Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Art Shamsky's book After the Miracle to be Released Today

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the 1969 New York Mets who surprised the baseball world by winning the World Series after being perennial losers. Much will be written and done for this milestone anniversary.  There will be a weekend celebration at Citi Field this June.

After Art Shamsky spoke about the book at the recent SABR meeting, I ordered it from Amazon.com.  He will report on relationships among the members of that team over the years.  There will be a chapter about his visit to Tom Seaver in California.  It was recently reported that Tom is suffering from dementia and will no longer make public appearances.

Art and his co-author Erik Sherman were interviewed on WNYC radio.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Program for the World of Dylan Conference Was Announced

If you are interested the program can be found at this site.  I am hoping that the presentations will not be too "academic".  I guess I have to expect that it would be since it was advertised as a scholarly meeting.  I am especially interested in the following sessions:

Nicolette Rohr, “Them Screamin Girls”: Folk, Rock, and Dylan Fandom
Laura Tenschert, “What’s a Sweetheart Like You Doing In A Dump Like This?”
Antonio de Velasco, Nature, Solidarity and Change: “Chimes of Freedom” at the first Clinton Inaugural

Larry Starr, Bob Dylan’s Essential Harmonica
Betsy Bowden, “A Poem Ain’t a Song / Nyanh, a Poem Ain’t a Song / The Time Is Ripe to Right that Wrong”
Richard F. Thomas, “Too Serious to Fool”

John Covach, ‘I Can’t Hide’: Bob Dylan and the British Invasion
David Thurmaier, The Collaborative and Collegial Relationship between Bob Dylan and George Harrison, 1968-70
Ken Womack, Dylan and the Beatles

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Mr. Tambourine Man by William Shatner

Very often Bob Dylan's songs are taken too seriously.  The most famous cover of Mr. Tambourine is by The Byrds, but above you can hear a humorous version done by William Shatner of Star Trek fame.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Madison Avenue Visit Today - Morgan Library and SIBL

Today I walked along Madison Avenue and stopped by the Morgan Library and Museum.  I was there a few months ago but noted from their website that there were new exhibits.

  • Tolkien - Maker of Middle Earth
  • The Extended Moment - Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada
  • Invention and Design - Early Italian Drawings
Since I was in the neighborhood I thought I would drop by SIBL (Science Industry and Business Library) of NYPL.  When I worked at NYPL in the 1980s the Science Division was in Room 121 of the main building and 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.  I spoke to Madeline who is the only person still employed there whom I knew.  Everyone else moved on or retired.  We discussed some of the people we both knew there.  I knew that they eliminated most of the science collection about 10 years ago.  It was very expensive and relatively few people used it.  Within the next year, SIBL will close and move to the renovated Mid-Manhattan at 5th Avenue and 40th Street.  Nothing stays the same.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Must View for Bob Dylan Fans - Tangled up in Blue - Dubuque 1996

I just read about this concert in the latest issue of the Dylan fanzine ISIS ,  The kid actually went on stage and danced with Dylan and his band members as they played Tangled Up in Blue.  It is quite amusing especially since Dylan doesn't even acknowledge his audience today.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Hal Blaine Drummer for the Wrecking Crew Dies at 90

The Wrecking Crew is a group of session musicians who played backup on numerous hit records in the 60s and 70s.  Drummer Hal Blaine passed away at 90.  Below is A Hazy Shade of Winter by Simon and Garfunkel where Hal Blaine was the drummer.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Revisited the New York Historical Society Museum

I just checked this journal and noted that I last visited the New York Historical Society Museum last February.  The main exhibit was Hudson Rising that describes200 year of ecological change and environmental activism along the Hudson River from the source in upstate New York to the NYC harbor.  The exhibit shows writings, paintings, drawings, literature, and photographs of the river over the past 200 years.  Hundreds of species of fish, birds, and plants are demonstrated.

There were several other exhibits, but I was especially amused by "Mort Gerberg Cartoons: A New Yorkers Perspective".  His works have appeared in the Saturday Review and The New Yorker among other publications.  I especially liked this drawing:

It is difficult to see, but the one on the right is Richard Nixon with Charlie Brown at Shea Stadium.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Tom Seaver is Diagnosed with Dementia

More sad news as it was reported in the New York Times and other sources that at age 74 Tom Seaver was diagnosed with dementia and will no longer make public appearances.


