Saturday, July 4, 2020

Today is the 50th Anniversary of AT 40

Back in the 1960s, I listened to countdown shows on WMCA and WABC which of course were local. Very often records were hits nationally but did not chart in New York City.  American Top 40 debuted nationally on July 4, 1970, and reported on the top 40 hits in Billboard magazine.  I remember that day I had a date with a young lady from Coney Island.  At that point, only 7 stations carried the show but over the years it grew by leaps and bounds. New York stations that carried it over the years include WNBC, WXLO, WPLJ, WPIX-FM, and Z-100.  Some of my radio friends are big chart enthusiasts to this day, but I feel that if I liked a song I didn't about its chart positions.  Most Sunday mornings I listen to a show from the 1970s or 1980s on the iHeart Radio app.  Sadly so many people who worked on the show for years have passed away.  These include:

  • Casey Kasem
  • Don Bustany
  • Tom Rounds
  • Ron Jacobs
So much has been written about the show, so instead of repeating it here, I will refer my readers to the following sites:
In radio, the music isn't everything.  It is often what is said between the songs is more important.  Casey Kasem was the best.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Trying to Evaluate the NYPD Objectively

The aim of the NYPD and other police departments across the country is to protect the public from crime.  Over the years many have died in the line of duty trying to prevent crime and apprehending criminals.  I don't know the number of police officers who perished on 9/11 or later died from cancer from exposure to toxins at the site.

In any profession, there are people who excel and those who perform their job poorly.  Sadly, over the years there have been unjustified shootings of Blacks by police.  These events are always publicized with a strong reaction by the public.  Policemen are never above the law and should be prosecuted when they have broken the law.  In my opinion, there have been cases where cops have literally gotten away with murder.  In 1999 Amadou Diallo was shot 43 times by 4 officers who were acquitted of any crime.  The Eric Garner case dragged on for 5 years before the cop was fired from the force.

These incidents are the exception to the role.  The police usually perform their duties admirably.  When the police perform beyond the call of duty, there is rarely publicity for it.  Does defunding the NYPD help prevent crime?  I just feel that the mayor and city council were pressured by the protesters to do that.

My suggestion is that all police officers receive regular training on how to handle volatile situations without discharging their weapons.  Also, the NYPD and Petrolmans Benovelent Association embark on a public relations campaign to demonstrate the positive things police do.  Likewise, the media should more attention to situations where the police have gone beyond the call of duty to prevent crime and protect the public.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It's Bobby Bonilla Day for the New York Mets

Bobby Bonilla played most of his career for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets as a first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder.  You can view his statistics at Baseball-Reference.   Mark Souder wrote a biography of him for SABR (Society for American Baseball Research).

Bonilla underachieved during his playing days for the Mets. In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla's contract. However, instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million at the time, the Mets agreed to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, including a negotiated 8% interest.  Thus for every year until 2035 Bonilla gets a check from the Mets on July 1.  I guess in 2000 the Mets just didn't know how to handle money.

Monday, June 29, 2020

My Favorite Stations on SiriusXM

I have SiriusXM in my car, phone and laptop.  Here are my favorite stations in no particular order:
  • 50s on 5
  • 60s on 6
  • 70s on 7
  • The Bridge
  • Beatles Channel
  • Elvis Radio
  • Classic Vinyl 
  • Classic Rewind
  • Watercolors
  • Deep Tracks
  • Classic Soul
  • Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Channel
  • BB King's Bluesville

Saturday, June 27, 2020

My Rough and Rowdy Ways by Jimmie Rodgers (1929)

Bob Dylan obviously listens to old music.  Is it plagiarism to use the title of this song for the title of his new album?

Thursday, June 25, 2020

I Don't Like One Rule Change for the 2020 Baseball Season

I was wrong at predicting there would be no baseball season in 2020.  There will be a 60-game season beginning on July 24 with the same playoff format with 10 teams.  There is one rule implemented this season that I don't like.

All extra innings will start with a runner on second base.  The purpose of this is to avoid marathon games.  In the past, many historic games were very long taking 15 or more innings to complete.  The rationale seems to be to save stress on the pitching staff.  However, rosters for this abbreviated season will be expanded to 30 allowing for an expanded pitching staff.

I do have a few concerns:

  • What happens if several players on a team are positive for the virus?
  • Are three weeks for spring training enough especially for pitchers?
  • Will the players abide by the safety measures?

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I am Skeptical about Rob Manfred's Imposing a 60-Game Season after Failing to Reach a Deal with the Player's Association

The details of this situation can be found at Yahoo Sports.  I feel that it is fair since the players will receive their full prorated salary for the 60 games to be played.  But the devil is in the details.  I have several concerns about whether this will actually transpire.

