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
Personal-Journals blog