NEW YORK — Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia and has retired from public life.

The family of the 74-year-old made the announcement Thursday through the Hall. They say Seaver will continue to work in the vineyard at his home in California.

Seaver has limited his public appearances in recent years. He didn't attend the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner in January when members of the New York Mets' 1969 World Series championship team were honored.


At the recent meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR his former teammate Art Shamsky who has written a book about the 1969 Mets alluded to this.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Prayers for Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek announced on social media that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  Sadly, this form of cancer has a very low survival rate.  My father and Uncle Ben suffered from this dreaded disease over 20 years ago.  My Dad was treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation and survived about 2 years after the diagnosis.  The doctors felt that radiation shrunk the tumor and slowed the progression of the disease.

As a long time fan of Jeopardy, I am saddened by this announcement.  I was glad to hear that Alex wants to fight the disease and is taking a positive attitude.  My Prayers go out for him. 

Governor Phil Murphy Says He'll Fix NJ Transit Even If It Kills Him

I refer my readers to this article from NJ.com.  He even vowed not to increase fares.  When I started my commute to Newark in 1992 the monthly ticket cost $70 while it was $152 when I retired in 2017.  But the service got progressively worse.

For the sake of my colleagues who still ride the trains, I am glad Governor Murphy understands that there is a problem that must be solved while his predecessor just didn't care.   Improvements in service will take time.

Monday, March 4, 2019

My Tweet Was Published in AM New York

AM New York is a free newspaper that can be picked up in subway stations or on the street.  It is concise but provides enough to keep its readers informed about local, national and international issues.  It regularly publishes tweets by readers on its editorial page.  Most of these Tweets are on public transportation issues.

I must say that my Tweet really makes sense as my idea will ease vehicle congestion in Manhattan and make entrepreneurs who construct these parking garages a good source of income.  However, would the parking garage fee exceed the tax the city would charge for cars entering Manhattan?

If NYC adopts congestion pricing, parking garages should be built in the outer boroughs near subway stations

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Today's Radio Log

I haven't done this in some time so here goes.  Times are approximate.

  • WINS - 6:30 AM - I have to catch up on the news
  • WCBS-FM - 7:00 AM - America's Greatest Hits with Scott Shannon - One of my token listens to the former oldies station.  It changed with the times.
  • WAXQ - 8:00 AM - Breakfast with the Beatles with Ken Dashow
  • BBC2 - 10:00 AM Sounds of the 60s Podcast with Brian Matthew
  • Classic AT 40 with Casey Kasem on iHeart Radio App - 2:00 PM - I catch his show once a week
  • Rewound Radio - 3:00 PM - Jon Wolfert's oldies show featuring radio jingles.
  • Definitely Dylan - 4;00 PM - Laura Tenschert's excellent show from the UK about Dylan
  • WFUV - 5:30 PM - Just caught Sara Wardrop's show for a few minutes.
  • That Thing with Rich Appel - 8:00 PM - Since WLNG dropped it, I found it on a station in Florida
  • Pod Dylan 9:30 PM - I just discovered this podcast.  I'll have to try to catch up on older episodes.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Chase with Mark Labett as "The Beast"

For many years I have been a big fan of quiz shows with Jeopardy as my favorite.  By accident, I discovered The Chase featuring Mark Labett and Brooke Burns on 3 PM on the Game Show Network.  Below is a description of the show that I found on its website:

In the game, a team of three contestants takes part in a fast-paced quiz in an attempt to earn as much money as possible by answering a series of questions in 60 seconds. Any money earned goes into a team bank that can be won by any team members remaining at the end of the show. Competing against the team is a quiz genius known as the Beast. His role is to catch contestants by answering more questions than they, so they cannot bank money. In the final round, the contestants who have survived the initial chase battle the Beast for the entire amount that has been banked. But beating the Beast won't be easy. The trivia veteran has degrees from Oxford, Exeter and Glamorgan universities.

I must say that "The Beast" really knows his trivia.  The best part of the show is that it is very fast paced with the minimal small talk by the contestants and the host.  I even got the app for the show so that I can play it on my phone.  I found a Youtube Video where he appeared on the British version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2006.

