Five years! April 15, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal, Technology.
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Five years ago today, I took one giant leap into the blogosphere and launched The Mike Chimeri Blog. The blog was created as a replacement for the original MikeChimeri.com’s “News from Mike” page where I wrote about the latest events in my life. The problem with that was I would erase previous entries, which were in an occasionally updated text box on that webpage. (That site was created with WYSIWYG software.) Luckily, I cut and paste most of those entries to a Word document.
I kept the original MikeChimeri.com up for four years until I finally made the logical decision to recreate pages at the blog and transfer the MikeChimeri.com domain to it. And so it was on May 14, 2012, 11 months ago yesterday, that The Mike Chimeri Blog became MikeChimeri.com!
Busy Saturdays (and one Friday) ahead April 13, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, Video.
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I have a busy pair of Saturdays (and one Friday) beginning next week.
Next Saturday, I’ll be at the second annual WCWP Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. As I noted in mid-October, this year’s inductees are Steve Radoff, Harry Lowenthal, Bill Mozer, and Maura “Bernie” Bernard. Like last year, the ceremony will take place at the Tilles Center Atrium. But unlike last year, it will take place in the afternoon rather than the evening.
The following Friday and Saturday, I’ll be up in Milford, Connecticut, for both nights of keyboardist Jay Rowe’s annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert. In the Friday show, for the first time since 2008, Jay won’t be the only keyboardist performing. Alex Bugnon is one of the guests scheduled to perform, along with saxophonist Nelson Rangell, and guitarists Marc Antoine and Nick Colionne. Saturday’s lineup consists of guitarists Jeff Golub and Chieli Minucci, and saxophonists Marion Meadows and Vincent Ingala. This will be the first time I’ve seen Jeff since he unfortunately lost his sight.
At both events, I’ll have the same video and audio equipment as last year, but I’ll be using a new digital camera. After getting the Nikon D3100 last May, I lucked into swapping it for a new D5100 earlier this week.
You know the drill: After each event, I’ll post a photo recap here at MikeChimeri.com. Crafting posts will be easier now that WordPress lets you post all the pictures at once.
Until then, so long.
WCWP Homecoming, 2013 Hall of Fame Announcement October 23, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology.
Half a day after CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri aired on WCWP, I headed up to LIU Post for Homecoming festivities and the announcement of the 2013 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame.
After taking those three pics, I walked to WCWP, located in the Abrams Communications Center.
Following the LIU Post Pioneers football team’s 20-15 win over the Millersville Marauders, Bernie Bernard took over WCWP for the next three hours:
Meanwhile, outside, it was time for the big Hall of Fame announcement.
Shortly after the announcement outside, Bernie broke the news on the air when she did a phone interview with Steve Radoff.
Congratulations to Steve, Harry, Bill, and Bernie your induction into the WCWP Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 20.
CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri on WCWP: 2012 edition October 20, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Technology, Video.
Previous CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri recaps: 2011
Early this morning at 2:00, CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri aired on WCWP 88.1 FM. It’s part of the station’s – and its university LIU Post’s – Homecoming Weekend, which started last night at 7:00 and ends late tomorrow night.
I recorded the show two weeks ago, on October 5, as seen in this picture…
All of the above was shot on my Nikon D3100. The vidcaps were taken from behind-the-scenes video of the recording process. Here is the final cut of that video, which I produced last night:
And here is the finished aircheck, as recorded from the board.
I’m heading up to LIU Post this afternoon for Homecoming festivities and the announcement of the 2013 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. I’ll have a recap in a later post.
My experience at Day 2 of 2012 New York Comic Con October 15, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Books, Comedy, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Friday marked my first time at the annual New York Comic Con, held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on 11th Avenue on Manhattan’s West Side. The Javits Center stretches from West 34th to 40th Streets, but the main entrance is at West 37th.
My day at the event was scheduled around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel, which was to be held at 6:45 PM. Bored at home, I left the house just after 1:00, 90 minutes earlier than I planned. I walked to the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station (a 20-minute walk), bought a round trip off peak ticket in a ground-level vending machine, and waited on the platform for the train to arrive. I saw one person in costume, which meant I wouldn’t be the only one bound for NYCC on the train. With the air temperature in the low 50s and a stiff breeze, I was dressed for winter: a winter coat and a long sleeve shirt, but no costume. As the joke goes, I went as myself.
After an hour-long train ride to Penn Station, I walked up to the street and had two slices of pizza at Famous Famiglia on 8th Avenue, one of many locations in New York alone. It was an appropriate lunch on the day of the TMNT panel.
