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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A FEW BRAIN DROPPINGS WITH A STORY

Recently one of my colleagues at WFDU who has a wonderful program at that nice place on the left side of the long gone dial(s)----The Vintage Rock & Pop Shop posted a note on Facebook regarding wrestlers.   One in particular.  It brought to mind my very first TV and why the family acquired it.  So, some nostalgia follows,

I guess it was around 1950 (give or take) and wrestling was a big deal then.  I know that it is a staged piece of fraud with some good physical actors but there were those (including an older relative of mine) who really believed it a sport.  Me--I loved 2 of the stars of this.   Gene Stanlee (Mr. America) and Antonin Rocca (The Argentine Backbreaker).  As actors or comics of today they each had a "shtick".   Stanlee---wiping his brow and throwing his sweat into the crowd.  Rocca---spinning his opponent in the air in preparation for breaking his back (well, not really).  

Time to tell of the first TV and how things do not change with your offspring.   My father could not care less about TV and I truly wanted to see these to alleged gladiators in fake combat.  My father agreed to go with me to purchase a set.  Talk about giving in and spoiling a kid.  Now, I suppose, my grand kids are in the same situation---you know--"..;.whatever Lola wants (fill in your favorite name) Lola gets.."   I digress and need to see a professional about my digressions.

We went to purchase the set.  In those days everyone sold them.  That includes barber shops, shoe stores, and you name it.   Being the techno Luddite that I was and still am I pointed out to my dad that we should buy one that has a dial that works like a radio dial and not those that click into a channel.   Brilliant.   Unfortunately that was not the wave of the future.   We sure did a lot of adjusting on our U S Television.   Bet  you never heard of that wonderful console that was great furniture and  lousy TV.   I did get to see the two protagonists in the "championship" "match".  Stanlee relieved himself of his sweat and Rocca did not break anyone's back.

Thinking of the past days of early TV and how it has evolved.  We did get some exercise in days of  yore by having to arise from the couch to change channels, to change the antenna settings for the higher or lower channels (there were only 7---and a few UHF ones later).   Now we have hundreds and it takes some time to find even one that has anything on it that is not equal to the defecation of some producer's idea of a quality bowel movement.   

Technology has advanced so rapidly that we all have to be truly impressed by the picture quality of today's TVs.  Think back to the days of CRT sets and changing tubes.  We have come along way technically.   Now we have to think if the case before the Supreme Court about the Aero case and the possibility of not being saddled w/ cable bills for channels we do not watch. I know that I am not a sports fan and resent the surcharge on my cable bill for sports.   I won't editorialize on why only sports fans should pay that.  I will just rest on the nostalgic comments and recall when life and technology was simpler.

 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

More Current Ill Affordable Brain Droppings

It has been a while so I thought some random thoughts--well, more than random but, rather specific ones were due after all that gestation in this aging thing inside the skull.

I am not linking this on Facebook but, rather, mentioning it there if anyone wants to visit---no snacks are served here.   Too much interconnection and lack of privacy in this new electronic age.  An age which, I believe, seems to evolve faster than any techno evolution over the years.   Hard for me to believe I still can just turn off a machine and start it again and it has fixed itself.  I recall testing tubes and hoping to find the right one that was broken.

In the "life was simpler department"  I do have to recall a few things.   Years ago when you purchased a home you talked with the seller (or broker) and looked it over.  Now prices are ten fold of what they were in the years I speak of and the buyer brings in inspectors (at his expense) and then one negotiates.   The sad part is that the prices are ten fold and the product is aged and will need (should a buyer desire) re-modelling or renovation.   A multi million dollar property on the ocean (or , can you believe it, a NYC apartment) eyes do not blink at the expenses.    The song was right---What a Wonderful World.   I would change the title to What A World We Live in .  Check the Sunday NY Times Real Estate for the "Big Deal" of the week---talk about the Bill DeBlasio's "2 cities" slogan---probably more like 3 or 4.   One could do a whole riff on slums of yore that now rent as "...chic studios (450 sq ft)  in hip (rundown) neighborhoods ..." for over $1,700/month.

Segueing from that to a friend in Texas who lives in a fine facility that provides him an apartment, amenities (personal trainer, gym, food, barber, etc;) for a cost of $1,700/month and purchase price of$160,000 (refundable when he leaves or dies and has not used the amenities).   The business is opening such a facility in NJ (which he told me about and sent the info)---prices are higher here in the NE---1 Bdrm aptmt---$450,000 and monthly charges $3,500 (approx).     If you have a reasonable pension or income---move to Dallas.  If not.   Stay here with us overpaying heirs to PT Barnum's definition of us.   I did not kow we came along every minute.   Seriously, though, hard to pull up roots and leave family behind but, as my Texas pal says in his drawl---"...hell, let em visit or faghged about em'/..."  Easy for him---his kids live 3 blocks away---though, in honesty, in Texas that could be miles since they keep bragging how big it is.    Some other time I shall relate his comments on the church of St. John the Divine in NYC when he visited with me a while ago---complimentary in a Texas way.