I would love to see him go against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Jeopardy

Thursday, February 28, 2019

It is Quite Sad That Anti-Semitism is on the Rise

It is very sad when anti-Semitism strikes close to home.  I grew up in Rego Park and until 1961 I was a student at P.S. 139 on 63rd Drive.  Earlier this week there was anti-Semitic graffiti found in the playground behind the school.  Thankfully, the vandal was found as reported in this Tweet by Chief Dermot O'Shea of the NYPD.

On Fri, 2-22-19, anti-Semitic graffiti was found throughout a Queens playground. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force now have the suspect—a 12-year-old male—in custody. Great job @NYPDHateCrimes No matter the face of hate, the NYPD, partnered with the community, has ZERO tolerance.

What can be done to stop this?  Where does a 12-year-old kid learn to hate Jews?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The New York Giants Preservation Society Salutes Monte Irvin on His 100th Birthday

The New York Giants Preservation Society headed by Gary Mintz met last night at Finnerty's to celebrate the 100th birthday of Monte Irvin who played for the New York Giants from 1949-1955 and who was one of the first Black baseball players in Major League Baseball.  You can see from Baseball-Reference that he did not come to the Giants until he was 30 years old, but played in the Negro Leagues before that.

Gary Brown and John Barr who actually met Monte Irvin spoke to the audience and said only glowing things about him.  Audience members were invited to contribute to the discussion as well.

Gary Brown spoke last night

John Barr

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Why I am Not Voting in the NYC Election for Public Advocate

First of all, let me give the job description as described in https://ny.curbed.com/2019/1/8/18174001/nyc-public-advocate-special-election 

The public advocate is responsible for receiving and investigating citywide and individual complaints “concerning city services and other administrative actions of city agencies.” The public advocate presides over City Council meetings, can conduct investigations into agencies where complaints have been made against them and have the power to introduce legislation, though they can not have a vote. Additionally, the public advocate is next in line of succession if something were to happen to the mayor.

First of all, complaints can be made to the respective council member, thus the position is redundant.  There already is a Speaker of the City Council, so why is a Public Advocate needed to preside over meetings?  The past public advocates have just used this office as a stepping stone.

For these reasons, I feel that the office of public advocate be abolished.  There would have to be a change in the City Charter and some other person must be placed in the line of succession if the mayor leaves office.

I must respectfully disapprove of the election process for this office.  There are now 17 candidates running in a non-partisan election on Tuesday.  The winner will likely have no more than 15% of the vote.  The cost of running this election is likely more than the annual budget of the office of Public Advocate.  The winner of Tuesday' election will only hold the office for several months as another election will be held in November.  Likely there will be a primary in September for the Democratic and Republican nominations for this office incurring more costs for the tax payers.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

MOMA's PS 1 Revisited

A sample of Bruce Nauman's Art

Everybody is familiar with the Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street in Manhattan, but there is a companion facility called PS 1 in Long Island City.  If you buy a ticket for the museum you can get free admission to PS 1 within two weeks.  I was there about one year ago when I ran into fellow NJIT retiree Bill Reynolds.

Bruce Nauman's Disappearing Act was featured at both facilities, but PS 1 was almost completely devoted to his works.  I am not a connoisseur of art, but I felt that Nauman's works were very weird.  All of his films just did not make sense.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Libraries I Have Visited in Retirement

Over the past 14 months I have visited the following libraries:

  • Queens Library - Mitchell-Linden Branch - This is the one closest to home.  During the winter months, I have used it as a reading room as it is too cold to sit outside with my magazines and books.  It has a very small collection, but I have often searched the system's catalog and ordered books from other branches to be delivered there.
  • Queens Library - Flushing Branch - I have attended several concerts there and a meeting of the Riders Alliance
  • Queens Library - Glen Oaks Branch -  I attended a talk there about Louis Armstrong.
  • New York Public Library - Schwartzman Building at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street.  I have read several baseball books that are only available there.
  • New York Public Library - Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.  I have read several books about oldies, Dylan and the Beatles there.
I have not visited any academic libraries since I retired.  Years ago I would visit the Queens College library that just asked for a photo ID from non-affiliates.  I supposed in this post 9/11 era the security there is stricter and a referral is required for admission.  I know the other CUNY libraries will not just let anyone in.  The libraries in New Jersey allow anyone in.

