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 Amazon.com

I have been a customer of Amazon.com 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, Amazon.com

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 MLB.com.  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 MLB.com 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 https://www.wesufm.org/

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