Friday, April 3, 2020

Watching Movies on TV These Days

Of course, during this coronavirus pandemic, all movie theaters are closed.  For many years I have subscribed to HBO so I often use their On-Demand feature to view movies.  Spectrum is giving all subscribers access to EPIX and Showtime until April 19 thus I have more choices.  However, it appears most of the movies on these three services are aimed at a younger audience.  Oh well. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Twilight Zone Marathon Last Night on SyFy Channel

There is usually a Twighlight Zone marathon on the SyFy Channel on New Year's Eve going into New Year's Day.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a marathon last night.  I watched one episode last night and recorded 4 episodes overnight.  I have read on Facebook that some people are binge-watching their favorite TV series and they are staying home.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dr. Arnold Weg Who Treated My Father in the 1990s is Fighting COVID-19

When my father, Irving Slutsky, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1995, his physician was Dr. Arnold Weg whose office was in the same building where my parents lived in Forest Hills.  We felt that Dr. Weg's expert care helped my father survive that dreaded disease for two years.

It was reported on Facebook and WPIX News that Dr. Weg is now in the ICU fighting COVID-19.  He caught the virus while he was treating a patient a few months ago.  Prayers for Dr. Weg as his expert medical care helped patients for many years.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lyrics to Murder Most Foul

These lyrics were transcribed by Dylan scholar Anne Margaret Daniel.  Ss of now they have not been officially published.  Like any Dylan song, it is open to interpretation.

Most people today were not living when JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963.  Perhaps younger Dylan fans will be inspired to research his presidency,

”Murder Most Foul”

by Bob Dylan

 ‘Twas a dark day in Dallas, November '63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was aright, alive [a-ridin' high]
Good day to be livin' and a good day to die
Bein’ led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, “Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?"
"Of course we do, we know who you are,"
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts, we've come to collect
We gonna kill you with hatred, without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you, and we'll grinnin’ [put it] in your face
We've already got someone here to take your place.
The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching, no one saw a thing
It happened so quick there, so quick, by surprise
Right there in front of everyone's eyes

Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done

Wolfman, o wolfman, o wolfman howl,
Rub-a-dub-dub, it's a murder most foul.

 Hush, little children, you'll understand

The Beatles are comin,’ they’re gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, go get your coat
Ferry ‘cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There’s three bums comin’ and they’re dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I'm goin' to Woodstock, it's the Aquarian age

Then I’ll go ta Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window, let the good times roll
There's a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll
Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don’t say Dallas don’t love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and then step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they got cop on the beat

Living in a nightmare on Elm Street
When you're down on Deep Elem, put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make a left-hand turn
I'm going down to the crossroads, gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy, shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie, Goodbye Uncle Sam

Frankly, Miss Scarlett, I don’t give a damn

What is the truth, and where did it go

Ask Oswald and Ruby, they oughta know
"Shut your mouth," said a wise old owl
Business is business, and it's a murder most foul

Tommy can ya hear me, I’m the acid queen
I'm riding in a long, black Lincoln limousine
Ridin' in the backseat next to my wife
Headin’ straight on in to the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left, I got my head in her lap
Hold on, I've been led into some kind of a trap
Where we’ll ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We're right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body and they took out his brain
What more could they do, they piled on the pain
But his soul was not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that
Freedom oh freedom freedom over me
I hate to tell you mister but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin' tell me no lie
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by

Wake up little Susie, let’s go for a drive

Cross the Trinity River let’s keep hope alive
Turn the radio on, don't touch the dials

Parkland Hospital only six more miles

Ya got me dizzy Miss Lizzie ya filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone ta my head

I’m just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
I've blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I'm never gonna make it to the new frontier

Zapruder’s film I seen right [night] before

Seen it thirty-three times maybe more
It's vile and deceitful it's cruel and it's mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice
The day that they killed him someone said to me "Son,
The age of the Antichrist has just only begun."
Air Force One comin' in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at two thirty-eight
Lemme know when you decide to throw in the towel
It is what it is, and it's murder most foul

What’s new, pussycat, what’d I say,
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it's beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it's thirty-six hours past Judgment Day

Wolfman Jack he's speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mister Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that “Only the Good Die Young”
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
Play "St. James Infirmary" and the court of King James
If you want ta remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James too, play "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker, play "Scratch My Back"
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim, “Goin’ Down Slow”
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe.

Play "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
Play it for the First Lady, she ain't feelin’ any good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey

Take it to the limit and let it go by

Play it for Carl Wilson, too

Looking far, far away down Gower Avenue
Play tragedy, play "Twilight Time"
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and “Another One Bites the Dust”
Play "The Old Rugged Cross" and "In God We Trust"

Ride the pink horse down that long lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play "Mystery Train" for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the reverend, play it for the pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson, play Stan Getz
Play "Blue Sky," play Dickey Betts
Play Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and all that jazz
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz
Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play "Cry Me A River" for the lord of the gods
Play number nine, play number six
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play "Nature Boy"
Play "Down In The Boondocks" for Terry Malloy
Play It Happened One Night and "One Night of Sin"
There's twelve million souls that are listening in
Play Merchant of Venice, play Merchants of Death
Play "Stella by Starlight" for Lady Macbeth
Don't worry Mr. President, help's on the way

Your brothers are comin,’ there’ll be hell to pay

Brothers, what brothers, what’s this about hell
Tell them we're waiting, keep coming, we'll get them as well

Love Field is where his plane touched down

But it never did get back up off the ground

Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun

Play “Misty” for me and "That Old Devil Moon"
Play "Anything Goes" and "Memphis in June"
Play "Lonely At the Top" and "Lonely Are the Brave"
Play it for Houdini spinning around in his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play "Lucille"
Play "Deep In a Dream", and play "Driving Wheel"
Play "Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp
And "Key to the Highway" for the king of the harp
Play "Marching Through Georgia" and "Dumbarton's Drums"
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play "Love Me Or Leave Me" by the great Bud Powell
Play “The Blood-Stained Banner," play "Murder Most Foul."

