Thursday, June 21, 2018

Busy First Day at #SABR48

My meeting with the Games Committee started at 7:30 AM.  Chairman Mike Huber gave some statistics:

  • 2240 games were assigned.
  • 941 articles were completed.
  • 353 articles for books were completed.
  • 950 games are awaiting publication for a book project.
Len Levin, one of the editors for this project, gave some hint for those writing articles.  I think if Len edited Bruce's Journal he would find many errors.  :)

The next two events were:
  • The SABR business meeting
  • Opening remarks by Pittsburgh Pirate President Frank Coonelly
There was a one-hour session on the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente who is revered by baseball fans and Puerto Ricans.  There is sentiment for retiring uniform #21 throughout major league baseball.

In the afternoon I attended a talk about the relationship between Branch Rickey and Ralph Kiner when he played for the Pirates.  Of course, Kiner is best known in NYC for his broadcasting years for the Mets.

The next talk considered Hank Greenberg's time with the Pirates in 1947.

I went to a meeting of the Baseball Index Project Committee.  I am interested in indexing SABR documents for inclusion in baseballindex.org.

The last three talks that attended were:

  • Wendell Smith of the Pittsburgh Courier: His Life and Legacy
  • The Humidor and the predictive powers of physics
  • Injuries in the Stands: MLB responds with extended netting
I went out to dinner with some of the guys from the Games Project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Arrived Safely in Pittsburgh


I called a local cab company at about 11 AM and arrived at LaGuardia in a few minutes.  It didn't take too long to go through security and I arrived at the gate in plenty of time.  Terminal C which serves Delta Airlines was renovated and looked much better than it did in the past.  The flight to Pittsburgh was less than half full which was only a problem for the airline who likely lost money.  I arrived at about 3 PM and took a van to the hotel.  It rained very hard at the time the van left the airport.  By the time I got to the hotel the rain had stopped.

After I unpacked I checked out the wifi and started to listen to Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM.  The welcoming reception starts at 6 PM.

Starting tomorrow, I'll give reports on the SABR meeting.

Leaving for Pittsburgh Later Today for the SABR Annual Meeting

I have been a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) for about 4 years.  Recently, I have been involved in the Games Project.  I went to the national meeting in NYC last year and really enjoyed attending the sessions.  I really need to get away from home for a few days and decided to attend this year's meeting in Pittsburgh.  I have been in touch with many people in the organization through email since I have been a member.  I will have an opportunity to speak to them face to face while I am in Pittsburgh.  My flight leaves from Laguardia at 1:40 PM.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Visited the American Folk Art Museum and Lincoln Center


Today we visited the American Folk Art Museum on Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Street.  It was a small museum that did not have an admission charge, but we gave them a small donation.  This museum is devoted to the creative expressions of self-taught artists of diverse backgrounds.

The current exhibition was titled Charting the Divine Plan: The Art of Orra White Hitchcock (1796–1863).  She was an illustrator was western Massachusetts whose husband was a biologist at Amherst College.

From there we walked around the Lincoln Center area and stopped by the Metropolitan Opera shop and the Performing Arts Library of NYPL.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

This Woman Inspired of 3 Hit Songs by 2 Rock Icons


I just completed this autobiography of Pattie Boyd published in 2007.  I actually saw her at the Beatles Fest in 2014.  She candidly detailed her relationships with two rock icon whom she married.  She first met George Harrison on the set of A Hard Days Night and married him a few years later.  Pattie divorced George since he was a womanizer and eventually married Eric Clapton.  She inspired these 3 hits.






Tuesday, June 12, 2018

James Brown Covers George Harrison's Something


I very rarely read about singer-songwriters commenting about other artists covering their songs.  Right now I am reading:  Boyd, Pattie, and Penny Junor. 2008. Wonderful tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and me. New York: Three Rivers Press.  Pattie commented that there are over 150 covers of Something, but George thought that the James Brown version was the best.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Mets Salvage One Game of the Subway Series by Beating the Yankees 2-0

I attended game 1 in person but watched games 2 and 3 on TV.  Todd Frazier's 2-run homer coupled with excellent pitching was able to beat the Yankees 2-0 last night.  It was the only time this season that the Bronx Bombers were shut out.  This victory gives the Mets a small psychological boost, but what will happen during the rest of the season?  Can they return to respectability after playing so poorly so far?  They have been affected by several injuries and the hitting has just been poor.

