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.


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.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Hey Mr. President Don't You Care That Someone Died in Your Building?

Yesterday, there was a fire at Trump Tower.  The New York Fire Department was able to put out the flames as the damage was limited to one apartment where sadly a man perished.  This is all that our beloved president could say on Twitter:

"Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!"

He brags about how well built Trump Tower is, but did he send condolences to the family of the deceased?  Does he care?  At least he thanked the Firemen (and women).

Friday, April 6, 2018

Happy 95th Birthday Uncle Sy

Mom and Uncle Sy August 2014

My Uncle Sy Wagman seen in the photo above is celebrating is 95th birthday.  He is sitting with my Mom in this picture taken about 6 months before she passed away in February 2015.  My best wishes for many more healthy years to Uncle Sy who was the youngest of 3 siblings.  All of them including my Uncle Abe lived into their 90s.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Watching the Mets and the Yankees at the Same Time

It is unusual when the Mets and Yankees are home on the same day.  It is more unusual when both teams schedule a day game at the same time.  Both teams were supposed to start at 1 PM, but rain showers in the New York area delayed the start of both games till about 2:45 PM.

For the first time, the Met game was not on PIX-11 or SNY.  It was actually carried online on Facebook.  The Yankee game was telecast on the YES Network as usual.  Today I took my Amazon Kindle into the living room and watched the Mets while watching the Yankees on TV.  It was a successful afternoon as the Yankees beat Tampa Bay 7-2 and the Mets beat Philadelphia 4-2.

Mets Recap

Yankees Recap

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Catching Up on Reading Magazines

Since the weather was somewhat dreary today, I thought it would be a good time to catch up on reading magazines.  When I commuted from Flushing to Newark I was able to read magazines or newspapers on the train.  Years ago one could see numerous commuters reading newspapers, but today almost everyone is looking at their smartphones.  Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions:

  • Chemical & Engineering News
  • Discover
  • Scientific American
  • Rolling Stone
  • New York
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Goldmine
  • AARP Magazine
Am I the only person who subscribes to the AARP Magazine and Rolling Stone?  The later has many articles about recording artists who were popular in the 60s and 70s.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Snow in April! Enough Already!

It is snowing rather steadily as I am writing this journal entry.  The forecast calls for up to 3 inches in NYC this morning which is scheduled to end about 11 AM.  At least the snow should melt very quickly.  This article in AMNY lists the April snowstorms in NYC.  I remember the one on April 6, 1982, when the home opener at Yankee Stadium was postponed.  The Yankees are scheduled to play at 1 PM today while the Mets are at Citifield at 7 PM.  As of this writing, both of those games are on.
Personal-Journals blog