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June 17, 1994 June 17, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Basketball, Education, Golf, Hockey, Media, News, Personal, Sports, TV, Video.
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I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the white Bronco in the room (as opposed to an elephant).  Many things occurred 20 years ago today, as the June 17, 1994 ESPN 30 for 30 film – which is not affiliated with this post – documented:

  1. The New York Rangers’ ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes and ceremony at New York City Hall, three nights after winning the Stanley Cup
  2. Arnold Palmer’s last round at a U.S. Open, held that year at Oakmont Country Club (the last U.S. Open carried by ABC; covered that day by ESPN)
  3. Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals, in which the New York Knicks defeated the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden to take a 3-2 series lead (they went on to lose the last two games in Houston)
  4. O.J. Simpson and Al Cowlings in a slow-speed police chase in O.J.’s white Ford Bronco

Also that day was:

5. One final exam for me at Wantagh Middle School (I’m not sure what subject; probably Social Studies)

For more on #4, I refer to video of ABC News’ coverage of the chase and a retrospective report from Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith Reporting.

This concludes my obligatory acknowledgement.

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I suggest a Triple Crown retool June 8, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Horse Racing, Media, Music, Personal, Sports, Thoroughbred, TV.
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After what transpired at yesterday’s Belmont Stakes, next year will mark 37 years since the last Triple Crown winner – Affirmed.  Since then, thoroughbred racing has had close call after close call after close call, as three-year-old horses will win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but fall short at Belmont.  It doesn’t happen every year, but it’s still heartbreaking and frustrating.  I suggest the Triple Crown format be retooled.  Before I explain how, there is a backstory.

I first became aware of the Triple Crown races in 1997.  That year, Silver Charm was the unlucky horse to lose at Belmont Park in Elmont.  Then there was Real Quiet a year later.  He barely lost to Victory Gallop.  The year after that, Charismatic fell short.  Three years later, there was another three-year stretch of horses to win the first two legs and fall short: War Emblem, Funny Cide, and Smarty Jones.  In 2008, there was Big Brown.  He came up far short at Belmont.  In 2012, I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before the race!

That brings us to this year and California Chrome.  I was at a second birthday party and watched the Kentucky Derby on TV, like I always do.  His win gave me an opportunity to allude to the Mamas and the Papas hit, “California Dreamin’.”  The announcers on TV did the same.  Two weeks later, I was in an Italian restaurant as the Preakness Stakes was run.  The sound was off on the TV ahead of my booth, but the closed-captioning was on.  When California Chrome won that, I knew we were in for another three weeks of hype that would only be followed by heartbreak.  When you see the same thing play out over many years, you know what to expect.

On Facebook, I floated a ridiculous idea:

If California Chrome wins the Belmont Stakes, thereby winning the Triple Crown, NBC should send a check for $36 to each Nielsen household tuned to them during the race. That would be one dollar for each year since the last Triple Crown winner: Affirmed in 1978.

In the comment thread, I amended that to $3.60, but perhaps 36 cents would have made even more sense.

I floated that idea because I knew California Chrome would lose.  I would have loved for him to win, which turned into thinking he actually would win.  So, as I watched the Belmont Stakes on my iPhone yesterday at another restaurant, I closed the NBC Sports Live Extra app in frustration after Larry Collmus said in the home stretch that there wouldn’t be a Triple Crown winner this year.  I don’t even know who won and don’t care.

Now for my suggestion: 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 another 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.

6/9 UPDATE: A rebuttal by Jeff Kroll:

These ideas for change are generally coming from the generation that has not seen a “Triple Crown” win.  Those of us who were around in the ’70s and saw 3 of them know it’s special, and that it can happen.  It will take a very special horse and a lot of luck.  The winning time yesterday on a fast track was still 4 1/2 seconds slower than Secratariat’s world-record 2.24 Flat in 1973.  This group of horses is just not that “special.”

They’re certainly special enough to win two legs, but unfortunately not all three.  I wish I was alive to see Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed win.  Archived video is all I’ve had to go on, particularly of Secretariat’s dominant Belmont win that Jeff mentioned.

2014 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 12, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in DVD, Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
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Previous Hall of Fame ceremonies: 2012, 2013

Last Saturday, the WCWP Hall of Fame welcomed four new inductees in a ceremony in the Goldsmith Atrium at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.  This year’s inductees were Rita Sands, Frank D’Elia, Ted David, and the late Bill Epperhart.