  • Will the players balk since they have rejected all proposals by MLB?
  • Is a 3-week "summer training" session enough to get the pitchers ready?
  • What is the schedule for this abbreviated season?  Will games be scheduled only between teams in the same geographic area?  Will the previously announced 2020 schedule take place starting on July 24?
  • What happens if players test positive for the virus?  Would the entire team have to be quarantined?  If so, the season would be ruined.  I think the worst thing that could happen is that play would have to stop out of safety concerns.
I think the universal DH would help the Mets since Yoenes Cespedes would not have to play the outfield.  Many players throughout MLB have been given several months to recover  from injuries that would have prevented them from playing in April.

We shall see.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

I am Beginning to Think There Will Be No Major League Baseball This Year

Players and staff of the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays have tested positive for the Coronavirus.  All MLB training camps are being closed for cleaning and disinfection.  Arizona and Florida have recently emerged as hot spots for the Coronavirus.  If there is a spring training, the Mets and Yankees will hold workouts in NYC.

MLB and the MLBPA have still not come to an agreement on the number of games and salaries.  If there is a season, it would be no more than 50 games.  There is also talk of having tie games or a runner placed on second base in an extra-inning.  I really don't care about those innovations.

It is now June 21.  I just think there are too many complications involved in starting an MLB season in 2020.  I already received refunds for Met tickets for April and May.  Eventually, I will get a refund for all 11 games I purchased for this season.  I went up to Yankee Stadium in early March to buy tickets for two games,  According to their website I will have to go back to the box office in 2021 to get an exchange for future games.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Bob Dylan's Rough and Rowdy Ways

The first album of original Bob Dylan songs in 8 years was released today.  There have already been several reviews written by journalists who heard advance copies.  These reviews are very positive as Dylan at age 79 is getting better.  I am disappointed that the concert at Forest Hills on July 8th was canceled, but in part, this new album makes up for it.  I am sure that several songs from this new album would have been featured.

I am listening to it for the first time on Amazon Prime Music as I am writing this journal entry.  I would really have to read the lyrics to make a more detailed analysis of it.  For some reason, I will not receive the CD from Amazon until June 23.  In the past, I have received CDs on the day of release. Later today, I will read some of the reviews.

Two preliminary comments:

  1. Jimmy Reed joins the ranks of Blind Willie McTell, Charlie Patton and other musicians who influenced Dylan.
  2. Did Dylan ever visit Key West?

Thursday, June 18, 2020

I am Greatly looking Forward to Reopening Phase 2 in NYC

Hopefully, NYC will be entering Phase 2 of the reopening on Monday, June 22.  Governor Cuomo says that it should be done, but Mayor de Blasio is unsure.  I criticize the mayor for being indecisive many times during the Coronavirus crisis and the civil unrest.  The main reason I am looking forward to Phase 2 is so that Lee and I can finally take haircuts as we both look terrible.  I thought of taking a ride to Great Neck in Nassau County where Phase 2 is already in effect, but I decided to wait if the situation in NYC is changing.

We are also frustrated with limited recreational activities.  After a while, we get tired of walking around parks and sitting by the apartment complex and reading.  If baseball comes back, it is quite unlikely that fans will be allowed in the stadiums.  I think it will be a while before cultural activities such as museums and concerts will return.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Part 3 - 15 Albums that Greatly Influenced My Musical Tastes with Brief Explanations

This album represents Crosby, Stills, and Nash with and without Neil Young in their various permutations.  There were Crosby-Nash and Stills-Young.  But each of the four had outstanding solo careers.

There was another album cover which was showed a nude adolescent.  It was a shame that this supergroup had only this one release.  This entry represents Cream, Traffic, Eric Clapton, and Steve Winwood.

The musical career of George Harrison was stifled by being in the Beatles.  He had an outstanding solo career from 1970 until his untimely death in 2001.  This entry also represents the solo worlds of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.

This entry is dedicated to Lee who turned the family on to Johnny Cash.  We fondly remember our visit to the Johnny Cash Museum in 2015.

Carole King is Karen's favorite recording artist.  Carole has written numerous hit songs for other artists.  We saw the musical Beautiful on Broadway when it first opened.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Part 2 - 15 Albums That Greatly Influenced My Musical Tastes - With Brief Explanations

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band represents all the other Beatles albums when the group was together from 1962-70.

Always remember that they were Bob Dylan's Band.  They backed him at concert tours in 1966 and 1974.  They had some career that "ended" with The Last Waltz in 1976.  The group did reform without Robbie Robertson.  We just bought the DVD Once Were Brothers that we saw in February at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village.

