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Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall: 2016 edition January 18, 2016

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

Previous Lisa Hilton recaps: June 2011, January 2014, January 2015

The second show I’ve attended in 2016 – the first was the Jeff Lorber Fusion, ten nights earlier – continued an annual tradition: Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Yesterday’s performance marked her third year in Weill and I’ve been in the audience every time.

Like last year, I got a ride to the Wantagh LIRR station at around noon. Once there, I bought a round trip off peak ticket and waited for the 12:18 train to Penn Station. The ride wasn’t as quiet as last year in either direction, but I didn’t mind.

When I got to Penn, I took the 1 train to 59th Street-Columbus Circle. I walked two blocks south and one block east to get to Carnegie Hall, taking pictures along the way:MC11716001a







It was a 2:00 show:



My seat was front row center again. I had the row all to myself. You’d think people would buy front row seats if they’re available, but not in this case.

I grabbed a few shots of the stage, and ceiling, before showtime:





Lisa Hilton and the band were fashionably late, starting at 2:03. Lisa played piano with Ben Williams on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. Except where noted by an asterisk*, J.D. Allen and Ingrid Jensen rounded out the band on tenor saxophone and trumpet, respectively.

1/27 UPDATE: Here’s a shot from further back in the audience during the show:

I’m to Ingrid’s left (screen right).

All but the last two songs in the set were from Lisa’s new album, Nocturnal, which comes out this Friday. Copies were on sale in the lobby and I bought one before entering the hall. Here is the set list:
1. Nocturnal (also on Horizons, 2015)
2. A Spark in the Night
3. Whirlwind
4. Seduction (also on Seduction, 1997; Cocktails at Eight, 2000; My Favorite Things, 2005; and The New York Sessions, 2007)
5. Willow Weep for Me (written by Ann Ronell)
Midnight Sonata:
6. Part I: Symphony of Blues
7. Part II: Desire (also on In the Mood for Jazz, 2003)
8. Part III: Midnight Stars
9. Twilight
10. An August Remembered (rewritten from “August 1999,” which was composed for Cocktails at Eight in 2000)
11. The Sky and the Ocean (from Horizons, 2015)
12. Stepping Into Paradise (from Getaway, 2013)

“A Spark in the Night” and “Midnight Stars” had a Latin feel to them. “Midnight Stars,” in particular, sounded like a bullfighter song at one point. “Nocturnal,” “Seduction,” and “Twilight” sounded as good as they did last year. “Whirlwind” was a whirlwind. I loved it. I remember August 1999: Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs achieved the 3,000th hits of their eventual Hall of Fame careers, I had two weeks of diagnostic vocational evaluation at Abilities, Inc., in Albertson, and I spent an afternoon at Splish Splash water park in Riverhead. I thought of all that as I listened to “An August Remembered.” Unlike on the Nocturnal album version, which was a solo performance, the band accompanied Lisa.

I caught up with Lisa after the show and we posed for this picture:

I was caught off guard when I looked out the window and saw snow falling. And it was accumulating. But the end result was merely a coating. As I type, there may be more significant snowfall at the end of the week.

“See you next year,” I said to Lisa after we said our goodbyes. Year 3 at Carnegie Hall was a success. Thanks to Lisa, Ben, Rudy, J.D., and Ingrid.

Audiobooking 2: Listen Up! November 12, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Basketball, Blu-ray, Christmas, Comedy, Commentary, DVD, Film, News, Personal, Politics, Sports, TV, Video.
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Early last December, I listed all the audiobooks I had listened to while working out between June and the day I wrote the post. I said “there [would] be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead.” This follow-up post will list those books, all of which I listened to on Audible.

Since my misadventure with Dick Cavett’s left-leaning book collection of New York Times blog posts, I’ve only listened to apolitical or right-leaning audiobooks.

From last December to now, here is what has guided me through workouts, bedtime, and boredom:

I have many more audiobooks I plan on listening to between now and the next post, whenever that will come. Just today, I started Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes’ book on Jack Kemp. It’s called Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America. After that, I’ll move on to the another Rush Revere book: Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, a series of autobiographies should keep me occupied through the summer. Until next time…

2015 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2016 Hall of Fame Announcement October 11, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Video, Weather.

