Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Don't Think Twice by the Wonder Who (Four Seasons) My Favorite Falsetto


This morning Corny O'Connell said that the Question of the Day would be falsetto sinfing.  Certainly, Frankie Valli used a falsetto voice in many of the Four Seasons' hits.  In late 1965 the Four Seasons were on the chart with Let's Hang On.  They wanted to simultaneously release another 45 RPM hit so they used the Wonder Who as a pseudonym for Don't Think Twice.  This Bob Dylan song was covered umpteen times over the years in different styles.  I consider this version a parody of a Dylan classic.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Mets Beat Cardinals 4-2 in an 11th Inning Walk-off


The regulation nine innings were pretty dull as the Mets were 0-15 with runners in scoring position.  The only highlight was Francisco Lindor's home run in the sixth inning.  Since the game was tied at 1-1 at the end of the ninth the game went into extra innings with the ghost runner rule.  In the top of the 11th inning, Michael Siani scored on a Brendan Donovan single to take a 2-1 lead.  The Mets were down to their final out when Harrison Bader drove in D.J. Stewart with the tying run.  Mark Vientos, recently recalled from the minors singled as a pinch hitter in the ninth, then drove a 1-2 pitch from Matthew Liberatore (0-1) just beyond the glove of a leaping Michael Siani at the center-field fence to win the game. He was disappointed that he did not make the major league roster and is trying to show the manager he belongs.

Yours truly at the game

Thursday, April 25, 2024

My Comments about Some Stories in the News - April 25, 2024

  • The situations in Israel and Gaza are tragic.  Hamas started the conflict by killing 1200 Israeli civilians and holding over 200 hostages.  At least 100 are still held by Hamas.  I support Israel but believe that they went too far in killing over 34,000 Palestinians in their attempt to destroy Hamas.  The best solution would be for Hamas to release the hostages and acknowledge Israel's right to exist.  Then Israel would stop the hostilities.  It is easier said than done.
  • Pro-Palestinian protests have been held at prestigious universities such as Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Yale.  Students have a right to protest, but it must be done peacefully and without disrupting the university's academic mission.  It reminds me of my time as a student when there were protests against American involvement in the Vietnam War.
  • The situation in Ukraine is also tragic.  The Russians don't seem to want to give up.
  • A sitting or former president is not above the law.  The Supreme Court is hearing testimony to determine if Trump has immunity since the crimes he allegedly committed were while he was President.
  • It would be a worldwide tragedy if Trump was re-elected President.  I don't understand why anybody wants to vote for him after what he has said and done over the years.


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Random Thoughts of the Day - April 24, 2024

  • Watching the TV news every day is depressing.  I watch both national and local newscasts.  The situation in the Middle East is tragic.  I support Israel, but the deaths of civilians in Gaza sadden me.  The protests at college campuses today remind me of those opposing the Vietnam War when I was a student in the late 1960s.
  • I wish I didn't have such a good autobiographical memory.  I often have flashbacks to unpleasant experiences of the distant past as I often second-guess myself.  I can't change what happened in the past.
  • This Journal is approaching 5000 entries since October 2005. It is a vanity press for me.
  • I am working on a newsletter for the Casey Stengel Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research.


Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sunday is My 75th Birthday, but I don't Feel So Old


I am thinking of what makes me feel young:
  • Listening to the hits of the 1950s, 1960s, and the 1970s
  • Watching baseball
  • Watching Jeopardy and playing trivia games
  • Hanging out with my son, Lee
  • Trying to interpret Bob Dylan songs
In other words, I enjoy doing the same things today that I did when I was much younger.

Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

With that thought in mind, My Back Pages is the song for my birthday.  There are many versions, but I'll post the Byrd's version.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

The Bob Dylan Dickie Betts Connection

 It was reported today that Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers passed away at age 80.  In the video seen below Otis Gibbs talks about Dickie's opinion of Bob Dylan.  He is reading from Pledging My Time: Conversations with Bob Dylan Band Members by RayPadgett.

Below you can hear Bob Dylan and Dickie Betts singing Ramblin' Man in 1995 in Tampa.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tuesday Afternoon Trivia at the Older Adult Center


On most Tuesday afternoons there is a one-hour trivia session at the older adult center in Bayside.  It is one activity when I don't have to hear anyone complain or monopolize the conversation.  Most questions are relatively easy as the social worker picks them from a nostalgia book.  I gave her some cards from a Jeopardy game I had at home.

