventure here.

It can best be described as Oy Vey.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Call Me Lightning by the Who - Classic Hit of the Day

Nothing much to report today.  I was reading Don Tandler's Facebook feed today as he mentioned this song by the Who.  He seemed to be intrigued by Dum Dum Dum Duway (whatever that means).  I guess he'll play it on Pop Gold Radio.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Another Saturday of College Basketball

For many years we have gone to Hofstra to see college basketball.  It is about a 1/2 hour drive from Flushing and the seats are reasonably priced.  Today the Hofstra Pride held on to beat Northeastern 78-73 after almost losing a 16 point lead.

When I got home I logged into ESPN3 to see the NJIT Highlanders play Florida Gulf Coast University.  Unfortunately, NJIT lost 84-71 to bring their Atlantic Sun record to 1-4.  Superstar Damon Lynn suffered an injury and had to leave after the first 5 minutes.  Hopefully,  it will not be serious.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Was A Winner on That Thing With Rich Appel

I listen to That Thing With Rich Appel on Sunday nights on Pop Gold Radio or WLNG.com.  I believe it is now heard on over 70 radio stations.  Rich had a contest where he asked listeners to email to him the name of the first 45 RPM record that they bought.  For me, it was Bits and Pieces by the Dave Clark 5.  Winners would get a copy of Ranking the 60s a reference book that listed the top songs and recording artists in the decade.

I came home today and didn't remember ordering anything, but I opened up the package and there was the book.

Thanks Rich!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tonight's Meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society

Last May I wrote a journal entry reminiscing about Lou Mintz of the New York Public Library.  Using the "magic" of social media his son Gary read my journal entry and want to talk to me.  We did speak over the phone about Lou and NYPL when I worked there from 1983-90.  Gary mentioned the New York Giants Preservation Society.  I never discussed baseball in general or the Giants specifically with Lou while we were both at NYPL.  Gary did put me on the mailing list for his group.

Tonight I went to the group's meeting at Bergino's Baseball Clubhouse on East 11th Street a few feet from the former home of the Metropolitan New York Library Council.  I passed by Bergino's many times but tonight was the first time I came in.  What a collection of memorabilia!  I wish I had big bucks to buy some of the stuff in the store.

Tonight's speaker was Dan Taylor (not of WCBS-FM fame) who is a big Giant fan, television sportscaster, and author of  "A Scout's Report: My 70 Years in Baseball".  This man is a walking encyclopedia of baseball scouting.  He wrote the book with "super scout" George Genovese.  I didn't realize how intricate it is to scout a ball player and predict his success in the major leagues.  I guess it is like any hiring process as you never know how an employee will work out until they actual are hired by the organization.

It was certainly a worthwhile evening.  After I complete writing this journal entry, I will watch Jeopardy which Lee recorded for me on the DVR.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Listening to Music on the Amazon Echo

We always play music when I arrive home from work about 6 PM until 7 PM when Jeopardy comes on.  Until recently we played something from my CD collection, but we now often ask Alexa to play music for us.  Since I am a Prime Member I can millions of songs, playlists, and stations.  If I joined Amazon Music Unlimited I would have access to even more music.  Since I already pay for SiriusXM, I just don't want to join any other subscription music service.

I am a little confused as to what I can get as a Prime Member.  Tonight, I said "Alexa, play the Moody Blues."  It played Nights in White Satin and then just stopped.  Likewise, I said "Alexa, play the Dave Clark 5 and it played Chiquita which was the B side of Bits and Pieces which I hadn't heard in 50 years.  But, it didn't play anymore from the group. When I did ask to hear Billy Joel there were several songs available.

Go figure.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2 Movies and 1 Basketball Game on MLK Weekeng

I reported on the college basketball game at MSG in my last posting, so it is not necessary to repeat it here.  The only thing to add was that subways and buses on weekends can be as jam-packed as they are during rush hours during the week.  There are fewer people on public transportation, but since there is less service, crowding results.

With that thought in mind, we decided to stay close to home on Sunday and Monday.  At least this weekend there were a few films that appeal to an older audience.  On Sunday we saw Patriot's Day which gave an accurate account of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  What the hell were those two brothers trying to prove by killing and maiming innocent people?

Today we saw La La Land a romantic movie starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.  I highly recommend it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

College Basketball Today

I used to go to Knick games a few times a season, but in recent years the ticket prices have gone through the roof.  The cheapest ticket for a game at Madison Square Garden is $85.  I guess someone has to pay for the multimillion dollar salaries of the players and the renovations made to the facility.  Several times a season we see college games where the ticket prices are more reasonable.went to

Today we went to the Garden to see St. Johns play Villanova who won the NCAA tournament last spring and are currently ranked #3 in the nation.  The Red Storm took an early lead, but the visitors from Philadelphia dominated most of the game and won 70-57.

