Sunday, July 30, 2017

MLB News of the Day

Today is Hall of Fame Induction Day in Cooperstown.  Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez, John Schuerholz and Bud Selig will be inducted.

We are rapidly approaching the trade deadline.  It was just announced that the Yankees acquired left handed pitcher Jaime Garcia for two minor leaguers.  The Mets who are really out of contention for the playoffs traded away Lucas Duda, but acquired pitcher A J Ramos.  They still can make more moves in the next 36 hours, but I hope they won't decimate the team.  They should be competitive for the rest of the season for the sake of their fans.  I would like them to keep Jay Bruce and sign him in the off-season.  It is time to bring up Amad Rosario and Dominic Smith.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Jeopardy Season Ends after 46 Weeks and 230 Shows

Today Alex Trebek announced that the Jeopardy season has ended.  He stated that with 230 shows it has the longest season of any game show.  The only other game shows on the air today are Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Wheel of Fortune.  For the next 6 weeks, tournaments will be rerun, but I will likely go online an hour earlier than usual until the next season begins in September.

Jeopardy has some long run.  The Art Flemming version on NBC aired from 1964-1979 while the syndicated  Alex Trebek version started in 1984 and is still going strong.  How long will Alex stay as host?  Who will succeed him?  Time will tell.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Tweets Made a New York Newspaper

If Donald Trump's Tweets can make the newspapers, so can mine.  There is a relatively new paper called AMNY  that one can pick up for free in or near a subway station.  It has a column called Today's Chirps.  If one adds #amny at the end of the Tweet, the paper may publish it.  Most of the Tweets in this column deal with public transportation issues in NYC.  4 of my Tweet were accepted for publication.

Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  Jul 26
 To help alleviate crowding on the subway employers should stagger hours for workers.  Please don't remove seats. #amny

 Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  May 24
 Anyone who can fix the signals in the subway system should get $3M as stated by the governor and a ticker tape parade down Broadway #amny

 Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  Apr 17
 Mazel Tov! No train delays on NJ Transit or the 7 Line both ways on my commute from Flushing to Newark #amny

Bruce Slutsky‏ @BruceS8852  Mar 27
 There should be a Nobel Prize awarded to anyone who can fix the signals in the subway #amny

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dedication to David McMillan

Best of luck to David McMillan as he moves to Muskogee, Oklahoma as he assumes the position of Head Librarian at Bacone College.  I am sure he will do well there.  New Jersey's loss is Oklahoma's gain.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Buying a Vagrants CD 50 Years Later

When I was a student at Forest Hills High School (1964-67) there was a rock group called the Vagrants whose members were 4 students of my class.  Their names were:

  • Peter Sabatino
  • Larry West (Weinstein)
  • Leslie West (Weinstein)
  • Jerry Storch
They usually played local gigs and even appeared at the prom for FHHS 1967 (my class - but I didn't go).  I vaguely remember in the Summer of 1967 I did see and hear them at the Singer Bowl as they were the opening act for the Rascals.  I think Scott Muni of WNEW-FM was the host.

Anyway, there was a web site with an article with narration from NPR .   This clip was heard on a show called Fresh Air.

In 1968 Leslie West formed a better-known group called Mountain who played at Woodstock in 1969. The other three left the music business, but the article states that Peter Sabatino has formed a group called the New Vagrants.

Anyway, reading the article inspired me to buy the CD shown above. on  I'll have to find the time to listen to it.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hey Bulldog by the Beatles

It really should have been a bigger hit!

If you're lonely you talk to me.

Blog Statistics - Blogger and Google Analytics - Which is Correct?

Since I started Bruce's Journal in October 2005, I have been curious how many times this blog has been accessed and who is reading it.  I can also find out which entries are hit more than others.  For many years I have used Blogger provided and Google Analytics to get statistics.  The values of the two services have varied greatly with the former giving higher numbers.  The latter gives the city of the user but did not include my hits last week from Houston.  It will never reveal the name of the person or the IP address.  There is someone from Monroe Township, NJ who has accessed my journal for years, but I don't know who he/she is.  In general, the number of hits for recent entries are higher, but I have some classic posts.  A high percentage of my readers are from New York and New Jersey, but I get readers from all over the world.