Friday, March 27, 2020

Murder Most Foul A New Recording by Bob Dylan

This announcement was made on :

“Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty across the years,” Dylan tweeted. He continued: “This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.”

He makes reference to the JFK assassination, but also includes references to other events and cultural figures of the 1960s and 1970s.  He states he recorded it a while back so we don't know the date of the recording.  I am glad that he thanks his fans for their support and loyalty.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Keeping Busy During the Coronavirus Crisis

Everything is closed as the Governor and Mayor tell everyone to stay home to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.  The problem is nobody knows how long this situation will last.  There is no way this will end by Easter Sunday as stated by "You Know Who".  Here are some of the things that I am doing to keep busy:
  • Fact-checking essays for the SABR Games Project
  • Indexing articles for The Baseball Index
  • Taking walks in the neighborhood or local parks.  This is permissible as long as I maintain my distance from people.  Hopefully, the Mayor won't close the parks
  • Going to fast-food restaurants to take out food
  • Watching TV.  Jeopardy is on at 7 PM
  • Listening to the radio.
I must feel for people who are ill from this dreaded virus and for those who lost their job as a result of business closures.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Random Thoughts As I Stay at Home

It was a crappy rainy day today so it is just as well that I had to stay at home.  I just went out for a short time to get some hamburgers at the McDonalds in the neighborhood.

Since the weather is supposed to be nicer tomorrow, Karen and I will go to a grocery store that sells only Passover food.  It is "kosher" (pun intended) to go out to buy food.  I assume that synagogues will not be allowed to have large seder gatherings.

I started to read this book today

I know the author through our activity in SABR.  Some baseball players have very unusual names.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Significant Quote by Caitlyn Jenner

I have seen numerous movies over the years but rarely write about it in this Journal.  I do note them on Facebook and have likely viewed hundreds in recent years. Sadly, movie theaters are closed during this COVID-19 situation.  I have a subscription to HBO and at times peruse the listing of on-demand titles.  Very often it is difficult to ascertain the quality of the film from the short description on the TV screen.

I selected a documentary called About Buzz about a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and celebrated author Buzz Bissinger.  Much of the film considered Buzz's role in helping Caitlyn write her autobiography.  Caitlyn was born Bruce Jenner and won the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics.  He became a celebrity in the years that followed.  Bruce always had an issue with gender dysphoria as he felt he was a woman trapped in a man's body.

The book published in 2017 is

She was very forthcoming as she discussed her difficulties in making the transition from a man to a woman.  There is much prejudice toward transgendered people.  The following statement quoted directly hit close to home although for me had nothing to do with LGBTQ issues:

"Please, I am begging you don't ever let your life succumb to what others think.  Do not give in to fear as I did for so many years.  Do what is in your heart and soul and never regret it."

I think back to a former boss (RTS) who pigeonholed me and never gave me a chance to spread my wings professionally.  I saw him as a roadblock, but couldn't let him stifle me.  He was very much an intimidator and I did fear him.  I always did what was best for the people who needed my services in spite of what he thought of me.  In many situations at different employers, I prospered in spite of managers, not because of them.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Don't Stand So Close To Me by The Police - Appropriate 1980's Hit

I just can't sit in the apartment all day.  Whenever I go outside I try to stand at least 6 feet away from people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Random Thoughts of the Day

It seems that Mayor DiBlasio and Governor Cuomo are antagonizing each other as the Mayor says that within 48 hours he may impose a shelter in place order amid the coronavirus outbreak.  The Governor opposes that proposed lockdown.  I agree with the Governor as a lockdown will only minimize the spread of the virus and create unhappiness among the population.  Nobody wants to be confined to their homes indefinitely.  Will the police be used to give a summons to people who don't comply?

This coronavirus situation is different from 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy since we can not see the virus.  Most people who have the virus are asymptomatic.  Others may just have mild symptoms.  Many who have died from the virus had pre-existing conditions.  I feel sorry for those who have lost their jobs over this situation.  How much will a $1000 payout from the government help?

We'll take this one day at a time.

Monday, March 16, 2020

What's Next and for How Long?

Today, I had a dentist's appointment in my old neighborhood of Rego Park.  Since the parking situation is so bad, I take the subway there.  The trains were much less crowded than usual.  I was careful to keep my distance from people and not to touch any surfaces.  The dentist instructed me to wash my hands as I came into her office.  I did not observe a message board or an internet radio station on the premises.  She had to replace an old filling.

After I arrived home, I decided to go to a fast-food restaurant for lunch.  Starting tomorrow restaurants and bars across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut need to close to anything but take-out and delivery business.  I could go to a fast-food place and bring the stuff home.  The problem is that the fast-food places are about a 10-minute walk from home.  In that time, the food would get cold.

So far:
  • No sporting events
  • No museums
  • No libraries
  • No movies
  • No restaurants
So What's Next?

I certainly hope the city's parks won't be closed.

