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.
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