I have not visited the library where I worked for 25 years, though I have had dreams about coming back.  I must move on and let go and not dwell on the past.  The people over there just won't answer my friendly e-mail, so their message is quite clear.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Do You Need Directions on the NYC Subway?

Just carry this Teddy Bear with you.  This was advertised by the New York Transit Museum on Facebook.  Lee has a new best friend.  It cannot prevent delays on the trains.

Monday, February 18, 2019

13 Years on Facebook

I received a notification today that it is my 13th anniversary of being on Facebook.  I look back at my activity with mixed feelings.  It can be a very big time suck and a waste of time.  I admit that much of what I have posted is nonsense.  Does the world have to know that I went to a movie today?  On the other hand, I have connected with many people who share professional and leisure interests.  I have likely discovered information on Facebook that I would not have found elsewhere.

There is the issue of my 543 Facebook Friends.  When I first signed up I was very eager to friend people, but as the years passed I lost that desire.  Most of them I have met either just once or not at all.  Sometimes an online relationship develops but fades over time.  I don't like it when people post about illnesses and other problems.  Why do I have to read about a stranger's problems?  I try to avoid not getting too personal on Facebook and in this journal.

The most difficult posts I wrote in Facebook were when my mother was ill and eventually passed away.  It was my sad duty to report the untimely passing of my friend Alan Berman.

I guess the beat will go on and I will post on Facebook as I've done for 13 years and read other people's posts.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

A Claude Monet at the museum

One of Many Picassos seen today

We hadn't been to MOMA in several months, so it was time for a return visit.  I must say that the museum was very crowded today.  It is nice to see so many people interested in a fine cultural institution.  We started on the 6th floor which featured Bruce Nauman Disappearing Acts .  We had seen some of the exhibits on lower floors before, it never hurts to view them again.  The most popular painting was Starry Nights by Vincent Van Gogh.  Our tickets allow us to visit MOMA PS1 within the next two weeks.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

WPLJ - White Port and Lemon Juice by the Bel-Aires - Oldie of the Day

There is plenty of radio news and speculation about the sale of WPLJ and WNSH by Cumulus Broadcasting.  There are plenty of amateur radio executives making their predictions including myself.  What will be will be?

For further information check out:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Larry Brand of Forest Hills High School Class of 1967 Passes Away

It is always sad to hear about a classmate's passing even though I haven't seen him in many years.  We last saw each other at a High School reunion in 2002.  I knew Larry in Forest Hills High School as we were both enrolled in a "Special Science" program.  I remember sitting with him in the cafeteria singing Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women #12 and #35.  In October 1966 he and fellow classmate Mike Bandler were suspended for having long hair.  This situation was written up in the New York Times.

According to an obituary, he attended City College of New York at the same time as me, but I don't remember seeing him there.  He was a very successful filmmaker, writer, and director in Hollywood.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Jackie Robinson Exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

Although I last visited the Museum of the City of New York in November, I had to visit again to see the Jackie Robinson exhibit which is there for the 100th anniversary of his birth.  This exhibit was placed in the corridor on the third floor.  It displayed many photos of Jackie with the Dodgers from 1947-56.  There were also several magazine articles from that era that discussed his coming to the Dodgers.

What was there was quite good, but I was disappointed that the exhibit was small as it took me only 30 minutes to view.  I am looking forward to the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in lower Manhattan later this year.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Islanders 4 Avalanche 3 in OT at Barclays Center

We hadn't been to a hockey game this season, so since this was a day game, I thought it would be time to take the subway to Brooklyn to see the Islanders play.  They have not won the Stanley Cup since 1983 when they won it for the fourth consecutive year.  Presently, they lead the Metropolitan Division and would get a high seed if they held on.

The fell behind 2-0 but rallied to take a 3-2 lead.  J.T. Compher tied it 3-3 with 2:45 remaining in the 3rd period when his shot deflected in off the skate of Islanders defenseman Devon Toews.  But Ryan Pulock scored his second goal 2:23 in the overtime to give the Islanders the victory.

