Wednesday, February 21, 2024

I Participated in the SABR Baseball Memories Project

Since 2015, members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) have been developing and delivering baseball reminiscence programs in partnership with chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association, Veterans Administration facilities, and local senior/memory care organizations. This will hopefully improve the quality of living for people with dementia who like to reminisce about baseball.

Today I went to an organization in Manhattan with local SABR members called Caring Kind which provides services to adults at different stages of dementia.  We talked about the early New York Mets, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Giants, ticket prices, and salaries.  It was a rewarding experience.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

I am Saddened by Political Polarization Today


I remember the polarization between Hawks and Doves during the Vietnam War era.  The rift between Democrats and Republicans or Liberals and Conservatives is much worse today.  People either love Donald Trump or hate him.  I just cannot understand why people would a man indicted 91 times as their president.  Joe Biden is old but is not a criminal.

Here are a few examples of how polarization has hurt the country:
  • In 2016 President Obama nominated Merrick Garland for Supreme Court Justice.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow Garland to be evaluated saying that the next president should make the appointment.  Sadly, Trump appointed three conservative justices confirmed by a Republican majority in the Senate.
  • Speaking of Mitch McConnell, I read in a biography of Nina Totenberg, a close friend of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that McConnell would not allow Justice Ginsburg to lie in state in the Senate Chamber.  She did lie in state in the House chamber.  McConnell did not have the decency to pay respects to her.  He is 82 years old and hopefully will retire soon.
  • George Santos should have been expelled from the House as soon as it was revealed that he lied about his credentials to the voters.  The Republicans would not expel him for nearly a year.
I could go on and on about political polarization, but i will close here.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Big Man in Town by the Four Seasons - My Favorite Big Song


Ten days ago I stated that Little Children by Billy J. Kramer was my favorite "Little" song.  Let me go in the other direction and choose Big Man in Town by the Four Seasons as my favorite "Big" song.

Friday, February 16, 2024

The Way We Were by Barbra Streisand - Song for a Sad Anniversary


Like the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we, would we,
Could we, could we?

May be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we, would we,
Could we, could we?

May be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were

The way we were
I miss you baby
The way we were
The way we were
I miss you so much baby
I miss the way we were

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

There was a Vote in Congress to Abolish the Electoral College in 1969

I have expressed my displeasure with the Electoral College in this journal and on X (formerly Twitter).  Should we have 1 election or 51 elections?  Why should a candidate with less popular votes win the election?  It would require a vote of 2/3 in the House and the Senate followed by ratification by 38 state legislature.  This would never happen in today's political climate. Until today, I was only aware of New York Times journalist Gail Collins speaking out against this dinosaur from our constitution.  I just wish that some Senators or Representatives would bash it.

I found out today from a History Channel website that in 1969 the House of Representatives by a wide margin voted to abolish it, but a filibuster in the Senate led by Southerners killed the bill.  Even if the Senate passed the resolution, 38 state legislatures must approve it.

I also found out about the book Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College written by Jesse Wegman, a member of the New York Times editorial board.  Back in 1968 80% of Americans felt the president should be elected by popular vote.  How many would want that today?


Monday, February 12, 2024

I Won a Basketball Autographed by Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks


A few weeks ago the Garden of Dreams Foundation had a fundraising drive on New York Knick telecasts.  Donors were entered into a drawing for various prizes to incentivize people to participate.  I won the Jalen Brunson autographed basketball, as seen above.  I rarely enter contests and I am not an autograph hound.

Oldie of the Day - No Sugar Tonight by the Guess Who

 I heard No Sugar Tonight on Sirius/XM this morning.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Are Readers of My Journal Interested in Dick Tracy Cartoons?


This video includes 16 episodes of the Dick Tracy cartoon series

Back in the early 1960s Channel 11 in NYC showed Dick Tracy cartoons with Chief Joe Bolton as the host.  It has not been seen on TV in several decades since the episodes are politically incorrect with ethnic stereotypes.