Reflections on Bruce's Journal as it Approaches 4000 Entries Since October 2005

I am approaching entry #4000 of a blog that started on October 15, 2005 and just kept on going.  That article was a very short description about a football game at Hofstra University.  Most of my entries have been much longer than that.  I guess if an article is too long some people may not read it.  I can’t give a reason for keeping on writing it.  I am never certain of the impact that to made on people over 14+ years.  I am aware of a few regular readers, but it has gotten close to 600,000 hits worldwide. Perhaps some people look at an entry and think that I am a nut. Medical issues and very personal topics are never included.  Anyone can read what I put on the Internet, so I need to be careful.  Once I got in trouble when a pompous professor from Texas objected to something I wrote. I usually write two entries in three days.  I had two companion blogs that I stopped after I retired in December 2017.

I can categorize my entries as follows:

  • New York Mets
  • Baseball (general)
  • Sporting events that I attended
  • Radio Broadcasting
  • Bob Dylan
  • Oldies music including Youtube videos of songs
  • Museum visits
  • Movies (I only critique a few movies that saw)
  • Family activities including vacations
  • Autobiographical entries
  • Random Comments of the Day

I thought that I should look back at some of the significant entries that I have written over the years.

Bruce’s Journal is run on a platform called Blogger provided by Google.  It provides me with the list of the postings with the most hits.  Here are the top ten, many of which I don’t understand why they got so many hits:

  1. TGIF  - this is a very short posting done on March 26, 2010.  I just can’t understand why it got so many hits.
  2. The Tale of the Two-Dollar Bill – April 14, 2011 – I received a two-dollar bill and donated it to the local public library
  3. Jeopardy and the Two-Dollar Bill -  November 22, 2011 – there was an answer on Jeopardy that required knowing that a president was on a two-dollar bill.  I thought there were better posts about Jeopardy that deserved more hits.
  4. Congratulations to the Beach Boys on their 50th anniversary – December 31, 2011
  5. Jason Keller, Jeopardy Superstar- December 27, 2011
  6. Mark Simone leaves WABC for WOR – January 3, 2013  Mark Simone became persona non grata as far as I’m concerned.
  7. Bob Dylan – Forever Young – 50 Years of Song -Life Magazine  - February 23, 2012 – I think there are more significant posts about Dylan that should have received more hits.
  8. Another Afternoon at CW Post – November 7, 2009 – About a football game there.  I don’t understand why it got so many hits.
  9. WABC Rewound is Gone -  April 29 2010 – At this point WABC Rewound was no longer heard on 770 AM.  It is still heard yearly on Memorial Day on internet radio.
  10. More Tsuris for the Mets – March 18, 2011 – Tsuris means aggravation.  This post discusses problems the Mets’ owners faced as a result of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

In general, I don’t understand why the above 10 entries got so many hits.  There were more articles that were more significant to me.

I will keep writing for Bruce’s Journal as I average about 240 entries a year, so in another 4 years when I reach 5000 entries, another analysis.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Everything is Closed - There is not much to do

The national emergency with the coronavirus has effectively closed almost all recreational activities.  I was hoping to visit either the Museum of the City of New York or the New York Historical Society Museum this weekend but they are closed.  When you enter any public building, you never know if you encounter someone who is infected.  Likewise, all professional and college sports are shut down so we can't watch events on TV.  I bought tickets for the Mets on Sunday, March 29, but it will be canceled.  I assume I will be able to exchange them for another game.  We were looking forward to seeing the Tina Turner musical for Lee's birthday on March 28, but all Broadway shows are canceled until at least April 12.

I really feel sorry for people who have been sickened by this virus.  I also feel for people who are out of work as a result of these closures.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

How Long? (will this have to go on) - Modifying the subtitle of a 1975 hit by Ace

Some very sad announcements have been made in the last 24 hours:

  • Major League Baseball is suspended
  • The National Basketball Association has suspended play
  • The National Hockey League has suspended play
  • There will be no NCAA Basketball Tournament
  • Broadway shows are closed.
  • Large gatherings are forbidden
The number of cases of Corona Virus infection is growing every day.  It spreads more rapidly than seasonal flu.  The rate of fatalities is also higher.  Drastic actions are necessary to protect the health and well-being of the public.

I have tickets to see the Tina Turner show on March 28th and the New York Mets on March 29.  It is obvious that those events will be canceled.

The big questions is how long will these restrictions be in effect?  Obviously, nobody knows.  I hope that the number of reported infections will go down dramatically so things will be normalized.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Reading About Mel Allen on the Way to Yankee Stadium

Even though I am a big Mets fan I like to go to a few Yankee games every season.  It is very convenient to buy tickets online, but there is usually a service charge of up to 25% per ticket.  Very often it is impossible to avoid that, but since I am retired I have time to take a subway trip to Yankee Stadium to save money.  I bought tickets for two games and saved about $40.

One of my retirement projects is to index articles for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  I encountered an article about the late Mel Allen known as The Voice of the Yankees.  The bibliography listed:

Borelli, Stephen. How About That! The Life of Mel Allen. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing, 2005.

I was able to get a copy from Queens Library and started reading it a few days ago.  I had about 30 pages to finish it and thought I would read it on my subway ride to Yankee Stadium.  Mel was certainly a remarkable man.  He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and was proud of his Jewish heritage.  The biggest mistake the Yankees ever made was letting Mel go after the 1964 season.  I refuse to use the term "fired".