There are some suggestions that the Mets should trade deGrom and/or Syndergaard for some hitting prospects.  I wouldn't do that since minor league players often don't work out once they are promoted to the major leagues.  They just made some roster moves by releasing Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Lobaton and promoting Dominc Smith and Ty Kelly.  I really think that Jose Reyes should be let go as he has performed very poorly this season.  Last night he made 2 errors on one play.

Time will tell.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Yankees 4 Mets 1 in Game 1 of the Subway Series

The Yankees are moving up while the Mets are going down.  This was obviously played out in last night's Subway Series game. Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and pitched very well until Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer in the 8th inning.  Since the Mets are just not hitting that was enough.  The only highlight for the "Amazins" was a home run hit by Brandon Nimmo in the first inning.  If they can't win with their top pitcher, when will they win again as they have now lost 7 in a row?  Yoenes Cespedes is not the answer.

Game Recap

Friday, June 8, 2018

Ben's Best Deli in Rego Park Will Close on June 30 After 73 Years


Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that once a year or so I walk around Rego Park and observe what has changed over the years.  Ben's Best Deli is one of the few businesses that has remained at its original location since I grew up there in the 1960s.  I found out yesterday that it will be closing on June 30 after being in business since 1945.  I remember my mother sent me there on Sunday afternoons to pick up delicatessen for dinner.  My dad always liked to eat specials (knockwurst) while I ate either salami or pastrami.  I remember Ben Parker who at times was a braggart about the quality of his food.  After he passed away his son Jay took over the business.  He was interviewed for the documentary Deli Man a few years ago.

I reported here in 2008   about the demise of several kosher delis in Queens over the years.  Likely, those delis lost their customer base since the Jewish population in the area has declined.  I understand that there are many Bukharin Jews living in Rego Park, but have their own kosher restaurants and may not patronize Bens.  Very often businesses close since their landlords raise their rents dramatically making it financially impossible to keep going.

It certainly will be the end of an era in Rego Park,

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Orioles 1 Mets 0

Since I am retired I am able to go to the weekday afternoon games for the Mets and Yankees.  So far I have been to 1 Yankee and 2 Met games during the week.  Bad weather prevented me from going to a few more.  This morning I was able to buy a ticket in section 516 behind home plate for $11.23.  By chance, I encountered fellow 1967 Forest Hills HS grade Phil Belkin in the same section.

The Met hitting woes continued as they were only able to get 5 hits off Oriole pitchers.  They loaded the bases in the 7th inning, but Amed Rosario struck out with the bases loaded.  In the 8th inning, the Orioles scored the lone run on a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado.  The only positive was an excellent 7 inning performance by Zach Wheeler.

The Mets have now lost 6 games in a row and drop to a 27-32 record just before the Yankees and their fans invade Citi Field on Friday.    When will they begin to hit again?

Game Recap

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Visit to the Frick Collection and its Art Reference Library


I continued my "tour" of  New York City museums today by visiting the Frick Collection at 5th Avenue and 70th Street. Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was an industrialist from Pittsburgh who moved to NYC late in life and bequeathed his residence and works of art to a board of trustees permitting additions to the collection.  The building was open to the public in 1935 as an art museum.  I am not an expert in art or art history, but most of the paintings were from western European artists from the late 19th or early 20th century. Works from other eras were also represented.  Mr. Frick liked portraits of women in beautiful dresses.

I also visited the Frick Art Reference Library described as one of the foremost resources in the world of European and American Art.  I spoke to a reference librarian who did not know how its collection differed from that of the Art Division of NYPL.  Since I would only seek popular works about art, I would not have to use a research level collection.

Monday, June 4, 2018

There are Just Too Many Trailers Preceding Movies


Today, I went to the AMC Bay Terrace Complex to see the film Adrift scheduled to begin at 12:15 PM.  After several trailers (previews) the movie didn't begin until 12:40.  I didn't count the number of previews this time, but often there up to 7 before the actual start.  I don't mind sitting through a few, but 7 taking up to 25 minutes is just excessive.  This is especially annoying when the film is long.  We pay enough to see movies in a theater, but these trailers are essentially commercials which we can see at home any time.

