Sunday, December 31, 2023

Some Memories about New Years Eve

  • I remember that single girls were reluctant to be seen on New Year's Eve as they were "advertising" that they couldn't get a date.
  • In 1968 my date got sick and had to cancel.  I went to a show at Radio City Music Hall with a friend.
  • In 1970 I double-dated as we saw Love Story in a theater near Times Square.  The movie ended after midnight.  It showed on the way home.
  • In 1975 when I lived in New Brunswick, NJ I went to the world's worst party.  The girls just wouldn't talk to us. They didn't have to pair off, but at least be a little sociable.
  • This was in 1979 when Queens Bnai Brith Singles had a New Year party at somebody's house. Thirteen guys and no girls came.  They didn't want to advertise that they were not dating anyone.
  • I can't remember doing anything special when I was married to Karen.  We either went to dinner at a local restaurant or a movie.


Saturday, December 30, 2023

Autobiography of Singer/Songwriter Janis Ian


I was familiar with Janis Ian from her hits Society’s Child and At Seventeen.  The former raised controversy in the 1960s as it considered interracial dating.  She gave an in-depth interview to Cousin Bruce Morrow on his show on December 16, 2023.  Listening to this interview motivated me to read her autobiography which I obtained from the Queens Library.

She was very forthcoming as she discussed how she was born in New Jersey, moved to New York City, and years later to Nashville. She related some personal issues such as her parents’ divorce and her sexuality.  Her career took off after she appeared on TV with Leonard Bernstein.  After that many radio stations including WABC that originally banned that song played it.

She was very active in the music business even though she had only two big hits.  She was acquainted with many pop stars.  She discussed her financial problems and medical issues that she confronted.  She moved around quite a bit and finally settled in Nashville.  The autobiography ended in 2003 when she married her partner, Pat.

You can read about many developments in her recent life by consulting her website.

Janis Ian won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Folk Alliance

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Theme Sets on the Radio


Over the years I have listened to many theme sets on radio shows.  My favorite has to be the Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan as the host. Some of the themes were:
  • Baseball
  • Mother
  • Weather
  • Drinking
  • Jail
I assume that Dylan picked the songs.

Bob Radil had his 60s 70s show which unfortunately has been on hiatus for over four years.  Hopefully, it will return soon.  Bob always featured a fourth-hour theme with suggestions offered by listeners.

Back in the day, there was a WCBS-FM Hall of Fame show hosted by Bob Shannon in the evening.

WFUV in radio industry jargon is described as an Adult Album Alternative (AAA) station.  They play many genres of current and older music.  There is a feature on Corny O'Connell's morning show called Question of the Day.  He suggests many themes, as listeners make suggestions on social media. Only 4 or 5 are played at 9:15. Obviously, listeners are frustrated when their suggestion is not selected.  I suggest expanding this feature to include 8-10 songs.  Some of the recent  themes were:
  • Good Riddance
  • The End
  • Boxes or Boxing
  • Winter 
  • Harmony Singing
  • Wishes
  • Lists

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

I Finally Upgraded to an iPhone 14


I have grappled with the decision to upgrade to a new iPhone for months.  Instead of an iPhone 15, I compromised and got an iPhone 14 as the price was cheaper and I could keep the lightning chord.  I found out that the plugs for the newer Apple products are different.  I get a lesson in technological obsolescence.  I had the iPhone 8 for over 5 years, so I think I got my money's worth.

Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley

I enjoy listening to Willie's Road House on SiriusXM.  It is devoted to classic country music and is not limited to Willie's music  Elvis Presley covered the same song.


Sunday, December 24, 2023

Need a Woman - Bob Dylan's Thoughts Differ from Mine


Since my wife Karen passed away in February 2021, I have grappled with the issue of getting back to dating.  I didn't want to think about it at all during the first year after my loss. But now, almost three years later should I try to:
  • Develop a romantic relationship and eventually remarry?
  • Find a live-in girlfriend?
  • Have a platonic relationship with a woman?
Step one in any of these options is to meet someone.  There are more single women than men at my age, but do they want to pair off?  I surmise that the older a woman is when she is widowed or divorced, the less likely she is to friend a man.  My mother was widowed at age 77 and outlived my father by 17 years and was never interested in meeting other men.  Some of her friends did remarry after they lost their husbands.  When I go to a senior center, there are always about 80% women, but I surmise that they are not interested in pairing off.