You can see videos of the ceremony at the end, but first, the pictures:

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Pete Bellotti welcomed the audience shortly after 1PM:
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Images from the intro video, voiced by Jim Cutler:
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The ceremony was hosted by Jeff Kroll:
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Bill Mozer assumed the co-host position:
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Rita Sands could not make it to the ceremony, and instead pre-recorded an interview with Bernie Bernard:
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Bernie:
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Bernie and Jeff posed with Rita’s plaque:
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The second inductee of the day was Frank D’Elia:
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The view from my camcorder:
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Frank receives his plaque:
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Like Rita, Ted David was unable to attend the ceremony.  But he did record an acceptance speech:
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Dan Cox, WCWP station manager, spoke next:
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Dan brought up ceremony audio engineer Zach Parker to share the news of a generous donation to WCWP by Zach’s father:
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Then, reflections of Bill Epperhart began.  Dan shared his memories first, then Frank, Bill Mozer, and Jeff joined in.

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Dan Epperhart, Bill’s son, accepted his father’s plaque:
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And gave an eloquent, emotional speech:
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Then, Jeff Kroll and Bill Mozer tossed to other alumni in the audience to share their memories:
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Phil Lebowitz was first:
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Then, Mike Phillips:
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Neil Marks:
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Bruce Leonard:
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Roberta Epperhart O’Neil, widow of Bill’s brother Mike:
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Pete Vogel, Bill’s cousin:
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The last stroll down memory was provided by Jay Elzweig:
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Jeff wrapped it up:
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The only thing left to do was pose for pictures:
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Ceremony Part 1:

Ceremony Part 2:

As you can see, this year’s WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony ended up running for a little over two hours.  Memories were shared and praise was heaped.  It was a day I won’t soon forget.  Congratulations to Rita Sands, Frank D’Elia, Ted David, and Bill Epperhart.

One year with iPhone April 11, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Health, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV.
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A year ago yesterday, I boarded the iPhone bandwagon by switching from an LG enV3, which I had for 3 1/2 years, to an iPhone 5.  When I’m not texting or making a phone call, it’s a great alternative for internet access.  My workouts with the Nike Running app have gone further than I was going in my first iPhone post last July.  I’ve gone as far as 5.35 miles in one workout and broke 100 miles for the month of March.

When I need to comparison shop, I use shopping apps.  When I want to listen to the radio, I have the TuneIn app.  I’ve downloaded apps for several networks, network affiliates, and cable channels.

But I still wish the internal hard drive was bigger; maybe with the next iPhone.

My trip up Super Bowl Boulevard February 14, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Broadway, Football, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Last Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Seattle Seahawks resoundingly defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII by the score of 43-8.  It was the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

Two days before the Big Game, I headed to nearby Manhattan to walk the NFL’s Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered by GMC.  The “Boulevard” spanned Broadway between West 34th and West 47th Streets.  It was open to the public between Wednesday, January 29, and Saturday, February 1, the day after I was there.  I had my Nikon D5100 (and two lenses) along for the walk to take pictures with.

The pictures in this post were taken outside the remote studios of ESPN, NFL Network, and FOX Sports; inside the Xbox One tent; by the Super Bowl Toboggan Run; by Extra Points, where fans could kick footballs through a goalpost; and a few other landmarks along the way.

We begin at ESPN’s studio:
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The Xbox One tent:
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The CNN/Bleacher Report studio:
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The autograph stage:
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Super Bowl Toboggan Run:
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NFL Network’s studio at West 41st Street:
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The Vince Lombardi Trophy:
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One block north of Super Bowl Boulevard was M&Ms World:
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On the second floor, there was a massive array of tubes that contained milk chocolate, peanut, peanut butter, and pretzel M&Ms in a variety of colors.  Two of the tubes had milk chocolate M&Ms in the team colors of the Seahawks and Broncos.  I filled a bag of all kinds of M&Ms in all colors; 2.87 pounds worth.  It took me three days to eat it all.

The FOX Sports studio at West 46th Street:
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Megyn Kelly hosted her Fox News Channel show, The Kelly File, from this south-facing desk hours after I took this picture:
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The north side of the studio:
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A later shot of the south side:
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Extra Points:
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This kick was good:
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When I passed by NFL Network’s studio again, Joe Montana was on set with hosts Andrew Siciliano, Willie McGinest, and Heath Evans:
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Here’s how that looked on NFL Network:
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And when I passed by ESPN’s studio, NFL Insiders was on:
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From left to right: Bill Polian, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, and Suzy Kolber:
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Macy’s Broadway entrance:
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Macy’s West 34th Street entrance near 7th Avenue:
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Once inside, I bought a Super Bowl XLVIII polo shirt, cap (second from the left above), full size football with the Seahawks and Broncos logos on it, and program.