Very often a trailer is shown and then that movie is never shown at that theater.  For example, I saw trailers for Book Club and Adrift at the College Point Multiplex, but those films were never shown there.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Cubs 2 Mets 0

What happened to that team that started the season 11-1?  There was so much optimism at that point that with a new manager and coaching staff the Mets could make a significant improvement over the 70-92 record of 2017.  Jon Lester dominated the Mets who could only muster 3 hits today.  The Cubs scored on a steal of home by Javier Baez and a sacrifice fly by Ben Zobrist.   The Cubs swept the series as the Mets could only score 6 runs in the 4-game series.  The Amazins lost 9 out of the last 11 as their record dropped to 27-30.  Since their outstanding start, they are 16-29.

The Mets should be encouraged by Steve Matz's performance who allowed 2 runs and 5 hits, but a team can't win without hitting.

Game Recap

Friday, June 1, 2018

I Lost Interest in Basketball and Hockey Playoffs


Today is June 1 and basketball and hockey playoffs are still in progress.  Before you know it the training camps for next season will open.  I am primarily a baseball fan and following the Mets and Yankees.  Of the 5 winter sports teams in NYC, only the NJ Devils made the playoffs and they were eliminated in the first round.  For that reason, I have lost interest in the basketball and hockey playoffs.  I have other interests besides sports.  In both the NBA and NHL 16 teams make the playoffs creating an extended season that lasts until June.  The more games that are played, the more money is earned for the owners.  Of course, money is the name of the game.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Brief Comments on Two Biographies that I Just Finished


Keith uses a thematic rather than chronological approach to this memoir.  He is not a professional writer but did get editorial assistance.  He talks about his growing up in Northern California and his relationships with his father and brother.  There is much talk about his baseball career in the minor leagues and with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Although there are sections relating to his experiences in broadcasting for the Mets, there is a minimal discussion about his career playing for them in the 1980s.  This my disappointment with the book.


Paul did spend much time with biographer Robert Hilburn.  It was quite unfortunate that Art Garfunkel refused to be interviewed for this book.  A chronological approach is used by the author tracing Simon's career from his early days in Queens to the present.  His conflicts with Art were well documented.  The author balances Paul's personal and professional lives.  Reading the book encouraged me to view some music videos of some of Paul's songs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon - Video Featuring Chevy Chase


I am currently reading the new biography of Paul Simon written by Robert Hilburn.  I bought the Kindle version which is usually cheaper than the print book.  One advantage of reading on the Kindle Fire is that I can digress and see the video of a song that is discussed in the text.  I did that for You Can Call Me Al from the Graceland album.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

David Bowie Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum


This exhibit presents artifacts from David Bowie's personal archives. It includes original costumes, handwritten lyric sheets from his hit songs, original album art, photographs, and videos, all tracing Bowie’s creative process from his teenage years in England through his last twenty years when he resided in New York City.  All visitors are given headphones that allow for an immersive multimedia experience.  The exhibit area was extremely crowded as I had to buy the tickets 3 weeks in advance.

I highly recommend this for all music fans.  It closes on July 15, so if you are interested, please keep that in mind.

Friday, May 25, 2018

I Spent Bob Dylan's Birthday at a "Covers Concert" at Town Hall


On April 12, 1963, I was an 8th-grade student at JHS 190 while He's So Fine by the Chiffons was the number one song.  At that time I hadn't yet heard of Bob Dylan played his first major concert at Town Hall on West 43rd Street in Manhattan.  The original concert is archived at https://archive.org/details/BobDylanLiveNYCCityHall4121963

The songs played at that concert were "re-imagined" last night at the same venue as stated by Steven Bernstein, the musical director of the performer.  Back then Dylan just played with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, but last night's show was done by an ensemble with over 12 musicians.  I always feel that when a performer covers one or many of Dylan's songs the new version should be different from the original.  This was certainly the case last night.  I do feel that a few of the songs were overdone as the words were masked by ornate music, but in most cases, the musical arrangement
enhanced the song.

Setlist

  • Ramblin’ Down Thru The World
  • Bob Dylan’s Dream
  • Talkin’ New York
  • Ballad Of Hollis Brown
  • Walls Of Red Wing
  • All Over You
  • Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues
  • Boots Of Spanish Leather
  • Hero Blues
  • Blowin’ In The Wind
  • John Brown
  • Tomorrow Is A Long Time
  • A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
  • Dusty Old Fairgrounds
  • Who Killed Davey Moore?
  • Seven Curses
  • Highway 51
  • Pretty Peggy-O
  • Bob Dylan’s New Orleans Rag
  • Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
  • Hiding Too Long
  • With God On Our Side
  • Masters Of War
  • Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie

Thursday, May 24, 2018

What Do These 3 Distinguished Gentlemen Have In Common?

