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South Florida bound September 26, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Personal.
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I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon for South Florida.  My parents, sister, and I are flying out of Long Island Macarthur Airport for Palm Beach International Airport.  Then it’s off to Boynton Beach, where I’ll be staying with my grandparents.

Tuesday is my grandfather’s 80th birthday, and my parents, sister, and I are coming down to celebrate.  I’ll be seeing plenty of relatives, including my aunt, uncle, cousins, and other aunt.  I’ll find out whom when I arrive late tomorrow afternoon…if my flight isn’t delayed by heavy rain here on Long Island. (9/27 UPDATE: It was delayed, but only 15 minutes, and we landed on time.)

I’ll try to blog while I’m down there, but if I can’t, I’ll try to post some kind of recap when I return.  Meanwhile, here’s a picture I took (during my August 2006 trip) at the pool near my grandparents’ house:

9:37 PM UPDATE: I wanted to bring my laptop with me, but I’ve decided it’s best that I don’t.  If I need to, I’ll use my grandparents’ computer.  Maybe on my next vacation to wherever, I’ll bring it.

9/27, 8:18 PM UPDATE: I’ll hold off on blogging until I return.  See you Wednesday.


Alumni show interview: Ken Navarro! September 26, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal, Radio.
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This afternoon, I made the trip to WCWP to pre-record an interview that will be part of my alumni weekend radio show on October 18.  The guest was Ken Navarro.

In an interview that I will edit when I return from South Florida on Wednesday (I leave tomorrow), Ken and I talked about his current album, “The Grace of Summer Light”, look back at April’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars (where the above picture was taken), and a concert in National Harbor, Maryland, on August 29, and look ahead to an upcoming concert with Eric Darius.  Oddly enough, that concert is the same night as Homecoming, my alumni show, and this year’s WCWP alumni dinner.

I’ll post the final cut on this blog after the show airs.  In the meantime, here are some pictures at shot at Hicksville’s LIRR station in between buses, heading for home:

Summer pre-order update #3 September 24, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Jazz, Personal.
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On the second day of Fall, here’s another Summer Pre-Order Update.  I got a booty of goods yesterday (Tuesday): the book and audiobook for Bill O’Reilly’s “A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity,” Fourplay’s new album “Energy,” and Spyro Gyra’s “A Night Before Christmas.”

So far, I have listened to five of the eight instrumental tracks on “Energy” and like them all.  And I’ve completed the introduction for “A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity.”  Now, on to Chapter 1.  I’ll likely get around to “A Night Before Christmas” today or tomorrow.

Now on Twitter! September 19, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Personal.

I joined Twitter a month or so ago.  I haven’t posted anything on there yet (I’m with enough sites as it is), but I will immediately after I publish this post.  Here’s my Twitter page.

All quiet; under the weather September 19, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Health, Personal.
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I’m sorry I haven’t had any new posts in 10 days.  I haven’t really been motivated to post anything.

I’ve been under the weather – or sick, if you prefer – with an upper respiratory infection.  I was about due for one since I haven’t been sick in 6 1/2 months.  It began as a scratchy throat on Saturday, gradually working its way to my head and nasal passages by Tuesday night.  I went to the doctor Wednesday and I’ve been on antibiotics since.  Also, I took a decongestant pill yesterday and plan on taking another one per day today and tomorrow.  My condition has been improving with each passing hour and I hope to be back to 100% by Sunday at the earliest.

9/19, 4:40 PM UPDATE: I wrote the above text early this morning (late last night).  As of now, I feel 80% better.

9/20, 3:42 PM UPDATE: Now, I feel 90% better.  This is my last day taking a decongestant pill.  Tomorrow is my last antibiotic day.

9/22, 1:36 PM UPDATE: I’m 100% better.  This is the last update.

Dharma All Stars recap 2; A wild Sunday September 9, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Personal.
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Saturday night, I spoke to my friend Kat Sarracco.  She told me she would be coming to Long Island on Sunday to attend the Long Beach Jazz Festival.  I had considered going on my own because Dharma All Stars – drummer John Favicchia’s band – were playing, but decided a few hours before I spoke to her that I wouldn’t go.  Her admission changed my plans swiftly.

