2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 20, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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Previous Hall of Fame Ceremonies: 2012
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.
…but he wasn’t the only one.
It was an emotional speech.
“Let’s hear it for the 2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Class!”
It was quite a day! Congratulations to Bernie, Steve, Harry, and Bill: the WCWP Hall of Fame Class of 2013.
A March nor’easter and its wet snow March 8, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, TV, Weather.
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It’s been a trying nine days for me. It all began last Wednesday night. Meteorologists began warning of a big nor’easter for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic one week later. It would bring high winds and wet snow, a volatile mix.
In the days that followed, weather computer models from various media and meteorological organizations projected different paths for the storm to take and where it would meet up with a low moving from the Pacific to the Tennessee Valley. The center would be over Cape Hatteras or the Delmarva Peninsula. From there, it would go east, southeast, or northeast.
Meteorologists hedged their bets by making their forecasts based on what the most models were predicting at the time, but made clear that the forecast could change. It did. Long Island went from missing the nor’easter entirely, except for gusty winds, to getting its northern fringe. Worse yet, the storm was going to take longer to push east than originally expected. Thus, a one-day nor’easter became a three-day nor’easter.
March has seen its share of major nor’easters:
- The Great Blizzard of 1888
- The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962
- The 1993 Storm of the Century
- The March 2010 Nor’easter (more on that below)
The worst of the 1993 and 2010 storms came through Long Island on the same date: March 13. When the ’93 storm hit, I was living in Freeport, three blocks away from Baldwin Bay. My cousins, aunt, and grandmother stayed over while my parents were in St. Maarten. They left two days before the storm and came back two days after. A few months earlier, there was an equally strong nor’easter. At the afternoon high tide, a few inches of water came into the first floor of the house. I was too young to remember our house flooding during Hurricane Gloria. So this was traumatizing. I don’t recall if water got in during the SotC, but I do know the first floor lacked a carpet for the rest of our time in the house. I also remember we had snow that was followed by rain. And according to AccuWeather, Freeport was in the 10-to-20-inch range:
1993 SotC snowfall
For the next week or two, the backyard looked like the North Pole because the rain-and-flood-soaked snow froze over. Air temperatures were stuck below freezing for a week. So, snow didn’t completely melt in some areas until the end of the month.
My family and I moved (for unrelated school reasons) to the Wantagh Woods section of Wantagh in July 1993, over a mile inland, where I live to this day.
Back in the present, as it became clear we were getting this nor’easter, visions of Sandy began dancing in my head as I feared the worst, even though the highest gusts would be nothing like Sandy. And the nor’easter’s duration brought me back to what began my high wind fears in the first place: a stronger nor’easter that began three years ago next Wednesday. I was without power then, due to uprooted trees, for two days. Then, in poker terms, Irene saw those two days and raised me five and a half. Sandy saw those five and a half days and raised me nine.
I also thought of a similar wet snow-producing nor’easter that came exactly one year before Sandy. New Jersey, Connecticut, and the Hudson Valley received a lot of wet snow, which weighed down still-leaved tree limbs, taking many of them down, or whole trees down, and the power out with them. The post-Sandy nor’easter also brought wet snow that weighed down still-leaved tree limbs – Sandy didn’t blow all of them off – but the ones in my neighborhood did not break off nor did they come down.
This week’s nor’easter came in under cover of darkness early Wednesday morning. The winds gradually increased, as did the gusts. Gusts of around 40 miles per hour plowed against my east-facing bedroom wall. But precipitation was scarce. As the day progressed, the wind direction shifted from the east to the north-northeast. The wind was no longer pushing against the wall, but I could still hear it.
As the night progressed, I was prepared for power to go out at any moment. I went to sleep around midnight and woke up seven hours later with the power still on. Not only that, but the wind diminished and there wasn’t any snow on the ground. Up to 6 inches of wet snowfall was originally expected for Wednesday night into yesterday, the first part of the nor’easter, but by mid-afternoon, the forecast dwindled to an inch or two. With little or no snow for Wednesday night, the concern shifted to last night into today when heavier wet snow was expected.
More snow fell to my north and any area that received heavy snow bands. According to Newsday (subscription required), Syosset received 8 inches of wet snow and Jericho got 6 inches. Levittown, to my immediate north, received 4.5 inches.
The wet snow melted on most of my driveway, but stuck to the cars and garbage/recycling pails left at the curb for Friday pickup.