After I bought the tickets I took a short walk across the street to the site of the original Yankee Stadium and took the photo seen below.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Bob Dylan Returns to Forest Hills on July 8

Poster from the July 2016 Concert at Forest Hills

It was nice to start the week by finding out that the Never Ending Tour will return to Forest Hills on July 8th.  I read that the April tour dates in Japan were canceled over the issues with the Coronavirus, but I assume things will return to normal by July.  There was a famous concert there in August 1965 when folk music enthusiasts booed Dylan when he went electric.  We were at the July 2016 concert when Mavis Staples was the opening act.  Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Hot Club of Cowtown will be the opening act this year.  I have never heard of them.

And the beat goes on.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Carolina Hurricanes 3 New York Islanders 2 in OT at Nassau Coliseum

Advertising on the internet worked as the Islanders stated there were no Ticketmaster fees on tickets purchased by March 9.  I took advantage of that offer and bought tickets for today's afternoon game at Nassau Coliseum.  When I worked in Newark, I bought tickets for the Devils while Karen and Lee would join me after work.  Since I retired we only have gone to Islanders' games at Barclays Center since Ranger tickets at Madison Square Garden are so expensive. This season the Islanders split their home games between Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum.  Today was the first time in several years that I attended a hockey game at the Coliseum.

It was a game dominated by the defense as it was tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation play.   Vincent Trocheck scored a power-play goal at 1:36 of overtime to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 victory that tightens the race for a wild card slot in the playoffs.

Game recap

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Is Bob Dylan Working on a New Album?

And Gershon, 57, was given a little bit preview of some new materials Dylan had been engaged on: “He learn me some lyrics he was writing and he was all excited…,” she recalled. “I used to be pondering, ‘Oh my God, that is so cool.’ You possibly can see why he nonetheless loves doing what he does and he is excited…”

This paragraph was copied from this article

I thank Laura Tenschert for posting it on Twitter allowing Dylan fans to read it.  There has not been an album of new Dylan songs since The Tempest in 2012.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Random Thoughts about Daylight Savings Time

If you are interested, you may hear a minor hit recorded by Keith (real name James Keefer) in 1967.  It only reached #79 on Billboard so only real oldies enthusiasts know about it.  In the song, he says that daylight savings time (DST) gives him more time to spend with his baby.

Anyway, you may read about the background and history of DST if you are interested in all the details.  This Sunday at 2:00 AM we will turn the clocks ahead and observe DST until early November.  While growing up DST was 6 months from the end of April to the end of October.  Over the years the U.S. Congress has increased DST so now it is almost 8 months.  Whenever the clocks change there are arguments for staying on DST year-round or keeping standard time all year.  There are more automobile accidents on the day after the clocks changes.  More heart attacks are reported that day as well.

Arizona and Hawaii keep standard time year-round.  If New York did that sunrise would be about 4:30 AM during May, June, and July.  If we went to DST year-round sunrise would be around 8:30 in November, December, and January creating hazardous conditions for students on the way to school. 

My opinion is that early March is not the right time for DST as sunrise will not be until 7:20 AM.  If I had my way I would move it to the end of March.  However, it would take an act of Congress to do that.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Countryside the Future at the Guggenheim Museum

A new exhibit called Countryside The Future opened last month at the Guggenheim Museum.  Since I hadn't been there since last May, I thought it was time for a return visit.  There is much art that considers the urban environment, but 98% of the earth's surface is not occupied by cities.  Countryside is defined as rural remote and wild territories in all parts of the earth.  The exhibition considers urgent environmental, political, and socioeconomic issues.  There are video displays throughout the museum that enhance the experience for patrons.

I recommend this exhibit for my readers.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Today's Radio Log

These are the radio stations AM, FM, SiriusXM, and internet that I listened to today with a few comments:

  • 6:30 AM - WINS - about 22 minutes of the news
  • 6:50 AM - WCBS-FM with Ross Britain - I listened for old time sake for about an hour,  It is just not the same.  They don't want old farts like me anyway.
  • 8:00 AM - The Elvis Channel on SiriusXM in the car.  My son Lee is a big fan of the King.
  • 9:30 AM - The 50s on 5 on SiriusXM - you can't hear that stuff anywhere else
  • 10 AM - WBGO - The Rhythm Revue with Felix Hernandez,  He plays good stuff I used to hear on WCBS-FM
  • 4 PM - Pop Gold Radio with Tom Natoli starting to play the top 1500 hits of the 1960s derived from WABC Surveys
  • 5 PM - WFUV - Mixed Bag with Don McGee
  • 8 PM - The 60s on 6 with Cousin Brucie
As of 9:20 PM, the only TV I've watched today was The Three Stooges on MeTV.  I guess I'll check out the TV news at 11 PM.

Look Before You Leap by the Dave Clark 5 - Perfect Song for February 29

If the 60s 70s show were on an internet radio station, I would have requested this last night.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Laptop isn't booting up

In October I bought a new laptop since my old one was running very slowly.  Until very recently it was running just fine, but all of a sudden it just didn't boot up.  Thankfully, I bought a 2-year warranty, so later today I will bring it back to the store and have them work on it.  Right now I am working on my older laptop which still works, albeit slowly.  I also have my cell phone and Kindle Fire as backups.

We don't realize how much we rely on computers until we have to do without one.  It is only a machine, so life goes on.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Baseball Trivia Last Night

Last night Baseball Across America held a trivia night at Ainswoth Social, a sports bar and restaurant at 9th Avenue and 45th Street in Manhattan.  This organization seeks to give under-represented youth an opportunity at-bat by engaging, motivating, and inspiring them to graduate college and become leaders in their communities.  The event served as a fundraiser for this organization.