Ethan Shapiro who is my grand nephew of Walnut Creek, California

Rich Appel of Wayne, NJ.  Radio Host of That Thing with Rich Appel

Bob Dylan - I think I have written enough about him

All three are celebrating birthdays today.  Ethan is 3 years old, Rich is 61, and Bob is 77.  May they all stay Forever Young.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Adventures in Movie Going


For the last two days, I tried to see one movie but ended up seeing another.  On Tuesdays, the AMC Bay Terrace theaters offer all movies for $5.00.  The only film over there that was aimed at an older audience is Book Club with Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton.  When I arrived at the theater there were about 10 seniors on the line.  When it was my turn, the seller said that there were only seats in the first row.  Since I didn't want to sit so close to the screen, I decided to drive back home and check the College Point Multiplex.  I found a film called Overboard which seemed a little silly after I viewed the trailer.  It wasn't the worst movie that I ever saw, but I found out that it was a remake of a movie with the same name in 1987 starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.

Early this morning I had to take Lee to the doctor for a routine checkup.  Everything is OK.  I got home at 11 AM and thought that I had plenty of time to get to the Angelika Film Center in Greenwich Village to catch the 12:25 showing of On Chesil Beach.  The #7 train was somewhat slow (what else is new) so I knew I couldn't get there in time.  I decided to stop at the IFC Center where there was a 12:45 showing of Let The Sunshine In, a French film with English subtitles.

Sooner or later I'll get to see Book Club and On Chesil Beach.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Thinking of Taxes in May


I am the Taxman and you are working for no one but me.

Since I retired I get income from TIAA (my pension) and Social Security every month.  I indicated a certain amount of New York State and federal taxes to be deducted from TIAA, but I can't get anything deducted from Social Security.  In February I received a payout for unused sick time over 25 years.  I was concerned that I had too little withheld this year, so I consulted with my accountant today.  He suggested that I send estimated taxes to the state and federal governments in June, September, and January.  This way I would not get hit with a big tax bill in 2019.  I was also afraid that I could get a big penalty if I underpaid. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mets 4 Diamondbacks 1 As the Home Run Apple Rises 3 Times

The demise of the 2018 New York Mets has been greatly exaggerated by sport radio callers, Facebook posters, and newspaper reporters.  Many have called for the team to trade star pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom and start to rebuild.  Noah allowed 1 run and 6 hits with 7 strikeouts in 7 innings to get his 4th victory.  The Mets scored all their runs by homers.  Amed Rosario hit his first two home runs of the single, but the highlight was a two-run homer by Asrubel Cabrera who pinch hit for the pitcher in the 7th inning.  Robert Gsellman got his first career save of his career by retiring the last 5 Diamondbacks.

Game recap

Friday, May 18, 2018

This Year's Vacation Will Be in Phoenix


In recent years we have visited a city with a major league baseball team.  We find a hotel in the downtown area and either walk or take public transportation to the stadium.  The cities include:

·         Houston

·         Denver

·         Atlanta

·         Baltimore

·         San Francisco

·         Los Angeles – here I had to rent a car, but I hated driving in Southern California

During the day we visit museums and other tourist attractions.

This year we are going to Phoenix to see the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.  Maybe we'll eventually see every major league ballpark.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I am Glad I Didn't Go To Today's Met Game as They Lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 12-1 in the Rain


Since I am now retired I really wanted to go to several weekday afternoon games this season.  It is always easy to get good seats on the day of the game.  Since the weather forecast called for rain, I decided not to go.  At about 11 AM a light, but steady rain started.  I turned the TV on and saw that the game was started at 1 PM in the rain.  It seems that they wanted to play the game in since it would be very difficult to make it up.  In the third inning, there was a delay as the groundskeepers put many bags of "Diamond Dry" on the infield.  After that Met pitcher, Zach Wheeler fell apart.  At the end of 5 innings when the game became official the Mets were losing 6-0.  The umpires should have called the game at that point.  The final score was 12-1.

