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My 2015 MLB Predictions April 5, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Personal, Sports.
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Back in September, I went public with my annual NFL season predictions after years of posting them on Facebook. Another personal tradition is predicting the Major League Baseball season.

Here are my predictions for 2015:

NL (National League) East

  1. Nationals (2)
  2. Braves (Wild Card 2)
  3. Mets
  4. Marlins
  5. Phillies

NL Central

  1. Cardinals (1)
  2. Pirates (Wild Card 1)
  3. Reds
  4. Cubs
  5. Brewers

NL West

  1. Dodgers (3)
  2. Giants
  3. Diamondbacks
  4. Padres
  5. Rockies

AL (American League) East

  1. Orioles (2)
  2. Red Sox
  3. Yankees
  4. Blue Jays
  5. Rays

AL Central

  1. Indians (1)
  2. Tigers (Wild Card 1)
  3. Royals (Wild Card 2)
  4. White Sox
  5. Twins

AL West

  1. Athletics (3)
  2. Angels
  3. Mariners
  4. Rangers
  5. Astros

Playoff predictions:
NL Wild Card Playoff

Braves defeat Pirates

AL Wild Card Playoff
Tigers defeat Royals

NL Division Series
Cardinals vs. Braves: Cardinals win 3-1
Nationals vs. Dodgers: Dodgers win 3-0

AL Division Series
Indians vs. Tigers: Tigers win 3-2
Orioles vs. Athletics: Athletics win 3-0

NL Championship Series
Cardinals vs. Dodgers: Cardinals win 4-1

AL Championship Series
Athletics vs. Tigers: Tigers win 4-2

World Series (AL home field advantage via All-Star Game win)
Cardinals vs. Tigers: Cardinals win 4-1

As with my Patriots prediction, pessimism drove me to pick the Cardinals to win the World Series. The 2006 NLCS, in which the Cards defeated the Mets in seven games, turned me against them.

I will update this post after the World Series with results italicized in parentheses. Play ball!

Winter’s second encore March 29, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography, Weather.
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A second encore performance of snow affected my area yesterday. We were on the western fringe of a storm that left at least 2 to 4 inches of snow in Central and Eastern Suffolk County. Here in Nassau, snowfall was minimal.

We were treated to intermittent snow showers during the day that barely accumulated:

There was a little more snow at night that left a solid coating:

Here’s what the coating looked like at around 8:30 this morning:



The late March sun has already melted most of it. Surely this was the last snow of the season, right?

Winter’s encore March 21, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography, Weather.
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The snow of two Thursdays ago turned out not to be the last snow of the season. An encore performance came through yesterday. This time, it was entirely wet snow. Thanks to two weeks of above-freezing temperatures, in addition to the strength of the mid-March sun, not much snow stuck on pavement. I measured an inch in the driveway last night as the snow was tapering off. The front lawn accurately represented the snowfall: 5 inches.

Below is a timeline of the snowfall from start to finish, followed by today’s rapid melting.

March 20
1:29 PM:

2:59 PM:

4:31 PM:

6:40 PM, five minutes before the vernal equinox:

8:05 PM, 80 minutes into spring:


9:49 PM, as snow tapered off:

March 21
8:36 AM, during a remnant snow shower:

9:24 AM:



1:21 PM:

3:19 PM:

4:13 PM:


There may not be any snow left on the ground by Monday, and that may be the last we see until late fall. Happy spring.

WCWP-FM 50th Anniversary Celebration March 20, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Media, Personal, Photography, Radio, Video.
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WCWP 88.1 FM, LIU Post’s radio station, commemorated 50 years on the air with an anniversary dinner Saturday night at Page One Restaurant in Glen Cove, and a celebratory anniversary show Monday afternoon.

The dinner marked my first time back at Page One in nine years when WCWP had its annual station dinner there. Here’s an exterior shot I took prior to the 2003 station dinner:

Station banner inside Page One:

A couple of group shots with the banner:


WCWP-FM signed on 50 years ago Monday at 4PM, which was marked by a four-hour anniversary show that ran an hour before to three hours after that original sign-on.

Hank Neimark provided that original sign-on. WCWP station manager Dan Cox shot a picture at 4:00:00 today of Hank reprising his sign-on (courtesy WCWP Alumni Association Facebook group):

Here’s how it sounded…:

…and looked (via Bobby Guthenberg):

The full four hours can be heard here.