In my opinion, this was the Beach Boys' finest work.  It also represents all their other albums that I have in my collection.

The Rolling Stones certainly have had a long and successful career.  I enjoyed their earlier recordings such as 12X5 where they cover blues artists of the 1950s and early 1960s.

I was watching Entertainment Tonight in 1988 when Mary Hart announced this album.  This has to be the greatest supergroup ever with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Roy Orbison.  This album brings out the best of all 5.  Sadly only Bob and Jeff are still living.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

15 Albums That Greatly Influenced My Musical Tastes - Part 1 With Brief Explanations

About two weeks ago I received this Facebook message from Phyllis Horowitz:

Choose 15 albums that greatly influenced my taste in music. One album per day for 15 consecutive days. NO EXPLANATIONS, NO REVIEWS, JUST ALBUM COVERS.

Since I have hundreds of CDs, cassette tapes, and records, Ii is very hard to limit it to 15 albums.  In most cases, the albums that I selected represent similar albums and artists.  Since this is my journal and not Facebook, I will add brief explanations and do 5 at one time.  Keep in mind that there is no particular order of the albums.

I remember in Spring 1966 I had to scrape up my allowance money to buy this.  I worked at my father's store on a very hot July day and finally bought it at Alexander's record department.

I have this album in vinyl, cassette, and CD.  Maggie's Farm was my favorite Dylan song as I approached retirement.  This album represents all Dylan albums of the 1960s including Highway 61 Revisited.  One of my Facebook friends thought I should not include too many Dylan Albums.

I must have hundreds of covers of Bob Dylan's songs in my collection.  This album represents the covers of his songs in many genres of music.  It obviously represents the Byrds and its members.  Roger McGuinn. Gene Clark, David Crosby, and Chris Hillman are well represented in my collection.

Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and yours truly are graduates of Forest Hills High School.  I have several albums of  Simon and/or Garfunkel in my collection.  Both have survived the test of time.

Donovan has been described as the British Bob Dylan.  I have a few of his folk albums on the Hickory label in my collection.  He made the transition to folk-rock in this Sunshine Superman album.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Tracklist Revealed for Bob Dylan's Forthcoming Album Rough and Rowdy Ways

I received an email from stating that I will receive my CD on June 23, 4 days after the release date.  I assume that during this pandemic Amazon is flooded with orders and is a little behind in their shipments.  I am certain that on June 19th I will have access to the electronic version of the album on Amazon Prime.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

David McMillan - Facebook Friend of the Day

Last week, I was pleased to get a phone call from David McMillan seen above.  I first met Dave in Spring 2001 when he worked as a temporary librarian at NJIT.  Although he worked with me for only a few months, he has kept in touch with me.  We regularly exchange Facebook posts, emails, and phone calls.  I am disappointed in several people who were my colleagues much longer than I was with Dave who has not taken the initiative to call or even email me.  Keeping in touch must be a two-way street.  It is very frustrating when you contact someone who never reciprocates.

Dave obtained a doctorate in history from Drew University and now works as a Librarian/History Professor at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  I always hope for the best for him.

Monday, June 8, 2020

I Hope that MLB Owners and Players will Settle Soon and We Can Shout Out "Play Ball!"

Today is June 8th and there is no plan to resume major league baseball while the NBA and NHL have plans in place.  I read that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor President Franklin Roosevelt wanted baseball to be played to give Americans some diversion during World War II.  The level of play in MLB was not the same from 1942-45 as many outstanding players were in the service fighting for the Allies.

People are saddened by the deaths, illnesses, job losses, and civil unrest during this COVID-19 crisis.  Likewise, there have been minimal recreational or cultural activities available since March.  We just can't look at our computer screens all day.  The return of MLB would lift up the spirits of the American public.  A shortened season with no fans in the stands would not be the same, but certainly, it would be better than no baseball at all.  Millionaires (the players) squabbling with Billionaires (the owners) has prevented a resumption of play.  For the sake of the American baseball fan, please resolve your differences and start the season in early July.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Random Thoughts of the Day

Peaceful protests of police brutality are certainly acceptable, but enough already.  You have made your point after 10+ days after the murder of George Floyd.  Even peaceful protests are disruptive.  For example marches across major thoroughfares may block drivers who have nothing to do with the situation at hand.  What if an ambulance is blocked by a peaceful protest?

There seems to be a double-standard about social distancing.  The peaceful marchers were on top of each other, while days before the protests some summons were given out for people not wearing masks.  I just hope there is not a spike in COVID-19 cases from all these marches.  There was a memorial service in Brooklyn for George Floyd where people were very close.  De Blasio was there and did not say anything.  Did he respond about his daughters' arrest?  I just don't think he performed well during this crisis.

