Sandy retired May 15, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Media, News, Personal, Weather.
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I missed this story last month, but the National Hurricane Center has retired the name Sandy from its list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names. Beginning in 2018, and every six years thereafter until the next retirement, the “S” storm will be named “Sara.” Here are the first two paragraphs of NOAA’s article about the name retirement:
Sandy has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee because of the extreme impacts it caused from Jamaica and Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic United States in October 2012.
Storm names are reused every six years for both the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins. If a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of the name would be insensitive or confusing, the WMO hurricane committee, which includes personnel from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, may retire the name. Sandy is the 77th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954. The name will be replaced with “Sara” beginning in 2018.
I think I speak for everyone affected by Sandy when I say “good riddance.”
You can read about my Sandy experience here. I was lucky. All I experienced was nine days without power. It was nothing like the horror that waterfront residents experienced, and many are still recovering from.
2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 20, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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Previous Hall of Fame Ceremonies: 2012
The second annual WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony featured the inductions of Maura “Bernie” Bernard, Steve Radoff, Harry Lowenthal, and Bill Mozer. Like the inaugural ceremony last year, this year’s ceremony was held at the Tilles Center Atrium. Unlike last year, the sun was shining brightly outside.
…but he wasn’t the only one.
It was an emotional speech.
“Let’s hear it for the 2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Class!”
It was quite a day! Congratulations to Bernie, Steve, Harry, and Bill: the WCWP Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
A March nor’easter and its wet snow March 8, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, TV, Weather.
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It’s been a trying nine days for me. It all began last Wednesday night. Meteorologists began warning of a big nor’easter for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic one week later. It would bring high winds and wet snow, a volatile mix.
In the days that followed, weather computer models from various media and meteorological organizations projected different paths for the storm to take and where it would meet up with a low moving from the Pacific to the Tennessee Valley. The center would be over Cape Hatteras or the Delmarva Peninsula. From there, it would go east, southeast, or northeast.
Meteorologists hedged their bets by making their forecasts based on what the most models were predicting at the time, but made clear that the forecast could change. It did. Long Island went from missing the nor’easter entirely, except for gusty winds, to getting its northern fringe. Worse yet, the storm was going to take longer to push east than originally expected. Thus, a one-day nor’easter became a three-day nor’easter.
March has seen its share of major nor’easters:
- The Great Blizzard of 1888
- The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962
- The 1993 Storm of the Century
- The March 2010 Nor’easter (more on that below)
The worst of the 1993 and 2010 storms came through Long Island on the same date: March 13. When the ’93 storm hit, I was living in Freeport, three blocks away from Baldwin Bay. My cousins, aunt, and grandmother stayed over while my parents were in St. Maarten. They left two days before the storm and came back two days after. A few months earlier, there was an equally strong nor’easter. At the afternoon high tide, a few inches of water came into the first floor of the house. I was too young to remember our house flooding during Hurricane Gloria. So this was traumatizing. I don’t recall if water got in during the SotC, but I do know the first floor lacked a carpet for the rest of our time in the house. I also remember we had snow that was followed by rain. And according to AccuWeather, Freeport was in the 10-to-20-inch range:
1993 SotC snowfall
For the next week or two, the backyard looked like the North Pole because the rain-and-flood-soaked snow froze over. Air temperatures were stuck below freezing for a week. So, snow didn’t completely melt in some areas until the end of the month.
My family and I moved (for unrelated school reasons) to the Wantagh Woods section of Wantagh in July 1993, over a mile inland, where I live to this day.
Back in the present, as it became clear we were getting this nor’easter, visions of Sandy began dancing in my head as I feared the worst, even though the highest gusts would be nothing like Sandy. And the nor’easter’s duration brought me back to what began my high wind fears in the first place: a stronger nor’easter that began three years ago next Wednesday. I was without power then, due to uprooted trees, for two days. Then, in poker terms, Irene saw those two days and raised me five and a half. Sandy saw those five and a half days and raised me nine.
