Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year’s Eve - New York Philharmonic Concerts - Walking Stats


Wednesday==>Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, the mental countdown to the end of 2014 has begun. At 11:00am here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, it is 28º, wind chill 18º, with steady winds in the 11-18 mph range.

The forecast for midnight is 25º, wind chill 10º with 18 mph winds, but no snow or rain.

Will your favorite blogger brave the elements to join 1M+ of his closest friends in Times Square to witness the dropping of the New Year’s Eve Ball? Nope ... been there, done that ... multiple times.

Instead ... my plans for the evening are ...

A concert up at Lincoln Center ... 

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC @ Avery Fisher Hall - “New Years Eve - A Gershwin Celebration.”
(full price ticket)

The orchestra, lead by the always enjoyable Bramwell Tovey, and joined by vocalists Dianne Reeves and Norm Lewis, will perform the following works by George Gershwin:

“Strike Up the Band;” 
“Catfish Row Suite from Porgy and Bess;”
“A Foggy Day;”
“They Can't Take That Away From Me;”
“Cuban Overture;”
“Lullaby for String Orchestra;”
“Nice Work If You Can Get It;”
“Embraceable You;” and,
“S'Wonderful.”

This will be my 10th consecutive year attending this New Year’s Eve Gala. My full-price seat is excellent, in the same area as my season ticket package.

The concert has a 2-hour running time, with intermission.

When it is over I will subway back to the warm and cozy confines of my apartment, PHC, on West 42nd Street, to watch the Time’s Square festivities on my 42” flat screen TV. I will grill an Allen Brothers steak on my George Foreman grill, with grilled onions and mushrooms and a baked potato.

At midnight I will fall to my knees and thank my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, for yet another wonderful year in this amazing life I have been so blessed by Him to live. Then, I will welcome in 2015 with my libation of choice - Fresca.

Yep==>GOODBYE 2014 - HELLO 2015!!

Moving on to your favorite bloggers report on yesterday’s activities ...

First, I am happy to report that the appointment with my eye doctor, Dina B. Weintraub, at her office on East 49th Street, went well, except for the long wait-time and then majorly dilated eyes. Dr. Weintraub was very apologetic for the hour+ long wait, explaining that the two weeks following Christmas are the busiest time of the year for eye doctors because they are dealing with mostly new and very anxious patients. I told her that it wasn’t a problem and I understood.

Yes, she was satisfied with the results of our appointment. Happily, she did not require the hated “field-of-vision” test.

It was almost 2:00pm when I left her office and it was cold and windy. My vision was majorly blurred ... so ... I opted not to walk up to 61st Street to my heart doctor’s office ... will do that next week.

Instead, I subwayed back to the apartment and watched college football (with blurry vision) for the rest of the afternoon.

After the usual fruit and cheese plate I headed uptown to Lincoln Center a bit early so I could have a walk session in the underground area of the Center.

My entertainment event for the evening was a classical music concert ...

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program was:

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 1 (performed by Daniil Trifonov);
Rimsky-Korsakov - Capriccio espagnol; and,
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique.”

Well, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, yesterday I reported that Billi Pod was in need of a classical music fix and that this concert should fill-the-bill ... I am happy to report that it did just that, in all aspects.

This concert was conducted by Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in England.

The 23-year old Russian pianist, Daniil Trifonov (yes ... it is Daniil), who looks to be 18, did a wonderful job with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1. 

He received a roaring ovation and rewarded us with a beautiful encore performance.

The highlight of the evening for me was Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique.” I really enjoy everything about this work except for its rather gloomy ending.

Yeah ... when the concert was over I left Avery Fisher Hall with a big smile on my face. It was too cold to even consider walking back to the apartment.

And ... speaking of walking ... yesterday was another outstanding day due to the walking necessary to reach my eye doctor’s office, walking at Lincoln Center, walking to and from subway stations, and apartment walking ... all of which resulted in==>6.04 miles.

Oh, yes ... this means that even if I don't walk at all today I will still meet my 2014 goal to average 4.0 miles per day. Outstanding.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... time to post this and then settle in to watch some more college football.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!! 

