Audiobooking 2: Listen Up! November 12, 2015Posted 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:
- Rush Revere and the American Revolution by Rush Limbaugh & Kathryn Adams Limbaugh (read by Rush) – This was the first fiction audiobook – historical fiction, to be exact – that I listened to. Rush Revere and his talking horse, Liberty, take a boy named Cam back to the year 1775.
- All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and Me by Jeff Dunham – Last December, I immersed myself in all things Jeff Dunham. I bought DVDs of his first three comedy specials – Arguing with Myself, Spark of Insanity, and Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special – watched The Jeff Dunham Show on Amazon Prime, and bought Blu-rays of his next three specials – Controlled Chaos, Minding the Monsters, and All Over the Map. Those got me through the last week of 2014 and the first few days of 2015. It was a refreshing change of pace after watching
allmost episodes of Wings on DVD for seven weeks. All By My Selves took up half of January. It was written back in 2010 and chronicles Jeff’s life from birth to meeting his now-wife Audrey, and all my favorite characters: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, Jose, and Bubba J. For the record, I’ve pre-ordered Unhinged in Hollywood on Blu-ray. It comes out next Tuesday, my 34th birthday.
- 41: A Portrait of My Father by President George W. Bush – A biography of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, as told by the 43rd. It was quite a journey. I know more about the Walkers and Bushes than I knew before.
- Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe – The title speaks for itself
- The YES Factor: Get What You Want, Say What You Mean, The Secrets of Persuasive Communication by Tonya Reiman – I bought this back in 2010, but I felt like listening to it again.
- Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas – There was plenty of advice in this book, but one stands out in my mind: “Next play.” Toughness and The YES Factor were both published by Gildan Media, which meant the theme music was the same.
- End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun) by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson – As someone that can’t stand the outrage culture, this book really spoke to me. I found myself agreeing aloud and nodding my head several times.
- Getting Real by Gretchen Carlson – Another autobiography.
- Daddy, Stop Talking! And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be Getting by Adam Carolla – Adam’s take on parenthood, and certain musicians, with a little help from Sonny and Natalia, his fraternal twin children.
- Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard – It was late September, which meant it was time for the latest “Killing” book from O’Reilly and Dugard. While John Hinckley did not kill President Ronald Reagan, the assassination attempt did accelerate his Alzheimer’s disease. The book isn’t a deification, which has irked people like George Will, but I loved it. I also liked actor Robert Petkoff’s narration. This was the first audiobook I listened to that wasn’t read by the author. Bill O’Reilly did, however, read the introduction and epilogue.
- Yes, My Accent is Real, and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar – How do you follow up a historical thriller? With a lighthearted autobiography, of course. Each chapter is an essay, working in chronological order from Kunal’s youth in New Delhi to his marriage to Neha Kapur. I just finished listening yesterday while peddling rapidly on my portable elliptical machine.
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, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Video, Weather.
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.
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).
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.
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:
I’ve been listening to the rest of the WCWP Homecoming Weekend throughout Sunday.
2015 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first few hours October 10, 2015Posted 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.
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.
Tom wasn’t the only one complimentary of my show. Jeff and Pat Kroll, and the aforementioned Joel Feltman, were equally laudatory.
He’ll be on plenty this weekend.
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:
My 2015 NFL predictions September 10, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
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.
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, 2015Posted 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
- Nationals (2) (missed playoffs, finished 2nd)
- Braves (Wild Card 2) (missed playoffs, finished 4th)
- Mets (won division, 3 seed)
- Marlins (finished 3rd)
- Cardinals (1)
- Pirates (Wild Card 1)
- Reds (finished 5th)
- Cubs (Wild Card 2, finished 3rd)
- Brewers (finished 4th)
- Dodgers (3) (2)
AL (American League) East
- Orioles (2) (missed playoffs, finished 3rd)
- Red Sox (finished 5th)
- Yankees (Wild Card 1, finished 2nd)
- Blue Jays (won division, 2 seed)
- Rays (finished 4th)
- Indians (1) (missed playoffs, finished 3rd)
- Tigers (Wild Card 1) (missed playoffs, finished 5th)
- Royals (Wild Card 2) (won division, 1 seed)
- White Sox
- Twins (finished 2nd)
- Athletics (3) (missed playoffs, finished 5th)
- Angels (finished 3rd)
- Mariners (finished 4th)
- Rangers (won division, 3 seed)
- Astros (Wild Card 2, finished 2nd)
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, 2015Posted 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 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.
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, 2015Posted 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.
Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall again January 13, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Football, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, Weather.
