Saturday, March 25, 2023

Thoughts on Mulgrew Whilst at Casino in Schenectady

I am at the Rivers Casino in Schenectady with some friends this weekend. Just finished watching FAU (I won some money!) go to the final four and went to my room due to having a thought about Mike Mulgrew on the gaming floor. 

Mulgrew must be a horrible poker player. 

Just to be clear I am not a poker player. So if I get some things wrong I apologize. But part of the skillset in poker is bluffing. To let the other players think you got something when you got nothing. Mulgrew fails every time.

Let's just say for argument's sake Mulgrewcare was inevitable. Adams is has a a pair. Mulgrew has straight. Mulgrew's job in the Mulgrewcare dance making Adams sweat. Instead what does Mulgrew do? He folds like a cheap suit bought off the discount rack at Robert Hall's.

Why in one of the most important negotiations of not only Mulgrew's tenure as UFT Commandant does he not only fail, at the very least, to give the perception of negotiating from strength, but to basically lead the charge? 

He could have bluffed his way and told Adams that retirees would not go for Mulgrewcare. That retirees would fight like hell and he would be there to support the retirees. He should have gotten the best deal possible! We were holding the cards. Look what just happened in Los Angeles!!

Can you imagine being a car salesman and seeing Mulgrew come in. It would go something like this:

Car Salesman: Hi, may I help you?

Mulgrew: Yes, I'm interested in a  new Corolla. 

Car Salesman: (sizing up his mark) I got one left on the lot. 

Mulgrew: How much?

Car Salesman: $100k. But it is a 2006 Corolla with 210k miles on it. Do we have a deal?

Mulgrew: Where do I sign? 

That's our union president. 

Now back to casino and the sports book. 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Take It Easy

 On July 13 of lat year I had the privilege to see Jackson Browne live for the first time ever. 

The venue was the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport CT. The venue was a former minor ballpark that had hosted the Atlantic League's Bridgeport Bluefish.

As I expected, the crowd was 50+. As compared to when I saw John Lodge last month, there were those in the audience younger than me. 

I was hoping Browne would perform "Lawyers in Love," but sadly he didn't. I was also hoping that Leland Sklar was still playing bass with him, but he was nowhere to be found 

Browne opened up with "Somebody's Baby" (click here for my video), a song he wrote for the movie, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Early in the show he did the title track from his latest album, "Downhill From Everywhere" (Click here for my video) which I really enjoyed.

But of course he did the biggies. Running on Empty, Doctor My Eyes, Cocaine, You Love the Thunder, Take it Easy, and of course The Load Out/Stay.  

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Dear Mike Mulgrew: Will I Die, Become Physically Disabled, or Go Insane?

 Dear el Presidenté Mulgrew:

Since you have unilaterally decided that those retirees 65 and over will be forced to into Mulgrewcare for their golden years, I have several questions and concerns that I would like you to answer. I turn 59 in April and soon to retire. I will be eligible for your plan in six short years. 

I have type 2 Diabetes. Fortunately for me my A1c is pretty darn good. What keeps it good is a sensor that I wear on my arm. This, and the app on my phone, monitors my blood sugar. It is expensive. Currently, thanks to Emblem I pay nothing for a 3 month supply. I can pay $35 for a three month supply but I like freebies. This is a much better way to check blood sugar than pricking my fingers. There are those that are not so fortunate. My endocrinologist (Castle Connolly ranked her among the top in Westchester County) shared with me how fortunate I am. She told me that many health plans won't cover this sensor unless one is taking at least three shots of Insulin a day. As of now, no insulin for me. Will I still be covered for this under your plan? Will my doctor be on your plan? Diabetes is a progressive disease. Will I die? 

One of the medications I take is a name brand. Not only has it helped me manage my diabetes I have lost a lot of weight (It's not Ozempic!). I pay $35 for a three month script. Will this medication still be covered?

In 2019 I had my right shoulder replaced. I did not need to go through a gatekeeper. I just went to the doctor, he said my shoulder is fucked, and I need to replace it. I scheduled the surgery and that was that. Another person I know, not with the DOE, had their shoulder replacement turned down. Why? The reason their insurance gave was, "PT has not been tried." Some hack on a phone made that decision? You can't fix bone on bone. Will this be something Mulgrewcare will do? Plus, as my surgeon told me I was somewhat on the young side for a shoulder replacement. Shoulders last 10-15 years. Will I be able to get a another shoulder? Will my shoulder surgeon be part of Mulgrewcare? Will NYU Langone be part of Mulgrewcare? 