About 25 people were organized into 6 teams who answered questions which were divided into 9 categories representing the innings of a baseball game.  Some of the categories were:

  • Stadiums
  • Teams
  • Records
  • Post Season
  • Records
I didn't take notes so I only remember a few of the questions that were given.  Some were very easy while others were quite difficult.  The trivia questions at the NYC SABR chapter meetings every year were much much more challenging:
  • What was the first stadium to use artificial turf?
  • What 4 people managed the Mets and Yankees?
  • Who was the last shortstop before Derek Jeter to make the Hall of Fame?
  • What players hit home runs before age 20 and after age 40?
  • In 1904 the New York Giants refused to play in the world series.  What team would have been their opponent?
There was also a raffle where I won a baseball from the 2015 World Series that was autographed by George Brett and John Wathan.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Once Were Brothers - A Documentary about The Band Until 1976

Back in the Fall, I read in the Bob Dylan fanzine Isis that a documentary about the Band was going to be released.  In November, it was shown once at a film festival in NYC, but finally yesterday it was released to limited theaters.  We went to Greenwich Village and saw it at the IFC Center.  For my readers who are not familiar with the group the members were:
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Levon Helm (deceased)
  • Rick Danko (deceased)
  • Richard Manuel (deceased)
  • Garth Hudson
The film is loosely based on Testimony, an autobiography of Robbie.  He did acknowledge the contributions of the other members, he was the protagonist of the film.  He talked about his family history including how he found out the John Robertson was not his real father and that his biological father was Jewish.  He traced the history of the group as it started out as the Hawks who were the background of Ronnie Hawkins who was interviewed in the film.  Other musicians who were interviewed included:
  • Eric Clapton
  • George Harrison
  • Van Morrison
  • Taj Mahal
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Jann Wenner
Much time was devoted to their backing of Bob Dylan in 1966 when they were booed as Dylan's folk music fans rebelled against his conversion to rock.  After this tour, Dylan and the group moved to Woodstock, NY where they recorded numerous hours of music in a house called Big Pink.  The  Band then recorded several successful albums on their own.  In 1974 they backed Dylan in a very successful tour.

The seminal concert "The Last Waltz" the subject of an earlier documentary was also considered in the current film.  At that point, the group split up as they felt that 16 years together was enough.

I felt the film was too "Robbie centric".  His wife Dominique was interviewed during several segments, but relatives of the deceased members were not.  There were no current interviews with Garth Hudson.  Did he refuse to participate?

There was no mention that the group reformed in the 1980s without Robbie.  I did see the reconstituted group c1987 at the Westbury Music Fair.  During a tour in 1986, Richard Manuel committed suicide in a hotel room. 

I enjoyed the film and highly recommend it to Bob Dylan fans as there were still photos and videos of him in this film that I never saw.

Robbie Robertson's Once Were Brothers from his  recent album Sinematic

Friday, February 21, 2020

I Bought Mets Tickets for the 2020 Season

I received an email from the Mets today stating that until Monday at midnight tickets can be purchased online without fees which add a substantial amount to the cost.  I jumped at the opportunity to save money so I purchased tickets for 11 games.  I could always buy tickets at the last minute for other games.  I thought about buying a 20 game package, but decided not to for 2 reasons:

  1. 20 games is a little too much with the high cost of tickets
  2. The team chooses the 20 games in each of the packages it offers.  I picked the games that I wanted to see.
It averaged to about $33/ticket for the 11 games.  I remember back in the 1960s when tickets in the entire upper deck at Shea Stadium was $1.30.  Somebody has to pay for the players' multimillion-dollar salaries.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Viewing Bob Dylan Videos at a Meeting at NYU

A group of 9 Bob Dylan enthusiasts met at NYU last night and saw the following Bob Dylan videos:

  • Sweetheart Like You - seen above (1983)
  • Heart of Mine (1981)
  • Jokerman - seen on the David Letterman Show (1984)
  • Lenny Bruce - from the Hard to Handle Tour (1986)
  • Series of Dreams
  • Most of the Time (1990)
  • All Along the Watchtower (1992)
  • Blood in My Eyes (1993)
  • Pancho and Lefty - with Willie Nelson
  • Just Like a Woman - from Woodstock '94
  • Shooting Star - from MTV Unplugged (1994)
  • Forever Young - with Bruce Springsteen at Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame Induction (1988)
  • Just Like Tom Thumb Blues - in London featuring Ronnie Wood and Al Kooper
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door  - the Pope was at this performance (1997)
  • Things Have Changed - Dylan was on video shown at the Academy Awards (2001)
  • John Brown
  • One Too Many Mornings

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Random Thoughts on My 14th Anniversary of Joining Facebook

Today, I received a post that on February 18, 2006, I joined  Facebook.  I remember joining after I attended a library seminar about using Facebook to connect with students.  That obviously did not happen, but certainly, other things did.  Let me randomly list some observations and experiences.

A "Facebook Friend" is usually not a friend or even an acquaintance.  I have about 600 of them, but most of them I have never met, haven't seen in over 5 years or only made contact in person only once.  Likely, I should unfriend many of them.  These people fall into one of these categories:

  • Radio Enthusiasts
  • Bob Dylan Fans
  • Oldies music devotees
  • Baseball fans
  • Family
  • Classmates from elementary school, high school or college
  • Librarians
Very often I keep "an eye" on people I once knew but don't want to contact. I will not friend them under any circumstances.