Game Summary

Friday, February 8, 2019

Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show - 55 Years Ago

It is hard to believe that 55 years have passed since the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Who thought that more than half a century later we would still be listening to their music.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

It is Disappointing When People Don't Respond To My Friendly Email

This week I experienced a disappointment in trying to keep in touch with people from my former employer.  I am arranging a SABR meeting in early March and thought to invite former colleagues interested in baseball.  Only 1 out of 7 invitees answered the email.  At least he said that it was nice to hear from me.  I am disillusioned that the others did not have the courtesy to at responding to the email even if they are not interested in coming to the meeting.  I knew these for many years and now realize that I must put them in the past.  Likewise, I sent an email to a SABR member asking if he was interested in holding a baseball trivia meeting at a restaurant.  He didn’t respond.  I think that out of courtesy he should have responded saying that he just wasn’t interested.

There is nothing I can do but move on and let go of these people.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Trip to the Guggenheim Museum Inspired by an Announcement on WFUV

When I woke up this morning, I didn't know what I wanted to do.  The weather thankfully warmed up, and I just didn't want to sit in the local public library and read again.  I heard an announcement on WFUV that the Guggenheim Museum was featuring an exhibit on the photographer Robert Mapplethrope.

Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was a gay photographer who sadly died of complications of AIDS.  Many of his subjects were of the bodies anatomically correct gay men.  There were also many self-portraits.
Photo of Andy Warhol by Mapplethorpe

Most of the museum was devoted to an exhibit: Hilma af Klint: Paints for the Future.  She was a Swedish abstract artist (1862-1944).  She rarely exhibited her works and, convinced the world was not yet ready to understand her art, stipulated that it not be shown for twenty years following her death. Ultimately, her work was all but unseen until 1986.

My favorite painting of Hilma af Klint

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Concert "Doubleheader" at the Flushing Library Today

The Queens Library is holding Culture Bridge Programs that celebrate the cultural diversity of Flushing.  Today the program featured concerts by:

  • On Point Band - performs  classic R&B, Motown and Disco hits
  • New York Serenaders - performs group harmony hits of the 1950s and early 1960s including doo-wop.
Each group performed a one-hour set with the two groups joining each other at the end.

On Point

New York Serenaders sing Teenager in Love

Friday, February 1, 2019

More Information on World of Bob Dylan Symposium in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Back in August, I reported the preliminary announcement of the World Of Dylan Conference to be held from May 30 - June 2, 2019.  Today I found out that registration is now open, but the program has not yet been announced.  Most of the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tulsa.  I think I will be like a kid in a candy store during this meeting.

The pre-registration cost which ends on March 15 is only $125 which is quite reasonable.  The hotel offers a rate of $101/night which is a good price.  I checked on Expedia that I would have to change in Chicago for flights from LaGuardia to Tulsa.

I will post the program when it is announced.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day Including the Big Knick Trade.

I was going to write about my January trips to the dentist, but I don't think anyone would want to read about it.

For the first time in 4 days, I did not visit a library today.

I gave up on the Knicks a long time ago as they have won about 20% of their games.  Somehow they sell out most of their games.  I haven't bought their overpriced tickets and will not.  They just made a controversial trade with the Dallas Mavericks.  Please read the report from ESPN.  Right now I am listening to comments made of the Michael Kay Show on ESPN radio.  It seems that this trade is a big salary dump to create enough cap room to sign big free agents in the off-season.  But will they be able to attract Kevin Durant?

The Knick management has made some very bad moves in the recent past.  I have my doubts if this trade will work out in the long run.  I guess in sports risks must be made, but I absolutely no confidence in the management.

It is supposed to get warmer tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Reading 3 More Baseball Books at the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library holds millions of books in its collection, but one must read the books in their reading room.  Today, my goal was to do "causal research" on three baseball books that I located in their catalog.  I obviously don't have the team to read the books from cover to cover, so my goal was to peruse each book and hone in on sections of interest and take a few notes.  I looked at the following books

Nowlin, B. (2008). Red Sox threads: Odds & ends from Red Sox history. Burlington, MA: Rounder Books.

I chose this book since I am acquainted prolific writer with Bill Nowlin through SABR.  This book which Bill compiled over many years tells everything and anything about the Boston Red Sox.  I must congratulate him for his tireless efforts in compiling this reference work.

The other two books generally covered the same topic.