My question is which service gives the correct data?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Here We Go Again - The News Media is Creating the News - OJ gets paroled

Back in 1994, we experience the "Trial of the Century" as OJ Simpson faced charges of murdering his ex-wife and her friend.  This dominated the headlines for weeks if not months as he was acquitted of criminal charges, but found liable in civil litigation.

Yesterday, there was a parole hearing and all the news outlets stopped their regular programming to report this.  OJ was granted parole and will be released from prison soon.  Hopefully, he'll get his life together.  I also expect the Goldman family to get money that he never paid after his civil suit.

There are numerous parole hearings all the time, but since OJ Simpson is a celebrity, he gets all this media attention.  It is just hard to ignore.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Last Day in Houston: 2 Museums and the Mets on TV

We started out today by visiting the Holocaust Museum of Houston.  We received a tour by a docent who was a Holocaust survivor born in Poland.  I didn't realize that about half of the Jews killed were from Poland. The goal of the museum is to educate the public about the dangers of hate, prejudice, and apathy.  The museum will close very shortly for a major renovation and expansion.

We left about 1:30 PM and headed for the John R. Museum of Health and  Medical Science.  It was similar in scope to the Hall of Science in Flushing.

Right now I am doing what I would normally do on a Wednesday evening:  listening to Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM.  Tonight's Met game is on ESPN, so I am watching it while listening to the radio.  Since Jacob deGrom is pitching, the Mets have a chance.  It hasn't been a very good season.  Maybe a celebrity will catch a foul ball in the stands.

Another Day, Another Museum, Another Ball Game

In the morning we took the MetroRail to see the Museum of Fine Arts. It houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 65,000 works of art created throughout the world, from antiquity to the present.  I thought there was a minimal amount of American Art from the 20th and 21st centuries.  There were two buildings in this museum that were connected by an underground tunnel.

In the evening we went to a second game at Minute Maid Park with the Astros playing the Seattle Mariners.  Evan Gattis hit two home runs for the Astros to lead them to a 6-2 victory.

Game recap

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Science Museum in the Morning - Minute Maid Park at Night

When I go on vacation, I like to be active all day.  In the morning we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science which was a short ride away on the MetroRail.  We saw a show in the Planetarium about black holes and from there saw a film called Dream Big that described the achievement of engineers throughout the world.  It was a good film to recruit young students to the profession.

This facility seemed to be a small version of the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.  There were three floors of exhibitions covering all aspects of the natural sciences.

In the evening we went to Minute Maid park to see the Houston Astros play the Seattle Mariners.  It was a wild back and forth game that was tied 7-7 at the end of 9 innings.  The Mariners hit 4 home runs including two in the 10th inning by Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia to win it.  Jake Marisnick and Carlos Beltran both homered for the Astros in a losing effort.

Game Recap

Sunday, July 16, 2017

First Full Day in Houston - Tour of the City and Trip to the Johnson Space Center

We walked over to a neighboring hotel and got on board a bus that gave us a tour of  Downtown Houston.  Many of the tall buildings looked relatively new as the city has grown greatly.  I must assume that the ubiquity of air conditioning spurred the growth of the city which is very spread out.

From there the bus took us about 25 miles to the Johnson Space Center.  The museum offered many artifacts of the history of NASA from the 1950s to the present.  There is actually capsule that went into space during Project Mercury in the photo above.  There were plenty of activities for kids there as well.