Time once again, as that old radio cliche goes, to go back to a programming theme and some comments about the programs.   Sunday Simcha,, for those of you who are sharp, is a encore (fancy word for re-run) of a show from 2008.   Passover has not changed so why should the show.   Elijah did not show up that time and still hasn't---so I, also, did not for 2014.    We did,however, celebrate the occasion.   As to the show---well, Dayenu---it would have been enough and so why overdo it.

Traditions has not been "encored" at all and each week, while presenting new material, I truly believe that, while there are many wonderful new pieces that are presented  to me and are incorporated into the program the old favorites, the features are what the audience (I hope that is you) want.  The wonderful new features--if they are that wonderful---will soon become old favorites---to mention a few---Brother Sun, Gathering Time., Kate Campbell, Christopher Brown, and so many more.

You know I feel a bit selfish if I were to say I am sharing them with you since I am not really doing that.   If I sent you a copy of one of the recordings I would be doing just that and when we have giveaways (wfdutraditions@yahoo.com) that is what I am doing---other than that I am merely a presenter and a conduit of some great talent.  The address linked above is where you can send comments, queries, request, etc;  Love to hear from you.

A few last items----
Your opinions are being solicited==

Years back it was assumed that we all would work less (shorter hours, etc;) with all the new technology.  How has that worked out for you?
Medical Insurance was affordable and easy to purchase (or rcve).  How has that worked out for you?
LBJ has been villified for Vietnam but did other things of benefit to the nation(by the way --he did not get us into Nam).  How  has that marked your thoughts?
Letterman retires, new host is chosen but wars and horrors occur around the planet.   What should a good news source be focused on?    (OK---I cannot resist---check the front pages of the NY Daily News and the NY Post for their priorities.  Nuff said.   How much does "rag" cost per pound these days?)

Monday, March 24, 2014

RECENT BRAIN DROPPINGS OF A PERSONAL NATURE AND PROGRAM RELATED

The first thing is to mention a wonderful concert that the BORDERLINE FOLK MUSIC CLUB put on in New City NY on 3/23 that featured the most amazingly talented group with the greatest stage presence you could imagine---BROTHER SUN.  I had the privilege (and that is the correct word) of introducing them and I appreciate all the kind words they said about me but, honestly, they are the talent.   I always feel a bit guilty when hearing those kind words from the artists since I am merely a conduit from radio or other places to spotlight the artists.  I thank them for the words and thoughts as I sit in a small studio and hope that people will recognize great talent that I don't have but the artists have in abundance .

Having written the last paragraph I will, not to be totally negative. I always wonder why other radio hosts are so delighted to be the focus of events they are part of but are made by the talents they present.   In all honesty I do admit to enjoying the laughs from the audience from my intros but that only preceded the important thing---talent.

 In thinking back on some of the radio programs I do and have done I always recall some wonderful conversations on  TABLETALK which I stopped doing a few years back.   I could list many a memorable one and still think of the program when I listen to WNYC and Terry Gross having had equally important people on the program.  I would do it again(in the blink of an eye) if given the opportunity---in a financial way.  Realism of life's financial needs is important.

All of the above leads us to the final philosophical meanderings that come in a very brief version.   I rcvd an insightful comment from a peer ( on the tennis court) aged 91 (amazing player) who said that he always followed his father's advice---take a risk.  He did and his father did and they both had losses but persevered.   I told him that my father had he opposite view and  I went that way.   Well, there is more to that tale and my mother's risk taking but, suffice it to say, my 91 year old friend made a valid point and he lives handsomely due to that advice and his own ability to build on that.   And, his genes.

 

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

SOME SPECIFIC BRAIN DROPPINGS ON A SPECIFIC SUBJECT----

OH,  how many more droppings before the damned thing is totally empty?  It already feels a little light on the supply side.    On Facebook a person posted something about the hospital he visited recently and it was quite negative.  I had a similar experience there a while back and told him I would post this on my never so humble blog along with some other comments.  You know that there always other comments.

OK--libel threats be damned since truth is always the best defense.   Nyack Hospital is the facility the person commented about in his negative opinion.   I agree fully.   A short while ago I went there for some tests and they had to be re-done (if that is a term) because, as the technician administrating the test said---"...sorry about that but we are short of money and this is some really old equipment..."   There is a confidence builder.   By the way---the admissions people did not even know where the dep't was where I was supposed to go and when my apptmt was.

