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Audiobooking December 2, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Baseball, Basketball, Broadway, Comedy, Commentary, Film, Health, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Sports, Theatre, TV.
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While I may have indefinitely suspended photo album picture scanning, one constant since June has been audiobooks. What I’ve usually done is listen to a whole chapter while working out in the morning or on my portable elliptical machine in the afternoon. I only buy nonfiction and prefer that they are read by the author. I want to hear their words in their voice, not someone else’s, even if the author’s delivery is subpar.

This isn’t the first time I’ve listened to audiobooks. That goes back to a road trip with my parents and sister in January 1997, as we drove back from Florida. To show you how long ago that was, the audiobook was on cassettes. That book, The Hobbit, was the only time I’ve listened to fiction. It’s been all nonfiction since.

Between December 1997 – when I listened to The Big Show: A Tribute to ESPN’s SportsCenter – and June 2014, I would get an audiobook here and there, but I wasn’t a regular buyer. I didn’t exercise in the morning, either. That began in late March. It’s always best to get tough tasks out of the way early because your willpower drops as the day progresses. It helps to have something interesting to listen to while you’re working out, not something aggravating like politics and sports debate and discussion.

With all that in mind, I’ve listened to the following audiobooks, on CD or through Audible, since June:

  • President Me: The America That’s In My Head by Adam Carolla (via CD) – an outline of all the things Adam would do to improve the United States if he were president
  • Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie (via Audible) – improvised stories based on the first and last lines of select novels and poems
  • I’ll Be Back Right After This: My Memoir by Pat O’Brien (via Audible) – Pat’s memoir chronicled his early life, television career, and struggle with addiction. Knock on wood, Pat has been sober for six years and counting.
  • Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (via CD) – This is the latest in Bill and Martin’s “Killing” series that factually recounts the events of historical figures leading up to their tragic deaths. Their previous books focused on Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus of Nazareth, respectively.
  • Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? by Billy Crystal (via Audible) – Billy’s memoir ran the gamut of emotions, from funny to heartbreaking, recalling major events in each decade of his life as of publication last year. I learned things I never knew and recalled fond memories of what I already knew. The only downside to the book is that Billy peppered his liberal ideology throughout it, outlining his liberal points of view and maligning right-leaning personalities and media. I’m not a lockstep conservative, but I do tend to take criticism of or jokes about people, places, and things that I like personally. But I didn’t let that completely ruin the listening experience.
  • Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large by William Shatner with Chris Regan (via CD) – When I was searching for the next audiobook to listen to, as Still Foolin’ ‘Em was winding down, I recalled William Shatner had a memoir out called Up Till Now: The Autobiography. But then I noticed that Shatner Rules had come out later than Up Till Now. So, I opted for Shatner Rules instead. The big message I took from the book was to say “yes” to as many things as possible. “‘No’ closes doors,” William said. “‘Yes’ kicks them wide open.” Shatner briefly drifted into politics, too, but the environmental kind. His doomsday scenarios were frightening. I didn’t let that completely ruin the listening experience. (ding) Rule: I highly recommend Shatner Rules as either the written book or spoken audiobook.
  • Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks by Dick Cavett (via Audible) – It was here that I did let politics completely ruin the listening experience. This is not a memoir. It is a compilation of Dick’s columns at The New York Times’ Opiniator blog. That structure is similar to that for Things That Matter, a compilation of Charles Krauthammer’s columns over his 30-year career to date. Charles is Dick’s polar opposite. But I didn’t know any of that until my second day of listening. And it was this rant of a column that Dick read for Brief Encounters - combined with frustration that the book was not what I expected – that led me to request a refund from Audible. Thankfully, they granted it. I did learn a few things, though, about Dick’s days writing for The Tonight Show. I also learned that Arthur Godfrey preferred to address only one member of the listening or viewing audience (“you”), not the entire audience (“everybody”).
  • Scribe: My Life in Sports by Bob Ryan (via Audible) – I bought this in place of Brief Encounters. I’ve been listening for nearly a week and I’m enjoying it.

There will be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead as I continue to try to keep myself in shape.