Game recap

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Media Coverage of the Royal Wedding is Excessive


The Royal Wedding on Saturday, May 19th is the number one story on the news these days.  Even local TV stations are sending reporters to cover the big event.  I can understand the British being thrilled about this, but why must the media brainwash the American public about the importance of these nuptials?  It must be a ploy to increase TV ratings.  My response has to be to ignore all the TV reports.  I guess I can watch something else.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Jay Bushinsky, Journalist and Teacher, Passes Away at 85


On October 23, 2011 I wrote a journal entry about Jay Bushinsky who was my teacher at the Rego Park Jewish Center in the early 1960s.  The Jerusalem Post reports that he passed away at age 85.  That article offers a very detailed biography.  I remember listening to him on 1010 WINS radio with reports from Israel.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Yankees 7 A's 6 in 11 Innings

The only time I root against the Yankees is during Subway Series games against the Mets.  I was obviously rooting for the Bronx Bombers against the Oakland A's.  Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks hit solo homers in the second inning giving the Yankees the early lead.  The A's scored 5 runs in the third inning including a 3-run homer by Khris Davis.  The Yankees scored 4 runs in the 5th inning featured by a 2-run home run by Aaron Judge.  After the 5th inning, there was no scoring as the relief pitchers were superb.

The A's thought they had taken the lead in the as Matt Olson scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy.  Olson was then ruled out after the Yankees challenged the call.  In the 11th inning, the Yankees won on a single by Neil Walker that scored Gary Sanchez.

Game Recap

I found out by checking Facebook that SABR member Kevin Larkin was at the game.  He fact-checks many articles that are submitted for the Games Project.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Skyscraper Museum near Battery Park


My friend Roy told me about the Skyscraper Museum in lower Manhattan.  It emphasized tall buildings in NYC but also showed famous structures in other cities worldwide.  The current exhibition considered Manhattan in the 1990s before the tragic events of 9/11.  There was a short film showing how the Twin Towers were built in the early 1970s.  There was also a display about the new World Trade Center.

It was a very small museum that only took about 1 hour to view.  It was reasonably priced.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Random Comments of the Day

It looks like the Mets are having injury problems again.  Todd Frazier is going on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring pull.  It seems to be a minor injury, but you never know.  Relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak was just placed on the 60-day disabled, so his original injury is more serious.  Athletes get big salaries and then they can't play since they are injured.

The media is making a big deal about the royal wedding next weekend.  Does the media report or create the news?  I just don't have to pay attention to it.  It is so depressing to watch the TV news since most of the stories cover crime, accidents, or natural disasters.

I think I will catch up on my reading today.

Monday, May 7, 2018

I Finally Heard My Bob Dylan Covers Brown Bag - Thank You Chip Ordway


Bill Brown was a radio personality who had a show from 12 noon until 3 PM.  Sadly, he passed away in 2011.  There was a feature called the Brown Bag where a listener could send in a theme set of songs for him to play.  Back in 1996, I sent in a list of Bob Dylan covers for Bill to play.

Chip Ordway, a radio enthusiast, sent me an mp3 file of that aircheck today.  It was an unexpected surprise for me to hear that aircheck for the very first time.  If you click on the link in the first paragraph, you will read the story of why I didn't hear it in 1966.

Thank you very much, Chip.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Colorado Rockies 3 Mets 2

The beginning of the season was so promising for the Mets as they won 11 out of their first 12, but now they have lost 6 in a row at home including 3 shutouts to fall to 17-15.  Ian Desmond was the nemesis as he hit home runs off starter Noah Syndergaard and reliever Hansel Robles.  The hitting for the Mets was flat as they could only muster 5 hits off Rockie pitching.

The Mets move on to Cincinnati to play the Reds who have the worst record in baseball at 8-25.  They move past Matt Harvey and look ahead to the future.

Game Recap

Saturday, May 5, 2018

This Time the Entire Family Went to the Whitney Museum


It was time for a return trip to the Whitney Museum since my last visit was on August 15, 2017.  We started on the 8th floor where we viewed Nick Mauss Transmissions which represented a social history of New York's modernist ballet and artistic avant-garde from the 1930s-1950s.  The art on the 7th floor was selections from the general collection of the museum.  Since we had been to the Whitney several times over the years, many of the paintings were familiar.  The exhibits on the 6th floor represented an incomplete history of protest.

The most popular exhibit was Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables.  Much of this artwork concerned farming in Iowa.

There was also Juan Antonio Olivares video Moleculas made using the 3D-animation software.

It was an enjoyable afternoon for the entire family.

Friday, May 4, 2018

I'm Not There and Don't Look Back - Two Bob Dylan Films with Significance for Me Today


Moving on and letting go.  Life is a series of beginnings and endings and one must not get caught in an ending,  Too many times I have revisited the past and now realize it was not the right thing to do.  I have an excellent autobiographical memory which has its benefits and drawbacks.  Too often bad experiences stayed in my mind.  I very often tried to second guess myself and think how I would approach a situation differently many years later.