March 5 winter storm pictures, March 6 aftermath pictures March 6, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Media, News, Personal, TV, Weather.
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In a 52-hour period, my area went from snow to sleet and freezing rain to rain and back.

It all began late Tuesday afternoon. A couple of inches of snow fell before the evening changeover, but it was washed away by the rain. Temperatures got as high as the mid 40s on Wednesday, allowing me to clear any slush set into the driveway by tire tracks.

For a while, it seemed like there wouldn’t be too much snow on Thursday. Computer forecast models were pushing the snow south. But as night fell, the models yanked the storm back north and had it starting and ending later. 4 to 8 inches of snow were forecast, with News 12 Long Island upping that to 5 to 10 on Thursday morning.

The rain changed to wet snow at around sunrise, switching to regular snow as the morning progressed and temperatures fell.

By afternoon, temperatures were down in the mid 20s and the snow continued to accumulate. I periodically brought my standard ruler to the driveway to measure. There were 2 inches at 11:40 AM, 4 1/2 inches at 2:22 PM, and 7 inches by 4:12.

But at 4:40, even though it was still snowing, I went out to the driveway and began shoveling. My sister came home ten minutes after I started and helped me shovel. We finished at 5:30.

After an hour break, which included a dinner of pasta and homemade ground turkey meat sauce, I went back outside for more shoveling. By now, the snow had ended. Another inch had fallen on top of what I shoveled earlier. This time, I only took a half hour.

The 8 inches of snow in my driveway matched the snow totals in Levittown, North Merrick, and Rockville Centre, according to the National Weather Service. Melville and East Northport ended up with 9 inches.

Below is a photo timeline of the snow from beginning to end, and then the day after (today).

March 5:
8:26 AM:

11:19 AM:

1:02 PM:


2:18 PM:

5:43 PM, after shoveling with help from my sister:

7:31 PM, after additional shoveling:

March 6:
9:57 AM:

Temperatures were in the low 20s, but the March sun was strong enough to melt the snow anyway. The high today was 30 degrees.























10:19 AM:

11:28 AM:




2:55 PM:


This is the last day with high temperatures below freezing for the foreseeable future, and maybe even for the season. And if this turned out to be the last snow of the season, it went out on a high note.

Guest reading at my old elementary school March 5, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Books, Education, Personal, Photography, Weather.
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I was at Leo F. Giblyn School in Freeport on Monday as a guest reader for Dr. Seuss Spirit Week. I read Dr. Seuss books to four different classes and an unrelated weather book to a fifth class.

It was great to be back where I attended third and fourth grade. (I spent kindergarten, first grade, and second grade up the road at Archer Street.) My mother has been a teaching assistant at Giblyn for about 25 years and my sister has also worked there in many roles for about a decade.

The books I read on Monday were One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Dr. Seuss’s ABC; and Gerald McBoing Boing, which I read twice.

The first Gerald McBoing Boing reading was the highlight of my day. I did impressions for two of the characters. One voice was Don Adams’ Maxwell Smart (which was an impression of William Powell) and the other was Casey Kasem with a hint of Vin Scully. When I noted in the Q&A that Casey was also the voice of Shaggy on the various Scooby-Doo series, I ended up taking several cartoon character voice requests.

When I wasn’t reading, I was jumping from classroom to classroom taking pictures of other guest readers.

The kids loved me, especially since I was Mrs. Chimeri’s son and Ms. Chimeri’s brother. Case in point, the next day, my sister told me one student said “your brother was awesome.” The teachers I saw agreed with that assessment.

I’d love to come back again. It was a busy day, but I enjoyed it. I’ll conclude this post with a collage I made from candid shots taken while I read:

I made the collage because I don’t know if I’m allowed to post full pictures with students in them without parents’ permission.

Brian Simpson concert recap 3 (7PM show) February 17, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel, Weather.

Previous Brian Simpson recaps: April 2011, September 2012

I was at Houndstooth Pub on Valentine’s Day to see keyboardist Brian Simpson perform. As with Lisa Hilton last month, this was the third time I had seen Brian live. Also like Lisa’s show, Brian debuted material from an upcoming album. Out of a Dream was released today.

