Smooth Jazz for Scholars 2015 dates/lineup December 10, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Keyboardist Jay Rowe’s 13th Smooth Jazz for Scholars is four months away. It’s the third year as a two-night event, but the first year where I can only go to one night. More on that later.
Jay has full details at his website:
The upcoming Smooth Jazz For Scholars concerts will be held on 4/24/15 and 4/25/15. The line-up on 4/24 is Peter White, Marion Meadows and Vincent Ingala. The line-up on 4/25 is Marc Antoine, Chieli Minucci, Nelson Rangell and Jackiem Joyner. Reserved seating is available and tickets can be purchased by sending a check or money order payable to Smooth Jazz For Scholars Inc. at P.O. Box 3723 Milford, CT. 06460. Tickets are $40 each for 1 night and $70 for both nights. Call at (203) 415-8878 for additional info and assistance if needed.
For years, I had dreamed of Peter White playing at Smooth Jazz for Scholars. The dream comes true on April 24. As for April 25, I can’t make that one. The 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony is that afternoon at LIU Post. I had feared a personal scheduling conflict would arise one year. This is the year. To those that are going that night, you’re in for a great show. Let me know what Nelson’s whistle song was this time. I always love them.
Friday, April 24
Saturday, April 25
Tickets: $40 for one night, $70 for two nights
Tickets can be purchased by check or money order payable to:
Smooth Jazz for Scholars
P.O. Box 3723
Milford, CT 06460
For more information, call: (203) 415-8878
Audiobooking December 2, 2014Posted 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.
Picture scanning update; 11/23 UPDATE: Hiatus November 15, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography.
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Back in late September, I began the task of rescanning pictures I scanned nearly six years earlier. I was moving along at a relatively brisk pace, but haven’t scanned as much this month. When I first wrote about rescanning, I had 2,900 pictures left. I’m currently down to about 600.
Unfortunately, too many scratches on the glass of my high quality scanner – a Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II – led me to buy a replacement – a CanoScan LiDE 210. The LiDE 210’s quality isn’t as great, and it scans much slower, but it beats having to edit out scratches with the clone stamp tool in Photoshop. I also scanned some of the pictures on the Epson Workforce WF-3520, which is an all-in-one printer.
I’d like to finish scanning everything by New Year’s Eve.
11/23 UPDATE: I’m taking an indefinite hiatus from scanning. It has become too tedious and time-consuming to edit out dust and scratches in every scanned picture. I will finish scanning eventually, but it definitely won’t be by New Year’s Eve.
2014 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2015 Hall of Fame Announcement October 21, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Video, Weather.
Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my Homecoming Weekend show and behind-the-scenes pictures from the prerecord.
I was at LIU Post on Saturday for their annual Homecoming Day. Most of my time was spent at WCWP’s barbecue and the announcement of 2015 inductees to their Hall of Fame.
I arrived at WCWP at about 2:30 PM. After setting my equipment down in Studio 3, I walked to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to watch part of the 3rd quarter of the LIU Post Pioneers’ Homecoming game against the Saint Anselm Hawks.
WCWP alumni Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks called the game from the lower booth. Included to their right (screen left) were, from left to right, Joel Feltman, Zach Parker (facing away), and Phil Lebowitz.
Last year was going to be the press box’s last year, but it turned out not to be.
The Pioneers went on to beat the Hawks by the score of 49-21.
It is home to ARP, or the Academic Resource Program, located on the lower level. It was the Academic Resource Center (ARC) while I was a student, from Fall 1999 to Fall 2003, and was one level higher.
My 35mm photo rescanning project recently included pictures from ARC events. And as I work my way through pics between the rest of 2000 and 2003, there will be many more. Without ARC/ARP, I would have had a tougher road to graduation.
Humanities was home to many of my Media Arts classes. I also took English Composition, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish, and Math for Elementary Education there.
I took Study Strategies on the Life Science side, and Human Geography and Earth Science on the Pell side.
Eventually, I made my way back to WCWP.
The same thing happened to me in 2008.
Moments before the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame announcement, I video recorded the following aircheck from Bernie’s show, synced to my recording of the Internet stream:
As Ted David noted above, at 5PM, he announced the 2015 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. Ted is himself an inductee, part of the 2014 HOF class.
The 2015 inductees are Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio. Yesterday was not only the 53rd anniversary of WCWP, but Bobby’s “53rd” birthday, as well. What better birthday present than induction into the WCWP Hall of Fame?
Here is the announcement:
After that, it was time to pose for pictures.
Here is how that looked and sounded:
After the above picture, I was Bernie’s next guest:
1) I probably shouldn’t have bitten the smooth jazz hand that could potentially feed me in the future.
2) I was nervously playing with one of the WCWP bracelets that Bernie’s sister Melissa made.
Here’s how that sounded:
Hearing Bernie play “Fire” by Arthur Brown in previous years made that song one of my favorites. When she played it this year, as heard above, after “I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you…!,” I jumped up and down excitedly for the first few bars before composing myself.