In March 2015 I posted an entry Mumbles was My Favorite Dick Tracy Villain .  In nine years this post has been hit 1,930 times, the 12th most popular article in the history of this journal. Why?  Are my readers big fans of the Dick Tracy cartoons?

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Little Children by Billy Jay Kramer and The Dakotas - My Favorite Little Song

 This morning's Question of the Day on WFuv was songs with tiny, small, little or the like in the lyrics.  Host Corny o"Connell packed the following four:

  • Wilson Pickett "Mini-Skirt Minnie"
  • Chuck Prophet "Smallest Man in the World"
  • Elton John "Tiny Dancer"
  • Susan Tedeschi "Little by Little"
My favorite is Little Children by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Kudos to the NYPD and Queens DA Melinda Katz for Removing Illegal E-Scooters and E-Bikes


There was an excellent story on NY1 News last night by reporter Justine Re on the efforts by the  NYPD and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz to remove e-scooters and e-bikes.  Their major concern was the use of these vehicles to commit crimes.  For example, an e-bike will approach someone and steal his cell phone.

I am concerned with their menace to pedestrians and automobiles.  These creeps drive on sidewalks with little regard for walkers.  It is impossible to hear a bicycle or scooter if it is behind you.  I have had a few calls with those vehicles almost hitting me.  If they do hit a pedestrian, they would just drive away.  These cyclists disregard traffic lights and stop signs when they are on the streets.  Of course, there is the issue of the lithium-ion batteries causing fires.

This will continue to be a problem especially since e-bikes are used to deliver food.  There certainly cannot be a police officer on every block to regulate e-bikes and scooters.  I thank them for doing their best to combat this problem.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Random Thoughts of the Day February 4, 2024

Occasionally, I listen to podcasts, but many are just too long.  Do people want to listen for an hour or more?  I wish podcasters would limit their discussions to 30 minutes.

I don't understand why people want to start chats with strangers that are quite intense for a day or so and then all of a sudden just die out.  I have had several such chats with young Asian women.  I don't understand why they pick me.  I always advise them of my age and status.

I appreciate the enthusiasm of my radio friends who are chart enthusiasts.  Back in the day, I would follow the surveys of WABC and WMCA and root for my favorite songs to move up the charts.  I remember statements from two famous radio personalities:

Murray the K - If you enjoy a song, why should you care about what number it is.

Jerry Blavat (The Geator) - I play from my heart not by the charts.


Saturday, February 3, 2024

I'm Gonna Love You Too - My Favorite Buddy Holly Song

It is 65 years ago today that we lost Buddy Holly, J. P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), and Richie Valens in a terrible plane crash in Iowa.  Their music lives on after all these years.  In the mid-1960s, a TV show called Hullaballoo featured the popular music of the day.  There was a house band called the Hullaballoos that covered I'm Gonna Love You Too.


Thursday, February 1, 2024

Book Review: In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life by Amy Schneider


Sometimes, I like to use a public library the old-fashioned way by perusing the stacks.  Since the branch library in my neighborhood is very small, my expectations are minimal. A few days ago I found In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life by Amy Schneider in the new books section.  Since Amy won 40 games on Jeopardy, I had to take out this book.  Amy is also transgendered.

I expected much of the book to be devoted to her long run on Jeopardy, but it emphasized her sexual issues.  She did not use a chronological method in writing her autobiography.  It is confusing not knowing the gender while reading the book.  She added numerous non-bibliographic footnotes that were very distracting and did not enhance the text.

I admire Amy for her courage in making the transition from a man to a woman.  I wish more of the book was devoted to her exceptional run on Jeopardy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

I Am Switching from the MetroCard to the OMNY Card


Fare collection on the New York City Bus and Subway system has a history.  Obviously, the fare has gone up over the years.  Growing up I paid 15 cents to get on the subway, while today the full fare is $2.90.  As a senior citizen, I pay $1.45.  Back then, the subway token was used to pay the fare.  One could use coins to pay the fare on the bus.  Over the years the fare increased and the subway token was changed several times.  In the 1990s the MetroCard was introduced to allow for a free transfer between the bus and the subway.