Stein, F. (2005). A history of the baseball fan. Jefferson, NC: McFarland
Dewey, D. (2004). The 10th man: The fan in baseball history. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers.
Both authors stated that the fan gets little attention in the literature.  St. Louis Browns manager coined the term "fan" in the 1880s.  They were earlier known as kranks.  Baseball fans are somewhat older than fans of other sports. But, neither of the books considered other demographic factors among baseball fans. Obviously, baseball fans evolved over the years as the population grew and technology changed.

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Local Public Library is My Park Bench for the Winter

The worst thing any retiree can do is sit home and do nothing and be tempted to turn on the TV and view whatever junky show that is easily found.  I enjoy reading, but when I stay home I can be very easily distracted.  During the warmer months, I can sit in a park or on a bench outside my apartment and read.  Since this is impossible over the winter, I have habitually visited the Mitchell-Linden Branch of the Queens Library.

I always bring in my own reading material since the collection is very small.  I also observe that this book collection is very stagnant.  I think the librarians should weed books that are not circulating and replace them with newer items.  I understand that there are likely budgetary issues, but I think they can do better.  Likely, many books are available electronically.  Very often, I search the library's catalog and request that the book is brought to my local branch.  This service is very reliable.

I am beginning to recognize some of the regular patrons.  There is an elderly woman who comes in with her son and peruses the newspaper.  Today, one man was just looking at his cell phone.  Another person, just sat down and slept with a magazine in his hand.

It is different experiencing the library as a patron.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Georgetown 89 St. Johns 78 at Madison Square Garden

Since professional basketball tickets are so expensive and the New York Knicks are playing very poorly, we decided to see the St. John's Red Storm play at Madison Square Garden.  Today's game was a Big East matchup with the Johnnies playing the Hoyas of Georgetown.

It was a close game in the first half, but the Hoyas pulled ahead later on.  The teams were tied at 50, but a 10-0 run by Georgetown put them ahead for good.  Sharmorie Ponds scored 4 straight points for the Red Storm to close the gap to 2, but the Hoyas pulled ahead to win 89-78.

Mac McClung scored 25 points while Jessie Govan added 20 for the victors.

Game Summary from ESPN.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

2019 SABR Day - Annual Meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter

Today's panel (L to R) - Art Shamsky, Ira Berkow
Kristie Ackert, and Wayne Coffey

The fourth Saturday is SABR Day when each local chapter holds its annual meeting.  This year the local Casey Stengel Chapter held the gathering at Scandinavia House, the Scandinavian Foundation's Cultural Center.  In previous years the meeting was held at the New York Public Library.  Over 100 people attended.

The main program was "Celebrating the 1969 'Miracle Mets' and Fast Forwarding to the 2019 Team"  Each panelist spoke about their experiences with the 1969 Mets.  Kristie Ackert, a reporter with the Daily News discussed the transactions the team made in the off-season.  Art Shamsky and Wayne Coffey wrote books about the team that will be published in March.

After lunch, Eric Weiss ran his annual trivia contest.  I didn't do very well as I got only 5 out of the 30 questions right.

Since 2019 is the 80th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame, its president Jeff Idelson gave a talk highlighting its history.  He showed a film that is given to visitors featuring interviews with some of the Hall of Famers.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

Only two people responded to my request for feedback on this journal.  Oh well.  

I haven't visited museums in Manhattan lately since I have been driving my newer car around Queens.  Today I played a CD.

For many years I have had an online subscription to SiriusXM which costs about $208/year.  I can hear it on my laptop, Amazon Echo, Amazon Kindle. and my iPhone.  It actually works in my car,  I was given a trial subscription for the car, but I really don't need a second subscription.

I am looking forward to the SABR meeting tomorrow which will feature a talk on the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Mets.  Where did all those years go? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Polling Readers of Bruce's Journal

I do this once a year to try to get feedback from people who read my journal.  I use Google Analytics and Blogger to get the number of hits, but I'd like to get some feedback whether you read this regularly or just once.

If you'd like, answer the survey.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Academy Award Nominations are In

I certainly go to enough movies especially since I have been retired.  I usually don't write about them in this journal, but I note them in Facebook.  Below is the list of films nominated for Best Picture.