After passing the Houndstooth Pub at the corner of 8th and West 37th Street, the site of many contemporary jazz shows I’ve attended, I crossed west and then north to walk on the north side of West 37th. There were groups of people ahead of me also heading to Javits. Part of the walk featured an overpass above Dyer Avenue, which leads into the Lincoln Tunnel. Once at the Javits Center, I walked in the green entrance.
Friday was the second day of four of the Con. A sold-out crowd packed the Javits Center, making the indoor temperature feel like close to 80. If only I had chosen a spring jacket and short sleeve shirt.
According to my camera, I took the first picture in this post at 3:18 PM, within 40 minutes of arriving at Penn Station. Let’s see those pics, shall we?
I put the camera down for the next hour and a half to take in the sights and sounds, and grab an early dinner at the food court.
As the wait continued, Peter Hastings, one of TMNT’s executive producers, walked by taking pictures of the line. I recognized him from a Talkin’ Toons with Rob Paulsen podcast back in May. As he passed near me, I asked him, “Are you Peter Hastings?” He said yes, then wondered as he shook my hand how I knew who he was. I told him it was from his body of work, and I cited Pinky and the Brain and TMNT; all I could think of offhand. I couldn’t tell if he was scared, shocked, or flattered that I knew of him. It reminded me of when I was at the will call booth at the old IMAC in Huntington before a Rippingtons concert in 2006. (You can see my pics with Jeff Kashiwa and Steve Reid here.) Musician Tom Huber was in line ahead of me and I recognized his name when he told it to the ticket taker. I told him I knew of him through his background vocals on two tracks from Steve Briody‘s (“BRY-dee”) “Keep On Talkin’” album. Tom’s response was, “Are you kidding?” In Peter’s case, he assured me the next day on Facebook that he was flattered. I thanked him for that.
NYCC staff opened the doors to the conference room just after 6:20. I managed to get an aisle a few rows in (behind a few reserved rows).
(After the above pic, I switched from my Nikon D3100 to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 because I don’t yet have a long lens for the Nikon. I switched back after the panel.)
The panel began at 6:47 with the TMNT title sequence projected on screens and through theater-style speakers. The crowd erupted in cheers as Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello approached the dais.
The rest of the panel was four cast members: the voices of three of the four turtles and their sensei.
Rob was also Raphael in the original TMNT series that premiered 25 years ago. (Talkin’ Toons podcast live: original cast reunion)
Greg and Sean looked at the screen to their left (above) while Rob looked straight ahead at the reverse side of a second screen.
An hour flies when you’re having fun.
As the crowd left, a music video set to “Gangnam Style” by Psy played on the screens.
Some of my pictures from the panel were vidcaps (or screencaps), pictures captured from my computer screen while playing video, which I then edited in Photoshop (cropping, adjusting color). My camerawork was iffy because I used a mini tripod and tended to shake. Neil Vitale did a much better job than me. Here’s his video:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles airs Saturday mornings at 11:00 Eastern on Nickelodeon.
About ten minutes after the leaving the conference room…
…I was out of the Javits Center.
Fifteen minutes later, I made it back to Penn Station’s LIRR terminal. On the train ride back, I sat next to two people that also attended NYCC. One of them came with a group of anime fans and she was dressed as a character. But I don’t remember which one.
I arrived home at 9:45. It was quite an 8 1/2 hour adventure, one that I won’t soon forget.
10/16 UPDATE: Meredith Blake of the Los Angeles Times wrote on Friday about how New York Comic Con is catching up with the bigger Comic-Con (note the hyphen) International in San Diego.
10/19 UPDATE: Andy Levy of Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld was on the Show Floor last Friday when I wasn’t. Click here to see his report.
The New MikeChimeri.com! May 14, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal, Technology.
The Mike Chimeri Blog is now the new MikeChimeri.com. This change was two months in the making. Resources from the old MikeChimeri.com were moved here, the domain was transferred to a different host, and the nameservers were transferred to WordPress. It’s the old MikeChimeri.com pages and files combined with The Mike Chimeri Blog pages, posts, and files.
But don’t worry. You can still reach this site from the old mikechimeriblog.com domain. You’ll just be redirected.
Read the manual! May 1, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Video.
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As I noted in my previous post, I was at WCWP’s first annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night at LIU Post.
What I didn’t tell you was I brought my recently purchased JVC Everio GZ-HM320 HD camcorder to record the ceremony, which lasted about an hour, in addition to candid chatter before and afterward.
Unfortunately, I didn’t read the camcorder’s manual when I bought it in October. After a few successful, short test recordings in October and November, I didn’t use it until Thursday night. I was able to get two minutes of chatter and the first nine minutes of the ceremony, but then, the memory card stopped working. Everything recorded after LIU Post Provost Dr. Paul Forestell talked about when he first met WCWP station manager Dan Cox was corrupted and could not be viewed or recovered. At least I had the pictures I shot on my digital camera.