I set up fan groups for Cousin Bruce Morrow and Harry Harrison.  Both of those groups are very active especially after Harry recently passed away.

I announced the annual oldies meet and greet on Facebook which was very successful over the years.

All of the entries in Bruce's Journal are posted on Facebook.  I am sure that many of the hits emanated from the Facebook posting.

Activity on Facebook can be a waste of time, but I feel the benefits outweigh the drawbacks of being on it.  I know many people don't want to join since they are afraid of giving up their privacy.  I try to be careful about not revealing issues that are too personal.

Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Dark eyes by Judy Collins - Bob Dylan Cover of the Day

Every weekday morning WFUV poses a Question of the Day to its listeners.  Today the listeners were asked to pick a Bob Dylan cover by a woman recording artist.  This was done since Girl From the North Country is opening soon on Broadway.

The Songs played were at about 9:15 were:

1. "You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," Shawn Colvin
2. "Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright," Joan Baez with Indigo Girls
3. "Just Like a Woman," Nina Simone
4. "Girl From the North Country," Rosanne Cash

There is only so much time the station can devote to this feature, but they didn't get around to one of my favorite covers by a woman "Dark Eyes" by Judy Collins.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

You Just May Be The One by the Monkees - Random Oldie of the Day

Maybe it is not a random oldie as I am reading Infinitely Tuesday: An Autobiographic Riff by Mike Nesmith.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Today's Visit to the International Center of Photography at a New Location

In June 2018 I visited the International Center for Photography when it was located in the Bowery.  Very recently it moved to a new location on Essex Street on the Lower East Side.  The older location included only still photographs but the new facility included many videos.

The major exhibit on display today was called Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop.  The exhibit, part of which is seen above, pays tribute to the way a new genre reinvented popular music.  I think that is too strong a statement since older people generally don't listen to hip hop or rap.

Another exhibit was called I Can Make You Feel Good by Tyler Mitchell.

It is always good to explore a museum at a new and expanded facility.  I assume that these exhibits will stay for a number of months and then be replaced by others.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Excellent Service from

I have been a customer of since 1998 and have never had to return a product to them.  In early December I bought a Kindle Fire for Lee.  All of a sudden it failed to charge when connected to an electrical outlet.  I did a Google search on the terms Amazon Kindle Warranty.  I found out that this product is guaranteed for 3 months.  I phoned them and was connected immediately to a customer service representative who said I should send it back to them.  They even sent me a mailing label for UPS, so there was no cost to me.  Two days later I received an email saying that the product was beyond repair and that would send a replacement which came in two days.  The entire process took 4 days.

Thank you,

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

MLB's Proposal to Expand the Playoffs is a Terrible Idea

The article below was written by Mark Feinsand and was published on  I think it is a terrible idea to expand the number of teams making the playoffs from 10 to 14.  If it is implemented, almost half of MLB teams would make the playoffs.  Thus, it is possible that a mediocre team could win the Worlld Series.  MLB would likely have to cut the number of regular-season games from 162 to 154 or else the World Series could extend until the middle of November.  The article states that the Commissioner and owners are receptive to this idea.  My suggestion is that the playoffs remain the same as long as there are 30 MLB teams.  If MLB expands to 32 teams there would likely be a realignment of MLB into two leagues with four divisions.  At that point, there can be a change in the playoff format, but please not with 14 teams in the hunt for the World Series.  I can remember that until 1968 there were no playoffs and just a World Series between the AL and NL pennant winners.  Obviously, the owners make more money when more playoff games are played and shown on national TV.

Article by Mark Feinsand

Could Selection Sunday be coming to Major League Baseball?

MLB is considering a significant restructuring of its playoff format, one which would begin with a dramatic live television show during which two teams from each league would have the ability to select their first-round opponents.

The proposed format, which has been gaining traction among owners and within the Commissioner’s Office, would see the total number of playoff teams in each league increase from five to seven, with the Wild Card round expanding from a one-game playoff to a best-of-three series. The new format could go into effect as early as the 2022 season.

The league’s potential plan was first reported by the New York Post.

Here’s how the new format would work:

The team with the best record in both the American and National League would receive a first-round bye, automatically advancing to the Division Series. The other two division winners would host all three games in a best-of-three Wild Card round, as would the Wild Card team with the next-best record.

Three other Wild Card teams would also advance to the best-of-three round, though none would host a game.

The division winner with the second-best record in the league would then get to decide which of the bottom three Wild Card teams it wants to play in the opening round -- a decision that would be aired on live television on the final Sunday night of the season, just hours after the regular season concludes.

Last season, the Astros would have been the AL’s No. 1 seed based on having the best record in the league, while the Yankees, Twins and Athletics would have hosted three-game Wild Card series.

The Yankees, by virtue of their No. 2 seed, would have then been charged with the assignment of picking their opponent from the grouping of the Nos. 5-7 seeds, which would have been the Rays, Indians and Red Sox.

Once the Yankees had chosen their first-round opponent, the Twins -- who would have been the No. 3 seed based on winning their division -- would then have chosen between the remaining two teams to set up their best-of-three series. The remaining team would then be matched up with the No. 4 seed, who would host all three potential games in the opening round.

Last season, the Mets and D-backs would have been the Nos. 6 and 7 seeds in the NL, respectively, as both teams ended the year on winning streaks that pushed them past the Cubs in the final standings.