Phase 1 of the re-opening begins Monday in NYC as non-essential businesses will be allowed to open.  I sense that it will be a long time before recreational and cultural activities will return to normal.  I obviously miss ball games, museums, libraries, movies, and shows.  What will happen if there is a resurgence of the Coronavirus?

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Phyllis Horowitz - Facebook Friend of the Day

Phyllis with her husband Peter

Phyllis Horowitz was a classmate at Forest Hills High School class of 1967.  I didn't know her that well back then, but we became re-acquainted at a class reunion in November 2017.  I found out she was a big Bob Dylan fan.  We then became Facebook friends.

There is a "thing" (for lack of a better word) where one person asks another to list the 15 music albums that influenced them the most.  She asked me to do that.  Right now I am up to album #5.  When I finish, I'll post the list in a journal entry.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Ode to the Mets by the Strokes

This song has nothing to do with the New York Mets.  I read in the June 2020 Sports Illustrated that Julian Casablances, a Manhattan-based Met fan, wrote it on the subway platform by Citi Field after the Mets lost the 2016 wild card game.

Monday, June 1, 2020

New York Rocks My Radio written by Alan Stark and Performed by Gerry Diffenbach

I highly recommend my radio friends listen to this.  I vaguely remember Pete Fornatale played this on his Mixed Bag show years ago.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Idle Hands Have Contributed to the Rioting Protesting the Death of George Floyd

The death of George Floyd is tragic to say the least.  It was criminal for former police officer Derek Chauvin to press his foot on his neck for over 8 minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground.  The other police officers on the scene did nothing to stop Chauvin who was rightfully arrested and charged with third-degree murder.

There is a right to protest in American society guaranteed by the constitution.  However, it must peaceful and not infringe on the rights of others.  I was aghast to watch the nightly news and observe the violent protests in Brooklyn.  The protesters were obviously venting at the NYPD who had nothing to do with the crime in Minneapolis.  Protests there and in other cities have resulted in the destruction of businesses owned by people with no connection to the murder.

These last few months have created much unhappiness for all as recreational, and cultural activities were stopped by the COVID-19 crisis.  The protesters in Brooklyn and in other cities had nothing to do and used the situation to vent their frustrations.  The cliché “Idle hands make for devil’s workshop” applies here.  The protests about the Eric Garner murder were much less violent.

I certainly hope that justice will prevail here.  In 1999 Amadou Diallo was murdered as 4 police officers shot him 43 times.  The trial was moved from the Bronx to Albany and the cops were acquitted.  The Eric Garner case dragged on for 5 years as the cop involved was not criminally charged and was only fired from the NYPD.

I hope Derek Chauvin’s trial will be held in a timely manner and in the community where the crime happened.  He should be convicted and given the maximum sentence for third-degree murder.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Hopefully Greed Will Not Kill the 2020 Baseball Season

The following statement on Twitter by Max Scherzer is very disturbing: "After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions,”

Since the current proposal by MLB is to play 82 games, the players are willing to take half their salary.  However, since playing in empty stadiums would greatly reduce income for the owners, players are being asked to take further reductions in compensation.  I read somewhere that a baseball team would lose $640,000 for each game played in an empty stadium.

Max Scherzer's salary calls for $191 Million over 7 years.  Can he afford to take a reduction so that games can go on?  The lack of professional sports over the last 10 weeks has caused much unhappiness among Americans.  Let Scherzer and other multi-millionaire ballplayers observe all the people waiting in line for food.

These professional athletes are making millions for playing a boy's game.  They can take a cut in salary for one season.  Hopefully, greed will not kill the 2020 season.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

More Random Thoughts

Yesterday morning in Cunningham Park in Queens there were several police officers giving out masks.  Out of three people, one took the mask and wore it while the other two took the masks and held it in their hands.  I have observed about 80-90% of all people wear masks.  I just hate it when it fogs up my glasses. 

When I pass by an elementary school in my neighborhood in the morning there are two crossing guards just standing around.  Why are they need when there is no school? res It is just a waste of money.  Can they at least be repurposed to do something constructive?

Public and university libraries have been closed since mid-March.  Certainly, many but not all resources are available electronically.  In the past 2 months I have used several electronic books and sent them to my Kindle.  Not all books are available electronically, and many seniors (not me) are not tech-savvy and can't access those resources.  Here is a suggestion - Library users can locate print books through the online catalog and state which library they can pick up the book.  The branch would need to be open only a few hours a day and require masks and social distancing for their employees and patrons coming in to pick up books.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Which Version of I Heard it Through the Grapevine is Your Favorite

There are 3 excellent and distinctive versions of I Heard it Through the Grapevine:

  • Gladys Knight and Pips
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival

Saturday, May 23, 2020

May 24, 2020 - Saluting Bob Dylan on His 79th Birthday

At age 79 Bob Dylan has passed the test of time with flying colors.  There are very few entertainers who appeared in the early 1960s and are still performing.  The Never Ending Tour started in 1988 but unfortunately the Coronavirus pandemic put it on hold.  I am listing my favorite song from each decade.  I hope he enjoys his birthday wherever he is.