Five hours later, snow had tapered off and begun to melt.
As I publish this post, the wind has shifted to the north-northwest and is a mere eleven miles per hour. Most of the wet snow on the grass in the above picture is still there. With milder temperatures and abundant sunshine expected over the next few days, it won’t be on the grass much longer.
Whose Line is it Anyway? reboots this summer! March 3, 2013Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Theatre, TV.
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Ten days after I had given up on the return of Trust Us with Your Life, I learned of wonderful news (via The Hollywood Reporter, h/t Jonathan Mangum): Whose Line is it Anyway? is returning to television this summer!
The Whose Line reboot will air on the CW, which was home to Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show prior to the WB’s merger with UPN. According to THR, Whose Line marks the CW’s return to comedy. They’ve otherwise been known for teen dramas.
As with the first American version, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady will be the lead performers. Aisha Tyler will follow in the hosting footsteps of Clive Anderson and Drew Carey. (Clive hosted the original British version.) It’ll be interesting to see which house musician(s) will be on hand for musical games like “Song Styles” (or “Duet”), “Greatest Hits,” and “Hoedown.”
It’s a 10-episode run, but could be more if renewed or less if canceled. Based on the failures of the Green Screen Show, Improv-A-Ganza,” and Trust Us With Your Life, I’d say the latter is more likely. But as usual, I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Here’s part of THR’s story:
… Based on the U.K. format, which spawned the 1998-2004 ABC series led by Drew Carey, Whose Line will feature the return of Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie, who, along with a special guest each episode, will put their comedic skills to the test through a series of improv games. Prompted by ideas from the studio audience and [host Aisha] Tyler, the performers use the information and their imaginations to depict different characters, scenes and perform songs. A winner will be named at the end of each episode.
From Angst Productions and Hat Trick Productions, Whose Line is executive produced by Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson, Jimmy Mulville, Stiles and Brady. It was co-created by Patterson and Leveson. …
My Sandy experience November 10, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, DVD, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
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 fixed the pail that blew over about a half hour before taking pictures.
When the power strip wasn’t connected to the extension cord, either the microwave or coffee maker were plugged in.
The tile-less table was moved slightly by the high winds.
I was in the basement listening to a CD on my Walkman and could hear my dad in the kitchen saying “Tree down!”
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.
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)
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 Barclays at Bethpage Black recap August 27, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Golf, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
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For the first time in three years, Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale hosted a PGA Tour event. This time, it was The Barclays.
The weather this year was much better than it was at the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championships, especially than the latter. It was rain-free.
After Nick Watney’s third round struggles, I predicted that Sergio Garcia, the leader going into the final round would win. I was wrong.
Unlike at the two U.S. Opens the Black hosted, cell phones were allowed, but had to be on silent or vibrate. My phone was on vibrate as I provided live updates throughout the day on Facebook. Here’s how that went:
11:23 AM: “I’m headed to Jones Beach where a shuttle will take me and my dad (and other passengers) to Bethpage Black Golf Course at Bethpage State Park. We’ll be catching the final round of The Barclays. Golf Channel coverage runs from 12:00 to 1:30, followed by CBS from 2:00 until play concludes, which should be around 6:00.”
12:03 PM: “I’m on the bus headed to Bethpage Black. I saw some license plates in the parking lot from as far away as Michigan and Tennessee. Also, New Jersey, Connecticut, [Massachusetts,] and Maryland.”
12:21 PM: “Almost at Bethpage Black. I plan on following the second-to-last pairing: Kevin Stadler [son of Craig] and Brandt Snedeker ['SNED-uh-kur'].”
1:32 PM: “I ended up following Phil Mickelson and John Senden for the first two holes, then stopped at a concession stand. We’ll catch up with Stadler and Snedeker at the 3rd.” Despite shooting a 76, the fans loved him, as I could tell from the wild cheers I heard at 17 later in his round.
I put my phone down until Stads and Sneds were halfway through.
3:32 PM: 9 holes down, 9 to go.
Then, I waited another five holes before writing another update.
4:46 PM: “Crossing Round Swamp Rd. 4 holes to go.”
After the pair’s second shots at 15, Dad and I jumped ahead to the last three holes. Then, the updates became more frequent…
5:02 PM: “Skipped to 16th fairway. CBS’s [course reporter] Peter Kostis is to my right.”