Earlier recaps: 2008, 2009, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012, 2013, 2014

Earlier 2015 Homecoming Weekend posts: FM 50th Anniversary Celebration, First few hours of shows on Friday

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my pre-recorded Homecoming Weekend show that aired early this morning. To see and hear my live show on Friday, click here.

Yesterday was my third day in row on the campus of LIU Post: Homecoming Day.

I arrived about an hour earlier than previous years. When I made my way to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium, the LIU Post Pioneers and Merrimack College Warriors were in the second quarter of their game.

On the way to Bronko Piersall Field, I shot pictures from the carnival and signs in the parking lot:






















The annual press box shots…

Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks were back in the lower booth calling the game. Jeff’s wife Pat is to his left (screen right) and Joel Feltman is to Neil’s right (screen left).


Pat photographed Jeff and Neil before kickoff:

Unfortunately, the Pioneers did not score while I was by the field:






They did, however, miss a field goal:

Disappointed, I walked to WCWP, where I spent the rest of the day.

The Pioneers would trail the Warriors 3-0 at halftime, but score 20 unanswered points in the second half. The Warriors got back within 3 twice and had two chances to regain the lead. They couldn’t, and the Pioneers hung on to win 27-24.

Now for the WCWP portion of the day…


The Studio 1 clock:

Maura “Bernie” Bernard’s show followed the football game:

Pete Bellotti announced the two 2016 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame: the late Ann Gaffney…:

…and Joe Honerkamp:






Bruce Leonard called in – speaking with Neil Marks, initially – and spoke with Bernie on the air following the announcement:



Jeff Kroll chimed in on Joe’s induction:





Jay Mirabile and me:

Pete Bellotti, me, Jay Mirabile:

Pete Bellotti, Bernie Bernard, Joe Honerkamp, Dan Cox, Bobby Guthenberg:

The inductees:

John Zoni in Studio 2:



Bernie made way for Mike Riccio and Bobby G.:






Back in Studio 2, Bill and Debbie Mozer:

Bernie Bernard and me:

It was a fun few days of Homecoming festivites for me. It’s always great to catch up with my fellow alumni. The compliments I received for my multimedia work – pictures, video, and audio – have made this year extra special.

Now, here’s video from some of Bernie’s show followed by the start of Mike and Bobby’s show:

There was one part of Bernie’s show that I missed: Ted David called in. Here’s how that sounded:

That’s what I meant by the compliments I received. Thank you very much, Ted.

At 2:00 this morning, the second of my Homecoming Weekend shows aired: a bonus edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri. I recorded the show two weeks ago. Naturally, I have pictures to show for it:




Here are airchecks from the show:

10/11/15 AM Aircheck

And the playlist:

I’ve been listening to the rest of the WCWP Homecoming Weekend throughout Sunday.

2015 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first few hours October 10, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.

I was honored to kick off this year’s WCWP Homecoming Weekend with a live edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri yesterday at noon.

I went right to bed after getting home from the 50th anniversary celebration on Thursday night because I had to get up at sunrise yesterday morning. That allowed me time to edit pictures and video that you saw in the above post before getting a ride from my father up to WCWP at around 8:45.

As a result, I arrived 2 1/2 hours early, which gave me plenty of time to set up. I took a few pictures when I entered Studio 1:



The next six pictures were taken while my show was on the air:




Joel Feltman took this shot:

LIU Post/WCWP alumnus Tom Murphy caught some of my show on 88.1 FM. When he heard it was Homecoming Weekend, he decided to drop by the station. He was complimentary of the music I played.

His fellow alum Dan Cox requested a picture, and I was more than happy to oblige:

Tom wasn’t the only one complimentary of my show. Jeff and Pat Kroll, and the aforementioned Joel Feltman, were equally laudatory.

After my show, it was Jeff Kroll’s turn:

He’ll be on plenty this weekend.