Despite the massive crowds and back stiffness that set in after an hour and a half, I had a great time walking Super Bowl Boulevard.

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks on winning Super Bowl XLVIII two nights later.

Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall January 17, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Football, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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Previous Lisa Hilton recap: June 2011

Last night marked the second time I saw jazz pianist Lisa Hilton perform.  The first time was about 2 1/2 years ago in Greenwich Village (see link above).  This time, I was uptown at Carnegie Hall‘s Weill Recital Hall.  It was my first time ever at Carnegie.

My journey began at around 4PM, when I left home to walk to the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station for a 4:27 Penn Station-bound train.  I would have taken a later train, but I wanted to be safe in case any delays popped during my walk to the station.  That’s what happened the day before when I had to take a train to Rockville Centre.  But even though there were delays earlier in the day, there were none when I arrived.  My trip to Penn Station was smooth sailing.  No one sat near me after Freeport.  It was a peaceful journey as I took in the sights while listening to my iPod, not a noisy one where I’m surrounded by chatter from people of varying ages.  (The ride back was somewhat crowded, but not too noisy.  And it helps to have studio headphones.)

I was in a railcar near the back of the train, which meant I needed to walk a little extra from the train to the LIRR Terminal.  Once there, I had dinner at TGI Friday’s.  Then, I walked up to the subway terminal and took the E train uptown to 7th Avenue and West 53rd Street.  The second I emerged from the seemingly endless flights of stairs, I saw the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to the CBS late night talk show, The Late Show with David Letterman.  I whipped out my Nikon D5100 and took a picture:
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I was fortunate enough to attend a taping with my father back in December 2004, but that’s another story.

I arrived at Carnegie Hall just before 7PM.  Since photography wasn’t allowed during Lisa’s performance, these outside pictures will have to do:
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Thinking that the time when the doors to the hall are opened was the time to go inside, I waited outside the Weill Recital Hall entrance for 15 minutes.  Two couples went inside while I was waiting.  Finally, I opened the door and asked if I was allowed to come in.  Of course, I was.  I got my ticket, went up to the lounge adjacent to the hall, and waited for the hall doors to open.

According to my watch, I took my seat at 7:42.  The Weill Recital Hall was not what I was expecting.  It was an intimate hall with one row of orchestra seats, where I sat, and a balcony behind them.  There were three chandeliers on the ceiling; my seat was between two of them.

The hall was completely acoustic.  There were no speakers, no engineer, no amplification, nothing of the kind.  I was in for a unique experience.

Lisa entered at 8:06, joined by Ben Street on upright acoustic bass and Billy Hart on drums.  Lisa played a Steinway & Sons piano.

The set primarily featured music from her upcoming album, Kaleidoscope.  Here’s what the set looked like:
1. Kaleidoscope
2. Whispered Confessions – This one was my favorite.
3. Midnight Mania
4. Bach/Basie/Bird: Boogie Blues Bop
5. Sunny Side Up
6. Blue Horizon
7. Stepping Into Paradise – This was a solo piano piece.  Ben and Billy left the stage and took a break.  They returned for the rest of the set.
8. Getaway – This was another favorite.
9. Subway
10. When It Rains
11. Evening Song
12. So This Is Love

“Getaway” and “Evening Song” are from Getaway (2013).  “Subway” and “When It Rains” are from American Impressions (2012).  “So This Is Love” is from My Favorite Things (2005).
“Getaway” was first performed in a slightly slower tempo on In the Mood for Jazz (2003).  “Stepping Into Paradise” originated on Getaway.

After the show, I caught up with Lisa in the lounge, and even got to meet her daughter Fiona.  Fiona was nice enough to take our picture:
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My original plan for returning to Penn Station involving taking the M7 MTA New York City Bus back to 34th Street and walking to the LIRR Terminal from there.  But when I got to the bus stop, I had a clear view of Times Square.  I could see the Jumbotron, which still had up the “2014″ sign, complete with the New Year’s ball frozen in place above it.  Forget the bus, I thought.  I’m walking back and taking pictures.  And I did:
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42nd Street Subway Station:
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My last two pictures of the night came at the LIRR Terminal entrance:
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I initially boarded the wrong train: an express that didn’t stop at Wantagh.  Luckily, I was able to grab all my belongings quickly and exit the train (thanks to the doors not closing right away).  I quickly found the right train on a different track and barely boarded that one in time.  I was bound for home, capping a memorable night.  I opened my eyes and ears to a new experience and I enjoyed it.  Thank you, Lisa, Ben, and Billy.