I also thought of a similar wet snow-producing nor’easter that came exactly one year before Sandy. New Jersey, Connecticut, and the Hudson Valley received a lot of wet snow, which weighed down still-leaved tree limbs, taking many of them down, or whole trees down, and the power out with them. The post-Sandy nor’easter also brought wet snow that weighed down still-leaved tree limbs – Sandy didn’t blow all of them off – but the ones in my neighborhood did not break off nor did they come down.
This week’s nor’easter came in under cover of darkness early Wednesday morning. The winds gradually increased, as did the gusts. Gusts of around 40 miles per hour plowed against my east-facing bedroom wall. But precipitation was scarce. As the day progressed, the wind direction shifted from the east to the north-northeast. The wind was no longer pushing against the wall, but I could still hear it.
As the night progressed, I was prepared for power to go out at any moment. I went to sleep around midnight and woke up seven hours later with the power still on. Not only that, but the wind diminished and there wasn’t any snow on the ground. Up to 6 inches of wet snowfall was originally expected for Wednesday night into yesterday, the first part of the nor’easter, but by mid-afternoon, the forecast dwindled to an inch or two. With little or no snow for Wednesday night, the concern shifted to last night into today when heavier wet snow was expected.
More snow fell to my north and any area that received heavy snow bands. According to Newsday (subscription required), Syosset received 8 inches of wet snow and Jericho got 6 inches. Levittown, to my immediate north, received 4.5 inches.
The wet snow melted on most of my driveway, but stuck to the cars and garbage/recycling pails left at the curb for Friday pickup.
Five hours later, snow had tapered off and begun to melt.
As I publish this post, the wind has shifted to the north-northwest and is a mere eleven miles per hour. Most of the wet snow on the grass in the above picture is still there. With milder temperatures and abundant sunshine expected over the next few days, it won’t be on the grass much longer.
Whose Line is it Anyway? reboots this summer! March 3, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Theatre, TV.
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Ten days after I had given up on the return of Trust Us with Your Life, I learned of wonderful news (via The Hollywood Reporter, h/t Jonathan Mangum): Whose Line is it Anyway? is returning to television this summer!
The Whose Line reboot will air on the CW, which was home to Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show prior to the WB’s merger with UPN. According to THR, Whose Line marks the CW’s return to comedy. They’ve otherwise been known for teen dramas.
As with the first American version, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady will be the lead performers. Aisha Tyler will follow in the hosting footsteps of Clive Anderson and Drew Carey. (Clive hosted the original British version.) It’ll be interesting to see which house musician(s) will be on hand for musical games like “Song Styles” (or “Duet”), “Greatest Hits,” and “Hoedown.”
It’s a 10-episode run, but could be more if renewed or less if canceled. Based on the failures of the Green Screen Show, Improv-A-Ganza,” and Trust Us With Your Life, I’d say the latter is more likely. But as usual, I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s part of THR’s story:
… Based on the U.K. format, which spawned the 1998-2004 ABC series led by Drew Carey, Whose Line will feature the return of Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie, who, along with a special guest each episode, will put their comedic skills to the test through a series of improv games. Prompted by ideas from the studio audience and [host Aisha] Tyler, the performers use the information and their imaginations to depict different characters, scenes and perform songs. A winner will be named at the end of each episode.
From Angst Productions and Hat Trick Productions, Whose Line is executive produced by Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson, Jimmy Mulville, Stiles and Brady. It was co-created by Patterson and Leveson. …
February 8-9 blizzard pictures, video February 11, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Health, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Video, Weather.
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Coming into February, it had been two years since a major winter storm impacted Long Island. The previous winter only saw one storm in mid-January that left merely a few inches. Other than that, there were minor accumulations left by premature mid-fall storms in October 2011 and November 2012, the latter coming nine days after Hurricane Sandy devastated my region.
But on Friday, February 8, Long Island was impacted by a major winter storm; a blizzard, in fact. Most of Suffolk County got over two feet of snow. And across Long Island Sound, parts of Connecticut got over three feet.