Jeff’s setup:





Next on the schedule was Joel Feltman:





On my way to the bus stop, heading for home, I noticed a familiar name on the LIU Post Alumni Walk: Fred Gaudelli. This sign was posted by Pell Hall:

There’s also a Ted David sign by the Great Lawn, which I took a picture of two weeks ago:

I’ll be back later today for Homecoming itself and the announcement of the 2016 WCWP Hall of Fame class. (10/11 UPDATE: Click here for the recap.) I’ll conclude this post, no pun intended, with my show’s playlist:

…along with video and audio of my airchecks, which includes the beginning of Jeff’s show:

10/9/15 Aircheck

My 2015 NFL predictions September 10, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Football, Personal, Sports.
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Previous NFL season predictions: 2014

The 2015 NFL season starts tonight, which means it’s time for my annual predictions.

In the NFC: The Packers will win the North (1), Seahawks win the West (2), Cowboys win the East (3), and Panthers win the South (4). The Cardinals (5) and Eagles (6) will be the wild cards.

In the AFC: The Patriots win the East (1), Broncos win the West (2), Steelers win the North (3), and Colts win the South (4). The Ravens (5) and Chargers (6) will be the wild cards.

In the postseason:
Wild Card: Eagles, Ravens, Cardinals, and Steelers win
Divisional: Packers, Steelers, Seahawks, and Patriots win
Conference Champions: Packers (NFC) and Patriots (AFC), setting up the Super Bowl XXXI rematch I incorrectly predicted last year. Only this time…
Super Bowl 50 Champions: Patriots

Last year, my pessimistic Super Bowl prediction turned out to be right. (Thanks, Pete Carroll.) I’d like to go back to being wrong this year. If I’m right, it will be Bill Belichick’s fifth Super Bowl win as a head coach, surpassing Chuck Noll’s four with the Steelers.

Locally, I expect the Giants to finish third again in the NFC East and the Jets to finish remain in last in the AFC East. Rex Ryan’s Bills will finish third in the East, leaving the Dolphins to finish second.

Despite Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Buccaneers will finish last again in the NFC South. Marcus Mariota will deliver a third place finish in the AFC South for the Titans.

Triple Crown, at last! June 6, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Horse Racing, Media, Personal, Sports, TV.

363 days ago, a day after California Chrome fell short at the Belmont Stakes, I bitterly suggested a Triple Crown retool. This was my plan:

Horses that win the Kentucky Derby should not be allowed to run the Preakness Stakes.  That will avoid future heartbreaking Belmont Stakes.  If they can’t run in the Preakness, they can’t possibly win it to set up Triple Crown talk.

It’s [a] ridiculous suggestion, I’m sure, and one that is born out of sour grapes, but I would love to see it happen.  The days of Triple Crown winners ended in 1978.  I don’t see it ever happening again.

I hereby retract my plan. Under an hour from posting this, American Pharoah did what seemed impossible: he won the Triple Crown! Larry Collmus’ triumphant call, which was heard inside Belmont Park and on NBC, went like this:

And here it is: the 37-year wait is over! American Pharoah is finally the one!!! American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!!!!!!

American Pharoah is the 12th Triple Crown winner. After years and years of near misses, this win was very, very sweet. It was much sweeter for jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert, and owner Ahmed Zayat. Congratulations and thank you.

I’ll conclude this post with several video links via nbcsports.com:
American Pharoah ends 37-year Triple Crown drought
Watch Larry Collmus as he calls the Belmont Stakes
Bob Baffert on ’emotional’ Triple Crown win
Justin Zayat ‘can’t believe it happened’
Belmont, Triple Crown trophy given to American Pharoah team
‘Third time’s a charm’ for Victor Espinoza
Bob Costas: No fan can forget American Pharoah’s rare feat
Bob Baffert: ‘I was prepared for a loss’

2015 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 28, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.

Previous Hall of Fame ceremonies: 2012, 2013, 2014

Saturday afternoon, the WCWP Hall of Fame inducted four more alumni in a ceremony inside the Goldsmith Atrium at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In order of induction, this year’s inductees were Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio.

It was the third year in a row where the ceremony coincided with bright sunshine outside, allowing for plenty of natural light to illuminate the atrium.

I arrived about 90 minutes early following a drive of the same length from the Hampton Inn in Milford, Connecticut, after attending the first night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Slowly but surely, the inductees, their families, and fellow alumni filled the atirum and the ceremony began.