It began Friday at noon and ended Sunday night (yesterday morning) at midnight.
The WCWP 53rd anniversary/birthday cake was acknowledged on the air:
…looked and sounded like this:
It was his first Homecoming show in a decade.
Here are select airchecks from John’s show:
I had to take it from Studio 2 because it was too crowded in Studio 1 and at the door to Studio 1.
I had such a blast at Homecoming. It was great to catch up with alumni I’ve met before and with those I met in person for the first time.
Hours later, at 2AM, it was time for my Homecoming show, CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri. As I noted two weeks ago, I prerecorded the show. Here are pictures from that session in Studio 2:
Direct from the Studio 2 console are my airchecks from that show:
Some of the notes I wrote on the playlist didn’t make it to the final cut.
I loved Ted David’s liners so much that I made a compilation of how those liners sounded between songs:
The first transition was from the console while the rest were from the Internet stream.
My experience at Day 1 of 2014 New York Comic Con October 10, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Art, Books, Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Media, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Previous New York Comic Con recap: 2012 Day 2
Yesterday marked my second trip to New York Comic Con, held annually at the Javits Center in the Midtown West portion of Manhattan. This time, I went with my girlfriend Kelly. We met each other at Penn Station, going our own ways to get there. I came from Wantagh, she came from Wallingford, Connecticut.
My way to her began at around 12:15 when I walked two blocks to a bus stop for the southbound NICE (Nassau Inter-County Express) n73. The bus arrived at 12:28, two minutes ahead of schedule. That ensured I would arrive at the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station in time to board a 12:32 train, an earlier train than I had planned for. If I hadn’t bought my round trip ticket the day before, I’d have to wait for the 12:57. 50 minutes later, I was at Penn Station. I met up with Kelly and we began the half-hour walk to the Javits Center.
We entered at West 38th Street, tapping our badges before going inside. Conventioneers were greeted by giant inflated Teen Titans – and, by extension, Teen Titans Go! – characters.
Time to head inside…
My first plan was to meet voice actor Billy West, whom I interviewed back in 2005 at WCWP. Since autographing was involved, and not knowing offhand where Booth 1280 was, despite going to NYCC two years ago, I headed downstairs.
A fellow conventioneer informed me that Booth 1280 was on the show floor. So, Kelly and I headed there.
We searched the aisle numbers and headed for the 1200s. It was there that we found Billy West.
He signed the cover this way:
…Zoidberg could eat…
It was the highlight of my afternoon. But there was more to do. Kelly and I walked the floor back to a downward escalator.
It was for the latest (and upcoming) Transformers TV series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise. The panel began at 4:00, but we got in line at 3:00.
The line was small when we arrived and we ended up near the front. It pays to show up early. After 50 minutes in line, the door was opened. We ended up sitting front row center. It was fantastic.
Transformers: Robots in Disguise premieres in early 2015 on Cartoon Network. I can’t wait. I’m so glad I chose this panel.
We didn’t go right home, though. We walked down 11th Avenue to West 35th Street, taking that to 8th. We stopped in Trattoria Bianca for an early dinner. An hour later, we boarded an express LIRR train back to Wantagh, which also took an hour.
And unbeknownst to me, because I didn’t look at the NYCC schedule beyond Thursday, there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel yesterday. Bam! Smack! Pow! has a recap of that, while IGN’s Scott Collura interviewed Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo), and executive producers Ciro Nieli and Brandon Auman.
If tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hadn’t sold out so fast, I would have gone either of those days. But I’m glad I went when I did. As I noted in the original recap, I got to meet Billy West in person and to whet my appetite for Transformers: Robots in Disguise, sitting front row center for their panel in the process.
WCWP Homecoming Weekend show to air October 19 October 6, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Phone, Radio.
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I was on the campus of LIU Post on Friday to record my annual Homecoming Weekend radio show for WCWP, the campus radio station which I was originally part of from October 2001 to May 2004. CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri will air very early on Sunday, October 19, at 2AM Eastern (Saturday, October 18, at 11PM Pacific) on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org. If you are outside of the signal range, choose the latter (WCWP.org) or browse for WCWP on the TuneIn mobile app.
In the two hours of CJazzPlus, I’ll be playing The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Brian Culbertson, and many more, including one of my favorites by the recently departed Joe Sample. The show took just over two hours to record and an extra hour to edit, plus additional time editing at home on Saturday.
The name CJazzPlus comes from a short-lived Live365 station of mine from late 2010. It’s short for “contemporary jazz plus.” The “plus” refers to various sub-genres of jazz and instrumentals from other genres. I try to go beyond what you’d hear on a typical smooth jazz station, such as SiriusXM’s Watercolors.
Hours before the show airs, on Saturday, October 18, I’ll be at for Post for their Homecoming festivities, as well as for WCWP’s. The latter of those includes the announcement of 2015 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. I look forward to that announcement as much as I look forward to the annual announcements of National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees and Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees. My guess is as good as yours. You’ll have to listen that afternoon to find out who got in this time.
Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk September 29, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Fire, Health, Internet, Military, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Police, Travel, TV.
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I was in New York City yesterday for the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk. I signed up back in May after my dad recommended it to me. He was impressed by all the running I had done, and at such a fast pace. The fast pace back then occurred on the treadmill, but that has extended to the outdoors since I signed up. September alone was a landmark month for me, as I routinely ran 3.6 miles in about 38 minutes. Conditioning like that prepared me for yesterday.
The day began dark and early at 4:30 AM when my alarm clock woke me up. I tried to go to sleep early and get a decent amount of hours in, but I was only able to get about three hours of sleep. I spent about an hour getting ready and was out the door with my dad at 5:30.
We traveled to Point Lookout with eleven others from Dad’s firehouse, Freeport Excelsior Hook and Ladder Co. 1. There, we joined a bigger team from Point Lookout Lido Fire Department’s 2nd Battalion.
I didn’t bring my Nikon D5100, settling on my iPhone 5 for all pictures seen in this recap.
Three buses took us to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Our Freeport team boarded first of those three.
We arrived in Red Hook shortly before 9:00.
20 minutes later, we began the long stop-and-go walk to the starting line.
Along the way, we passed Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church:
Their bell rang as we passed by.
And away we went!
I didn’t think I’d be able to run because of the amount of people participating. But once we crossed the starting line, I did run, though not for the entire 5K.
As I ran and walked through the tunnel, music was pumped in through speakers and various runners yelled patriotic chants. It was surreal, but I enjoyed it.
The tunnel seemed to go on forever. While 1.73 miles is a mere two minutes by car, in light traffic, I was in there for 25 minutes on foot.
My official time, listed here (search chimeri), was 0:50:36.
On my way back, there were two early buses and one late bus. The early buses were full, so I and most of the Freeport team had to wait for the late bus. While we waited, we had lunch at Greenwich Street Tavern in TriBeCa.
We were finished eating just in time to board the late bus back. It took nearly two hours to return to Point Lookout due to heavy traffic, and a half hour to return home to Wantagh.
The Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk was an amazing and awesome (in the literal sense) experience. If you haven’t signed up for it before, I recommend you try it at least once.
9/30 UPDATE: The full text results can be seen here.
Scanning all over again September 20, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography.
You may remember that I scanned pictures from multiple photo albums in December 2008 and January 2009. You may also remember that I filled the gaps last summer when I scanned albums I hadn’t scanned originally, in addition to pictures in a bin. I scanned with a higher quality scanner at a higher DPI (dots per inch) setting than the original scans. And last month, I completed the gap-filling when I scanned pictures that were in a drawer in the guest room.
Filling those gaps made me dissatisfied with the quality of those original scans – the result of selecting “auto contrast,” “auto levels,” and “auto color” in Photoshop for most of them. So, I’ve begun the long, arduous process of rescanning many of those pictures.
This could take a few months, but I feel it has to be done. So far, I’ve scanned 250 pictures over two days. I have about 2,900 left. I’m going to take it slow, only scanning 100 pictures max per day for a few days a week. Wish me luck.
One space, not two September 20, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Education, Personal.
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For about a month, I’ve been trying something I haven’t done since before I learned keyboarding on a typewriter in 9th grade. I’m only using one space after a period, not two. It’s what all the style manuals have been requiring for a decade and I was unaware until last month.
The transition hasn’t been easy, but habits are hard to break. I assure you this is how I will space my sentences from now on.
My 2014 NFL Predictions September 4, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Football, Personal, Sports.
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For many years, right before the start of the NFL or MLB seasons, I have predicted seasonal results. It started out as a personal hobby in 2006, then grew to Facebook in 2012. This year, I’m going public and posting my predictions at MikeChimeri.com.
Before we start, you should know that pessimism plays a role in my predictions, meaning I expect the Patriots to win Super Bowl XLIX. With that in mind…
Here are my predictions for the 2014 NFL season that starts tonight (playoff seeding in parentheses):
In the NFC: The Seahawks win the West (1), Eagles win the East (2), Packers win the North (3), and Saints win the South (4). The 49ers (5) and Bears (6) will be the wild cards.
In the AFC: The Patriots win the East (1), Ravens win the North (2), Colts win the South (3), and Broncos win the West (4). The Bengals (5) and Chargers (6) will be the wild cards. The Chiefs will finish last in the West, making their 9-0 start last season a distant memory.
In the postseason:
Wild Card: Packers, Broncos, 49ers, and Chargers win
Divisional: 49ers, Broncos, Packers, and Patriots win
Conference Champions: Packers (NFC) and Patriots (AFC), setting up a Super Bowl XXXI rematch. Only this time…
Super Bowl XLIX Champions: Patriots
Each year I predict the Patriots to win it all, I am relieved to be wrong. Will that happen again this year?
Locally, I expect the Giants to finish last in the NFC East and the Jets to finish third in the AFC East. Due to the Jets’ underwhelming season, Rex Ryan will be fired as head coach.