  • The 1960s - Maggies Farm
  • The 1970s  - Forever Young
  • The 1980s - Neighborhood Bully
  • The 1990s- Not Dark Yet
  • The 2000s -  Summer Days
  • The 2010s - Duquense Whistle
  • The 2020s - I Contain Multitudes

Friday, May 22, 2020

Random Thoughts about the Coronavirus Situation

I sense that people are getting more and more restless about the "Pause" inactivity due to the Coronavirus.  It is a "drag" to have to go outside wearing a mask, but we must do it to stop the spread of this dreadful disease.  Thankfully, the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are going down, but it will not go down to zero until there is a vaccine.  Once a vaccine is developed, it will take a long time to mass-produce it and distribute it to billions.

I tend to doubt there will be a baseball season in 2020.  There are two many medical complications in protecting the players, managers, coaches, trainers, and others from the dreadful virus.  Many players are complaining about getting less money.  They are greedy as they are making millions by playing a boy's game.  Owners feel that they will lose more money if games are played in front of empty stadiums.

I don't think that basketball and hockey should resume their seasons.  All, but the diehard fans have likely lost interest.

There is also a question about professional football where there is the most body contact and likelihood to spread the virus.  Would they have to play in empty or partially-filled stadiums?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

WCBS-FM is Doing a "Listener-Generated" Countdown for Memorial Day Weekend

A radio tradition is returning to WCBS-FM this weekend as they will be airing a "listener-generated" countdown of the "Greatest Hits of All-Time.  This issue has been discussed on various radio message boards over the years.  The station will only play hits consistent with their format and will also juggle numbers around to get a desirable music mix. 

I rarely listen to WCBS-FM anymore since they focus on the 1980s hits which are not my "cup of tea".  They don't want listeners in their 70s like me anyway,  Just to be "spiteful" I voted the following as my top hits of all time.

  1. In the Still of the Night by the Five Satins
  2. Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
  3. Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrds
For years In the Still of the Night was voted the #1 oldie by WCBS-FM listeners.  Now the word "oldie" is forbidden by people in the radio business.

I guess you can't argue with success as WCBS-FM consistently does well in the monthly radio ratings.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Tribute to Ken Osmond by Dave Sundstrom

While growing up in the late 50s and early 60s, I was a big fan of Leave it to Beaver.  Today I heard about the passing of actor Ken Osmond at age 76 who played the iconic Eddie Haskel.  I think Dave Sundstrom who composed the video seen above correctly described the Eddie Haskel character as an "insincere flatterer."

I hope my readers will enjoy this video.

RIP Ken.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Walking Through Parks During the Pandemic

It is sad that people must be confined to their apartments during this Covid-19 pandemic.  You can go crazy just sitting home.  Now that the weather is getting warmer, people must get out.  Lee and I regularly walk around the following parks in Queens:

  • Cunningham Park
  • Forest Park
  • Crocheron Park
  • Alley Pond Park leading into the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway
I always wear my mask outside the apartment.  I observe that most people do wear masks except for runners and joggers.  People do maintain their distance.

Someday all of this will come to an end.  I understand that people especially those who have lost their jobs are restless and want to normalize.  There is the fear that if we normalize too fast the number of hospitalizations and deaths will rise.

This too shall pass.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Buying More at These Days

I have been a customer of since 1998 and mostly have relied on it to purchase books and music CDs.  During this Coronavirus pandemic, most "brick and mortar" stores have been closed unless they provide essential goods and services.  It seems strange that liquor stores are allowed to open while clothing stores are not.  Over the past few weeks, I have made the following purchases at

  • Underwear
  • Blue Jeans
  • Towels
  • Bed Sheets
  • Vitamins
  • Socks
Hopefully, in the weeks to come some retail outlets will be allowed to open.  I certainly will understand if a limited number of customers are allowed entry at a time for social distancing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Bob Dylan Concert at Forest Hills for July 8 Is Canceled

In early March a Bob Dylan concert was announced at Forest Hills for July 8th.  Of course, as soon as the tickets went on sale I purchased 3 for the family.  At that time, nobody thought that the situation with the Coronavirus would be so serious and that by early July things would be back to normal.  As time passed, I realized that this concert would be canceled.  The announcement was made yesterday.  The concert promoter will give refunds within 30 days to the credit card used to purchase the tickets.