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2013 in review December 31, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Art, Audio, Commentary, Film, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, Weather.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com.  Scroll down for my editorial.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,600 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2013 was the first full year for the WordPress version of MikeChimeri.com.  April was a transformative month that saw my upgrade from a Nikon D3100 camera to a D5100, and finally join iPhone nation.  I upgraded from an LG enV3 to an Apple iPhone 5.  (I ended up giving my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 to someone very special.)  A week after those two upgrades, I documented the 2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  A week after that, I was in Milford, Connecticut, for the first two-night Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert seriesApril also marked five years since The Mike Chimeri Blog was launched; MikeChimeri.com launched in May 2005, seven years before merging with the blog.

In addition to some new contemporary jazz releases, I broadened my musical horizons by adding Return to Forever, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and various Christmas compilations to my collection.  I posted more expressway and parkway pictures.  I spent most of the summer scanning old 35mm pictures and recording cassettes and microcassettes to one of my hard drives.  I returned to LIU Post and WCWP in October for my annual Homecoming Weekend Show and Homecoming itself.  I attended Charlie Fillizola’s art exhibit at Wantagh Public Library.  And besides SJFS, I attended concerts in August, October, and November.

I didn’t mention this in any post, but there was one dark spot in 2013: the loss of my paternal grandmother, Marilyn “Mazz” Chimeri (née Garing), in early July.  She was the last of my grandparents remaining after I lost my maternal grandparents, Lennie and Arthur Rose, in June and November 2010, and my paternal grandfather, Carmen Chimeri, in December 2011.  I miss them dearly, but feel lucky to have known them for as long as I did.  I love you all.

I hope for the best in 2014, not only for myself, but for each and every one of you visiting this site.  Have a happy and healthy new year.

2012 in review December 30, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Travel, Weather.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com.  Scroll down for my editorial.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

This site began in 2012 as The Mike Chimeri Blog, but in May, I did something I should have done four years earlier: combine my blog and my original website that I created through Yahoo Sitebuilder.  After two weeks of uploading files and recreating pages, the new MikeChimeri.com was born.

2012 was the year I switched to a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, a Nikon D3100, improving the quality of the pictures you see in my posts.  The first two posts featuring pics shot with the D3100 were Scenery Pictures in late June and the Brian Simpson recap in early September.  The Matt Marshak recap from mid-November was the first post where all pics were shot with it.  Despite the switch, I plan to hold on to my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 as a backup.  In fact, my last regular post of the year, pics taken westbound on the Belt Parkway, was all shot on the Lumix.

Unfortunately, 2012 was the third year in a row where a major storm hit Long Island, knocked out my power for more than a day, and left me to relocate until power was restored.  This time, Sandy was the culprit.

Whatever comes my way in 2013, there’s a good chance I’ll post about it here.  Have a happy and healthy 2013, everyone.

The Barclays at Bethpage Black recap August 27, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Golf, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
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For the first time in three years, Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale hosted a PGA Tour event.  This time, it was The Barclays.

The weather this year was much better than it was at the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championships, especially than the latter.  It was rain-free.

Earlier in the year, my dad got final round tickets for me and him.  Before we get to a recap of that, here are recaps of the first three rounds:
Round 1 recap
Round 2 recap
Round 3 recap

After Nick Watney’s third round struggles, I predicted that Sergio Garcia, the leader going into the final round would win.  I was wrong.

Unlike at the two U.S. Opens the Black hosted, cell phones were allowed, but had to be on silent or vibrate.  My phone was on vibrate as I provided live updates throughout the day on Facebook.  Here’s how that went:

11:23 AM:I’m headed to Jones Beach where a shuttle will take me and my dad (and other passengers) to Bethpage Black Golf Course at Bethpage State Park. We’ll be catching the final round of The Barclays. Golf Channel coverage runs from 12:00 to 1:30, followed by CBS from 2:00 until play concludes, which should be around 6:00.”

12:03 PM:I’m on the bus headed to Bethpage Black. I saw some license plates in the parking lot from as far away as Michigan and Tennessee. Also, New Jersey, Connecticut, [Massachusetts,] and Maryland.”

12:21 PM:Almost at Bethpage Black. I plan on following the second-to-last pairing: Kevin Stadler [son of Craig] and Brandt Snedeker [‘SNED-uh-kur’].”

1:32 PM:I ended up following Phil Mickelson and John Senden for the first two holes, then stopped at a concession stand. We’ll catch up with Stadler and Snedeker at the 3rd.”  Despite shooting a 76, the fans loved him, as I could tell from the wild cheers I heard at 17 later in his round.

I put my phone down until Stads and Sneds were halfway through.

3:32 PM: 9 holes down, 9 to go.