Later I contacted the administrator of the place and told him of this and also added that my wife worked at Nyack Hospital until her death.  It was, in my view, a wonderful place then.  In fact, we donated a large (all relative---I am not Bloomberg) to a plague in her honor to the place.   Totally gone.  I told the administrator about this and he said he would look into it---OR---would I like my money back.   I'll leave the expletives deleted.

From a wonderful local facility it has devolved, to me, into a 2d rate (if that) operation.   I will say, however, that I have heard nothing but good things about their Cancer care facility.

One last point now---not about Nyack Hospital.  Let us now critique the one hospital that advertises itself as the best cancer care anywhere.  Nice rhyming.   What do they say in Bklyn---faggedaboudit.   Some years ago I had, sadly, occasion to go there with my late wife who was recommended to go there and see a particular MD for her cancer.   The person who urged her to go there was her boss at Nyack---and well intentioned.   We went there and the result was ---you have a serious problem and we will get back to you.   4 weeks later she called and was told by the chief of radiology that if she cannot wait for treatment it would be best she go elsewhere since we are very busy and, hey, whatever happens--happens.   That was a fairly accurate paraphrase.  We did go to a great facility that truly cared for her and the MD who handled her case could not have been more competent and caring.  To this day I still admire him and am happy to say that I go to him for any issues (in Otolaryngology) I may have.   The facility is Westchester Med. Ctr. in Valhalla.   As to the doctor---contact me if you want to see him.

Perhaps, as I have done, it is best to find a facility and a practice that can best fill your needs.   My solution has been inconvenient but worthwhile----L I MDs and Winthrop Hospital.   I don't know if they have a slogan but any slogan is more truthful than the pomposity and error ridden one of Sloan Kettering---and they have no free parking which is so important to the next of kin  that bring their patients for their exit door to the world---I could not resist one last jibe.

 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

SOME MORE RANDOM BRAIN DROPPINGS NEGLECTED FOR A WHILE

Since it has been a while I do want to start with some comments about the 2 programs I am privileged to do on WFDU---SUNDAY SIMCHA  & TRADITIONS.    So, first the positive comments about that most eclectic radio station---WFDU.   We play whatever we decide within our genre of material.   There are no mandated playlists as there are on so man, allegedly, public or community stations.  Both on the left side and the center of the dial.  Well, no one has dials anymore anyway.  

On the subject of WFDU (www.wfdu.fm  if you like streaming) I want to bid a truly fond farewell to the General Manager of WFDU who has announced his retirement.   My respect for him and his loyalty in adjudicating  issues that may have arisen. Be they content or any other matter.

This all brings me to Sunday Simcha and its content.   I thank you all for your support for the program over the years and in the recent fundraising efforts the station had.   In doing the program I have to say, in all honesty, that much of the material is being repeated.  I know you appreciate it but I urge you to send me any material (which I have rcvd. over the years) you might want to share with our mutual audience.

My thanks to the loyal audience to  TRADITIONS and also for all the nice comments when spoke on the phone recently during our fund raising month.  You made my day(s).   I know many of you did not want premiums and I thank you for that.  However,  some gifts, if you will, are already on the way to you.   My thanks, too, to the artists that have supplied them.

Now some comments about Facebook and how it has invaded all (or most of) our lives.   I see the benefits in spreading news you want promulgated (there is a SAT word they may eliminate) but why oh why do people have to post personal medical, marital, and legal issues there?   Are there not certain things that are meant to be  kept private and not promote them when the authorities (NSA) can find them out without your advertising them.    Geo. Orwell was just a few years too early in his book----we have now arrived.  With our help and Facebook.   Mark Zuckerberg is rich and we, happily, give up privacy and get unwanted ads (which is only a tip of an poisonous iceberg) after having our DVRs skip ads.

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

BRAIN DROPPINGS CONTINUED

It has been a while since the last posting and it has been a busy time with  the radio programs---Sunday Simcha and Traditions. For that reason this will be brief.   

If you check the playlist page you will find what is planned even though the playlists wee suspended for a brief fund raising time.

So---one thought I want to share that has nothing to do with folk music---but I do have to thank all who have supported both Simcha and Traditions with their hard earned pledges in this economy. OK the thought----I will leave my opinion out of it but you will pick up on it---
Gov. Cuomo has a wonderful plan to offer college educ. to inmates to get degrees.  The system now offers training in trade skills (to some extent).  So, let me see if I understand--this will prevent recidivism  and those who are not serving jail time cannot afford college or are burdened with loans more horrendous than home mortgages.    The dear Gov. might think of this---best people (youths) rob a convenience store and go to prison for their education---no student loans, free room and board, and you graduate prison with a degree---and if, luckily, it is Sing Sing, you have attended Harvard on the Hudson.    Sounds like a plan to me that equalizes college opportunities for those hard to repay student loans.    A forward thinking politico---he is that.  Not a statesman.