We boarded a tram that gave us a tour of the Johnson Space Center.  We entered a few buildings including the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center.  NASA is now into Project Orion which will bring man back to the moon and beyond.  The goal is to land a man on Mars by 2035.  Will that happen?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Houston - We Have Landed

We left LaGuardia Airport at 8:30 AM on United Airlines for our flight to Houston.  It actually arrived at George Bush Airport 35 minutes ahead of schedule!  Commuter trains in New York and New Jersey never arrive early.  We took a cab to the Hampden Inn Downtown.  When we got settled we took a little walk around the area to see what was there.  Tomorrow we will take a tour of the Johnson Space Center.  We will see two games at Minute Maid Park on Monday and Tuesday.  It is sure good to get away.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Another Milestone Anniversary - But 40 Years Ago I Missed It

People are writing on social media their memories of the NYC blackout on July 13, 1977.  I don't have any memories of that event since at that time I was living in New London, CT while I was working as a chemist for Pfizer.  It was very said as there was a lot of looting that night.  I remember listening to WCBS 880 AM for a while that evening and phoning my parents the next day to make sure that everything was OK.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It was 10 Years Ago that WCBS-FM Returned, but since then it has changed

It was 10 years ago today  that WCBS-FM returned after two years of airing the dreaded Jack format.  It was rebranded as a "Greatest Hits"  instead of an oldies station.  Back in the "good old days" the station played music from the 1950s to the 1970s.  In July 2007 the pre Beatles music was eliminated and more 80s hits were played.

Since that time the music has transitioned away from the 60s and early 70s to play more 80s and even 90s music.  Demographics must come into play as the station is trying to attract listeners from age 25-54 who are desired by advertisers.  They don't want old farts like me.  Thus, I listen to the station much less than I used to.  When I want to listen to oldies I must go to SiriusXM or internet stations such as Pop Gold Radio and Rewound Radio.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Carole King Tapestry Live in Hyde Park - Movie on a Tuesday Night

It is very unusual for us to go to the movies on a weeknight, but Carole King Tapestry Live in Hyde Park was playing at our local multiplex for just one showing tonight.  She played the entire Tapestry album to an audience of over 65,000 in London and followed that with Goffin-King compositions that were hits for other artists.  A 2 CD set of the concert will be released on September 1.  I hope that a DVD of the movie will also be forthcoming.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Elected Officials Often Use Wrong Metaphors and Can Cause Anxiety Among Citizens

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been quite verbal in describing the situation at Penn Station as the "Summer of Hell".  This has created much anxiety among commuters including myself as you can read in my last journal entry.  The media has exacerbated this by constantly repeating "Summer of Hell" in news reports.  I think the governor should have been a "cheerleader" by asking commuters to be patient during this period of repairing track at Penn Station.  There have some hellish situations on mass transit, especially in recent months.  The recent derailment at 125th Street was an example.  There were some accidents on mass transit that caused deaths.  There have been long delays causing great inconvenience for many in all types of weather.

Andrew Cuomo is smiling in the photo above,  But, would he be smiling if he regularly had to take mass transit to work?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Anxious About the Summer of Hell Starting Monday July 10

Beginning this Monday and continuing until September 1 Amtrak will be working on repairing the tracks in Penn Station.  Over the years I have encountered many delays on NJ Transit and the NYC Subway which were documented on my companion commuting blog.

These repairs are being done during the summer when many commuters are on vacation.  I will be on vacation the weeks of July 17 and August 14.

The schedule for the trains that I usually take on NJ Transit is the same.  My major concern is encountering major delays entering Penn Station in the late afternoon and leaving it in the morning.  These delays are quite common under normal circumstances.  Many NJ Transit and Amtrak trains have been rerouted so hopefully, these delays will be minimal.

The people who will be most inconvenienced are NJ Transit passengers on the Midtown Direct line who will be rerouted to Hoboken.  Their commute will be longer since they will have to change to fthe PATH there.  Many LIRR trains will be rerouted to Brooklyn or to Hunters Point Avenue.  Those people will have to change to the #7 train which is crowded enough.  This would affect me.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Some Thoughts About Facebook

It’s been a while since I have commented here about Facebook.  I just looked and I see that I have 519 friends, but how many of them do I really “know”.  Many of them I have never met, but some I have only met once.  Some people are very open about what they say on Facebook, while others are very tight lipped.  DS is a Facebook friend who I have known online for many years, even before Facebook, but I never met him.  I think I spoke to him over the phone many years ago.  He constantly talks about his medical problems on Facebook.  One woman whom I met just once at a professional meeting described in detail how her marriage fell apart.  Do I have to read about a stranger’s problems?  I met AL at an oldies meet and greet and friended him.  Every day he greets everyone and later says when he is going to sleep.  Is all of this necessary?

