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

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.


  • 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 1996.

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.
Personal-Journals blog