I have dabbled in dating apps, but I chicken out.  I get into a chatting relationship with a woman that usually ends abruptly.  I had a video chat with one woman, but I decided not to meet her in person.  My fears are based on my experience with dating when I was in my 20s.  There were just too many bad experiences that seemed to haunt me.  I try to avoid rejection by maintaining the status quo.

If you read the lyrics to Dylan's Need a Woman, you will observe that his attitude differs from mine.  At age 82 he could get any woman he wanted.  This song appeared on The Bootleg Series, Vol 1-3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991.

Need a Woman

It’s been raining in the trenches all day long, dripping down to my clothes

My patience is wearing thin, got a fire inside my nose

Searching for the truth the way God designed it

The truth is I might drown before I find it

Well I need a woman, yes I do

Need a woman, yes I do

Someone who can see me as I am

Somebody who just don’t give a damn

And I want you to be that woman every night

Be that woman

I’ve had my eyes on you baby for about five long years

You probably don’t know me at all, but I have seen your laughter and tears

Now you don’t frighten me, my heart is jumping

And you look like it wouldn’t hurt you none to have a man

    who could give ya something

Well I need a woman, oh don’t I

Need a woman, bring it home safe at last

Seen you turn the corner, seen your boot heels spark

Seen you in the daylight, and watched you in the dark

And I want you to be that woman, all right

Be that woman every night

Well, if you believe in something long enough you just naturally

    come to think it’s true

There ain’t no wall you can’t cross over, ain’t no fire you can’t walk through

Well, believing is all right, just don’t let the wrong people know what it’s all about

They might put the evil eye on you, use their hidden powers to try to turn you out

Well I need a woman, just to be my queen

Need a woman, know what I mean?

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Sports Comments of the Day - December 23, 2023

  •  I am not heartbroken that Yamamoto did not sign with the Mets.  There is no guarantee that a player making big bucks will become a superstar.  Any athlete may develop injuries and not be able to play.  There are players like Stephen Strasburg who had to retire early from injuries and were paid big bucks as the team had to honor the contract.  Others like Jason Bay just did not perform as they did in the past.
  • The ticket prices at Madison Square Garden are outrageous.  For afternoon games on December 23 and Christmas Day, the price was over $200/per ticket to sit in the 200 level,  The prices for an MLK Day matinee were more reasonable. Ticket prices for the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center are much cheaper.
  • I don't like it when sports talk hosts on WFAN and ESPN radio gab about non-sports issues.  This is more likely to happen when there are two or three hosts.  A single host will concentrate on sports and spend more time with callers.  The last time I phoned a sports talk show was in the early 1980s when I called Art Rust Jr. on WABC.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Proposed Rules in Major League Baseball In My Opinion Would Not Make a Difference

The Competition Committee made up of six owners, four players and an umpire voted to approve a series of rules changes:
  • Pitchers would have to pitch within 18 seconds with runners on base.  This is reduced from 20 seconds.
  • Batters will now have a wider lane to run down to first base. This lane would now include the cut of the infield grass.
  • The number of mound visits allowed will be reduced from five to four. An extra mound visit will be awarded in the ninth inning if the defensive team has zero remaining at the end of the eighth inning.
  • The pitch clock will now restart after a dead ball when the pitcher receives the ball and play is ready to resume. Previously, the clock began only when the pitcher was on the mound. 
  • A pitcher who warms up at the start of an inning must face at least one batter.
Tony Clark stated that the Players' representatives voted against the changes.

I am curious if this has been finalized.  In my opinion, these rule changes would not make a difference.