5:18 PM: “Up to 17th green. Live CBS feed is on video leaderboard.”
5:26 PM: “Now at 18th fairway. Again, a leaderboard with CBS’s feed is straight ahead. The green is to the left.”
By this time, the drunk fans that are wont to cheer too loud, yell catchphrases out of context (i.e. “GET IN THE HOLE!” on a tee shot at a par 4 or 5), paraphrase the “Olé” song using Nick Watney’s surname (as I heard on my DVR later), and heckle players they don’t like (Sergio Garcia) got to me:
5:34 PM: “It’s not fun when a reserved guy like me is next to enthusiastic and/or drunk fans.” Sober fans acquitted themselves well, as they always do.
5:36 PM: “Snedeker and Stadler are on the green. Sergio Garcia and leader Nick Watney are approaching.”
5:39 PM: “Last pairing in fairway. CBS’s [other course reporter] David Feherty walked by, got cheers.”
5:44 PM: “Watney’s on the green, Sergio’s in the bunker, to the delight of some fans. I feel sorry for him.” A “USA” chant broke out as if we were at the Ryder Cup, speaking of out of context. And there were two Spanish people standing next to us. I felt sorry for them, too. I finished the update by saying “[t]he crowd at the green is cheering.”
5:47 PM: “Sergio bogeyed. The stage is set for Watney.” He birdied!
5:49 PM: “Put it in the books.” That’s what Mets radio announcer Howie Rose says after a win. “Nick Watney has won The Barclays. Final score: -10.”
5:52 PM: “Feherty interviewed Watney for CBS [briefly interrupted by Nick embracing his wife], then off to sign the scorecard and back to 18 for the trophy presentation.”
5:53 PM: “Leaderboard reads ‘Congratulations Nick Watney, 2012 Champion’ with a headshot of him.”
5:58 PM: “CBS’s Ian Baker-Finch is [hosting] the presentation.”
5:59 PM: “The champion is back.”
6:06 PM: “After getting the trophy, Finchy [one of Ian's nicknames] interviewed him. He ‘couldn’t be happier,’ ‘overjoyed.’ He thanked volunteers, fans, and wife. After the interview, he hoisted the trophy.” His cousin Heidi, of the soon-to-launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles, was also there.
With The Barclays complete, it was time to go home.
6:07 PM: “Now, we’re walking to the shuttle bound for Jones Beach.”
6:24 PM: “The shuttle is departing…”
6:48 PM: “Walking to the car at Jones Beach. Next stop: home.”
7:19 PM: “I got home about ten minutes ago. Phew.”
I ate a hearty meal of pasta and watched some of my DVR of CBS’s coverage, but not before taking two pictures.
Here are the post-round links:
Doug Ferguson: Watney wins Barclays; Garcia 4 back
Jason Sobel: Watney becoming more comfortable in spotlight
Barclays photo gallery
Rex Hoggard: Watney’s psychologist credited for Barclays win
The day after, I returned to Bethpage by bus and by foot, taking these pictures along the way:
After the above picture, I made my way back to Quake Meeting House Road. The inside of the park was closed until three days later.
The Barclays returns to Bethpage Black in 2016, part of a four-year rotation with other New York area courses. I hope the weather is as great as it was this year. Congratulations again to Nick Watney, your 2012 Barclays Champion. Best of luck in the final three FedExCup Playoff events.
NOTE: I decided to write entirely in the past tense rather than the present except for “yesterday” referring to when the final round was played. I did this despite “the day after” being today and “three days later” being Thursday, among other examples.
NFL Network coming to Cablevision!!! August 16, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Media, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV.
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Effective tomorrow, NFL Network and NFL RedZone will be added to Cablevision’s lineup. Via NFL.com:
BETHPAGE, NY and NEW YORK, NY — August 16, 2012 – NFL Network and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), the largest TV provider in the nation’s top media market, announced today that they have reached a multi-year agreement for carriage of NFL Network and the NFL RedZone channel.
NFL Network will make its debut in Cablevision homes beginning Friday. NFL Network will be available on channel 150 in both standard-definition and HD for customers who subscribe to iO Preferred, iO Silver, iO Gold or the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak. NFL RedZone, which airs on Sundays throughout the regular season, will be offered in both standard-definition and HD on channel 151 as part of the iO Sports & Entertainment Pak, which is now included in the new iO Gold package, which was launched last spring. …
Cablevision customers like myself have been waiting for this day since the network launched nearly a decade ago. I learned of this from Steve Somers on WFAN twenty minutes before publishing this post.