I was looking forward to this as Dylan would feature some songs from his new album Rough and Rowdy Ways that will be released on June 19.  Hopefully, the Never Ending Tour will resume when this crisis has passed.

On July 8, 2016 we saw Dylan at Forest Hills with Mavis Staples as the opening act.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Watching TV News is So Depressing These Days

I always like to keep informed by watching local and national TV news broadcasts.  However, the situation with COVID-19 is so depressing.  The saddest stories that I have seen:
  • A few weeks ago 60 Minutes reported refrigerated trailers outside of hospitals in NYC with bodies waiting to be buried.
  • There was a story on the local news reporting there were non-refrigerated trailers outside a funeral home in Brooklyn.  The local residents complained about the stench of the decaying bodies.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is very compelling and like his father is an excellent public speaker.  He wants the best for his constituents in this terrible pandemic.  We can not normalize and then see a recurrence of the coronavirus.  Sadly, such a recurrence is predicted by the experts.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is often repetitious in his daily briefings.

I have yet to hear any expression of condolences by President Donald Trump to the families of the victims of COVID-19.


Monday, May 11, 2020

There Will Be Complications in Starting the MLB Season

There was an announcement on the ESPN site stating that the owners has a proposal that would start the MLB season on July 1 with each team playing 82 games against regional opponents.  Likely games will be played in empty stadiums.  There are two major concerns:

  • Safety - obviously there can not be 6 foot distancing within a game.  Only catchers will wear their traditional masks.  Will players, coaches, managers, umpires, trainers,  and other personnel have to be tested before each game for the Coronavirus?
  • Money - Salaries certainly can't be simply prorated by the number of games played.  Revenue will be greatly reduced with no fans in the stands.  Will greedy players prevent the current proposal from happening?
Let's hope for the best.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Long Tall Sally was my Favorite Little Richard Hit

Little Richard passed away yesterday at age 87.  It is not necessary for "everyone and his brother" to announce it on Facebook.  I decided to wait a day and post my favorite hit.  Little Richard certainly influenced many recording artists of the 1950s and 60s.  The Beatles covered Long Tall Sally.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Bob Dylan to Release a New Album called Rough and Rowdy Ways

For the first time in 8 years, Bob Dylan will be releasing an album of new songs called Rough and Rowdy Ways.  Last night a cut called False Prophet (heard above) was released online.  I must assume that Murder Most Foul and I Contain Multitudes will be on that album.

I will obviously pre-order it on so I will get it June 19th, its scheduled release day.  I must assume that the Forest Hills concert on July 8th will be canceled.  He would have previewed this new album there.

At least there is some good news.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Living in a Ghost Town by the Rolling Stones

Another "timely song" by a classic rock supergroup.  Someday things will get back to normal.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Random Thoughts of the Day

Karen is definitely feeling better with each passing day.  She is eating better and is obviously putting on weight.  She still has a long way to go.  She has an appointment with a urologist tomorrow.  It will be the first time she will be leaving the apartment since she came home from the hospital.  Continued prayers and well wishes are always appreciated.

Sleep is often an escape from the real world.  A week or so ago I had a dream about getting caught in a mass transit delay.  Oy vey.

I have had to cut down my time on the computer to take care of Karen and do errands that she would do.  I had to temporarily give up my activity in SABR (Society for the Advancement of Baseball Research.)  As of now, no announcement has been made about when or how the season will be played.

I try to relax by listening to several terrestrial, SiriusXM, and internet radio stations every day.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Things Will Be Better by The Byrds

In 1973 the 5 original Byrds reunited and issued an album on Asylum Records called The Byrds.  If I remember correctly I bought it in 1974 at a Two Guys store in East Brunswick, NJ.  One of the cuts titled "Things will be better" certainly applies to today's situation.

Friday, May 1, 2020

This Too Shall Pass by Mike Love

Pat St. John just played this on SiriusXM 60s on 6.  It features John Stamos on drums.  Pat said that proceeds from this song will help to buy food for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Trying to Relax While Being a Caregiver for Karen

Karen is improving, albeit slowly which is a good sign.  She is eating much better which will result in gaining weight.  As a caregiver, I am on call almost all day.  I have to do many of the household chores that Karen would do.  Hopefully, as she recovers, she will be able to gradually resume some of those tasks.