Let me digress a little bit and discuss the two Dylan films.  I'm Not There was a surrealistic biopic of Dylan released in 2007 which I described in this journal in November of that year,  I interpret the title as saying that Bob Dylan is not there since 5 actors and 1 actress portray him in the film.  There is a song by Dylan called I'm Not There that was originally recorded for the Basement Tapes.  The version in the movie was recorded by Sonic Youth.  If you read the lyrics, it appears a very non-romantic song where the protagonist is not there for his former lover.

Don't Look Back released in 1967 was documentary of Dylan's 1965 concert tour of England when he still played acoustic folk music.  I interpreted the title as Dylan's moving forward to folk rock and not wanting to look back at the past.  There is also a song from the 1965 album Bringing it All Back home called She Belongs to Me where Dylan shows admiration for a woman by saying "She's got everything she needs, she's an artist, she don't look back.  Hey, this guy won the Nobel Prize for literature.  Can't he use correct grammar?

I was there for 25 years, but I'm Not There today because I don't want to look back on much frustration and unhappiness that happened while I was there.  The early days were happier for me, but they are long gone and couldn't be relived if I returned.

I never know who reads this journal, but I assume from time to time a few people over there view it.  If so, please understand that I don't feel bitterness toward anyone.  I am doing well by pursuing interests that I enjoy.  I just don't want to look back.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Atlanta Braves 11 Mets 0

One nice thing about retirement is the ability to go to a weekday afternoon game.  Today I wish I had gone to a park to read a book as the Mets lost to the Atlanta Braves 11-0 at Citi Field.  Jason Vargas started his second game of the season but faltered as he gave up home runs to Kurt Suzuki, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Nick Markakis and left the game in the 4th inning with the Mets behind 6-0.  One-time phenom Matt Harvey gave up 5 runs in the 7th inning to make matters much worse for the Amazins.  Braves starter Julio Teheran pitched allowed no hits until Asrubel Cabrera doubled in the 7th inning.

Whenever I go to Citi Field there is at least one Facebook friend at the game.  Today Joe Persek, former Program Director at WXLO, and Keith Allen-Verdi, former radio personality at B-103 on Long Island were there.  I didn't see either one of them at the game.

Game Recap

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When I Try to Find A Quiet Place to Read The Landscapers Come


Landscapers do an essential job by providing a comfortable outdoor environment.  The only drawback is that the equipment they use is noisy.  I guess there is nothing you can do about it.  Anyway, today was the first hot day of the season so I decided to drive out to Crocheron Park in Bayside with a stack of books and magazines.  I sit down and a landscaper come by.  I had to find another sitting area a few hundred yards away.  It is also hard to find a shady place since the trees haven't bloomed yet.

I drove home to eat lunch and then went outside to read again.  Guess what!  The landscapers came around again and I had to move.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Going Out of The Way to Find a Movie for Seniors

This should read movies for seniors

I have mentioned many times in this journal that the local multiplex rarely shows films for an older audience.  The Kew Gardens Cinema as a venue for high-quality films has also been mentioned several times here.  The only problem is that it is often hard to find parking there.  Last Saturday when we saw Beirut at Kew Gardens we saw a trailer for Disobedience staring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams.  There was a very positive review for it in the New York Times.  I wanted to see it, but it is only showing in three theaters in Manhattan.  I decided to see it at City Cinemas 1 2 3 at 3rd Avenue and 60th Street.  This is the first time since January 2009 that I made a special trip to Manhattan to see a movie.  At that time we saw Frost Nixon which was not playing in Queens.

Monday, April 30, 2018

I am Not Emulating Mike Francesa


For 30 years Mike Francesa was a popular sports talk host on WFAN.  His last show on the station was on December 15, 2017, after much hoopla about his "retirement".   A person retires with the intention of not working full-time again especially with the same employer.  It was just announced that Mike will be returning to WFAN tomorrow in afternoon drive time.  Was this planned or was Mike unsuccessful in obtaining another job?  The ratings at WFAN declined after he left the station so management may be eager to have him return.