A rider often had to swipe several times to get into the Subway.  This was likely a result of the failure to clean the slots that took the Metrocard.  That could create an inconvenience.  For that reason, I decided to switch over to the OMNY card where I can tap my credit card to get on a bus or train.  I have observed that most riders still use the MetroCard.  The MTA will eventually retire the MetroCard, but I don't know when.  

Sunday, January 28, 2024

A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical


I cannot remember when I last saw a Broadway show, but it must have been at least five years ago.  Since I was always a fan of Neil Diamond, it would be good to see the show covering his life and career.

This was more than just a routine jukebox musical as the older Neil Diamond is shown in the play observing his works and accomplishments as a younger performer.  In the Playbill, Neil states that "Sitting in the theater and watching the show has itself been therapeutic; reliving some joyful and some of the painful parts of my life."

I recommend the show to all my friends who are oldies enthusiasts. Most of the audience were older adults who likely heard Neil back in the 1960s.  I read that Broadway has not completely recovered from the pandemic.  There were many empty seats in the theater.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Leader of the Laundromat - My Favorite Parody of an Oldie

I dedicate Leader of the Laundromat to John Davitt and Dean Meminger of NY1 who are concerned that their viewers don't get themselves or their laundry wet when they go out late at night.


Thursday, January 25, 2024

A Dream About a Professional Meeting


From 2000 until I retired in 2017 I ran a special interest group for Science and Medical Librarians through the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).  It was a great source of satisfaction for me as I held about 50 meetings and met many outstanding colleagues.  About a year before I retired I met with JC of CUNY for him to continue to run the group.  About two years later, I found out the group folded.  I am speculating that JC was frustrated since there were poor turnouts for the meetings he held.  I  was disappointed since I hoped that this METRO group would be my legacy to the profession.

Last night I had a dream where as I retiree I held a meeting trying to resurrect this METRO group.  I encountered many people I knew years ago.  Someone abruptly interrupted my meeting saying that everyone had to leave.  I agreed to have another meeting.  As I walked out I encountered SA who was my research collaborator.  I asked her about her twin sons.  Then, I woke up.

I my mind has played many tricks on me through my dreams.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Bob Dylan's Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour Extends into 2024


Here are the dates and locations from March 1 to March 18 from Bill Pagel's Bob Links Page.  There were some dates after March 18, but they were withdrawn from the page.  Perhaps they haven't been confirmed.

03/01/24 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center for the Performing Arts
03/02/24 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Center for the Performing Arts
03/05/24 Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
03/06/24 Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
03/07/24 Fort Myers, FL - Suncoast Credit Union Arena
03/09/24 Orlando, FL - Walt Disney Theater
03/10/24 Orlando, FL - Walt Disney Theater
03/12/24 Jacksonville, FL - Moran Theater
03/14/24 Athens, GA - The Classic Center Theatre
03/15/24 Athens, GA - The Classic Center Theatre
03/17/24 Charlotte, NC - Belk Theater
03/18/24          Fayetteville, NC - Crown Theater

Monday, January 22, 2024

Who Wants to Ice Skate to I Can Help by Billy Swan?

In today's Question of the Day on WFUV, listeners were asked to name songs to ice skate by.  Some how I Can Help by Billy Swan was chosen.  Go figure!


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Marquette 73 St. Johns 72 at Madison Square Garden


Lee and I ventured out in the cold to go to Madison Square Garden to see the Red Storm play the nationally-ranked Golden Eagles of Marquette.  The two teams traded baskets in the first 13 minutes of the game, but St. Johns built a 10-point lead with 1:28 left in the first half.  Marquette trimmed the deficit to 34-28 at halftime.