I had a inch and a half tear of the meniscus of my right knee in 2009. The surgeon told me that down the road I will need a knee replacement. My left hip has been acting up of late. I can foresee a new hip in my future. Will Mulgrewcare be there for my knee and hip? Will I become physically disabled?

As we know Emblem has horrible mental health care. Luckily, I have a good therapist. I have anxiety issues and ADHD. Hopefully, Mulgrewcare will do better than Emblem. I doubt it. Imagine retiring from the DOE and needing and looking for mental health care and Mulgrewcare doesn't deliver. What to do with all those teachers suffering with personality disorders, PTSD, etc...? Will I go insane? 

But I will put it to you succinctly and directly mi presidenté. Which doctors, hospitals, providers, medications, etc... are on Mulgrewcare? What is the hold up in sharing? We should be told post haste.

We all want to know. Not sometime soon, but now.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Mesh and Lace-Modern English

 I might have found a calling for when I retire. I am going to review rock shows as a living. At least I'll finally have some fun working. 

This review is a long time coming. 

This past September I trekked up to Daryl's House Club (Daryl Hall is the owner) in Pawling NY to check out Modern English. For those who don't remember, Modern English was part of the 2nd British Invasion in the early 80's with their hit, "I Melt With You" which got considerable airtime on MTV. And lest I forget, the montage scene from one of my all time favorite movies, "Valley Girl" (Yes, it is a guilty pleasure of mine). 

The tour was basically celebrating the 40th anniversary of the album, "After the Snow," which Melt is on. 

Yes, the average age of the crowd was 50 plus. The band is 60 plus, but it seemed like 1982 all over again. Fortunately, I was able to check out the setlist at and immersed myself into what they would be performing that night. 

What really got me wanting to see them is the incredible job the band did during the pandemic with a updated version of Melt

But seeing them in a club was a perfect setting. In fact I am starting to prefer small venues and clubs instead of arenas for shows now. 

ME put on a great show. Robbie Grey is a great frontman and his passion in his music and singing really made the crowd much more joyous. ME's guitarist, Gary McDowell, well how do I explain? Look at the photos. He changed quite a bit. But the love on his face of playing the guitar was something have only seen with Alex Lifeson. 

Daryl's House is a great venue. Small and cozy and a place to have dinner and drinks. 

Next up for me is Daryl Hall in Port Chester in June and Rod Stewart with Cheap Trick for me in Bethel Woods.

Here's a bit of Melt filmed with Robbie Grey telling everyone to "put the fucking phones away!"

Friday, March 3, 2023

John Lodge of the Moody Blues

Since the pandemic ended I have been on a big live music kick. The spring of 2020 I was planning on seeing Primus, The Pretenders, Hall and Oates, and Sammy Hagar and the Circle that summer. Well, you all know what happened. Nothing. 

Since there is no more Rush, and the only Rush I can see are tribute bands, I want to see has much from "my day" as possible. Time is not on my side. All the acts I'd like to see are getting up there in age, one foot in the grave, or dead.

So February left with an interesting choice. Denny Laine was performing at City Winery in both Manhattan and Montgomery NY. John Lodge, the bassist from the Moody Blues was performing in Fairfield CT. 

I had seen Denny Laine in 2019 at Daryl Hall's club in Pawing NY with his band. He performed the first Moody Blues album and Band on the Run album in t's entirety along with other songs he did with Wings. Excellent show. It told the stories behind each song. But this year he it was just him and a guitar. 

But I had always enjoyed the Moody Blues and wished I had seen them. So the choice was made to see John Lodge. I am glad I did. 

The show was up at the Fairfield Theater Company in Fairfield CT. The setting was very intimate and scored 2nd row, dead center seats at the box office the night of the show. What's more, Lodge performed the Moodies album, "Days of Future Passed", in it's entirety. Jon Davidson from Yes who also happens to be Lodge's son in law came out to sing songs from that album as well as the encore, "Ride My See-Saw."

Lodge paid tribute to deceased band members drummer Graeme Edge, who was in a video reciting poems from Days, and flautist Ray Thomas with the story of "Legend of a Mind." I just wanted to hear "Gemini Dream" from "Long Distance Voyager" (In fact that was my first Moodies album I bought my senior year in high school) and "Your Wildest Dreams" (Yeah, it's my guilty pleasure, that and the movie Valley Girl!). That is more of a Justin Hayward song. 

But it was a great show. Lodge truly appreciated his audience. At almost 59 I think I was amongst the youngest in the audience. Lot's of people with canes, and, walkers. 

Here's "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band) CLICK HERE from the show.