Nassau County was spared the worst, getting around or under one foot. Winds were gusty, but power stayed on. In my neighborhood, I heard and saw Town of Hempstead trucks come by around the clock to plow my street.
Three grueling hours of shoveling followed. About a half hour in, my sister checked on me. I asked her to bring me a ruler to measure snow in the middle of the driveway, which I had yet to shovel. The standard 12-inch ruler measured about 10 1/2 inches of snowfall. Newsday’s official total for Wantagh was 11 inches. Another half hour passed and my sister joined me in shoveling. Then, our neighbor came by with his snow blower to finish what we started.
I also shot video on my JVC Everio HD camcorder, which you can see here, preceded by video from Friday night on the D3100:
I had been outside for 3 1/2 hours, coming inside for a little while to eat eggs and bacon, and drink a glass of orange juice, for breakfast. I was relieved to relax the rest of the day. Parts of my body ached, but by the time I’m posting this on Monday afternoon, those aches have subsided.
If this is the only major storm Long Island gets this winter, it was certainly memorable. But as lucky as my area was in getting under a foot of snow, I only wish my friends in Suffolk and Connecticut could have had the same luck.
Meanwhile, there could be more than one minor or moderate winter storm before spring; this Wednesday night, for example.
2012 in review December 30, 2012Posted 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.
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.
Matt Marshak “Colors of Me” release party November 19, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Weather.
This is my first show recap to include grayscale (black and white) pictures.
I was at Houndstooth for the first set. Here’s the set list:
1. Down in Delaware
2. Cadillac Kid
4. Teddy P (audience request)
6. Time for Takeoff
7. On the Rocks*
*-Alex Bugnon sat in on keyboard.
…which he did for “On the Rocks” and “Funkology.”
What can I say that I haven’t already said in other recaps? I had a great time, as always; another unforgettable night.
My Sandy experience November 10, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, DVD, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
The nightmare known as Hurricane (or Superstorm) Sandy was thrust upon my attention on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 24, hours before seeing pianist David Benoit perform at the Iridium Jazz Club. The first report I read about the storm had a few scenario options, which included turning east out to sea and taking a sharp westerly turn toward the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S and combine with an approaching cold front. By the second report, the latter scenario became more likely. With each passing report until it made landfall in South New Jersey on the evening of October 29, more and more models showed that worst case scenario. And with each passing report, I grew more and more paranoid and fearful of what would happen.
Sandy was so large that its effects were first felt through cloud cover on Saturday, October 27. The following day, October 28, showers and minor wind gusts began. I couldn’t stand hearing the wind plowing into the windows and wall from my Wantagh home’s east-facing bedroom. So, I slept in the basement that night.
When I woke up early on October 29, the worst still hadn’t arrived, but the wind was still strong, around 30 miles per hour with gusts in the 50s. Somehow, the power did not go out during the morning. But by 1:30 PM, the power began to flicker off and on. And at 1:45, the power went out to stay and wouldn’t return until nine days later. As the wind continued to howl upstairs, now approaching sustained winds of 45 mph with gusts to 60, back in the basement, I used my Sennheiser studio headphones to listen to audiobooks on my CD-playing Walkman. But spoken words were unable to completely drown out the sound of wind. So, rather than waste battery power on my iPod, I used the Walkman, which runs on AA batteries, to listen to music. I took two pairs of CDs that I used for my two recent WCWP Homecoming Weekend shows and a dozen albums. When I wasn’t listening to news radio for the latest on Sandy, or sports radio to forget about Sandy, I was listening to my CDs.
My parents, sister, and I were prepared with plenty of bottled water, bags of food, canned goods, AA batteries, C batteries, D batteries, and a generator. We didn’t use the generator until after the height of Sandy, which came around 8PM, shortly after it transitioned to a post-tropical cyclone. As the worst winds pummeled the house, gusting as high as 85 mph, we congregated in the living room where an extension cord ran from the generator in the back yard to the middle of the room. There, I plugged in a power strip and we plugged in a table lamp for light, and all our rechargeable electronics. For a little while, we watched DVDs on my sister’s laptop. After a couple of hours, my dad turned the generator off and we all went to sleep. I returned to the basement for that.