Thank you very much, Cablevision.
8/18 UPDATE: Here is the Steve Somers monologue that tipped me off to NFL Network’s arrival on Cablevision. After talking about the Mets and Yankees results, he got to the big deal at the 9:02 mark. My transcript (listen along):
As you have heard [earlier in the day on WFAN], Cablevision has taken on the NFL Network, giving the face of the NFL Network, Rich Eisen, the opportunity to extol the virtues of the cable industry in general, and the NFL Network in particular, as we heard on his live infomercial, apparently sponsoring Joe and Evan this afternoon. Rich will also appear with Joe and Evan sometime soon, where we will actually hear from him discussing football! …
Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts filled in for Mike Francesa all this week.
Riding the Long Island Expressway July 29, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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I went to Hoboken last Saturday for my friends’ daughter’s first birthday party. On the drive with my parents to and from the Madison Bar and Grill, I took plenty of pictures. In fact, I shot more on the drive than at the party: 115 out of 224.
In this post, we’ll focus on pics taken on Interstate 495, the L.I.E. (Long Island Expressway).
There was a bow below the rear view mirror in the way in the upper left. So, I rubber stamped it out in Adobe Photoshop 7.
The vidcap was taken at the 1:03 mark.
That was our exit. From there, it wasn’t long before we got home. I spent several hours the next day editing all 224 pictures. The party pics were easy to edit because I used the flash and didn’t have to fix the color or smudge out license plates.
Trust Us with Your Life; UPDATE: Canceled!; UPDATE 2: Not officially canceled.; UPDATE 3: I give up. July 12, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Media, Music, Personal, Sports, TV.
8/1 UPDATE: Trust Us with Your Life has been canceled.
8/2 UPDATE: Or has it? More on these updates at the bottom of the post.
2/19/13 UPDATE: I give up. I’ll assume it’s canceled.
4/1/13 UPDATE: Whose Line is it Anyway? reboots this summer!
If you like improvisational comedy, you’ll love the new ABC series Trust Us with Your Life. It was developed by Dan Patterson, one of the people behind Whose Line is it Anyway? It’s hosted by Fred Willard and stars improv veterans Wayne Brady, Jonathan Mangum, and Colin Mochrie. The first two episodes have also starred Greg Proops and Craig Cackowski.
The stars of the show create scenes based on stories recounted by each episode’s guest, which have included (and will include) Serena Williams, Jack and Kelly Osbourne, Mark Cuban, Ricky Gervais, and Florence Henderson (a guest in a latter season of Whose Line). There are improv games to go along with the scenes. If you’ve seen previous Drew Carey’s* previous improv series or tours, this sample of games played may sound familiar:
- Glee Club It! (like Showstopping Number)
- Putting Words in My Mouth (like Dubbing)
- Rap It! (like Kick It!)
- Dramatic Episode (like First Date and New Choice)
As a hardcore fan of improv comedy, I laughed hard at most of the scenes.
Unfortunately, post-Whose Line improv series have not lasted long:
- Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show was canceled on the WB after only a handful of episodes. The rest of the recorded episodes were run a year later on Comedy Central.
- Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza ran five nights a week for eight weeks, but did poorly on GSN. It was not renewed. But thanks to the five-night-a-week run, it is the longest-running post-Whose Line series.
I’m hoping Trust Us with Your Life breaks that trend and becomes a huge hit. Why watch serial sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows when you can laugh uncontrollably for 30 to 60 minutes a week with no conflict? Thank you, Dan Patterson, for giving us TUSWYL. I love it!
*-Due to Drew’s contract with CBS, he is not allowed to appear on TUSWYL since it’s on a competing network.
Blame this on Fred Willard’s incident all you want, but this is really about a majority of American viewers not looking kindly on improv comedy. The fact that Whose Line is it Anyway? lasted so long amazes me when you consider that its offspring cannot achieve the same staying power.
There are only two cable networks I can imagine the TUWYL re-emerging and perhaps achieving success: Comedy Central or BBC America. But that won’t happen, either.
All involved with the show – in addition to Green Screen and Improv-a-Ganza- should be applauded for trying. Among improv fans like myself, these are hits, but there aren’t enough fans like us to make a difference. It’s a reality we must accept.