December 22, 2017, was my last day as a science/engineering librarian at a university in the Garden State.  25 years at the same job was enough and it was time for me to leave.  I am not emulating Mike Francesa by returning to my former employer after 4 months.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

It Ain't Me Babe by The Turtles - Bob Dylan Cover of the Day


This 45 RPM hit peaked at #8 on the Billboard singles chart in late summer 1965.  Bettye Lavette did a version of this on her recent CD.  Dylan's songs have been covered in many musical genres.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Yankees Beat Twins 4-3 on a Gary Sanchez Walk-Off HR

One nice thing about being retired is that I can now go to weekday afternoon games at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.  I took that option today as Jordan Montgomery started against Kyle Gibson at the Stadium.  The Yankees were held hitless until the sixth inning and were trailing 3-0 after Twin home runs by Eduardo Escobar and Robbie Grossman.  They scored one run in the seventh with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Hicks.

Didi Gregorius reached second base in the top of the ninth on a throwing error by Miguel Sano.  Giancarlo Stanton then reached on an infield single.  Gary Sanchez then hit a three-run walk-off home run to win the game for the Yankees.

Game Recap

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bought a Portable Cassette to MP3 Converter

In the 80s and 90s, I bought many music cassettes which seemed to be an interim format between vinyl and CDs.  I likely made hundreds of radio airchecks by taping NYC radio stations and trading with people in other cities for tapes of stations in their markets.  I also enjoyed making radio airchecks when traveling to other cities.  This hobby seems to be obsolete since most radio stations are on the web.

Anyway, I just bought a tape player as seen above that can convert tapes to mp3 files.  The only problem is that the transfer has to be done in real time.  Thus it would take forever to convert all of my tapes to mp3 files.  Well, I guess since I am now retired, I'll have the time to do that.  :)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Visited Rough Trade Records in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Today


Saturday was Record Store Day, but there are none where I live.  Roger Clark of NY1 News did an excellent story about Rough Trade Record in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  Since I am now retired I had the time today to take the subway there to check it out.

It was an old-fashioned retail outlet with vinyl, cassette tapes, CDs, and even books about music.  It reminded me somewhat of Tower Records which closed several years ago.  It brought me back to my high school days when on Fridays I would run over to the record department at Alexanders and browse since I didn't have the money to buy anything.  Rough Trade arranged the CDs by musical genre so I looked at oldies and folk.  My turntable at home still works fine, but I decided to buy the following CDs:

  • The Very Best of Cat Stevens
  • Walk on the Wild Side:  The Best of Lou Reed
  • Soul Deep: The Best of the Box Tops
  • Meet on the Ledge of the Collection: Fairport Convention
I decided to walk around Williamsburg for a while since I hadn't been in that part of Brooklyn for many years.  It certainly is very much upscale with new apartment buildings.  There were many juice bars in the area.  I sat for a while in a park right on the East River.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Birthday Karen


On our very first date all those years ago I found out that Karen's birthday was one day after mine.  Since that time we have always celebrated together.  Since we went out for breakfast yesterday, we'll go out for dinner tonight.  Karen will never open an account on Facebook.  She is even reluctant to use a computer.

Happy birthday, Karen.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Oy Vey - Another Birthday



I think I am going to stop counting.  Thank you, Mr. Met, Superman, Karen, Lee and the Facebook friends who wished me a happy birthday.

LXIX

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rego Park Revisited 2018


Back in June 2013, I wrote a very detailed journal entry on my walking tour of Rego Park, Queens where I grew up.  I passed by most of the places that I visited back then.  The only difference is that this year I crossed Woodhaven Blvd and walked through a park at the corner of Woodhaven and Queens Blvds where I used to play ball with my friends from the neighborhood.  I walked a little farther and noted that the site of the Elmwood Theater is now a church.

I didn't run into any former classmates as I did in 2013.  The only big change was that several stores on the south side of Queens Blvd at 65th Road were demolished.  Apparently, a large apartment building will be constructed there.  My Bar Mitzvah reception in 1962 was held at a restaurant at that site called Le Flamboyan.  It later became a furniture store, and eventually a men's clothing store.  Now it is completely gone.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Museum of Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to the Holocaust


Today I visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage located in lower Manhattan just north of Battery Park.  I was pleasantly surprised at the scope of the exhibits and the building's architecture. A film in the rotunda introduces the Jewish experience in a montage of images to educate visitors of all religions and ethnicities.

Level 1 demonstrates Jewish life from 1880-1930 before the Holocaust.  It shows Jewish family life and the traditions that are carried on from one generation to the next.

The exhibits in level two details in chronological order the war against the Jews from 1930-45.  It shows how the Nazis came to power and that they wanted to kill all Jews in Europe.  There are displays of life in the ghettos, the fight to preserve humanity and Jewish heritage, and the world response to the Holocaust.

