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.
Personal-Journals blog