The addition of two more postseason teams in each league would keep more teams in the race throughout the season. It would also give teams more incentive to fight for the best overall record in their league, which would be the only way to advance to the Division Series without playing in the Wild Card round.

The best-of-three format in the Wild Card round would set up the potential for as many as 18 first-round games, 12 of which could be elimination games. Every Game 2 would be an elimination game, while a Game 3 would then serve as a win-or-go-home series finale.

As part of the change, MLB would also eliminate any Game 163 tiebreakers, using the season series between clubs to break any ties.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined as a reporter in 2001.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Check Out Jack Sullivan's Oldies Show Monday Nights at 9:30 on WESU

A new radio ritual is listening to Jack Sullivan's oldies show that is heard Monday nights from 9:30 to 11:00 on WESU at 88.1 FM from Wesleyan University in central Connecticut.  Those like me from outside the area can hear it on the internet at

Jack just loves playing requests from his listeners.  He actually looks forward to hearing from me every week.  I highly suggest checking out his show.  If you are really a night owl Jimmy Z's oldies show is heard on the same station Mondays at 11:00 PM.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Visiting the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side

Today Karen and I set out to visit the International Center of Photography Museum on the Lower East Side.  We took the F train to Delancy Street and when we got to the museum we found out that it was closed on Tuesday.  I looked at Google Maps and saw that the Tenement Museum was a few blocks away.  I hadn't heard of that museum, but while we were in the neighborhood I thought I'd drop in and see what was there.

Quoting from their website:

The Tenement Museum celebrates the enduring stories that define and strengthen what it means to be American. We share stories of the immigrant and migrant experience through immersive guided tours, educational content, and programs, and thought leadership, with one important goal — to advance the understanding of immigration and to highlight its role in the ongoing creation of our nation.

It is located on 103 Orchard Street which was home to over 10,000 immigrants.  We took the Under One Roof guided tour of the building which related the stories of  Jewish, Puerto Rican, and Chinese families that lived there from the 1950s to 1970s.

It was a very informative tour and shows that interesting attractions can be found by accident.  We'll have to come back to the International Center of Photography on another day of the week.

Thank Goodness My Days of Commuting to New Jersey Are Over

Rail service in and out of New York continues to be subject to significant delays. Midtown Direct service is diverted to Hoboken Terminal. Rail tickets/passes are being cross-honored by @PATHTrain at Newark Penn, Hoboken and 33rd St., @NJTRANSIT_NBUS, and private carriers.

The TV News reported delays of two hours or more on NJ Transit last night.  Thank goodness I was home and didn't have to face this.  I guess Governor Phil Murphy has not solved rail problems that have persisted for yours.  I haven't even set foot into the state of New Jersey since I retired in December 2017.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Some Thoughts About Radio Station WBGO

I first listened to WBGO in July 1992 just before my job interview at NJIT in Newark.  I arrived a short time before my appointment and I sat in the campus center where they were playing jazz music from that station.  I liked what I heard and started to listen with some degree of regularity.  To make a very long story short, I was hired as a Technical Reference Librarian at NJIT and stayed there for 25 years until I retired.  That is a completely different story.

Over the years I have listened to many terrestrial, internet and satellite radio stations, but I always found some time to listen to WBGO.  I usually listen to Gary Walker's morning show for about 40 minutes and the rhythm and blues programming on Saturday mornings.  Listening to the station has allowed me to develop some interest in jazz music.  I have attended some concerts at nearby Flushing Town Hall over the years.

The highlights of my listening to WBGO were Gary Walker's playing of Bob Dylan covers by Ben Sidran and Bettye Lavette.  Please look at these 3 journal entries for more detail:

Today I was somewhat disturbed to read this article in the New York Times about turmoil at the station.  Radio enthusiasts usually are not aware of this business and political situations at their favorite stations.   The article states the station is distancing itself from the community that built it.  The station ended exhibitions and parties and even prevented people from entering their building.  There were grievances about racial imbalances in the station's management.  The majority of jazz enthusiasts and residents of Newark are African-American while this was not reflected in the current management of WBGO.  The station's innovative yet divisive and chief executive just resigned.

Readers of Bruce's Journal can refer to the New York Times article linked above for the details.

I certainly hope that WBGO will "right the ship" and correct the inequities stated in the article.  Any company's workforce should reflect the demographics of its community.  Please continue the excellent jazz and R&B programming that has been on the station for over 40 years.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Vancouver Canucks 4 New York Islanders 3 at Barclays Center

 It is more than halfway through the hockey season and we went to our first game today at the Barclays Center.  When I worked in Newark Karen and Lee would join me a few times every season for a Devils game at the Prudential Center, but I retired about 2 years ago.  We bought the tickets online yesterday and headed over for a matinee.

It was a close game for the beginning as the Islanders returned to playing after the All-Star break.  With regulation time drawing to a close the Islanders took out their goaltender as Brock Nelson scored with 25.1 seconds to attain a 3-3 tie.  However,  42 seconds into the overtime Quinn Hughes got the winning goal for the Canucks to send the Islander fans to home disappointed.

Game Recap

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Lunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner

Every year we like to take Lee to a Broadway show for his birthday on March 28.  This year we decided to see Tina - The Tina Turner Musical.  It is very convenient to buy theater tickets online, but of course, Ticketmaster adds a very big fee.  Karen and I decided to travel to Manhattan to buy the tickets at the Lunt-Fontaine Theater to avoid the fee. 