Then, I waited another five holes before writing another update.

4:46 PM:Crossing Round Swamp Rd. 4 holes to go.”

After the pair’s second shots at 15, Dad and I jumped ahead to the last three holes.  Then, the updates became more frequent…

5:02 PM:Skipped to 16th fairway. CBS’s [course reporter] Peter Kostis is to my right.”

5:18 PM:Up to 17th green. Live CBS feed is on video leaderboard.”

5:26 PM:Now at 18th fairway. Again, a leaderboard with CBS’s feed is straight ahead. The green is to the left.”

By this time, the drunk fans that are wont to cheer too loud, yell catchphrases out of context (i.e. “GET IN THE HOLE!” on a tee shot at a par 4 or 5), paraphrase the “Olé” song using Nick Watney’s surname (as I heard on my DVR later), and heckle players they don’t like (Sergio Garcia) got to me:

5:34 PM:It’s not fun when a reserved guy like me is next to enthusiastic and/or drunk fans.”  Sober fans acquitted themselves well, as they always do.

5:36 PM:Snedeker and Stadler are on the green. Sergio Garcia and leader Nick Watney are approaching.”

5:39 PM:Last pairing in fairway. CBS’s [other course reporter] David Feherty walked by, got cheers.”

5:44 PM:Watney’s on the green, Sergio’s in the bunker, to the delight of some fans. I feel sorry for him.”  A “USA” chant broke out as if we were at the Ryder Cup, speaking of out of context.  And there were two Spanish people standing next to us.  I felt sorry for them, too.  I finished the update by saying “[t]he crowd at the green is cheering.”

5:47 PM:Sergio bogeyed. The stage is set for Watney.”  He birdied!

5:49 PM:Put it in the books.”  That’s what Mets radio announcer Howie Rose says after a win.  “Nick Watney has won The Barclays. Final score: -10.”

5:52 PM:Feherty interviewed Watney for CBS [briefly interrupted by Nick embracing his wife], then off to sign the scorecard and back to 18 for the trophy presentation.”

5:53 PM:Leaderboard reads ‘Congratulations Nick Watney, 2012 Champion’ with a headshot of him.”

5:58 PM:CBS’s Ian Baker-Finch is [hosting] the presentation.”

5:59 PM:The champion is back.”

6:06 PM:After getting the trophy, Finchy [one of Ian’s nicknames] interviewed him. He ‘couldn’t be happier,’ ‘overjoyed.’ He thanked volunteers, fans, and wife. After the interview, he hoisted the trophy.”  His cousin Heidi, of the soon-to-launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles, was also there.

With The Barclays complete, it was time to go home.

6:07 PM:Now, we’re walking to the shuttle bound for Jones Beach.”

6:24 PM:The shuttle is departing…”

6:48 PM:Walking to the car at Jones Beach. Next stop: home.”

7:19 PM:I got home about ten minutes ago. Phew.”

I ate a hearty meal of pasta and watched some of my DVR of CBS’s coverage, but not before taking two pictures.

This is how I looked as I walked the course:

My ticket stub, pins, and two copies of both the spectator guide and final round pairings:

Here are the post-round links:

PGATour.com:
Round 4 recap
Nick Watney press conference
Daily Wrap-up
Results
PGA Tour Replay podcast

Newsday (subscription needed)

New York Daily News

Golf Channel:
Doug Ferguson: Watney wins Barclays; Garcia 4 back
Jason Sobel: Watney becoming more comfortable in spotlight
Barclays photo gallery
Rex Hoggard: Watney’s psychologist credited for Barclays win

The day after, I returned to Bethpage by bus and by foot, taking these pictures along the way:

Welcome sign at Farmingdale LIRR station:

This sign was up approaching Round Swamp Road while walking west on Bethpage Road:

The next three pictures were taken from Round Swamp Road:

This sign was at the main entrance on Quaker Meeting House Road:

After the above picture, I made my way back to Quake Meeting House Road.  The inside of the park was closed until three days later.

This was the last relevant shot of the day before heading home:

The Barclays returns to Bethpage Black in 2016, part of a four-year rotation with other New York area courses.  I hope the weather is as great as it was this year.  Congratulations again to Nick Watney, your 2012 Barclays Champion.  Best of luck in the final three FedExCup Playoff events.

NOTE: I decided to write entirely in the past tense rather than the present except for “yesterday” referring to when the final round was played.  I did this despite “the day after” being today and “three days later” being Thursday, among other examples.