I was back at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on Sunday to see jazz pianist Lisa Hilton in concert. As you can tell by the previous recaps above, this was the third time I saw her live.
Four weeks ago yesterday, a postcard from Lisa arrived in the mail. Four upcoming shows were on that postcard and the Carnegie show was at the top. I immediately went to the Carnegie Hall website to purchase a ticket. I ended up buying one in front row center. As it turns out, there was only one other person in the front row at the show.
I got a ride to the Wantagh LIRR station at around noon. After getting a round trip off peak ticket to Penn Station, I waited on the platform for the 12:19 westbound train. I sat in the westernmost railcar and had a quiet ride. Once at Penn Station, I took the E train to 7th Avenue and West 53rd Street, walking to Carnegie from there.
Last year’s show was on a Thursday at 8PM. This year’s show was at 2PM on Sunday. The trip to Penn and the show itself allowed me to sequester myself from knowing what was going on in the Packers-Cowboys NFC Divisional Playoff Game. I’m not a fan of the Cowboys and was aggravated that they came back to win their Wild Card game against the Lions. Luckily, I learned back at Penn around 4:00 that the Packers won.
Weill Recital Hall is small and intimate, so much so that a sound system wasn’t even in place. The hall’s acoustics were the sound system.
I would have taken more, but my camera’s shutter was really loud in the hall.
1/17 UPDATE: Kudos to professional photographer Enid Farber on her wonderful shots during the show.
Thank you very much.
At 2:00 on the dot, the show began. Lisa Hilton played piano, Ben Street was on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. They were joined two songs in by J.D. Allen on tenor saxophone and Ingrid Jensen on trumpet. I had seen Lisa, Ben, and J.D. before, but not Rudy and Ingrid. They were a superb quintet.
Lisa has a new album coming out on March 7 called Horizons. This was the first time tunes from the album were played live. Here’s what the set looked like (quintet except where noted):
1. Vapors and Shadows (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
2. Sunset and the Mocking Bird (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
4. The Sky and the Ocean
5. Lazy Moon
6. Moon River
7. When It Rains (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
8. Currents (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
9. Seduction^ (Lisa only)
11. Surfer Blues
12. So This is Love^
13. Slow Down^
14. Waterfall^ (encore) (Lisa only)
^”Seduction” is originally from Seduction (1997), and redone on Cocktails at Eight (2000), My Favorite Things (2005) and The New York Sessions (2007). “So This is Love” is originally from My Favorite Things and played again on Sunny Day Theory (2008) and Nuance (2010). “When It Rains” originated on American Impressions (2012). “Slow Down” is from Getaway (2013). “Waterfall” is also from Seduction and Cocktails at Eight.
Lisa previously covered “Moon River” on Cocktails at Eight, Midnight in Manhattan (2006), and Twilight & Blues (2009).
The set lasted about an hour and a half. Each song was an instrumental landscape and each musician had a brush. Of the material from Horizons, my favorites were:
“Vapors and Shadows” – I was enamored by the fast tempo and staccato notes. They were like Morse code.
“Nocturnal” – This had a danceable melody and rhythm.
“Dolphins” – This was a relaxing composition, evoking images of dolphins frolicking offshore.
Of the material not on the album, I’ve always liked “Seduction” and “So This is Love,” so it was great to hear them. I had a “so, this is love” epiphany myself a few years ago.
I also bought a CD copy of Horizons in the lobby. I told Lisa I was hoping to hear her cover of “Gold on the Ceiling” during the show. Of course, I didn’t know it was a cover because I know very little about modern pop music. When I heard the 30-second preview of the song on Amazon prior to Sunday, I liked its energy, as I did with “Vapors and Shadows.” It reminded me of Horace Silver. And the title had me thinking of old prospectors chopping gold off a ceiling with their pickaxes. While sharing that visualization with Lisa, she told me the song was originally by the Black Keys. A check of the liner notes when I got home later confirmed that. So, this goes on record as another instrumental cover of a pop song that I prefer over the original. In this case, I don’t plan on listening to the original “Gold on the Ceiling” anytime soon. As for my visualization, Lisa interpreted the song title as gold representing a sunset and the ceiling representing the sky. I told her I liked that – a sunset in the sky.
Going back to Penn Station, I had planned on taking the Q train back to Herald Square and walking to Penn from there. Instead, I walked down 7th Avenue, through Times Square, and took the 1 train from 42nd Street Station to Penn. While in Times Square, I took this picture:
Like last year, the ball is frozen in time after dropping on New Year’s Eve.
Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall is becoming an annual tradition for me. I’m already looking forward to next time. Thank you, Lisa, Ben, Rudy, J.D., and Ingrid.