Outside of a tree falling in my next-block neighbor’s back yard, two shingles falling off our roof, a toppled-over garbage pail on the side of the house, and branches and leaves on the grass, I was clueless as to the extent of damage in my area. But a tree fell a block east of our house, which is why our power went out, and a few trees fell one block north and west.
At around 11AM on October 30, I walked around the exterior of my house to take aftermath pictures.
I fixed the pail that blew over about a half hour before taking pictures.
When the power strip wasn’t connected to the extension cord, either the microwave or coffee maker were plugged in.
The tile-less table was moved slightly by the high winds.
I was in the basement listening to a CD on my Walkman and could hear my dad in the kitchen saying “Tree down!”
But the absolute worst hit areas were waterfront communities. Main floors and basements were destroyed. House and building fires that started after flooding began couldn’t be contained and had to burn out. Knowing all this gave me survivor guilt. I felt guilty that my house was hardly damaged and all I lost was power, while my friends in places like South Freeport, Baldwin Harbor, Island Park, Long Beach, Lido Beach, and Massapequa lost everything that wasn’t on the second floor or higher. The Rockaways and Staten Island were hit just as hard.
An example of how hard Freeport was hit can be seen in this video of damage to the Nautical Mile (Woodcleft Avenue), via The Weekly Freeporter YouTube channel:
Guilt aside, I developed cabin fever after two days at my powerless house (outside of generated power). So, on the night of Halloween, after riding out Tuesday night in my increasingly cold bedroom, I made the trip to a family friend’s house in Rockville Centre (power had just returned after only two days). I went on to spend the next week there while power was out at home. Of all the times for power to come back, on the afternoon of November 7, it was as a wet snow-producing nor’easter began to affect the Northeast. But unlike Sandy, the center of this nor’easter was far offshore and the winds were not very strong on Western Long Island. Somehow, the wet snow bent but did not break tree limbs and it gradually melted or fell off the following day.
While power returned on November 7, cable did not come back until two days later.
Laura Donovan: The Domino Effect Of Hurricane Sandy: Why One Natural Disaster Changed Everything For Me
Peter Hoare: How Hurricane Sandy Ravaged My Town (Long Beach)
CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri on WCWP: 2012 edition October 20, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Technology, Video.
Previous CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri recaps: 2011
Early this morning at 2:00, CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri aired on WCWP 88.1 FM. It’s part of the station’s – and its university LIU Post’s – Homecoming Weekend, which started last night at 7:00 and ends late tomorrow night.
I recorded the show two weeks ago, on October 5, as seen in this picture…
All of the above was shot on my Nikon D3100. The vidcaps were taken from behind-the-scenes video of the recording process. Here is the final cut of that video, which I produced last night:
And here is the finished aircheck, as recorded from the board.
I’m heading up to LIU Post this afternoon for Homecoming festivities and the announcement of the 2013 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. I’ll have a recap in a later post.
My experience at Day 2 of 2012 New York Comic Con October 15, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Books, Comedy, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Friday marked my first time at the annual New York Comic Con, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on 11th Avenue on Manhattan’s West Side. The Javits Center stretches from West 34th to 40th Streets, but the main entrance is at West 37th.
My day at the event was scheduled around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel, which was to be held at 6:45 PM. Bored at home, I left the house just after 1:00, 90 minutes earlier than I planned. I walked to the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station (a 20-minute walk), bought a round trip off peak ticket in a ground-level vending machine, and waited on the platform for the train to arrive. I saw one person in costume, which meant I wouldn’t be the only one bound for NYCC on the train. With the air temperature in the low 50s and a stiff breeze, I was dressed for winter: a winter coat and a long sleeve shirt, but no costume. As the joke goes, I went as myself.