In the second half the Golden Eagles built up a 13-point lead at 71-58, but could not extend that lead.  St, Johns rallied but fell short as they lost 73-72.  St. Johns is now 12-7 overall and 4-4 in the Big East Conference.  There is still plenty of time in the season to improve their standing in the conference.

Game Recap

Friday, January 19, 2024

Random Thoughts of the Day - January 19, 2024

Whenever I watch TV news I feel discussed when most of the stories are about:
  • Stabbings
  • Gun violence
  • Fires
  • Natural disasters
  • Corrupt politicians
Some human interest stories on TV are trivial and need to be newsworthy.  I saw a story where a man set up his cell phone to take a video of himself proposing to his girlfriend.  Their daughter knocked the phone down before he popped the question. I guess it is quite common these days for couples to his children before they are married.

I hate it when sports journalists write totally speculative stories.  Major League Baseball and The Athletic are always doing that.  How can onr predict who will be the Rookie of the Year when the season has not yet started?

I often see stories about train delays on New Jersey Transit and the MTA.  I count my blessings that I don't have to commute from Flushing to Newark.  Nothing has changed in six years. Now, I only take mass transit about once a week for recreational activities.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Marrakesh Express by Crosby, Stills, and Nash - Random Classic Rock Album Cut of The Day


 I have always enjoyed the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and sometimes Young.  Marrakesh Express is one of my favorite cuts from their first album.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Orlando Magic 98 Knicks 94 at MSG Followed by Dinner at Mr. Broadway


It is a yearly tradition for the Knicks to play at the Garden on King Day, so I got tickets at a reasonable price, so we went to see the game.  The Knicks were certainly at a disadvantage since Jalen Brunson was out with an injury.  Julius Randle and Isiah Hartenstein were less dominant than usual, so the Knicks seemed flat. The Magic trailed by 11 in the third quarter and didn't have much going offensively most of the day. But they took charge midway through the final period and grabbed the lead for good at 90-89.  The final was 98-94 in favor of the visitors.

Lee and I decided to walk up to 38th Street to eat dinner at Mr. Broadway who bought the Manhattan location of Ben's Deli.  Mr. Broadway is Glatt Kosher, meaning their meat must come from an animal with adhesion-free or smooth lungs.  For that reason, it is more expensive than a regular kosher restaurant.  The food and the service were very good.  The new owners renovated the restaurant as you can see from the photo seen below.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

A Silly Parody of My Favorite Doo Wop Hit, I Only Have Eyes for You by the Flamingos


Back in the day when WCBS-FM played a listener-generated list of favorite oldies I Only Have Eyes for You by the Flamingos was consistently voted #1.  A poster on a Jewish singles group brought this silly parody to my attention.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Life and Legacy of Bud Harrelson


This four-minute clip produced by the people at SNY is the best summary of Bud's career with the Mets and his ownership of the Long Island Ducks.  I hope that people don't remember him for the fight that he had with Pete Rose during the 1973 National League Championship Series.

My condolences to his family and friends.

SABR Biography of Bud Harrelson written by Eric Aron.

Bud Harrelson's MLB Statistics as compiled by Baseball-Reference.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Art Appreciation Lecture at the Older Adult Center was not for Me


I always enjoy going to art museums to peruse the works of famous artists.  Pop art is my favorite genre.  When the Older Adult Center advertised an art appreciation lecture, I wanted to check it out.  The teacher, a specialist in art history and museum education, showed the participants an illustrated children's book from 1931.  She micro-analyzed the artwork and the associated text.  The audience members were interested and made many comments.  I was bored to death.

I was hoping there would be a discussion of the work of a renowned artist, but I was wrong.  I just have to say that this art appreciation is not for me.  The teacher said that she comes to the center once a month.  I will not go the next time since the class is just not for me.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

A Virtual Group of Bob Dylan Enthusiasts Meets in Person for the First Time in Four Years


Three of the Seven People Who Met Last Night

A group of Bob Dylan enthusiasts met at NYU in November 2019 and February 2020.  Shortly after that those meeting the pandemic hit and we had to meet virtually.  For the last four years we met virtually using either Zoom and Google Meet and had some lively discussions about our favorite singer songwriter.