Game summary

When I got home I turned on my computer and watched on ESPN3 the NJIT Highlanders play the North Florida Ospreys.  Senior guard Damon Lynn led the Highlanders with 6 three-point baskets and 33 total points as we won 84-78.  The visitors made a run late in the game, but NJIT won its first Atlantic Sun game of the season.  I just hate all the stoppages of play in the last two minutes with all the intentional fouls and timeouts.  But, all's well the ends well.

Game summary

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty - Random Classic Rock Hit of the Day

Right now I am listening to Tom Petty's Buried Treasure Show on SiriusXM.  So I picked this one as my random classic rock hit of the day.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Grand Central Station vs Penn Station A World of Difference

 Today I visited TIAA at 3rd Avenue and 47th Street to get some financial guidance for my retirement at the end of this year.  On the way back I thought I's walk around Grand Central Station.  It is so much nicer than Penn Station which is a hole in the ground.  There were a few concourses with many impressive retail establishments.  There was a large food court on the ground floor with many fast food outlets.  Only Metro-North stops at Grand Central while NJ Transit, the LIRR and Amtrak services Penn Station which to say the least is overcrowded even in off-peak hours.

I also stopped at the New York City Transit Museum.  Much of the stuff for sale were items for children.  I did buy a refrigerator magnet for Karen.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Bought Tickets for 12 Met Games

In recent years we have bought ticket packages from the Mets.  The problem is that the team picks the games for you.  For two days the Mets had a sale where tickets can be bought online without a fee which is often substantial.  With that thought in mind, we bought tickets for 12 games that we want.  Most of them are Sunday afternoon games.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weekend at the College Point Multiplex

I certainly have mentioned several times in this journal of the convenience of the College Point Multiplex when there is inclement weather.  Yesterday it snowed heavily as we walked over there.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the film Hidden Figures, which considered Black women who worked for NASA at the Langley Air Force base in the early 1960s.  They had to fight racial prejudice as they helped perform calculations for the Mercury Space Program.  Back then the computers were quite primitive, so mathematicians had to do most of the work.

Today was "dig out day" as we recovered from about 6 inches of snow after 3 inches were predicted.  The roads were being cleared, but it was very cold and black ice could be a problem.  We walked over to the theater and saw Why Him which considered family issues involved when a college student had a romantic relationship with a silicon valley billionaire.  It wasn't the best movie that I ever saw, but not the worst.  I really have to get out of the house for at least a few hours during bad weather.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snowy Saturday

At least when it snows on a  Saturday I don't have to worry about getting to work and facing train delays.  Switches on railways tend to freeze and cause havoc when there is just a little snow.  I just hate having to sit around the apartment.  I did spend some time reading magazine and listening to several radio stations, but I couldn't get out for a walk.

The original forecast was for 2-4 inches, but I think we got closer to 6 inches.  We did go out to the College Point Multiplex which is about a 15-minute walk and saw Hidden Figures.  I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Why Do Radio Stations Play Summer Songs in Winter?

This morning a few minutes after waking up I was pleasantly surprised to hear Summer Days and Summer Nights by Bob Dylan on WFUV.  I was glad to hear it, but why do radio stations play summer songs in the winter?  Are they just trying to cheer up their listeners who would think about the summer when hear it?  How about Summer in the City by the Lovin' Spoonful?

I would have preferred to her Winterlude from Dylan's New Morning album.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Random Thoughts of the Day

Yesterday I got the Final Jeopardy correct while all 3 contestants got it wrong.  Today I got it wrong as all of the contestants.

We have to get Lee as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.  He often gets the puzzle right before any of the contestants.

Right now I am listening to Lou Simon do a countdown of the Top 100 instrumentals from 1955-74 on SiriusXM.

I just saw on ESPN3 the NJIT men's basketball team hold on to beat Brown 75-73.  They almost lost an 18 point lead.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Visit to the Museum of the City of New York

Since it was a rainy and dreary day, it was a good time to visit the Museum of the City of New York at 5th Avenue and 103rd Street.  The best exhibit was New York at Its Core which traces the history of the city from the 1600s to the present.  There were photographs, paintings, and videos that showed how New York grew from a remote trade outpost to the most diverse and influential city in the USA.  I didn't realize that the population actually dipped in the 1970s during the financial crises, but rebounded in the succeeding decads.  The history was summarized in a 30 minute film called Timescapes narrate by Stanley Tucci.

The other exhibits that we viewed were:

  • Gay Gotham: Art & Underground Culture in New York
  • Mastering the Metropolis: New York and Zoning 1916-2016
  • Activist New York

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Will Be a Year of Change for Me

For a long time I have tentatively planned to retire at the end of 2017.  Barring something unforeseen I will follow through with that plan.  In September I will have completed 25 years of employment at my university which will qualify me for benefits including a pay out for unused vacation time.  By then I will be over 68 years old and it will be time for me to leave.

I have worked from 1974 just after I received my masters degree in chemistry until the present.  I had a few periods of unemployment early on, but I have work continuously since 1982.  Most of my pension in in TIAA, but I have funds in other retirement accounts.  I feel that I have planned well for retirement and can be become a gentleman of leisure.

Later on this year I will write some blog entries reflecting on my career.
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