After an hour-long train ride to Penn Station, I walked up to the street and had two slices of pizza at Famous Famiglia on 8th Avenue, one of many locations in New York alone. It was an appropriate lunch on the day of the TMNT panel.
After passing the Houndstooth Pub at the corner of 8th and West 37th Street, the site of many contemporary jazz shows I’ve attended, I crossed west and then north to walk on the north side of West 37th. There were groups of people ahead of me also heading to Javits. Part of the walk featured an overpass above Dyer Avenue, which leads into the Lincoln Tunnel. Once at the Javits Center, I walked in the green entrance.
Friday was the second day of four of the Con. A sold-out crowd packed the Javits Center, making the indoor temperature feel like close to 80. If only I had chosen a spring jacket and short sleeve shirt.
According to my camera, I took the first picture in this post at 3:18 PM, within 40 minutes of arriving at Penn Station. Let’s see those pics, shall we?
I put the camera down for the next hour and a half to take in the sights and sounds, and grab an early dinner at the food court.
As the wait continued, Peter Hastings, one of TMNT’s executive producers, walked by taking pictures of the line. I recognized him from a Talkin’ Toons with Rob Paulsen podcast back in May. As he passed near me, I asked him, “Are you Peter Hastings?” He said yes, then wondered as he shook my hand how I knew who he was. I told him it was from his body of work, and I cited Pinky and the Brain and TMNT; all I could think of offhand. I couldn’t tell if he was scared, shocked, or flattered that I knew of him. It reminded me of when I was at the will call booth at the old IMAC in Huntington before a Rippingtons concert in 2006. (You can see my pics with Jeff Kashiwa and Steve Reid here.) Musician Tom Huber was in line ahead of me and I recognized his name when he told it to the ticket taker. I told him I knew of him through his background vocals on two tracks from Steve Briody‘s (“BRY-dee”) “Keep On Talkin’” album. Tom’s response was, “Are you kidding?” In Peter’s case, he assured me the next day on Facebook that he was flattered. I thanked him for that.
NYCC staff opened the doors to the conference room just after 6:20. I managed to get an aisle a few rows in (behind a few reserved rows).
(After the above pic, I switched from my Nikon D3100 to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 because I don’t yet have a long lens for the Nikon. I switched back after the panel.)
The panel began at 6:47 with the TMNT title sequence projected on screens and through theater-style speakers. The crowd erupted in cheers as Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello approached the dais.
The rest of the panel was four cast members: the voices of three of the four turtles and their sensei.
Rob was also Raphael in the original TMNT series that premiered 25 years ago. (Talkin’ Toons podcast live: original cast reunion)
Greg and Sean looked at the screen to their left (above) while Rob looked straight ahead at the reverse side of a second screen.
An hour flies when you’re having fun.
As the crowd left, a music video set to “Gangnam Style” by Psy played on the screens.
Some of my pictures from the panel were vidcaps (or screencaps), pictures captured from my computer screen while playing video, which I then edited in Photoshop (cropping, adjusting color). My camerawork was iffy because I used a mini tripod and tended to shake. Neil Vitale did a much better job than me. Here’s his video:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles airs Saturday mornings at 11:00 Eastern on Nickelodeon.
About ten minutes after the leaving the conference room…
…I was out of the Javits Center.
Fifteen minutes later, I made it back to Penn Station’s LIRR terminal. On the train ride back, I sat next to two people that also attended NYCC. One of them came with a group of anime fans and she was dressed as a character. But I don’t remember which one.
I arrived home at 9:45. It was quite an 8 1/2 hour adventure, one that I won’t soon forget.
10/16 UPDATE: Meredith Blake of the Los Angeles Times wrote on Friday about how New York Comic Con is catching up with the bigger Comic-Con (note the hyphen) International in San Diego.
10/19 UPDATE: Andy Levy of Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld was on the Show Floor last Friday when I wasn’t. Click here to see his report.