Whenever I go to Citifield, I post that I am there and ask if any of my Facebooks friends are there.  Here are a few people whom I met for the first time there:

  • Joanna Ente
  • Ira Sonin
  • Kate Kosturski

There were a few people at the game, but I just couldn’t get to their seat during the game:

  • Amy Kearns
  • Alan Stern

I guess I am often guilty of posting nonsense.Must 519 people know that I am at Ben’s Deli eating a pastrami sandwich?  It seems that Facebook is not a fad and is here to stay.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Remembering Mike's Barbecues from 1969-1971

Back when I was an undergraduate student at CCNY I belonged to Sigma Beta Phi fraternity.  Back then one of my best friends was Mike who lived in Floral Park.  His birthday was on July 4th so from 1969-71 he invited everyone to his house for a barbecue.  In 1969 there were only guys there, but in late 1970 he met Heidi whom he married in 1973.  So in 1971, there were several girls there.

By 1972, we had all moved on from CCNY so the barbecues ended.  Those were the days.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Phillies 7 Mets 1

What else can I say? The stinking Mets could only get 2 hits off the Phillies.  After winning 4 in a row there was a big letdown today.  At the halfway mark of the season, they are 38-43.  Over the long run, things will even out, but I predict only 75-80 wins this season.  The only way they could get into the playoffs if for all the injured players to come back and get very hot.

Game Recap

Video Lowlights

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Friday and Saturday at the SABR Meeting

The first talk that I attended was a celebration of 70 years: Jackie Robinson's journey.  The four speakers discussed Jackie's impact on baseball and more his influence on society.  After he retired from the game he became the first Black executive at a major company (Choc-Full-of-Nuts).  There will be a Jackie Robinson Museum opening in NYC in about a year.

I saw a poster session and a short talk on the Dodgers in Jersey City in 1956 and 1957.  It emphasized the games where the Dodgers played the Giants there.  Those games there back then foreshadowed the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn for Los Angeles in 1958.

From there it was off to Citifield.  The group met at about 1:30 in the lobby and took the #7 train to the stadium.  We were brought to section 331 and heard talks by

  • Coach Tom Goodwin 
  • Broadcasters Steve Gelbs, Josh Lewin, and Wayne Randazzo
  • General Manager Sandy Alderson
On Saturday I attended the following meetings:
  • The Legacy of Mel Ott, a superstar of the New York Giants who never received the recognition he deserved
  • Milestone transformations  of 1968-1969 in major league baseball
  • Chronicling Banner Days at Shea Stadium - it was fun to view photos of some of the banners that were brought by fans.  The event peaked in popularity in the 60s and 70s, but then leveled off and eventually was discontinued.
  • Jim Bouton: A life in baseball.  The former Yankee pitcher was there as he and the panelists discussed the impact of his book Ball Four.  I read it when it first came out in 1970 1969but didn't know that there were updates.
  • 1969: A baseball centennial - Mark Armour discussed many of the events that commemorated the 100th anniversary of professional baseball.
Photos of the event

Mets 2 Phillies 1 on Friday Night

This journal entry will only consider the actual game.  I will discuss the SABR meeting in another entry. Jacob deGrom was really on the mark as he struck out 12 in 7 innings.  The only "blemish" for the Mets was Curtis Granderson's losing a fly ball in the twilight which was scored a triple by Andrew Knapp which led to the only run by the Phillies.  Addison Reed got the save as the Mets won 2-1.

Game Recap
Personal-Journals blog