Black Panther
Kevin Feige, Producer

Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee, Producers

Bohemian Rhapsody
Graham King, Producer

The Favourite
Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos, Producers

Green Book
Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga, Producers

Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón, Producers

A Star Is Born
Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor, Producers

Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers

Of the 8 pictures nominated I saw:

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Green Book
  3. A Star is Born
Of the 8 only Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born was shown at the local multiplex.  The films that are artistically superior do not attract that many viewers and are not appealing to the owners of movie complexes.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Looking Ahead to the 2019 Baseball Season

The Mets made several trades and free agent signings over the off-season, but how what will be their line-up and how well will the team perform?  It is impossible to predict how injuries will impact the team as it had done in the past.  Let's go around the diamond:

C - Wilson Ramos will be starting with Travis d'Arnaud as the backup.
1B - I doubt if Peter Alonso will be on the major league roster on opening day.  Will Dominic Smith or Todd Frazier start the season there.
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Amed Rosario
3B - Jed Lowrie with Todd Frazier as backup
OF - Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Juan Lagares.  With a crowded infield, it is possible that Jeff McNeill will be the 4th outfielder.  When will Yoenis Cespedes return?
SP- Same as last season, but will Jacob deGrom be offered a long-term contract.
RP - Edwin Diaz as closer with Jeurys Familia as the 8th inning man.  Lugo and Gessellman will be in the mix.

Pitchers and catchers will report in a few weeks.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Good Luck Don Tandler

Yours truly with Don Tandler at the Long Island
Radio Day at C.W. Post in April 2010

Don Tandler, in a Facebook post, announced that his duties at NJ105 were reduced on account of financial issues at that station.  He will no longer be doing steady overnight work at the station.  There are few radio personalities like Cousin Bruce Morrow and Howard Stern who can command big salaries.  We rarely think of the people in small markets who don’t make the big bucks.  We also take for granted people like nurses and police who must work overnight.  Don’s working overnights at the radio station certainly took its toll on him physically so at least he relieved of that inconvenience.

Don who is also the owner of the internet station Pop Gold Radio is an advocate of oldies on the radio.  This station plays a good mix of hits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s and features a countdown show every week.  I do listen to it at least a few times a week.

I met him only twice:

  • Long Island Radio Day in April 2010 seen above
  • One of the Oldies Meet and Greets at Ben’s Deli

I speak for all his friends when I wish him all the best in his endeavors in and out of the radio business.  I understand that the radio business is tough, but he has persevered.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Media is Creating the News Again as the Tappen Zee Bridge is Demolished

The demolition of the remnants of the Tappen Zee Bridge which spanned the Hudson River was planned as it was replaced by the Mario Cuomo Bridge.  It was originally scheduled for last Saturday but was postponed until today since it was very windy.  This has been mentioned umpteen time in the media over the past week or so.  Restaurants actually scheduled viewing parties.  I guess they are just trying to make a buck over this event.  The television stations in NYC actually interrupted programming to show this demolition which lasted only 20 seconds.

I guess some people get excited out of viewing a demolition.  Some years back a friend drove from NYC to Philadelphia just to see Veterans Stadium imploded.  Whatever turns you on.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Some Thoughts on Fast Food Restaurants

I have been to most, but not all of the restaurants seen in the photo above.  I also would not classify IHOP, Applebees, Dennys, or Olive Garden as fast food restaurants.

I remember growing up I could go into MacDonalds and get 2 hamburgers, fries, and a drink for less than a dollar.  Now a similar meal costs close to $10.  You can't fight inflation.

Over the past few years, Dunkin' Donuts has deemphasized the donuts.  I believe they are rebranding as just Dunkin's.  I like their breakfast sandwiches.  Some of their restaurants have seats, while others don't.

Noise is often a problem at fast food restaurants as they attract kids of all ages.  A few weeks ago I went to the Arby's in Fresh Meadows where most of the seats were taken by high school kids just hanging out at lunchtime and not purchasing food there.  I  like the thin sliced roast beef and the special sauce at Arby's, but I eat in and like to sit.

Over the last week, I observed twice adults bringing in outside food and taking their sweet time eating and possibly preventing a customer from sitting.  I just think the manager should enforce the no outside food rule and give a time limit for eating.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Random Thoughts of the Day

I am gradually getting acclimated to the newer car. I really like its smooth ride.  The control panel can be confusing and there will have to be a learning curve for me.  I will have to consult the owner's manual.