After buying the tickets we decided to go to Ellen's Stardust Diner for lunch.  Back in June 2006 the first Oldies Meet and Greet was held there for the first anniversary of the dreaded format change at WCBS-FM.  Whenever we passed by there after seeing a Broadway show, there was a long line for people trying to get in.  Since it was a Tuesday afternoon and no matinee performances we were able to walk right in.  Ellen's is unique for its singing waiters and waitresses.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Radio Legend Harry Harrison Passes Away at Age 89

It was just reported that Harry Harrison has passed away at age 89.  His New York radio history goes back to 1959:

  • 1959-68 WMCA 10AM - 1 PM
  • 1968-1979 - WABC - Morning Drive
  • 1980-2003 - WCBS-FM Morning Drive
  • October 2004- May 2005 WCBS-FM Saturday morning show.
Harry always cared about his listeners.  When we turned on the radio in the morning, we knew we were listening to a true friend.  Morning radio just hasn't been the same since he retired.  Around 2007 I started a Fans of Harry Harrison page on Facebook.  There are now 2380 members including his daughter, Patti.  She always advised us of how he was doing.  Thankfully, he lived to experience his induction into the Radio Hall of Fame last November.  I always remember the photo where Patti and her Patrick were ear to ear smiles as they posed with their Dad.

My fondest memory of Harry was in May 2001 when he announced Lee's Bar Mitzvah during the Harry Harrison Birthday Book.  We played the recording of it during the reception.  The following letter that Harry posted after the tragic death of radio friend Alan Berman in 2013.

My sincere condolences to Patti, Patrick, the entire Harrison family, he fans and colleagues in the radio business.  His memory will certainly be a blessing.

Meeting of NYC Bob Dylan Fans Wednesday February 19 at 6 PM at NYU

The New York City Bob Dylan Discussion Group will hold its second meeting on Wednesday Night February 19th from 6 PM – 8 PM at NYU.  Lawrence Kaplan will bring a set of DVDs of a variety of Dylan concert performances called Through the Years.  As a group, we can pick and choose, stop and discuss the performances and the songs.  I am sure there will be spirited conversations.

the 8th Floor Commons Room of the East Building of NYU located at the intersection of Greene Street and Washington Place in Greenwich Village.  Please send me your name if you plan on coming since I need to send all the names to security a few days before the meeting.  You will also need to show a photo ID to show the security guard.

The meeting will be held in the 8th-floor commons room of the East Building, which is 18 Washington Place in Greenwich Village, New York, NY 10003.  Please bring a photo ID to show security.  You will walk through a student center to the elevators where there will be another guard and then take the elevators up to the 8th floor.  Please tell me if you will be going as security will need a list of names.  I thank Sal Fallica of NYU for making these arrangements.

My email is

Monday, January 27, 2020


Today I am praying for Harry Harrison, his daughter Patti, and son Patrick as she asked for prayers on the Fans of Harry Harrison page on Facebook.  She asked to respect their privacy, but I think it is safe to assume that Harry was taken ill.  I wish him a full and speedy recovery.

I also from the family, friends, and fans of Kobe Bryant who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident near Los Angeles.

I found this photo on Twitter.  A similar tribute to Aretha Franklin was done when she passed away.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

2020 SABR Day

For my readers who are not baseball fans, SABR is the Society for American Baseball Research.  Like many professional societies, it is a national organization with local chapters.  The New York City chapter is known as the Casey Stengel Chapter to honor the man who played or managed with the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and Giants in New York City.  Every year on the last Saturday of  January each chapter has a meeting.

Today's meeting was held at the Scandinavia House at Park Avenue and 38th Street.  The morning program was a panel discussing:

The Babe’ As You Never Knew Him –  One Hundred Years As A New York Yankee

The panelists were:

  • Marty Appel Premier New York Yankees Historian
  • Mike Gibbons Director (1983-2017) of the Babe Ruth
  • Birthplace and Museum Bill Jenkinson Legendary Consultant and Researcher on George Herman “Babe” Ruth

Much has been said about the Babe over the years, but I always find more out by reading and attending panel discussions about him.  The topic was chosen for 2020 as it is the 100th anniversary of his becoming a Yankee after the infamous sale of his contract by the Boston Red Sox.  Below are some notes that I took during the discussion:
  • Marty Appel was a pallbearer at Claire Ruth's funeral in 1976
  • Babe used a 50 once bat in 1914
  • Pictures were shown of Babe's teams at the St. Joseph's Home for Boys in Detroit and St. Mary's in Baltimore.
  • The speakers felt that the movies that were made about Babe were terrible.
  • Babe Ruth promoted integration in baseball years before Jackie Robinson broke the color line.  Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis was against integration, but the efforts by Branch Rickey commenced after his death.
  • Recently $5.4 Million was paid for a uniform worn by Babe
  • Babe signed more baseball than many other players of his era.
Tyrone Brooks, Major League Baseball's  Senior Director of the Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program was the afternoon speak.

He discussed his career in baseball working with several clubs in a variety of positions over the years.  In his current position promotes the hiring of women and minorities to executive and managerial positions in baseball.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Wright who was the editor of Met-rospectives: A Collection of the Greatest Games in New York Mets History (The SABR Digital Library).  I worked with him as I contributed 3 articles about specific games to this book.

I bought a copy of Mets in 10s: Best and Worst of an Amazin' History that Brian authored.  He will be issuing another book about the Mets in March titled The New York Mets All-Time All-Stars: The Best Players at Each Position for the Amazin's

It seems that every time I go to a meeting I buy a book.

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