I am trying to relax by doing the following:

  • Surfing the web - I have cut down my time doing this.
  • Watching game shows on TV.
  • Doing trivia games online
  • I find it very difficult to read since I just can't concentrate on the book or magazine
  • Sleep.  A few nights ago I had a dream about facing a transit delay.
I thank everyone who has sent prayers and kind wishes over the past few weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2020

My first experience with Telemedicine

Advances in technology have really helped the medical profession.  A visiting nurse often visited a patient who was just released from the hospital.  During this coronavirus pandemic, nurses don't want to visit a home and risk being exposed to the virus.  A visiting nurse from Northwell Health phoned me and sent a link to download a cell phone app where we could communicate with each other.  She gave me instructions on how I should give Karen injections that she will need for a few weeks.  We have had two electronic visits so far.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Karen is On the Road to Recovery

 I usually don't like to post medical issues in this journal or on Facebook, but I feel this time I should.  I will omit some details since many people who read this don't "know me."  About two weeks ago Karen started to cough violently.  She did not have a fever, so I was hoping that it was not the dreaded COVID-19.  I finally convinced her to go to the Northwell Health Urgent Care Center in Bayside.  When they examined her on Monday, April 13, her oxygen levels were low.  They immediately sent her by ambulance to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.  The next day she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Some complications developed as a condition she had a few years ago returned.  She also developed a urinary tract infection.  I must say that the medical care she received was excellent.  It was a shame that I couldn't come to visit her.  Finally, after 12 days she is home.  She has a catheter that will not be removed for another 10 days.  I also must give her injections 3 times a day to help boost her immune system.

I will be her caregiver for the foreseeable future.

God bless the doctors, nurses, and medical staff at North Shore University Hospital.

Friday, April 24, 2020

What Will be the New Normal and How Will it Transpire?

We know that no official will tell us to immediately return to the way it was.  There would have to be a gradual change to a new environment that may have to exist until a vaccine for the Coronavirus is developed, manufactured, and delivered to billions of people.  Will this virus ever be permanently eliminated?

  • Can there be public transportation systems with people standing right next to each other?
  • Will there be sporting events, movies, and theaters with people sitting next to each other?
  • Retail establishments can become very crowded especially during the holiday season.  Can we go back to the "old way"?
  • Will distance education be the primary way of delivering instruction in the future?  Has it worked at the K-12 during this pandemic?
  • How many businesses will not return?
  • Likewise, will some people that have lost their jobs not be able to find permanent employment after the crisis end?
  • Obviously rural areas will be able to "normalize" sooner.  Will this cause flight from cities to outlying areas?
I have raised several questions, but no real answers.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci Warns that Coronavirus could be a Seasonal Threat

He stated, "We need to be prepared that since it will be unlikely to be completely eradicated from the planet that as we get into next season we may see the beginning of a resurgence."  Will this mean we will have to stay home indefinitely and remain social distancing?  I certainly would listen to him than to our president.

If there is a silver lining behind this miserable cloud, the American people will realize that Donald Trump is a terrible president and doesn't know what he is talking about.  In February Trump publically suggested that there was nothing to worry about the Coronavirus.  Now Trump says Coronavirus would be reduced to easily extinguished “embers” by the time next fall’s influenza season strikes.

Joe Biden for President.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

No Good Song for My 71st Birthday - I guess I'll have to improvise

There was When I'm 64 by The Beatles.
Last year there was Old Friends/Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel with the lyric "How terribly strange to be 70."
So instead of No Song Today, I'll substitute No Milk Today by Herman's Hermits

Monday, April 20, 2020

Covid-19 is an assault on all that Judaism teaches.

I like to refer my readers to this article in the New York Jewish Week.  I was looking for some discussion of this miserable pandemic from a religious point of view.  I also recall a line from a Bob Dylan song:

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
That if God's on our side
He'll stop the next war

This is certainly a war, But, where is God?  Why can't he stop this?

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Good Things Come to Those Who Are Patient

I certainly miss many things such as:

  • Sporting Events
  • Museums
  • Libraries
  • Movie Theaters
  • Restaurants
I feel most sorry for those who are sick from this miserable coronavirus.  This illness has struck my family, but I would rather not discuss the details here.  It is quite sad to hear about all the deaths from this dreadful disease.  Each statistic is a real person with a family.

This too shall pass, but we all must be patient.  If we try to go back to normalcy, the virus could return with a vengeance. We must listen to the medical experts.

God Bless.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Full Lyrics to I Contain Multitudes

These lyrics were published in Far Out Magazine, a British publication.