Last night we met at a bar in Greenwich Village called The Spaniard.  It was nice to finally meet again in person.  Hopefully, in the future we can meet both online and in person.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Portland Trailblazers 134 Brooklyn Nets 127 in OT at Barclay's Center

The last time we were at Barclay's Center was in February 2020 when we saw the Vancouver Canucks beat the Islanders.  Since that time the Islanders moved to the UBS Arena on Long Island while the Nets stayed at Barclay's Center.  Since tickets for the Knicks are so expensive we decided to take a longer subway ride to Brooklyn.

The Nets led for the first three quarters, but could not hold that lead.  The game was tied at 115 at the end of regulation, but Malcolm Brogdon scored eight of his 18 points during Portland’s nearly flawless overtime.  The Nets are now 16-21 and have lost 11 out of their last 14 games.


Saturday, January 6, 2024

The Demise of Movie Theaters in Queens Comes to This Generation


When I was growing up in Rego Park in the 1960s there were several movie theaters within walking distance or a short bus ride.  Back in those days, there were no multiplexes.  The following theaters have closed over the years:

  • Elmwood
  • Trylon 
  • Drake
  • Forest Hills
  • Continental (changed its name to Brandon)
Only the Midway stands today.  It now has 9 screens.

In the 1980s after I was married I moved to northern Queens where the following movie theaters eventually closed:
  • RKO Keiths
  • Prospect
  • Quartet
  • Bayside (at Bell Blvd. and 39th Avenue)
  • Whitestone
The AMC Bay Terrace with six screens still stands

In 1999 the College Point Multiplex with 12 screens was built at the intersections of the Whitestone Expressway and Linden Place.  It was nice to have a movie theater within walking distance for all these years. 

The Bayside Times reports today that the College Point Multiplex will likely close since the Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas will shut down in June.  The parent company closed several theaters in the past year.  I must have seen hundreds of movies in that multiplex since it opened in 1999.  It was always nice to have a movie theater in the neighborhood.  Sadly, movie theaters have become dinosaurs as people would prefer to stay home and watch movies on streaming services such as Netflix.

Nothing in this world stays the same.  I guess movie theaters are going the way of the landline telephone.

Roster Moves by the New York Mets This Off-Season


Obviously, this list is subject to change.  I am disappointed that the Mets non-tendered Luis Guillorme as he was a good backup infielder.  The Atlanta Braves just signed him to a one-year contract.  Adam Ottavino was an effective relief pitcher who is still a free agent.  The two major acquisitions are former Yankees Harrison Bader and Luis Severino.  We hope they can bounce back after disappointing 2023 seasons.  We can only hope for the best for the 2024 season, but at this point I am not overly optimistic.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

What Will Bob Dylan Do in 2024?


According to this "announcement," the Rough and Rowdy Ways tour will continue into 2024.  In recent years the Neverending Tour takes a break in winter and resumes in the spring.  The uncertainty is where he will tour this year.

It is always very easy to spread rumors on the internet.  There is a rumor that he will release a new album this year.  On X, Dylan author Ray Padgett states there is a rumor the album will be titled Triplicate 2.  Could this mean more adult standards?

I am quoting from a website called MediaMass:

Has Bob Dylan been working on a new album? While representatives are keeping tight-lipped, reports have been circulating on the Internet. There have been strong rumors that the singer is finally returning to the recording studio working on a what might be a back-to-roots album.

Can back-to-roots mean acoustic folk?

All we can do is wait and see.

Monday, January 1, 2024

New Beginning by Tracy Chapman - First Post of the New Year

I never like to post the same song twice in this journal.  I first thought of New Morning by Bob Dylan or Just Like Starting Over by John Lennon, but both have appeared in Bruce's Journal.  Instead I chose New Beginning by Tracy Chapman which expresses the same sentiment.


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