There always seems to be an active weather pattern when I go to see Brian Simpson. The first time, there was a nor’easter. The second time, a severe thunderstorm threatened Manhattan, but weakened considerably by the time it crossed the Hudson River. This time, a clipper brought light snow to the area, but it was forecast to reform and intensify offshore at night, dumping heavier snow and strong gusty winds in the process.

I took this shot before I left with my girlfriend Kelly for the Wantagh LIRR station:

I considered it a before picture, expecting to take an after picture when we got home that would show a few inches on the ground with more to come overnight. Luckily, the forecast models changed dramatically while Kelly and I were out. The worst of the snow stayed to the south. The same coating you see above awaited us when we got back to Wantagh. An additional coating fell overnight.

Unfortunately, the wind forecast didn’t change. Gusts over 50 miles per hour began after 2AM and continued for about 12 more hours. From there, gusts were as high as 45 mph and occurred less and less until they were gone altogether by Monday afternoon.

But enough about the weather.

There were two shows that night: 7:00 and 9:15. Kelly and I got tickets to the 7:00.

Brian Simpson played keyboard:

…and keytar:

Dave Anderson was on bass:

Les Cleveland on drums:

…and on seven songs in the set, Art Sherrod Jr. on saxophone:


The engineer was Neal Newman:

As I noted at the top, the show featured songs from Brian’s latest album, Out of a Dream. Here’s the full set list:
South Beach* – keyboard/keytar
2. It Could Happen* – keytar/keyboard
3. Just One Wish^
4. When I Say Your Name*^
5. Blues in G*
6. Sky Watcher^ – keytar
7. Can’t Tell You Why
8. Let’s Get Close – keytar
9. Just What You Need – keytar
10. Juicy* – keytar/keyboard
11. Saturday Cool*
12 (Encore). It’s All Good*
* Art Sherrod Jr., sax
^ From Out of a Dream

Now, for a series of pictures of Brian on keytar. First, pictures from “Let’s Get Close”:

One of the audience members he got close to – in the musical sense – was Kelly:

She’s been a fan of Brian for a long time. In fact, she first learned of me through my website after I posted my Mike Chimeri Show interview with him nine years ago. (That interview and more can be found here.) It would be another four years before she finally got in touch with me on Facebook.



For “Saturday Cool,” he went beyond the stage and into the audience, passing by Ron and Nydia along the way:




Back on stage, here are pictures from Dave Anderson and Les Cleveland’s “Saturday Cool” solos. Dave first:


Les Cleveland:







Wide shots:
“Saturday Cool”:




The encore: “It’s All Good”:







The last note:


Art Sherrod Jr.: “Once again, Mr. Brian Simpson, everyone”:

Brian greeted us when we arrived beforehand and we spoke to him again afterward. Then, we posed for a pic:

The red Sharpie in his hand isn’t what he signed my copy of Out of a Dream with. He went with a black one instead.

I’ve used this term before, but the set was wild! I can only imagine what it was like for the later crowd. Thanks to Brian, Dave, Les, and Art.

February 1-2 winter storm pictures February 3, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Football, Personal, Sports, Weather.
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In my last storm-related post, I hoped for a near miss on Super Bowl Sunday night into Groundhog Day. Hope lost to increasing consensus in ensemble computer models.

The storm I didn’t want, the first of what may be many this February, arrived late Sunday night, following the Super Bowl I want to forget. A few inches of snow fell before changing over to sleet and freezing rain, and then rain, after sunrise.

This aspect of the storm eased my stress. I figured I would only have to shovel one time and that would be it. That one time began at 8:15 AM. About 70 minutes later, I had finished shoveling what was Slurpee-grade slush. Rain fell the entire time outside and I got soaked. A job well done, I thought. I moved the slush out of the way just in time for the change back to sleet and freezing rain.


The changeover occurred after the above picture. As you’ll see in the next one, any slush and puddles flash froze.


The driveway looked like a skating rink. All it needed was a couple of nets.

I had enough energy left to run 6.3 miles on the treadmill in my basement. But as I was running, the sleet and freezing rain changed back to snow.


And it didn’t just leave a coating. We ended up with a burst of snow that dumped four inches in two hours.


I tried to shovel as the heavy snow fell, but it was a futile effort:

I waited another half hour before trying again. This time was the charm. I was enraged early on in the shoveling process because I didn’t expect significant snow on the change back. Had I known it was coming, I would have stayed off the treadmill.