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Random Thoughts of the Day - December 19, 2023


I had another disappointing experience with the Older Adult Center in Queens.  I received an email saying that there was a trivia contest at 1:30 today.  I got there and I found out there was Bingo for that time.  Apparently, one hand didn't know what the other was doing as whoever sent out the email announcing the events didn't know there was a change.  I could have stayed but I would not have enjoyed playing Bingo with women in their eighties.  Whenever I go to any activity there, I feel old.

I feel younger when I go to sporting events or listen to music from my earlier years

I still have resisted the temptation to upgrade to an iPhone 15.  My iPhone 8 does everything I need to do.  I think the only difference is that the newer model has a better camera.

On impulse, I ordered a book that shows all the photos I had on Facebook over the last 10 years.  There were plenty of photos of the Oldies Meet and Greets, and of my retirement luncheon.

Monday, December 18, 2023

For Keith Richards' 80th Birthday - Something Happened to Me Yesterday

Mick Jagger was the lead singer on most of the Rolling Stones' recordings in their 60+ years in the music business.  Something Happened to Me Yesterday from the album Between the Buttons was one of the few songs when Keith sang lead,

Happy Birthday Keith.


Thursday, December 14, 2023

I Donated to Several Worthy Organizations in Small Amounts over the Past Year


I prefer to donate small amounts to several worthy organizations over the years. I hope these organizations minimize their overhead to spend the funds wisely.  It is annoying that shortly after making a donation, I receive numerous emails and postal letters from these organizations requesting more money.  It takes money to print and mail fundraising appeals.  I never send money to any political organization or candidate.  Here is a list of those organizations I have supported.

  • American Cancer Society
  • American Red Cross
  • Bob Dylan Center
  • Bowery Mission
  • Coalition for the Homeless
  • Garden of Dreams Foundation
  • Lustgarden Foundation
  • Magen David Adom
  • Masbia
  • No Kid Hungry
  • Pancreatic Cancer Network
  • Queens Library
  • Salvation Army
  • Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)
  • St. Judes Hospital for Children
  • WBGO
  • WFUV
  • World Hunger Year

Monday, December 11, 2023

NY Rangers 4 LA Kings 1 at Madison Square Garden


According to my records, I last attended a Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden in January 2006.  For several years when I worked at NJIT in Newark, I would meet Karen and Lee at the Prudential Center to see the New Jersey Devils.  The ticket price was quite high at $160, so I must limit my visits to the Garden.

The Rangers won 4-1 with goalie Jonathan Quick making 25 saves against his former team.  Most of the fans were young adults in their 20s or 30s who were quite enthusiastic about their team.  Many of the fans shown on the video screen were under 12 years old.  I assume their parents forked over the big bucks for their tickets.

I must make one negative comment about the evening.  Pictures of celebrities are shown during breaks in the action.  A large cheer erupted when former boxer Mike Tyson was shown.  I gave him a big boo and a thumbs down as he served jail time for rape. He abused many women in his life.  It is sad sometimes when athletes are admired when their personal lives leave something to be desired.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Is Any Athlete Worth $700 Million?


Finally, the speculation is over as Shoei Ohtani is signing a $700 Million over 10 years. It is believed to be the largest contract in worldwide sports history, surpassing soccer superstar Lionel Messi's $674 million deal with FC Barcelona from 2017-21. In baseball, it surpasses now-former teammate Mike Trout, who agreed to a 12-year, $426.5 million extension with the Angels in 2019.

Ohtani is unique is that he is a designated hitter and pitcher and has distinguished himself in both roles.  Let us take a look at the record for the Los Angeles since he joined the team in 2018.

Over the same time, the Dodgers have done quite well without Otani.  They made the post-season in all those years but only won the World Series in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

Ten years is a very long time.  Since Othani just had Tommy John surgery, he cannot pitch until 2025.  Will he be able to be both a pitcher and hitter in the later years of the contract?  The skills of any athlete will erode as he/she ages.  Will the Dodgers have to eat the last years of the contract?  The Dodgers' attendance as been quite good over the past six years.

Will Ohtan's presence on the team draw more people?  How much more revenue will the team get?

Time will tell if this is a good investment for the Dodgers.