2013 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2014 Hall of Fame Announcement October 22, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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Earlier recaps: 2008 WCWP Homecoming, 2009 Homecoming, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012 WCWP Homecoming

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from Homecoming Weekend show and behind-the-scenes pictures from the pre-record.

I was at LIU Post on Saturday for their annual Homecoming celebration.  I was there primarily for WCWP’s barbecue and announcement of 2014 inductees to their Hall of Fame.

I arrived on campus shortly at around 2:30.  After getting situated I decided to head to Hickox Field for a little while:

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In the lower right window of the press box are Neil Marks, Jeff Kroll, Dan Cox, and Pat Kroll:
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Jeff Kroll described the above picture this way when I posted it to the WCWP Alumni Association Facebook group (account links removed):

We’re on the lower level of the press box…..hard to see clearly, but on the far right side, that’s Pat Kroll, sitting next to her is Dan Cox, standing next to Dan with the red shirt on (glad I had red on that day for identifying purposes) Jeff Kroll, and Neil A. Marks is standing next to me. Sat 10/19/13. Post 58 Pace 0. Pat was coordinating with Joel Feltman (down on the sidelines) for field interviews. (sign still says CW Post Campus!)

He later added:

If you look at the upper level of the press box, toward the left side, the third person in….that person is operating the scoreboard from what used to be the WCWP booth until the 2000′s. THAT was really home!

11/10 UPDATE: Jeff had one more thing to say about this picture tonight:

I received this note from Dan Cox today:
“I saw Bryan Collins today at the Field Hockey final. He told me the grandstand demolition begins next Monday. Looks like new press box by next fall. I hope!” If that happens, the press box goes with the entire grandstand. And this great shot will be a timely memory for those of us who have spent so many fall afternoons there. Thanks Mike Chimeri! Great timing to have taken that picture last month!

I’m honored to have taken it.

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As Jeff noted, the LIU Post Pioneers dominated the Pace Setters (get it?) 58-0.  I was at the field in time to catch the Pioneers’ second-to-last touchdown.

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Touchdown!:
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The extra point is good.

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Satisfied, I walked back to WCWP.  The Pioneers’ last touchdown came during my walk back.  I could faintly hear the public address announcer declaring, “touchdowwwwwwwwn!”

Maura “Bernie” Bernard brought photo albums of past Homecoming weekends at the station:
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She also prepared for show in Studio 1 following the Homecoming Game:
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Meanwhile, in Studio 2, alumni interviews were recorded:
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The interviewee here is Jay Elzweig:
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The Hall of Fame plaque, introduced at this year’s ceremony:
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Plaques dedicated to the late Dr. Herb Coston and Bill Epperhart:
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Bernie on the air:
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Joel Feltman and Jay Mirabile look through some of the albums:
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At 5:00, Pete Bellotti and Bernie Bernard announced the 2014 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame:
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The inductees are Rita Sands, Frank D’Elia, Bill Epperhart, and Ted David.  Bernie interviewed Ted over the phone.

John Mertz and Bobby Guthenberg listened along:
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As did Barry Albano:
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The announcement and interview with Ted can be heard here:

2014 WCWP Hall of Fame Announcement

Later, in Studio 2, Jay Mirabile and I were interviewed:
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Thanks to Zach Parker for taking those pictures during the interview.

Here is that pre-recorded interview, which was later edited by me, but my edit isn’t the one that aired:

Interview with Mike Chimeri & Jay Mirabile

As Bernie’s show drew to a close, she posed for this picture with me, Jay Mirabile, Bobby Guthenberg, Barry Albano, and John Mertz:
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The final aircheck of Bernie’s show:
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The Disco and Funk King Show was next:
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Jay on the air:
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Posing after the aircheck:
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I had a wonderful time at Homecoming this year.  It was great catching up with my fellow alumni, and meeting some in person for the first time.

The rest of this album is devoted to my Homecoming Weekend show – CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri – which aired at 3AM on Sunday, hours after I left campus.

I recorded the show back on October 4.

I took some behind-the-scenes pictures while recording, starting with this self-timed shot:
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Here is the playlist, complete with my copious notes to mention during the show:
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I made sure to mention whatever notes I wrote down, but unfortunately, I had to edit some out for time.  Each pre-recorded hour had to be exactly 59 minutes long.

Here are all of the airchecks from the 2013 edition of CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri:

The file is downloadable here.
It’s mostly from the console when I pre-recorded the show, but I mixed in elements from WCWP’s stream as the show aired.