Read the manual! May 1, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Video.
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As I noted in my previous post, I was at WCWP’s first annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night at LIU Post.

What I didn’t tell you was I brought my recently purchased JVC Everio GZ-HM320 HD camcorder to record the ceremony, which lasted about an hour, in addition to candid chatter before and afterward.

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the camcorder’s manual when I bought it in October.  After a few successful, short test recordings in October and November, I didn’t use it until Thursday night.  I was able to get two minutes of chatter and the first nine minutes of the ceremony, but then, the memory card stopped working.  Everything recorded after LIU Post Provost Dr. Paul Forestell talked about when he first met WCWP station manager Dan Cox was corrupted and could not be viewed or recovered.  At least I had the pictures I shot on my digital camera.

My first reaction the following day when I learned of the file corruption was to look for a better camcorder with internal memory of at least 32 GB (gigabytes).  But tonight, it finally dawned on me that it wasn’t the camcorder that was the problem.  It was the memory card: a Kingston Class 4 SDHC 32 GB card.  Before I considered buying a SanDisk card of the same class and size, I looked at my camcorder’s manual.

In the middle of page 9, it said “operations are confirmed on … Panasonic, TOSHIBA, SanDisk [and] ATP” cards.  For video, “Class 4 or higher compatible SDHC card (4 GB to 32 GB).”  And then, the money quote: “Using cards other than those specified above may result in recording failure or data loss.”  Bingo!

So, I went ahead and bought that SanDisk card to replace the Kingston.  If I get uninterrupted video for more than ten minutes the next I record an event like the WCWP Hall of Fame ceremony, I’ll know I made the right decision.  And I’ll save a ton of money.

The moral is simple: Read the manual!

5/3 UPDATE: The SanDisk card arrived this afternoon.  Putting it in did the trick!  My camcorder successfully recorded about an hour and a half of video while I went to and from Sunrise Mall (Westfield Sunrise) in East Massapequa.  There was no corruption; all files (3.89 GB at a time) played and could be scrolled through in Windows Media Player.
I also tested my Tascam DR-03 audio recorder while I was out.  It recorded the same length of time as the camcorder successfully with a SanDisk 16 GB microSDHC card.

My thoughts on Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants February 19, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Football, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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(Starting with the Giants’ first win against the Cowboys, I link to highlights from Dial Global Sports‘ coverage of each win.)

Two weeks have passed since the New York Giants of the National Football League won Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  So, I thought I’d take this time to share my thoughts on their win and their season.

I became a Giants fan in the early ’90s, but didn’t make an effort to watch the games until the 1997 season.  I was too young to appreciate the Giants’ Super Bowl championship seasons of ’86 and ’90 and only saw it through retrospective clips and documentaries.  I thought 2000 would be the year I would see them win a Super Bowl, which was held in Tampa that year.  My dad and I were in the area the week of Super Bowl XXXV.  We saw some NFL and media personalities at the Innisbrook Resort, where my grandparents lived, and went to the NFL Experience outside of Raymond James Stadium two before the game.  We watched the game back at Innisbrook, but it was very depressing.  It left such a bad taste in my mouth I couldn’t watch highlights until after the 2007 season.  Why?  The Giants did the improbable, beating the undefeated New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII.  I was finally old enough to see my Giants win a Super Bowl and appreciate it.

In the seasons after ’07, the Giants would get off to a hot start and then slack off in the second half.  They symbolized that in one game, a collapse in a December 2010 game against the Eagles.  It was devastating.  They still could have made the playoffs by winning their last game of that season two weeks later, but the Packers had to lose.  They didn’t, and Redskins fans made that known as they chanted for the Giants and visiting Giants’ fans: “Green Bay won!  Green Bay won!”  And the Pack went on to win Super Bowl XLV, but I was proud of them because they knocked out the Eagles in the Wild Card round.

The 2011 season started on a down note, a loss to the Redskins in the same venue where eight months earlier, the G-Men learned they had been eliminated from playoff contention.  But then, three wins a row.  After a loss to the Seahawks, they won three more.  The first of those games, against the Bills, was a result I had to keep under wraps as the game was in progress.  I was at the baptism (and post-baptism party) of a friend’s daughter and the brother-in-law was a Bills fan that DVR’d the game.  The third of those games was a very satisfying win in New England against the Patriots.  Unfortunately, past history repeated itself after that.  The Giants lost four in a row to fall to 6-6.  In the middle of that losing streak, I wrote the following status update on Facebook:

This second half collapse will cost [head coach] Tom Coughlin his job on January 2.