Today and tomorrow, and yesterday, too
The flowers are dyin’ like all things do
Follow me close, I’m going to Balian Bali
I’ll lose my mind if you don’t come with me
I fuss with my hair, and I fight blood feuds
I contain multitudes

Got a tell-tale heart, like Mr. Poe
Got skeletons in the walls of people you know
I’ll drink to the truth and the things we said
I’ll drink to the man that shares your bed
I paint landscapes, and I paint nudes
I contain multitudes

Red Cadillac and a black moustache
Rings on my fingers that sparkle and flash
Tell me, what’s next? What shall we do?
Half my soul, baby, belongs to you
I relic and I frolic with all the young dudes
I contain multitudes

I’m just like Anne Frank, like Indiana Jones
And them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones
I go right to the edge, I go right to the end
I go right where all things lost are made good again
I sing the songs of experience like William Blake
I have no apologies to make
Everything’s flowing all at the same time
I live on the boulevard of crime
I drive fast cars, and I eat fast foods
I contain multitudes

Pink petal-pushers, red blue jeans
All the pretty maids, and all the old queens
All the old queens from all my past lives
I carry four pistols and two large knives
I’m a man of contradictions, I’m a man of many moods
I contain multitudes

You greedy old wolf, I’ll show you my heart
But not all of it, only the hateful part
I’ll sell you down the river, I’ll put a price on your head
What more can I tell you? I sleep with life and death in the same bed
Get lost, madame, get up off my knee
Keep your mouth away from me
I’ll keep the path open, the path in my mind
I’ll see to it that there’s no love left behind
I’ll play Beethoven’s sonatas, and Chopin’s preludes
I contain multitudes

Another New Bob Dylan Song - I Contain Multitudes

I received an email from the British Dylan fanzine Isis stating that a second new Bob Dylan song was released within 3 weeks.  I'll leave it to the Dylan experts to pick apart every word.  Is there a new Dylan album on the horizon?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Heroes by David Bowie - Dedicated to the First Responders

Jack Sullivan played this song on his show on WESU last night.  It is very appropriate.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time was a TV Series in the 1970s starring Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington. Mackenzie Phillips, and Valerie Bertinelli.  It was the first time I heard that cliche which is very meaning, especially with the events surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.  Today it was announced that the New York City School System will continue with distance education until the end of the academic year.  I am certainly familiar with the use of distance education in universities but am not knowledgeable of its effectiveness at the K-12 level.  Hopefully, all students are receiving a good education.

There is some cautious optimism as the number of admissions to hospitals and to ICUs have declined in recent days.  However, death counts each day are still high.  I am sure that everyone wants to return to work and have cultural activities back, but we must proceed with caution.  If we return to "normalcy" too soon, there may be a recurrence of the infections.

Let's take things one day at a time and hope for the best.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Matzoh Brei for Breakfast for the next 8 Days

While I was working I could only have Matzoh Brei for breakfast on weekends.  Since I am now retired, I can have it for all of the 8 days of Passover.  Here is the recipe from the New York Times.  The issue is that Passover food is always very dry.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

All Things Must Pass by George Harrison - With Significance to Today's Situation

Without checking, I am almost certain that All Things Must Pass has appeared in Bruce's Journal before.  Very often lyrics of a romantic or anti-romantic song can be applied to another situation.  George is addressing his former lover saying that:

Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always going to be this grey

I am applying this to the COVID-19 situation as "it's not always going to be this grey."  There will come a time that people can again gather in movie theaters, museums. libraries,  Broadway theaters, sports arenas, and baseball stadiums.  It won't happen overnight, but we must do what's best for public health.

Keep Safe!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Virtual Meeting of Bob Dylan Fans on Zoom Last Night

With so many people quarantined, many academic and professional meetings have been held using the Zoom app.  I sent an email to the people who attended recent face-to-face meetings at NYU with the information on how to log into the meeting.  I made the mistake of announcing on Twitter, so many undesirables tried to attend the meeting.  We all learn from our mistakes.  Anyway, the only consequence is that we had to start over with individual invitations.

Most of the discussion was devoted to the new Dylan song Murder Most Foul that considered the JFK assassination. We also discussed Dylan's acceptance speech and the subsequent response he sent to  The National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC) regarding his seeing things that Oswald felt, in him.

More virtual meetings will be held.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Where Have You Gone John Bartolotta? A Nation (France) Turns its Lonely Eyes to You

John Bartolotta was a classmate of mine while we were chemistry graduate students at the University of Rhode Island contacted me in 2014.  At that time he sent an email to me at my NJIT address which was deleted after I retired.  Marshall Margolis, another fellow graduate student just contacted me asking if I knew how to contact John.  I looked in the alumni directory and found a phone number that I gave to Marshall who said that it was disconnected.  It turns out that a third fellow student, Ante Krstulovic, now living in France, was trying to contact John.  I had a nice e-mail exchange with Ante as we recalled some of our mutual acquaintances.  Marshall said that through he found John's daughter and would try to contact her.

We'll see if John, a native of New Britain, CT, can be located and reconnect with us.
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