My first reaction the following day when I learned of the file corruption was to look for a better camcorder with internal memory of at least 32 GB (gigabytes). But tonight, it finally dawned on me that it wasn’t the camcorder that was the problem. It was the memory card: a Kingston Class 4 SDHC 32 GB card. Before I considered buying a SanDisk card of the same class and size, I looked at my camcorder’s manual.
In the middle of page 9, it said “operations are confirmed on … Panasonic, TOSHIBA, SanDisk [and] ATP” cards. For video, “Class 4 or higher compatible SDHC card (4 GB to 32 GB).” And then, the money quote: “Using cards other than those specified above may result in recording failure or data loss.” Bingo!
So, I went ahead and bought that SanDisk card to replace the Kingston. If I get uninterrupted video for more than ten minutes the next I record an event like the WCWP Hall of Fame ceremony, I’ll know I made the right decision. And I’ll save a ton of money.
The moral is simple: Read the manual!
5/3 UPDATE: The SanDisk card arrived this afternoon. Putting it in did the trick! My camcorder successfully recorded about an hour and a half of video while I went to and from Sunrise Mall (Westfield Sunrise) in East Massapequa. There was no corruption; all files (3.89 GB at a time) played and could be scrolled through in Windows Media Player.
I also tested my Tascam DR-03 audio recorder while I was out. It recorded the same length of time as the camcorder successfully with a SanDisk 16 GB microSDHC card.
Irene, Five Days in Freeport September 8, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, DVD, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
After 26 years of barely missing hurricanes, or at least direct hits, Long Island’s luck ran out last weekend.
On a Friday afternoon, September 27, 1985, Hurricane Gloria, a fast-moving Category 2, made landfall near Long Beach. 25 years and 11 months later, it was Irene’s turn. Though Hurricane Irene was barely a Category 1 when it made landfall on Coney Island last Sunday morning (immediately weakening to a tropical storm), it wasn’t moving as fast as Gloria and it came during high tide rather than low tide. The south shore of Long Island got pounded. Over 500,000 Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) customers, including myself, were without power at the height of the storm. Either giant limbs or uprooted trees fell on power lines or transformers caught fire. I lost power at 1:30 AM Sunday because of the latter. (Also, the sub-station in Plainedge that we were linked to was badly damaged.)
I spent Saturday night and much of Sunday in the basement and on the main floor, only going to the top floor in the afternoon to take a [cold!] shower. While preparing my room on Saturday, I found a lucky rabbit’s foot. I kept it close by or in my shorts pocket.
I don’t know if the rabbit’s foot was the cause, but our house was spared. The only damage for us was smaller branches and twigs, and leaves falling around the house. I took these pictures Monday morning in the front and back yards under a partly-to-mostly sunny sky:
I stayed home without power until Monday afternoon when a family friend in Freeport was nice enough to let me stay with them until power was restored at my house. Villages like Freeport that have their own utilities didn’t lose power for long. If only that were the case for LIPA customers. Some didn’t get it back until early this week. I got it back 3:30 PM Friday. The family friend was without FiOS (for reasons I won’t get into), so I was stuck with radio, wireless internet (on my laptop), and mobile web (on my cell phone). I also passed the time by going for walks, listening to music on my iPod, and playing video games. I hadn’t played Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games in ages until last week. I brought my camera on one of those walks and stopped by my late grandparents’ old house and Cow Meadow Park (swatting mosquitoes along the way):
Before getting to the old house and Cow Meadow, I saw a sad sight walking up the block where the friend lives. Curbs on both sides of the street had flood-damaged carpeting, couches, and appliances waiting to be picked up. I used to live in southwest Freeport. So, I know what it’s like to get flooding from the bay in the bottom floor of the house. I got that during the aforementioned Gloria, and Nor’easters in December 1992 and March 1993. Within months of those last two storms, I had moved to a part of Wantagh that’s a few miles inland.
Back at the friend’s house, she had the complete run of I Love Lucy on DVD. I got into that show years ago when it was on Nick at Nite. My love for it was rekindled. I watched the latter seasons while the friend had them on.
The ride home late Friday afternoon was great. I knew I’d be returning home to electricity and cable, albeit with an empty refrigerator. Before leaving, I thanked the family friend for putting up with me for five days. I returned the favor this Tuesday when I stayed at her house while she was at work to be present for a Cablevision technician to install their services–iO, Optimum Online, Optimum Voice–in place of Verizon’s–phone, FiOS internet, FiOS TV.