Boarding the iPhone bandwagon July 6, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV, Weather.
2 comments

On an unseasonably hot day in mid-April, I switched from an LG enV3 (VX9200) to an iPhone 5.  Soon after, I bought an Otterbox Defender case for it (which includes a belt clip holster) and a Logitech wireless headset for extended phone calls.

I’ve downloaded 30 apps so far.  Among them are two for radio, nine for sports, three for news, three for weather, and three social media.  I bought two apps: a tip calculator (which was standard on my old phone) and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

On the first day I had the iPhone, it took a few hours to load all my contacts to iCloud.  But they’re in and some are categorized by ringtone, something I hadn’t done with my previous phones.

The Nike Running app has been instrumental in getting me to run three miles (or more) every day.  Most of the runs have been outdoors, but I ran on my treadmill on a rainy day last month.  And with temperatures now hovering near 90 degrees each day, I may have to do more indoor runs on my treadmill or step machine.

The iPhone’s camera has come in handy when I don’t have my Nikon D5100 on me.  Most of the pictures taken with the phone are of recently replaced Town of Hempstead street signs and new traffic lights.  Some examples:

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The one downside is the internal drive is only 13.5 GB (gigabytes) (billed as 16 GB).  It makes me wish there was a microSD slot for an additional 16 GB, or even 32.

Regardless of that, I’m glad I finally boarded the iPhone bandwagon.  I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 20, 2013

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

Previous Hall of Fame Ceremony: 2012
Later Hall of Fame Ceremony: 2014

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.

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The Hall of Fame plaques:
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Scott Perschke captured a conversation between Bill Mozer, Harry Lowenthal, and Harry’s son James:
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Hank Neimark (who inducted Steve Radoff and Harry Lowenthal) and Pete Bellotti:
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Pete and Bill Mozer:
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Pete and Steve Radoff:
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Pete and Bernie Bernard:
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Pete and Harry Lowenthal:
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The ceremony began with WCWP station manager Dan Cox introducing an opening video:
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Jay Mirabile was the Master of the Ceremony:
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Bill Mozer’s induction of Bernie Bernard came in the form of an interview:
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A captive audience:
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Next, Tracy Burgess conducted an interview with Bruce Leonard…
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…and handed the mic to Jeff Kroll who read a statement from Joel Feltman:
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Hank Neimark inducted Steve Radoff:
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Steve’s speech:
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Next, Hank inducted Harry Lowenthal:
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Harry’s speech:
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Dan Cox returned to induct Bill Mozer…
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…but he wasn’t the only one.

Ted David pre-recorded an induction speech from Florida:
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Then came a slideshow set to “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor:
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It was finally time to bring Bill to the podium:
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It was an emotional speech.

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There was one more special video message for Bill…
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…from Fred Gaudelli:
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There was still one more announcement to make…
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…and that was made by Pete Bellotti:
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The unveiling of the Hall of Fame plaque with the induction years and inductees listed on it:
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“Let’s hear it for the 2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Class!”

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Later at WCWP, Dan gave a tour of the newly renovated Studio 1:
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It was quite a day!  Congratulations to Bernie, Steve, Harry, and Bill: the WCWP Hall of Fame Class of 2013.

My Sandy experience November 10, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, DVD, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
9 comments

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 began at my front patio worked my way around the house and then to the curb:

The pails on the west side of the house:

I fixed the pail that blew over about a half hour before taking pictures.

The container that covered the gas cans for generator fuel blew off:

When the power strip wasn’t connected to the extension cord, either the microwave or coffee maker were plugged in.

I turned this table upside down on Sunday and removed the tiles, stacking them on the ground near the wall:

The tile-less table was moved slightly by the high winds.

There had been a tree in the center of this empty space:

Part of it fell into our back yard:

Or it may have been from this tree which fell at around 6:00 the night before:

I was in the basement listening to a CD on my Walkman and could hear my dad in the kitchen saying “Tree down!”

You can barely see a tree down up the road to the east:

To the west, a utility poll was slanted (not visible in pic):

A week later, my sister took the following pictures on our street from east to west:

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.

After experiencing the March 2010 Nor’easter, Irene, and now Sandy, I can only hope that it’s a very long time before another major storm of Sandy’s magnitude hits the East Coast.

We’ll conclude this post with a few pictures in Rockville Centre on November 7 as snow began to accumulate…

…and a picture on November 8, hours after shoveling the driveway at home:

Also:
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)

11/13 UPDATE: Yesterday, I walked my street from east to west to get a close look at the cut-up downed trees, and the damage caused by them:

As I took this last shot, Town of Hempstead sanitation trucks were making the way up the street to remove debris:

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