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>6.04 miles (or, 13,202 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,461.73 miles (average 4.01 miles per day)

GO GATORS!!

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Errands, Chores & College Football - New York Philharmonic Concert


Tuesday==>We need to get today’s posting started because at noon I have a routine follow-up appointment with my eye doctor, Dina B. Weintraub, at her office on East 49th Street. She monitors the pressure in both of my eyes every two months or so. Hopefully I won’t have to do the dreaded/hated “field-of-vision” test.

When this appointment is over I will then either walk or bus up to East 61st Street to the office of my heart doctor, Fred Feuerbach, for the routine finger prick to check my Coumadin level. As directed, I have this totally painless procedure done every 6-8 weeks.

Then, depending on the weather, I will either walk or subway back to the apartment. I really hope the weather is OK because I want/need some outside walking and wandering time, I really do ... but ... at 9:00am it is only 31º and with wind chill it is down to 25º. Brrrrrrrrrr!

Oh well ... we'll just have to wait-and-see ... so ... moving on ...

My entertainment event for this evening is a classical music concert at Lincoln Center ...

7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Avery Fisher Hall - The program is:

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 1 (performed by Daniil Trifonov);
Rimsky-Korsakov - Capriccio espagnol; and,
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique.”
(season subscription series)

This concert will be conducted by Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in England.

Your favorite blogger is really in need of a classical music fix and this concert should fill-the-bill.

Moving on some more ...

As I posted yesterday, Monday was mostly devoted to my errands and chores list, which, I am happy to report, is now 95% completed. In doing so I did have to spend more time out in the elements than I had originally anticipated. Kinda unpleasant.

The upside was that it allowed me to record another excellent walking day on my WeightWatchers Pedometer==>5.05 miles

I need to record at least 4 miles for today and 4 miles for tomorrow in order to maintain my daily average for 2014 at 4.01 miles per day, which ain't bad for a 80+ year old guy, IMHO!!

For the late afternoon and evening I opted to remain in the warm and cozy confines of PHC in front of my 42” flat screen TV watching college football. 

The most exciting game was in the Liberty Bowl as underdog Texas A&M beat West Virginia, 45-37, in an offensive shoot-out.

In the Russell Athletic Bowl underdog Clemson majorly kicked butt, beating Oklahoma40-6. The Sooners looked like they were sleepwalking. It was embarrassing and I felt bad for Coach Stoops.

And, in the Texas Bowl, underdog Arkansas beat Texas, 31-7 - GO SEC!!

So ... it is now time to post this and then get ready to head out for my appointments.

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.05 miles (or, 11,057 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,455.68 miles (average 4.01 miles per day)

GO GATORS!!

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Monday, December 29, 2014

Billi Pod The Couch Potato - Errands and Chores Monday


Monday==>At 11:00am on this last Monday of 2014 here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, we have azure blue skies, puffy clouds, and a temperature of 40º, with wind chill down to 33º. There is a light breeze coming off the Hudson River.

Yeah, it is a bit cold, but manageable, and that is good because your favorite blogger has a rather long errands and chores list to attack that will require him to be out and about in the elements.

So ... let’s get started with ...

Actually, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting, I have very little of interest to report to you loyal and faithful readers and followers since yesterday was spent basically in a couch-potato modality watching pro-football and that lasted until midnight.

I did leave the warm and cozy confines of PHC for a restocking run to The Food Emporium and that was about it for my outside activities. 

Fortunately, I made myself get into my game-watching walking regimen (walking around the apartment during changes of possession, time-outs, and half-times) and that ultimately resulted in a very good walking day==>5.28 miles.

You know, it is amazing how the mileage accumulates during the course of the game(s). Give it a try and you will see what I mean.

Anyway ... this is what Billi Pod’s Sunday was. Now ... what about today ...

Well, as I said above, I have a major errands and chores list and ... I have nothing else planned entertainment-wise. I seriously doubt anything of interest will show up on any of my ticket services.

But ... there is college football beginning at 2:00pm and I am also considering finally getting around to seeing the well-reviewed movie BIRDMAN, starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton.

So, my loyal and faithful readers and followers, there you have it. Sorry it is so boring and meh ... oh well ...