1. As I type this post, Hurricane Katia is about to turn northeast and move away from the U.S. East Coast. Good.
2. There were plenty of columns and blog posts in Irene’s aftermath that downplayed the storm and/or reprimanding the media for overhyping it. Many media did overhype it, but damage is damage. Downed trees are nothing compared to massive flo0ding, whether from storm surge or rivers overflowing from nonstop rain. Residents of New Jersey, Eastern New York State, and Vermont are among those that got the latter. And the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in the last few days have only added to the flooding.
3. I stumbled upon a blog post that offers the Washington, D.C. area perspective. It’s written by freelance writer Kristine Meldrum Denholm: How I’ve dodged the demise of the east coast, part II: Goodnight, Irene. There was minimal damage in her neighborhood and she never lost power. Kristine is not alone. My neighbors two houses to the west of me never lost power, neither did my piano teacher in Freeport.
4. Yet another link: Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean summed up Irene at her blog last Monday.
9/27 UPDATE: It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will mark one month since Irene made landfall here. And as I noted at the top, Hurricane Gloria whizzed (compared to the slower Irene) through Long Island 26 years ago today. Since I wrote this post a few weeks ago, a few more Atlantic tropical cyclones have formed and none have directly impacted the U.S. (Knock on wood.) In checking the August archives at the website Johnny Dollar’s Place, I found an interview John Gibson did with Janice Dean on his Fox News Radio show. It took place on August 29, the day after landfall:
12/30 UPDATE: Irene was the #1 tri-state area news story in WCBS 880′s countdown of the top 11 stories of 2011:
… But Sunday morning, August 28, we knew the caution was called for.
Irene swept ashore in Brigantine, battered New Jersey, then crossed Coney Island at 9 a.m. on a path for New England.
Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction, left millions without power and killed 56 people.
“We are now into day three of no electricity for hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders,” reported WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. …
Even with all that Irene turned out not to have been a hurricane when it hit our area.
Okay, fine, it wasn’t a hurricane. It was Tropical Storm Irene. It might as well have been a category 1 hurricane because it moved slow enough to cause the same amount of damage.
You can read and listen to the rest here.
Tim McCarver auto-tuned July 19, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Commentary, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Sports, Technology, TV.
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During the last commercial break for the 8PM Eastern airing of last Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor, there was a promo for the MLB on Fox. In the promo, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are to be auto-tuned during their broadcasts to appeal to a younger demographic. Tim follows through, but Joe refuses:
This promo has been running since the start of the season, but Friday was the first time I saw it. I initially posted it to my Facebook wall, but decided to post it here, too. As I said in my previous post, I find auto-tune hilarious and always get a kick out of it, especially if spoken word gets the auto-tune treatment.
New computer, Blu-ray Disc player February 25, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Media, Personal, Technology.
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Earlier this month, I upgraded to a new desktop computer and Blu-ray Disc player.
The computer is a Dell Inspiron 560. It includes an Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5500 processor running at 2.80 GHz, 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM, the Intel G45 Express Chipset, Intel HD audio, and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I bought a 20″ Dell widescreen monitor to go with it. It took a couple of days to personalize it by getting the programs I had installed on the old computer on this one. It’s working great thus far.
The same can be said for the Blu-ray Disc player: a Panasonic DMP-BD45. In fact, it’s working much better than my old Toshiba upconverting DVD player. In fact, the reason I bought the new player is because that old player suddenly broke down. I haven’t played any Blu-ray Discs yet, but I ordered one a couple of days ago. It’ll be interesting to see and hear the difference between upconverted widescreen DVDs and BDs.
While on the subject of new electronics, you’ll remember a few years ago I mentioned I got a “new old laptop.” Well, last March, I got a new new laptop. It’s a 15.6″ eMachines E725. This laptop includes an Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4400 processor running at 2.2 GHz, 3 GB of RAM, Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset, Realtek HD audio, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. I bought a wireless mouse to go with it. I haven’t used it too much as I haven’t been away from home too often, but I have no complaints.
9:55 PM UPDATE: I foolishly installed Service Pack 1 on the desktop computer. In the middle of the update, I get “Error C000009A …” The computer is inaccessible as I type (from my pre-SP1 laptop). I’m trying desperately to repair the problem, but having no luck.
2/26, 10:15 AM UPDATE: After eight hours of sleep, I tried again. I opened in safe mode and was successful: Windows 7 Ultimate reverted back to the way it was before the update. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right product key. So, I had to pay $216 for a new one, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it.
2/27 UPDATE: So far, it’s worth it, but not completely. Windows Media Player won’t open because the DLL version is newer than it should be. Windows Installer won’t work, either. I’m talking to tech support as I type. If I were you, I wouldn’t install SP1.
I’m not writing anymore posts about computers I own. It’s clear I jinxed myself.