We arranged to meet at Rockville Centre’s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station at 1:30 Sunday afternoon.  She called at 12:30 to let me know she hadn’t left Connecticut yet and would call back when she was close to the station.  I boarded the 1:19 train out of Wantagh LIRR and arrived in Rockville Centre 13 minutes later.  (I didn’t even get my ticket punched!)  I called Kat back and she told me she wasn’t even in the Bronx yet.  The Hutchinson River Parkway was partially flooded as a result of the rains of Tropical Storm Hanna the night before.  So, as she kept driving, I started walking in the direction of Long Beach.  About 90 minutes later…

The walk to Long Beach
Courtesy Google Maps via screencap

…I had walked 5.1 miles; sunburned parts of my body that weren’t covered by a shirt, shorts, or socks; finally stopping at a McDonald’s in Long Beach, seconds away from the drawbridge into the city, where Kat and I finally met.

Then, it was off to the Long Beach Public Library for the Jazz Festival, which was in its last day of three.  The sixth annual festival was produced by guitarist and stick player Steve Adelson, who multiple performances on Friday and Saturday.  Before the Dharma All Stars performed, it was steel pan player Alan Bates’ turn with his Island Breeze Caribbean Ensemble.

For this performance, the ensemble featured legendary percussionist Nydia “Liberty” Mata:

Nydia had a performance of her own the night before at the Long Beach Historical Society Museum.

In between Island Breeze and Dharma All Stars, Steve Adelson held the last of three drawings for a guitar.

After the winner was chosen and received his guitar, and as Dharma finished setting up, Steve told a brief music joke: “C, E-flat, and G walk into a bar.  The bartender says, ‘Sorry, we don’t serve minors.'”  As a piano student, I got the joke.  I probably wouldn’t have gotten it before two years ago when my lessons started.

With that, the performance was underway.  Kat took pictures from various spots in the room.  I took pictures from various spots in the first row.

The set list was:
1. Coincidence
2. Horizons
3. Snakes
4. Sing a Song of Song
5. Kukuc

The band was primarily the same as it was at Mirelle’s in July, but without a horn player (Carl Fischer was touring with Billy Joel) and with a different bass player.

On this day, the band was comprised of John Favicchia on drums:

Bill Heller on keyboard:

Bill Harris on tenor sax:

Chieli Minucci on acoustic guitar (for first part of “Coincidence” only)…

…and electric guitar:

And Mike Pope on bass:

Afterward, Kat took a group shot of the band and me:

And that ended the Long Beach portion of my day.  From there, Kat was nice enough to drive me home.  While a drawbridge on the Meadowbrook Parkway was up, I took this sunset pic:

Now, you’d think that would be the end of this post.  You’d be wrong.  Once the drawbridge came back down, the moving barrier would not come back up.  It was stuck, and so were we, and everyone else driving to the bridge in either direction.  For some perspective, here is where the bridge is:

Drawbridge location
Courtesy Google Maps via screencap

Here was the view in front of Kat’s car:

And the view from behind:

After 10 to 30 minutes (I lost track of time), a state trooper and technician arrived on the scene.

Within seconds, the problem was fixed, and the barrier rose again.

From there, it was smooth sailing (or driving, in this case) all the way home.  Hopefully, it was the same for Kat once she drove back to her home.

2,500 views! September 2, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Technology.
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Today, The Mike Chimeri Blog had its 2,500th view!  As I have said in previous milestone posts, thank you to all that have visited so far.

257! September 1, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Personal, Sports, Video Games.
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Last night, while playing Wii Sports’ Bowling for the Nintendo Wii, I bowled a 257!  This is the highest score I have ever bowled, surpassing my previous high of 221 on February 23, 2002.  But that was bowled in real life as opposed to in the video game world.  My score is usually in the low to mid 100s, but my Wii score – prior to this 257 – has reached as high as the upper 100s.

Immediately after the game, I rushed from the basement – where the Wii is located in my house – to my room, grabbed my digital camera, came back down, and took a picture of the TV.  Here is the final scorecard:

Final scorecard for 257

11:15 PM UPDATE: 24 hours later, all that bowling – along with swinging from playing three games of Wii Baseball before the one game of bowling – has made my right arm sore.  It’ll wear off in a day or two, as it always does.