After the third loss in a row, a blowout loss to the Saints, I wrote:

If the Giants finish 8-8 or 9-7, I’ll be amazed. 6-10 seems likeliest.

Despite the losing streak, at 6-6, the Cowboys were not far behind at 7-5.  The two teams played each other the following week at Cowboys Stadium.  The Giants came from behind to win that game and led the NFC East on a tiebreaker.  (Dial Global highlights.)  But then they lost to the Redskins a second time, which led me to write this update:

Today was dream-killing day for the Giants and Jets [who lost to the Eagles while the Bengals won their game].

The Giants’ next game, the second-to-last of the regular season, was a “road” game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.  The Giants usually beat the Jets in their regular season match-ups every four years, but I couldn’t see a Rex Ryan-coached Jets squad lose to the G-Men.  So, thirteen hours before the game…

My prediction: The Jets will beat the Giants and the Cowboys will beat the Eagles a few hours later.

The opposite happened: the Giants trailed early, but stormed ahead and won 29-14.  (Dial Global highlights.)  The Eagles nearly shut out the Cowboys and won 20-7.  The stage was set for a winner-take-all season finale between the Giants and the ‘Boys at MetLife Stadium.  The result:

The Giants beat the Cowboys 31-14, win the NFC East, and will face Atlanta next week.  [Dial Global highlights.]

The Falcons blew out the Buccaneers in their last game of the regular season, so I expected the same against the Giants.  Instead, it was a Giants win 24-2.  An intentional grounding safety was the only Falcons score.  (Dial Global highlights.)

There was no way the Giants could beat the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau Field, but they did 37-20.  (Dial Global highlights.)

Then, history repeated itself again in the NFC Championship in these ways:

  • 1991 (’90 season): Giants beat 49ers 15-13 at Candlestick Park on Matt Bahr field goal; Steve DeOssie was the snapper; Jack Buck called the game for CBS Radio (now Dial Global)
  • 2008 (’07 season): Giants beat Packers 23-20 at Lambeau Field on Lawrence Tynes field goal
  • 2008 (’07 season): Patriots are the Giants’ opponent in Super Bowl

Joe Buck called this year’s NFC Championship for FOX TV.  Before the game-winning kick by Tynes in overtime, Buck listed the snapper (Zak DeOssie), holder, and kicker.  The kick was good.  The Giants won 20-17 and were off to Super Bowl XLVI, a rematch with the Patriots.  (Dial Global highlights.)

The next two weeks were tough because I feared a revenge-fueled blowout by the Pats, which came to me in a dream, sort of:

[1/27, 11:23 PM]: I had a dream last night that I hope isn’t an omen. The Giants were playing somebody–I don’t remember who– and got blown out.

Four hours before Super Bowl XLVI:

My pessimistic Super Bowl XLVI prediction: Patriots 45, Giants 10. I would love to not only get the outcome wrong, but the team that wins wrong. In other words, I want the Giants to win.

I didn’t watch the game live until 9:30, when there were about four minutes left in regulation.  (Dial Global highlights.)  The Patriots led 17-15, but only for a few more minutes.  Ahmad Bradshaw’s accidental touchdown put the Giants ahead 21-17.  I breathed deeply and my extremities grew numb as I watched the Pats’ final drive.  Then, at 9:53, seconds after Tom Brady’s incomplete Hail Mary pass, I swiveled my desk chair to the left and typed:

Oh, baby! They did it! The New York Giants win Super Bowl XLVI! My hands are numb from anxiety.

I was both relieved and excited.  About $80 later, I was the proud owner (through online purchases) of the championship cap, locker room t-shirt, parade t-shirt, and DVD.  There was also the matter the following day of getting the Monday newspapers, which I posed with in the guest bedroom:

Tuesday was the day of the Tickertape Parade along the Canyon of Heroes and the Victory Rally at MetLife Stadium:

The Super Bowl XLVI DVD doesn’t come out until March 6.  I’ve watched the following to hold me over while I wait:

There you have it: the Giants’ 2011-12 championship season as I saw it.  Thank you for reading.  To paraphrase the team’s playoff catchphrase, I’m all out.