Level Three labeled as Jewish Renewal: 1945-present  shows how the Jewish recovered from the Holocaust after World War II.  It considers the founding of the state of Israel and how the survivors were resettled.

I highly recommend all of my readers visit this museum.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Fixing the Old Car or Buying a Newer One


On Sunday afternoon the Check Engine Light came on again.  When this happened in December it turned out the car needed an oxygen sensor which cost about $250.  I decided to go to AutoZone who advertises they will do the scan for free.  It turns out that I need a catalytic converter which will cost $550.  I have a 2000 Chevy Cavalier with only 66,600 miles.  I only use it for local driving so I decided to fix it.  I bought this car brand new in 2000 for about $15,000.  When the time comes I would buy a similar car 2-3 years old with about 30,000 miles.  I did a little window shopping on Carfax today and noted that it would cost $10,000-$12,000.

I guess for now it is cheaper to keep the old one.  I just hope I don't encounter large repair bills.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Who Reads Bruce's Journal and Why Do They Read It?

I get statistics on the number of hits this journal gets from Blogger and Google Analytics . The latter also tells me the city of the reader.  However, these services present conflicting data with Blogger reporting higher numbers.  Last summer Google Analytics did not report my visits from Houston.  I assume that most of the hits are from Facebook or Google searches.

Why do people read my "nonsense"?  Are they interested in Bob Dylan, the Mets, museums, radio stations, oldies music, Jeopardy or any of my interests?  A few people on Facebook mentioned that they enjoy reading this blog.  A few times I tried to survey my readers using Google Forms or Survey Monkey but there were few responses.

If you would like, please comment below or send me an email.

Friday, April 13, 2018

National Museum of the American Indian


It is either a museum or a movie for my these days, so today I visited the National Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan near Battery Park.  Since this museum is run by the federal government, there was no admission charge.  The security was very tight as I had to go through a sensitive metal detector as if I was in an airport.

The museum featured Indian art from all over the Western hemisphere.  These displays were broken down geographically.  There was also a section devoted to Indians using light and sound in their art.

After I completed my viewing of the exhibits I took a short walk to the Staten Island ferry terminal.  I also sat around Battery part for a while and looked out on New York Harbor.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Viewing Radio Seminars about WCBS-FM and WNEW-FM at the Paley Center


It seems that I have been going to the Paley Center about once a week since I retired.  Today  I viewed two radio seminars that were held at the museum years ago.

The first one discussed the state of oldies radio in 2003.  Even back then WCBS-FM was playing less music from the 1950s and early 1960s.  The following radio personalities spoke and answered questions from the audience:

  • Bill Brown (now deceased)
  • Joe McCoy  - then the Program Director
  • Bob Shannon
  • Don K. Reed
  • Norm N. Nite
Nobody even imagined the flip to the dreaded Jack format two years later.

The second seminar held in 1997 considered freeform radio as it began in 1967 when WNEW-FM adopted that format.  The following radio personalities spoke and fielded questions from the audience:
  • Pete Fornatale (now deceased)
  • Dave Herman (now deceased)
  • Rosko (now deceased)
  • Scott Muni (now deceased)
  • Zacherle (now deceased)
  • Vin Scelsa
  • Dennis Elsas
  • Jonathan Schwartz

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Things Have Changed - A CD of Bob Dylan Covers by Bettye Lavette


I am really glad that Gary Walker, the morning DJ at WBGO is a fan of Bob Dylan covers.  Several years ago he introduced me to Highway 61 Revisited by Ben Sidran.  Today he mentioned Things Have Changed by Bettye Lavette.  I found the recording of the title song on Youtube and it is out of this world.  The review in Rolling Stone is very positive as it says" Half of its 12 tracks restore life to songs that were dead-on-arrival on Dylan albums from 1979 to 1989; the rest reshapes more essential parts of the legend."  Very often covers of Dylan songs are better known than the original  All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix is a prime example.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Another Visit to the Guggenheim Museum


I last visited the Guggenheim Museum in August 2017 so this new retiree decided to go again since the exhibits change over time.  The major exhibit was Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away which will be there until May 9.  He was an artist born in Vietnam near the end of that miserable war and emigrated with his family to Denmark.  It was an eclectic exhibition with artworks of various formats.  I also stopped by the permanent exhibits offered by the museum.
 
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