Women predominate in all the activities at the older adult centers.  Demographically there are more older women alive than men. Few men are attracted to the activities offered there.  I don't ask personal questions of the attendees, but I assume most are widowed.  Couples just don't need to be there.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Mets Beat the KC Royals 2-1 after the Ceremony to Retire Doc Gooden's #16


Before the game, there was a ceremony to retire Doc Gooden's #16.  He played most of his career with the Mets as his best year was in 1985 when his record was 24-4 with an ERA of 1.53.  He led the Mets to the World Championship in 1986.  His family and teammates from the 1980s were at the ceremony.  He last pitched for the Mets in 1994.  Most of the fans in the stands likely never saw him pitch.

After a short rain delay, the game began and became a pitcher's duel between Jose Butto and Cole Ragans.  It was a scoreless tie until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Mets scored two runs on 4 walks and an infield single off relief pitcher Chris Stratton.  Edwin Diaz came in the 9th inning but gave up a home run to Vinnie Pasquintino.  The Mets held on for a 2-1 victory.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Today is the 15th Anniversary of the Opening of Citi Field


Where did all the years go?  I must have gone to a few hundred games over its 15-year history.  There have been changes over the years.  When the stadium opened,  the outfield fences were too high and too far away from home plate.  They called it the "Great Wall of Flushing".  The scoreboards were modernized and expanded.  Many players have come and gone over the years.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

OJ Simpson is Dead at 76 - I am not Crying Over it

 I do not want to grace my journal with a photo of OJ Simpson.  Everyone remembers his trial in 1994 after he was accused of killing his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.  Back then the media had a field day with the story and the ensuing trial.  Simpson had renowned lawyers defending him.  They could show the jury there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit Simpson.  In my opinion, justice was denied to the families of Nicole and Ron.  I remember seeing a report of young African-American students applauding when the verdict was announced.  He was later found liable in a civil case.  In 2008 Simpson was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in Nevada and did serve jail time.

As far as I am concerned OJ Simpson was a low life.  I was not crying when I heard about his death.  I will not watch any media coverage of his funeral.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

I Live for the Sun by the Sunrays - Forgotten Oldie from Yesterday


Yesterday, of course, was the day of the solar eclipse in North America.  90% of the sun was covered by the moon in New York City.  Since I couldn't get the special glasses, I didn't go outside to view it.

I Live for the Sun by the Sun Rays peaked at #51 on the Billboard chart in 1965. I reached #45 on the WMCA survey, but WABC did not play it.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

More Frustration with the Older Adult Centers


I want to go to the older adult centers to derive enjoyment, but this endeavor has failed for me.  By the way, an older adult is a euphemism for senior citizen.  I can be derisive and call them old farts or to use the Yiddish expression alta cocker.

Most of my experiences have been disappointing.  This organization has locations in Little Neck, Bayside, and Forest Hills.  At first, I went to the Little Neck Center which had discussion groups.  I attended three groups for a few months.  The problem was that often a few people monopolized the conversation, and I just couldn't get a word in edgewise.  Other times, the topic at hand was not of interest to me.  I thought the social workers who led the group should have done a better job at moderating.  Out of disgust, I stopped going.

After a few months I started to go to the groups at the Bayside location.  I was especially interested in the trivia group they had there.  There were also other discussion groups.  I thought the social worker there was more personable and the smaller groups were allowed for more equal participation.  The groups were alright for a while, but then people complained about various issues.  Why must I listen to a woman talking about her medical ailments and bitching about her insurance company?  Another woman related a sob story in her family.  I observe that there is a rift between the men and women coming.  I’m not going there to get a date, but I wish the people would be friendlier.

I will continue to go to the trivia group, but likely I will never go to the discussion groups and feel frustrated and saddened by what transpires.  I would be happier staying home and reading a good book.




Friday, April 5, 2024

Random Thoughts of the Day - April 5, 2024

When there is an unknown phone number on my Caller ID. I usually don't pick it up.  Yesterday when a local area code was on the Caller ID, I decided to answer.  The person asked for my late wife, Karen.  When I said she passed away, the caller immediately hung up.  It was likely a spam call.

On Monday evening, I received a call from a recently retired former colleague.  This was the first time in six years someone from my former employer took the initiative to contact me.  I must move on and let go of the past.

Recently, I have forgotten the crazy dreams that I had overnight.  They didn't make sense anyway.

I am not panicking over the slow start of the New York Mets.  Over a long season, things will even out.  The pitching is good right now, but the hitting is poor.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Wishful Thinking - Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles

 It looks like today will be another washout.  Yesterday, I was thinking about venturing out in the rain to go to the Older Adult Center to play trivia.  I just didn't feel like getting wet.  I'll have to try to entertain myself at home today.  Hopefully, the sun will come out soon.


Monday, April 1, 2024

Remembering April Fool's Day 1997

 On April 1, 1997, Pat Sajak was the host of Jeopardy while Alex Trebek became the host of Wheel of Fortune for one day.


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