LIU Post January 27, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Education, Internet, Personal.
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The bus operator for Nassau County wasn’t the only thing to change on New Year’s Day.  All campuses of Long Island University rebranded themselves, including C.W. Post.  The C.W. was dropped and the university now goes by “LIU Post.”

The pre-rebrand press release has more:


On January 1, 2012, Long Island University—one of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the nation—will rebrand itself as LIU. A bold and greatly simplified logo will be introduced. This effort represents a “double rebranding” for the University, because simultaneous with the launch, the names of LIU’s six campuses will receive shorter, more telegraphic designations, uniting them under the new LIU brand, making them more modern and memorable in a Facebook and Twitter world. For example: the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University will be referred to as LIU Post.

LIU Post is just another thing to get used to in 2012.  Before long, it will roll off the tongue and the old habit of referring to “C.W. Post” will be broken.

2011 in review December 31, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, TV.
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The following is a WordPress post for my blog, edited by me with editorials (like this one) in italics.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,300 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report (link removed).

Why did I remove the link?  It drastically slowed down my browser (Firefox) and repeatedly crashed it.  I’m finishing this post in Internet Explorer.  Here’s the text I copied and pasted, saving in multiple drafts between crashes:

WordPress.com presents

The Mike Chimeri Blog

2011 in blogging

Happy New Year from WordPress.com!

To kick off the new year, we’d like to share with you data on your blog’s activity in 2011. You may start scrolling!

Crunchy numbers

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,300 times in 2011.  If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2011, there were 43 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 225 posts.  There were 861 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1gb.  That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was August 21st with 236 views.  The most popular post that day was Bolder & Fresher Tour at Westbury recap.

How did they find you?

Some visitors came searching, mostly for joyce cooling, empty stage, wwe headquarters, ken navarro, and steve scales.

What is people’s fascination with a picture of an empty Parsons Complex auditorium stage that I put in my 2008 Smooth Jazz for Scholars recap?

Where did they come from?

Most visitors came from The United States. Canada & Italy were not far behind.

Here are the stats I screencapped before Firefox crashed one time too many:

People also visited from other continents, but I can’t risk crashing my browser again to see their stats.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2011 was Bolder & Fresher Tour at Westbury recap
These were your 5 most active commenters:

Perhaps you could follow their blog or send them a thank you note?

Thank you, even if you disagreed with me.  And thank you, Johnny Dollar, for linking to the recap.  It was the only one online.  Not even Newsday wrote about the show.

Attractions in 2011

These are the posts that got the most views in 2011.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2011. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

I don’t know why that FBN post continues to get attention.  Cablevision added it in November 2009.

As always, thank you very much for visiting.  Happy 2012!

A NICE gesture December 25, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, News, Personal, Travel.
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The cherry on top of this Christmas and sixth night of Hanukkah was learning that the new Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus–the private replacement of the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) Long Island Bus–will be accepting MetroCards on their buses.

More from Newsday (subscription needed):

… [T]he MTA ironed out details of a “memorandum of understanding” with Nassau that will allow the bus system to continue using the MetroCard fare payment system.  Under the agreement, the MTA will receive 1.75 cents per MetroCard swipe.  The agreement also will allow for free transfers between NICE bus and MTA subways or buses.  [Incoming NICE chief executive Michael Setzer] called the agreement “a big win for both MTA and NICE riders.”

Also, according to the NICE website, the routes and schedules will remain the same.

I’m ready to make NICE, starting next Sunday, New Year’s Day 2012.

My 9/11 experience September 10, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Football, Hockey, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV.
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The following is an excerpt from a written summary of a 9/11 portfolio I made at the end of the Fall 2001 semester (December 16) at C.W. Post for my Broadcasting 1 course, edited for brevity and accuracy:

It was 9:10 a.m. on September 11.  I just wanted to see what Regis [Philbin] and Kelly [Ripa] were talking about [on Live with Regis and Kelly].  So, I put on Channel 7 (WABC), and [saw] John DelGiorno in NewsCopter 7 showing smoke rising from both towers of the World Trade Center.  I had no idea how it had happened, but after flipping from station to station, and seeing the various replays, I knew.  At the time, it was considered that two planes accidentally crashed into the two towers, especially after the first plane hit, and that perhaps these were [small planes].  But, of course, they were two Boeing 767s; one was American Airlines Flight 11, and the next was United Airlines Flight 175.  As more time passed, we got a better idea that this was a terrorist attack of some sort.  It was made clear when it was reported that two planes had been hijacked and disappeared from radar, and especially clear when at [9:37], there was a fire at the Pentagon, which turned out to be from American Flight 77.  As all this was going on, I tried to go about my regular activities and get ready for my day at C.W. Post.  At [9:58], I was in my parents’ bedroom, standing, towel in hand about to shower, watching Channel 4 (WNBC) and listening to Howard Stern, which my parents had on.  We were looking live at the two burning towers, and then, as I looked away for a second [at 9:59], I turned back as my dad made a shocking remark.  “The building just collapsed,” he said in horror.  “Oh, my God.”  And I indeed saw the South Tower collapsing in on itself.   My heart sank as many stories as the tower; it was the most chilling thing I had seen since United 175 crash[ed] into that same tower.  I continued to get ready, now further terrorized, and then at 10:29, as my mom and I were getting into our car to head up to campus, my dad came out the front door.  I lowered my window, and he told us that the other tower had collapsed [one minute earlier].  I didn’t know what that looked like until I saw the replay on CNN at the Hillwood Cinema.  As I watched the North Tower, with antennas and transmitters, collapse, I let out a long, horrified groan.  That is all I will say about how September 11 was for me.  …

Addendum:
Classes were suspended in the afternoon and didn’t resume until Thursday.  So, I needed a ride home in the mid-afternoon.  I couldn’t get through to either of my parents for that ride.  When I walked past Humanities Hall, I found my Human Values professor from two semesters prior, John Lutz.  Dr. Lutz was gracious enough to give me the ride home I needed.  We listened to 1010 WINS for much of what turned out to be a long ride.  Traffic was heavy nearly the entire way home.  Lutz is still teaching at C.W. Post, now as an associate professor of English (9/10/13: and Chairman of the English Department).  If you happen to read this, Dr. Lutz, I can’t thank you enough for your help on that chaotic day ten years ago.

I was so overcome with emotion that I wasn’t in the mood to listen to any music (on CDs or MP3s on the computer) for up to a week.  Yet, I had a song in my head that I couldn’t repress.  As the song looped, I kept visualizing either the two towers on fire after being hit or the image from NewsCopter 7–one that got replayed repeatedly–of United 175 flying diagonally into the South Tower.  It was chilling, as I said in my summary.  When I wasn’t watching the nonstop coverage on that day and the days ahead, I watched syndicated reruns of The Simpsons that I had been taping for a year.  (I gave that up in 2006.)  It was a therapeutic escape from the insanity of real life.

I’ll conclude this post with a few pictures.  These were taken on a return trip to Ground Zero while shooting my senior project: a documentary about Joe Falco, a now-retired FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the South Tower:

And the following links:
Rick Folbaum Recounts Horrors of Reporting From Ground Zero on 9/11; Reveals Chilling Video From the Scene
Remembering 9/11: Incredible Raw Video Shows Rick Leventhal Interviewing Survivors at Ground Zero as North Tower Collapses
Janice Dean’s look back
PHOTOS: 10 Years After Sept. 11 Attack, Amazing Before-and-After Photos of Ground Zero & World Trade Center Site
TV News Reflects on 9/11/01: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, NBC’s Anne Thompson
TV News Reflects on 9/11/01: Bloomberg TV’s Michael McKee, FNC’s Shepard Smith and Rick Leventhal
VIDEO: Flashback: 9/11 as it happened
AUDIO: Steve Somers’ 9/10/11 monologue on WFAN

H/T for six of the eight links to Johnny Dollar’s Friday and Saturday links pages.

Further addendum: I want to be fair and share this link passed along to me via e-mail by Liz Potter: My Fellow American
Ms. Potter contacted me after I brought up Joe Falco in my Bolder Fresher recap:

I went with my dad and we were joined later by family friend Joe Falco.  Joe is a former FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower on September 11, 2001.  My college senior project was a documentary featuring his recollections and a return to Ground Zero where he retraced his steps.

Since it was a passing reference to 9/11, I politely declined linking.  Now that I’ve made a direct reference with this post, it’s only fair that I link.

9/12 UPDATE: I have another video link: Fox Sports and the NFL’s 9/11 Remembrance. (9/10/13: Link no longer works.) Just over three minutes in, there is a rousing rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed by Jim Cornelison at Soldier Field.  Here’s a little background on from his YouTube channel:

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