This round of shoveling also took about an hour. At least the snow was lightweight.

I shot this after I came back inside:

As hard as I felt it was to shovel twice in one day, nothing compares to those that have to plow streets during storms like this. They work nonstop from the first snowflake to the last. It puts a mere driveway shoveling in perspective.

Until the next storm.

Five days of scanning January 30, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Education, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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As snow fell outside Monday afternoon, I was going through a drawer in my room where I keep some personal mementos. Then, I was struck with inspiration. I had been using my Epson WF-3520 All-in-One Printer in the guest room to copy a few documents this month, via the printer’s sheet feeder. Why not use that sheet feeder to scan any personal mementos that were on letter-size paper? That’s what I did all this week.

I started with bowling scorecards between 1998 and 2006, plus a handful more between September 2007 and September 2014. Then, I moved on to my final college transcript, a paper I wrote for Introduction to Journalism, an e-mail reply from Tom Snyder, two e-mail replies from voice over talent Dan Chandler, a flyer promoting my Mike Chimeri Show interview with Colin Mochrie, and radio show and Live365 radio station playlists. I scanned anything that wasn’t letter-size on the traditional scanner platen. This included dot matrix score sheets from AMF Wantagh Lanes and two desk calendar pages that were dated September 11, 2001. Playlists that were handwritten on letter-size legal paper had to be scanned on my Canon CanoScan LiDE210 in my room. Since what I wrote on the other side could be seen, I had to scan in black and white – not grayscale – giving the scans an old photocopy or fax look.

The radio show playlists spanned my career to date: The Mike Chimeri Show, The Instrumental Invasion, MCJN (Live365 station), a few demos, the night I filled in for Martin Phillips on the defunct Thursday Night Jazz show, Evening Jazz, CJazzPlus (Live365 station), and all my homecoming weekend shows.

In addition to the copy of my Intro to Journalism paper, I also saved papers by two of my classmates. The paper had us write a profile of a few of our classmates, based on press conference-style interviews our professor, Bernard Bard, previously a reporter for the New York Post, had arranged one week in mid-semester. I remember little about my presser, but there was one quote each of the classmates that wrote about me used:

Broadcasting is my thing, my calling. I belong in that field.

This was in March 2001. Seven months later, I began at WCWP. While I may have had volunteer success, I’m still waiting and hoping for professional success. If “my thing, my calling” doesn’t pan out, at least I have photo and document scanning to make a career of.

January 26-27 blizzard pictures January 28, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in News, Personal, Photography, Weather.
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The first major storm of this winter hit Long Island from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon. It was shaping up to be a catastrophic blizzard with snowfall amounts near three feet. But Nassau County was spared the worst, with amounts averaging to a foot and a half on the east side of the county and less than a foot on the west side. Like with the February 2013 blizzard, Suffolk County got more snow, especially on the East End. New England got what I feared we would get: two to three feet of snow. It makes me feel bad that my area was spared the worst.

What follows is a photographic timeline from the first of the storm’s effects to the last of them.

January 26:
9:23 AM:

12:26 PM:

3:56 PM:

7:02 PM:

About a half hour later, I went outside to shovel what had fallen so far. I only shoveled the front end of the driveway. At the time, I assumed I would have another two feet to shovel the next day.

8:03 PM:

11:16 PM:

As the night progressed, computer forecast models pushed the storm further and further east, which meant less snow by us.

January 27:
9:38 AM:

Judging by the snowfall total for nearby Seaford (16.6 inches) and Massapequa (17.8 inches), I figure there was about 15 inches in Wantagh.

10:26 AM:





12:20 PM:




2:37 PM, after about 85 minutes of shoveling:

The shoveling was a team effort between me and my parents. We shoveled the driveway, including the curb, and I shoveled a path to the oil tank cap on the side of the house. I thought about shoveling the sidewalk, but my dad talked me out of that. I saved that for the next day.














January 28:
1:53 PM:

I kept my word and shoveled the sidewalk, but only as far as the property line. My neighbor took care of his side.


A clipper is set to drop a quick inch or less tomorrow night. We may or may not have another winter storm Super Bowl Sunday night into Monday. If you don’t see a recap titled “February 1-2 winter storm/blizzard,” then the storm missed us to the south, as is currently forecast. I hope that’s the case.

2/3 UPDATE: It wasn’t the case. We got it.


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