Another consequence will be that free agents in the future will demand more money.  

Friday, December 8, 2023

Give Peace a Chance - 1969 and Today

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the tragic murder of John Lennon.  I went to sleep at about 10:45 that night and didn't find out until the next morning.

What John sang in 1969 certainly applies today.  War is terrible when there are still hostages and fighting that results in civilian casualties.  I pray that that the conflict in the Middle East will end and there will be an everlasting peace in the region.


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Random Thoughts of the Day December 6, 2023

Taylor Swift was name Time Magazine's Person of the Year.  Did she dominate the headlines this year?  I think the people at Time just didn't want to name anyone political this year as it would generate controversy.  In 1964 Lyndon Johnson was Time's Person of the Year, but didn't the Beatles  dominate the headlines more that year?

I still have crazy dreams about going back to the past.  Last night I dreamed about being at a singles dance.  They are now passe as dating apps have replaced dances as a means of getting dates.

The Mets have made a few minor roster moves so far.  It seems that there has not yet been major transactons as teams are waiting to see what happens with Otani and Yamamoto.  I think the Yankees should be careful about trading for Juan Soto as he can declare free agency after the 2024 season.  He turned down a contract for $440 Million over 15 years from the Washington Nationals.


Monday, December 4, 2023

This Article Frightens Me About What Could Happen if American Voters Don't Come to their Senses


Before you know it the primaries for the 2024 presidential election will begin.  I shudder when I see the polls on who is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. I hope all voters will read this article in the New York Times before they go to the polls in the primaries and general elections.  I am just afraid that democracy as we know it could end.  Will our government still have a system of checks and balances, or will we have a dictator?

Saturday, December 2, 2023

2023 Queens Baseball Convention - a New York Mets Fanfest


Yours Truly at today's event

This event was held at the Sheraton Four Points Flushing, within walking distance of my apartment.  There were several panel discussions:
  • State of the Mets with a discussion of the disappointing 2023 season followed by speculation on which free agents the Mets will acquire this offseason. This was pretty much the same as I have read on the various sports websites.  The consensus was that the Mets have a good chance of obtaining Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto.  They feel that Steve Cohen will open his wallet for him
  • Interview of relief pitcher Billy Wagner by NY1 reporter Roger Clark.  Billy pitched for the Mets from 2006-9 and is being considered for election to the Hall of Fame

  • SNY Baseball Night in New York.  Several of the hosts, including Sal Licata speculated on the 2024 Mets season.

  • Cliff Floyd who played for the Mets from 2003-2006 was interviewed by John Saponaro.  Much of the discussion covered the 2006 season when the Mets won the NL East, but lost the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals.

  • Mrs. Joan Payson, the original owner of the Mets, was presented with the Gil Hodges Award.  Her great-grandson accepted the award on her behalf.
  • Conner Rodgers and Joe DeMayo hosts of SNY's signature podcast Mets Pod continued the discussion of the state of the Mets.
  • Former Mets manager Terry Collins was interviewed by WFAN host Lori Rubinson.  He discussed some of the decisions he made during his managerial career.
Terry mingled with some of his fans during the event

Lee met up with Sandy, the mascot of the Brooklyn Cyclones.  Mr. Met wasn't there this year.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Random Thoughts of the Day December 1, 2023

Better late than never as George Santos was finally expelled from the House of Representatives. IMHO the fact that he lied about his background and credentials to the voters of his district should have been enough to deny seating him last January.  The Republicans wanted to keep him as their majority in the House was razor thin.  There will soon be a special election in that district to fill that seat.  The 100+ Congressman who voted against expulsion should also be kicked out of Congress.  I expect the utmost integrity from all elected and appointed government officials.

It is sad that money controls who is elected to office.  A well-qualified person cannot attain an office if he/she cannot raise funds.  I would not give one penny to anyone running for office.  Speaking of fundraising, I have donated to several charities regularly.  These include cultural institutions, radio stations, medical organizations, and institutions providing food.  Once you donate, they hit you up for more money almost immediately by snail mail, email, and phone calls.


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