Will close with something I think is funny ...
Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.28 miles (or, 11,544 steps)

Total mileage for the week==>26.76 miles (average 3.82 miles per day)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,450.63 miles (average 4.01 miles per day)

GO GATORS!!

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas In Orlando Update


Sunday==>Yes, your favorite blogger has been remiss in posting to this blog over the Christmas Holidays but he is now back in the warm and cozy confines of his apartment, PHC, on West 42nd Street in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, and is ready to bring you loyal and faithful readers and followers up-to-date ... so ... let’s get underway ...

I had a simply wonderful time down in warm and balmy Orlando, FL, with my son Bill III aka The Bill, his friends and then my grandson Alex Falletta, his wife Gina, and their darling daughters, Saylor and Finley. It was AWESOME!!

Unfortunately, my daughter Kathi Bendeck and her husband, Dr. John, of Columbia, SC, were unable to join us in Orlando due to scheduling conflicts etc. Maybe next year ... 

And, of course, we all deeply missed having Chris with us in person. I felt that he was with us in spirit.

Anyway ... on Wednesday the flight down to Orlando left on time, ahead of the bad weather, and arrived in Orlando on schedule. The Norris Travel Curse was nowhere to be seen, thankfully.

The Bill and I spent the day in some father/son bonding and also visiting the Winter Park area, specifically Winter Park Village. Why Winter Park? Well, I will provide you with more details on this at a later date (maybe).

For the evening we had an awesome dinner at a posh restaurant called Waffle House. Actually, not kidding ... when we were ready to head out to eat on Christmas Eve we found that every place we were interested in had closed early. Waffle House was the only place open. Oh well ... the meal was actually pretty good.

Christmas Day was highlighted by dinner at Golden Corral with 3 of The Bill’s longtime friends: 
Renzy Hanshaw (left) a former neighbor who is retired from the NYC Fire Department and Kenny Baboolal, a golfing buddy; and,
Ken Hall, who teaches math with Bill at Lake Howell High School; and, of course ...
The Bill.

Dinner was great and to say that we stuffed ourselves is a major understatement. This is actually the second consecutive year that we have had Christmas Day Dinner at Golden Carrol.

The day after Christmas was actually our Christmas Day because in mid afternoon Alex, Gina, Saylor and Finley arrived. Man, Saylor, who will be 3 on January 7th, is a total bundle of energy and the love and affection between she and her younger sister, Finley, who will be 1 on April 16th, is obvious.

These are just a few of the pictures we took ...


We opened our presents and I was delighted to find out that Alex, Gina and Bill had honored my request for 18 bottles of Pat’s Ho-Made BBQ SauceNow Bill has to take the next step to wrap them in bubble-wrap and ship them to me here in The Big Apple.

After we opened our presents it was time for dinner, prepared by Bill, an AWESOME tenderloin. It was great and a terrific way to end our Christmas Day. 

Now, moving on ...

Yesterday, Bill dropped me off at the airport at 2:00pm, as requested, for my originally scheduled 4:00pm flight back to LGA. Well, the flight was delayed for almost an hour due to heavy air traffic in the Orlando area (whatever that means). The terminal was teaming with families, some leaving after Christmas, others arriving for New Year's in Orlando.

The flight left as delayed and the flight up was OK even though there was a lot of baby crying going on. We landed at the projected time, 7:00pm ... and ... then ... The Norris Travel Curse appeared.

What do I mean? Well, first, it took 30 minutes from the time we landed until we were able to get to the gate. I had volunteered to have my carry on checked ... and ... it took forever for the luggage to arrive at the carousel.

It was 8:00pm when I boarded the shuttle bus to The Port Authority Bus Terminal. The Delta Terminal is the first pickup point so ... it took forever for us to make the stops at the other terminals. Then, just as we were pulling into the last pickup spot a piece of luggage fell out of the overhead bin and hit a 70s woman on her arm. She screamed and cried etc. Long story short it took 30+ minutes to get her help and to do the preliminary investigation. Bummer.