You can watch the ceremony at the end of this post, but first, the pictures:

WCWP station manager Dan Cox welcomed everyone and tossed to an introductory video narrated by Jim Cutler:


2013 inductee Bernie Bernard was this year’s MC:

The first inductee of the day was Jeff Kroll, introduced by Bruce Leonard:




The view from my camcorder:

The same view from a different focal point:

Bruce and Jeff swapped places as Jeff introduced Bruce:



Neil Marks came up to say a few words:


Then came Bruce’s acceptance speech:

Joel Feltman was next a few words of his own:


Joe Honerkamp listened as Joel reflected on how they were introduced:

The third inductee of the day was Bobby Guthenberg, introduced by Bernie Bernard:





Finally, Bobby introduced Mike Riccio:



Bobby’s gift to Mike:




Mike’s acceptance speech:




2013 inductee Bill Mozer was repeatedly referenced throughout the ceremony. He came to the stage after Mike spoke:



2014 inductee Frank D’Elia’s turn at the mic:



Bill returned with a few more words:

Dan Cox returned to wrap of the ceremony, bringing along a copy of the Hall of Fame sign, as posted in the background, to be autographed by the four inductees:




Jeff’s wife Pat bought a cake for the ceremony:


The ceremonial cutting:




Now that you’ve seen the pictures, enjoy the video:

Congratulations to Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio, the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame class!

My 2015 MLB Predictions April 5, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Personal, Sports.
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(11/11/15 UPDATE: Results italicized in parentheses.)

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) (missed playoffs, finished 2nd)
  2. Braves (Wild Card 2) (missed playoffs, finished 4th)
  3. Mets (won division, 3 seed)
  4. Marlins (finished 3rd)
  5. Phillies

NL Central

  1. Cardinals (1)
  2. Pirates (Wild Card 1)
  3. Reds (finished 5th)
  4. Cubs (Wild Card 2, finished 3rd)
  5. Brewers (finished 4th)

NL West

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

AL (American League) East

  1. Orioles (2) (missed playoffs, finished 3rd)
  2. Red Sox (finished 5th)
  3. Yankees (Wild Card 1, finished 2nd)
  4. Blue Jays (won division, 2 seed)
  5. Rays (finished 4th)

AL Central

  1. Indians (1) (missed playoffs, finished 3rd)
  2. Tigers (Wild Card 1) (missed playoffs, finished 5th)
  3. Royals (Wild Card 2) (won division, 1 seed)
  4. White Sox
  5. Twins (finished 2nd)

AL West

  1. Athletics (3) (missed playoffs, finished 5th)
  2. Angels (finished 3rd)
  3. Mariners (finished 4th)
  4. Rangers (won division, 3 seed)
  5. Astros (Wild Card 2, finished 2nd)

Playoff predictions:
NL Wild Card Playoff

Braves defeat Pirates (Cubs defeat Pirates)

AL Wild Card Playoff
Tigers defeat Royals (Astros defeat Yankees)

NL Division Series
Cardinals vs. Braves: Cardinals win 3-1 (Cardinals vs. Cubs: Cubs win 3-1)
Nationals vs. Dodgers: Dodgers win 3-0 (Dodgers vs. Mets: Mets win 3-2)

AL Division Series
Indians vs. Tigers: Tigers win 3-2 (Royals vs. Astros: Royals win 3-2)
Orioles vs. Athletics: Athletics win 3-0 (Blue Jays vs. Rangers: Blue Jays win 3-2)

NL Championship Series
Cardinals vs. Dodgers: Cardinals win 4-1 (Mets vs. Cubs: Mets win 4-0)

AL Championship Series
Athletics vs. Tigers: Tigers win 4-2 (Royals vs. Blue Jays: Royals win 4-2)

World Series (AL home field advantage via All-Star Game win) (home field correct)
Cardinals vs. Tigers: Cardinals win 4-1 (Royals vs. Mets: Royals 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. (The 2015 World Series turned me against the Royals.)

I will update this post after the World Series with results italicized in parentheses. Play ball! (The revision is complete, ten days after the World Series concluded with a disappointing result. In a dream world, the 2016 Mets will make like the 2015 Royals and win the World Series one year after losing it. But the more likely outcome is a return to futility for the Mets. Worse yet, the Mets open next season with two games in Kansas City. Until then, thanks for reading this revised post.)

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.


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