8/2 UPDATE: I didn’t catch this until around 11:50 last night, but the TUYWL Facebook page said this about the show’s fate at 10:15 Tuesday night:
I would like to clarify something. “Trust Us With Your Life” has NOT been officially cancelled as of right now. The last two episodes were pulled from the schedule due to competing with ratings for the Olympics. The last two episodes may (or may not) be scheduled at a later time. If you would love to at least see the final two episodes of the season, feel free to write to ABC directly (in other words, not on here) and vocalize this. Thanks, all.
Notice the post says “the final two episodes of the season,” and not the series. I’d like to think they’re right; that Trust Us with Your Life is still alive and merely on hiatus. If so, it would fly in the face of those reveling in its demise because of who the host is.
2/19/13 UPDATE: I give up. I think I can safely say that Trust Us with Your Life was indeed canceled and is never coming back. And while Fred Willard continues to have guest shots on TV series, the performers he moderated, so to speak, haven’t been seen on TV since; at least not to my knowledge.
So, once again, a post-Whose Line improv series bites the dust. Maybe if Nick Cannon was the host, as he was on Wild ‘n Out, Trust Us with Your Life would still be on the air.
Where I was: Johan Santana’s no-hitter June 1, 2012Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Hockey, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Radio, TV.
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(Updated with additional links.)
It’s been a whirlwind 56 minutes as I type. Here goes:
For stress reasons, I typically don’t watch or listen to Mets games until three hours after it starts. If I didn’t check ESPN.com at 9:42 PM EDT to see the name of the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals held last night – it was Snigdha Nandipati – I would not have known Johan Santana was three outs away from pitching a no-hitter. But I did.
I left my bedroom, and from the top of the stairs in the top floor hallway, I told my parents down in the den to put on SNY because Santana was close to achieving that no-hitter. This may be too much information, but while SNY was (and still is) recording on the DVR in my room, I listened to the last three outs on WFAN from the bathroom on the shower radio in there.
Mets lead radio play-by-play announcer Howie Rose was as loud as he was 18 years and five nights ago at Madison Square Garden, calling Stephane Matteau’s Eastern Conference Finals-clinching goal in double overtime for the Rangers against the Devils.
I don’t think any Mets fan, including Howie, thought tonight would ever happen. It took 8,020 games in 51 seasons for the first no-hitter in Mets history to occur. What a night.
An excerpt of the game recap from Steven Miller at MLB.com:
It took 50 years, but the New York Mets and Johan Santana finally have their no-hitter.
The 33-year-old Santana held the Cardinals hitless in an 8-0 victory Friday in front of 27,069 at Citi Field, who witnessed the first no-hitter in franchise history. The left-hander walked five as his pitch count climbed to 134, but manager Terry Collins could not pull his starter, who Collins said he would limit to about 110 pitches before the game.
“Wow — amazing,” Santana said after the game. “Coming into this season, I was just hoping to come back and stay healthy and help this team. And now I’m in this situation in the greatest city in baseball. I’m very happy, and I’m happy for [the fans], finally — the first one.
“It was a crazy night, trying to command my fastball, moving all over the plate. But I was able to locate it, command it and get some quick outs and get out of there.”
When asked how he felt after throwing the final pitch, Santana could hardly contain his excitement.
“That’s the greatest feeling ever,” Santana said, just as he received a celebratory pie to the face.
New York Daily News:
Anthony McCarron: Johan Santana tosses first no-hitter in NY Mets history during 8-0 victory against St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field
Mike Lupica: On Johan Santana’s magical night at Citi Field, NY Mets fans finally see a no-hitter
Newsday (subscription required):
Roderick Boone: Johan Santana pitches Mets’ first no-hitter
ESPN New York:
Andrew Marchand: Johan Santana tosses no-hitter
WFAN/Associated Press/1010 WINS:
UNBELIEVABLE: Santana Throws First No-Hitter In Mets History
Steve Somers of WFAN (who now sounds years younger thanks to dental surgery last Monday):
Interview with Mets catcher Josh Thole
Interview with Ron Darling, former Mets pitcher and current analyst for Mets games on SNY
6/6 UPDATE: Monday night’s Show Open and interview with Jerry Seinfeld
8/18 UPDATE: In recent days, Steve Somers’ speech has returned nearly to what it was before his surgery. He no longer sounds like he ingested helium.
Unfortunately, Johan hasn’t been the same pitcher since the no-hitter.