When I bought the car I had to switch over the insurance.  My agent told me that there is a defensive driving course that I should take to get a 10% discount.  I am now taking it online and should be finished in a day or so.  It is much more convenient than having to sit in a classroom somewhere.  Most of what is discussed is common sense.

Today I drove to the Cinemart Theater in Forest Hills to see On the Basis of Sex.  I must say that it is excellent.  All patrons of this theater received a free bag of popcorn.  This never happened to me in all my years of going to movies.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Picture of the Newer Car My 2015 Chevy Cruze

My Red 2015 Chevy Cruze

Today, I felt more comfortable driving around with it.  I stopped in Crocheron Park in Bayside and spent some time reading the owners manual.  I opened the hood and looked around.  I was quite impressed with the sound system.  Can anyone guess what radio station I played?

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Buying Chevys in Forest Hills: 1972 and Today

Today I got a 2015 Chevy Cruze from Sunrise Chevrolet in Forest Hills.  Let’s turn back the clock to April 1, 1972 and examine the parallels between then and now.

In spring 1972 I enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island in rural Kingston.  I found out the hard way that is was very hard to get around without a car.  I lived in a room about 1 mile north of the campus and took a bicycle to and from the campus.  That area was very spread out and I was limited to where I could go.  I pleaded with my parents to get a car for me.  On April 1, 1972 my father took me to Luby Chevrolet on Yellowstone Blvd and Queens Blvd in Forest Hills where we bought a 1972 Chevy Nova.

Over the years there had always been a Chevrolet dealership at that location, but the name had changed.  It became Lawrence, then HB and now Sunrise Chevrolet.  So today, almost 47 years later I went with Karen today and picked up a pre-owned Chevrolet Cruze.

Since it was a cloudy, dreary day, I decided not to photograph the new car.  I'll do it tomorrow.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Video about the 2015 Chevy Cruze

This is the longest video that I found on the 2015 Chevy Cruze that I am getting tomorrow.  I just think all the controls are quite complicated, but I'll be able to handle it after a learning curve.  

Friday, January 4, 2019

I Bought a Newer Car Today

Well, I went through with it.  Karen and I went down to Sunrise Chevrolet in Forest Hills and put a deposit for a 2015 Chevy Cruze as seen above.  The actual car that I purchased is red.  It has only 18,000 miles on it, so I think I got a pretty good deal.  Since I am approaching 70 years of age, it is likely the last car that I will ever own.  I will try to do some more driving with it as I averaged only 3,600 miles/ year on my 2000 Chevy Cavalier.  That car owes me nothing as it gave me almost 19 years of reliable service.  The dashboard on this newer car looks much more complicated so there will be a learning curve for me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Random Searching for Videos at the Paley Center

I thought I would visit the Paley Center again today, but I had no specific topic to research.  As I went on the terminal certain random topics came to mind and I viewed the following:

  • A documentary on the 1960 presidential campaign focusing on the Wisconsin primary with John F. Kennedy running against Hubert Humphrey
  • A review of New York City News events of 1958 featuring Gabe Pressman who was the dean of New York TV reporters for many years
  • Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In featuring Howard Cosell on December 18, 1972
  • 20 years of On the Road with Charles Kuralt featuring stories done from 1967-87.  Charles passed away in 1997.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Years Resolution - A Newer Car

My 2000 Chevy Cavalier

I have certainly written a lot about commuting by public transportation over the years.  I actually own a 2000 Chevy Cavalier that I bought as new in April 2000.  In 18 years and 9 months, I have put on only 69,000 miles on it which average to about 3,600 miles/year.  I must say that I had pretty good luck with this car over the years, but it is time for a newer one.  Over the past year, I had to get an oxygen sensor for about $200 and a catalytic converter for about $550.  In recent weeks the car has been making a noise which I suspect means it needs a new exhaust system.  I was going to wait until the spring to look for a newer car, but I certainly don't want to spend money on an exhaust system and then getting rid of the car. I must say that I got my money's worth out of this car.

I have done some "window shopping" online for a few weeks.  Since I do such little driving, I would rather buy a used car since a car depreciates in value during its first year.  Since I have owned only Chevys since my first car in 1972, I want to stick with that brand.  The Cavalier was discontinued some years ago and was succeeded by the Cruze.  I found a 2015  model with low mileage and will be looking at it later this week.

Stay tuned.
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