When we finally headed into Manhattan the roads were jammed and when we actually got into The City the cross town traffic was moving at less than a snail’s pace ... and that is giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Bottom line ... when I finally opened the door to PHC it was 9:25pm. Yes, it had taken longer to get from LGA to PHC than it had taken to fly from Orlando to LGA. Oh well ... at least I was back home.

Read some of the accumulated newspapers and mail, had some pizza and watched some college football. 

I crashed at the usual 2:00am, thus officially ending Billi Pod’s 2014 Christmas In Orlando Adventure, which was totally AWESOME!!

THANK YOU BILL FOR BEING SUCH A GREAT HOST!!

Moving on ...

I have nothing scheduled for today and my plans are to do some major grocery shopping and then spend the remainder of the day/evening watching pro-football.

In closing ... I am happy to report that while in Orlando I was able to do some major walking and the stats are:

Wednesday==>2.00 miles
Thursday - 4.58 miles
Friday - 5.18 miles
Saturday - 5.48 miles

So ... 

HAVE A GREAT REST OF THE WEEKEND EVERYONE!!

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>5.48 miles (or, 11,974 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,445.35 miles (average 4.00 miles per day)

GO GATORS!!

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wiesenthal - A Particle of Dread - Christmas


Tuesday==>It is a gloomy and rainy morning here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World. Oh well ... it is supposed to get even worse as the day progresses and into the evening hours.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s posting ... bad weather is in the forecast for tomorrow with storms all along the East Coast. Hopefully, in the morning I will be able to get out of LGA and down to Orlando ... keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

So ... let’s move on with Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s Off Broadway show ...

WIESENTHAL, this one-man show, written and performed by Tom Dugan, tells the story of Simon Wiesenthal, nicknamed the ‘Jewish James Bond,’ who devoted his life to bringing more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice==>A

This is a very well-performed show that is both informative and emotionally involving as it traces Wiesenthal’s life from the ghettos in Austria, to multiple concentration camps, to survival and then his lifelong quest to bring those responsible for the horrors of The Holocaust to justice.

It takes place in 2003 on the day the 95 year old retired and is set in his office at Vienna’s Jewish Documentation Center. The audience is a group of young students visiting his office. The set is totally amazing.

Dugan also does an amazing job in becoming Wiesenthal as well as a series of other characters.

When the show was over I felt totally emotionally drained, but very glad that I had seen the show.

Billi Pod says==>You gotta see this show.

It opened on November 5th to very favorable reviews, is playing at the Theatre Row Complex on my West 42nd Street block, has a running time of 1:30, without intermission, and runs through February 22nd.

Moving on ...

This afternoon I have an Off Broadway show ...

2:00==>A PARTICLE OF DREAD (Oedipus Variations) - “Avant-garde playwright Sam Shepard, in this modern-day take on Oedipus Rex, has sent a forensic scientist - in a trench coat, no less - into the realm of classical mythology to investigate the mysterious murder of a king at a crossroads. His conclusion: The killer was a lone assassin with a big left foot and a whole lot of rage.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show opened to very mixed reviews, is playing at The Signature Theatre Complex on West 42nd Street, has a running time of 1:25, without intermission, and runs though January 4th.

I have a deep gut feeling that this show is gonna fall into the either “loved-it” or “hated-it” category, which is my usual reaction to Sam Shepard’s works. We will see ...

My original plan for after the show was to meet up with my friends Dian Crystal aka My Lady and Marty Kosarik aka Whatever for an early dinner down in Chelsea. Well, unfortunately, this morning Marty is under-the-weather so we have canceled those plans.

Marty==>Get Well ASAP!!

So ... after the show I will come back to PHC and begin my final countdown to Billi Pod’s Christmas In Orlando Adventure, which begins when I am picked up by my car service at 4:30am tomorrow morning.

Now ... my loyal and faithful readers and followers ... please cross your collective fingers and pray with me that The Norris Travel Curse does not appear.

Hopefully, the next posting will be from Orlando.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

Yesterday’s Pedometer mileage==>2.16 miles (or, 4,725 steps)

Total mileage for 2014==>1,426.03 miles (average 4.01 miles per day)

GO GATORS!!

Billi Pod
“Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.”