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“Bold, Fresh” reading/listening complete! November 27, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Personal.
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It took me two months of reading and listening on and off, but tonight, I finally completed “A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity” by Bill O’Reilly.

Next up for me, “Tales from the Dad Side” by Steve Doocy.

4,000 views! November 23, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Technology.

Today, this blog had its 4,000th view!  Thank you to all that visited from April 15 to today.  Next stop, 5,000.

New blog header November 19, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Personal.
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It’s been four months since I’ve changed the blog header, but I changed it today:



Another 200+ game! November 18, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Personal, Video Games.
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Only nine days after my 219 in Wii Bowling, I bowled another game in the 200s.  This time, a 234!

Here’s a vidcap from after the game:

It’s a vidcap this time because the Wii was in a different room and was connected to a standard-definition (SD) tube TV.  I tried taking pictures of that TV, but didn’t like how they came out.  So, I grabbed one of my two VCRs that I use for capturing video to my computer, along with a tape.  Then, I recorded video to use for making a vidcap, which is displayed above.

And since I bought an extra 5 GB of space earlier tonight, I’m now able to upload videos to WordPress without having to go through YouTube.  So, here’s the video I recorded from the VCR:

Finally, a new post! November 16, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Bowling, Jazz, Media, Personal, Technology, TV, Video Games.

I have not posted anything to my blog in a week and a half.  So, let’s get a few things out of the way:

1. Last Saturday afternoon, I went to the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place for a book signing and discussion event.  The author was Steve Doocy, co-host of “Fox & Friends,” the Fox News Channel’s daily morning show.  The book is “Tales from the Dad Side.”  I had purchased the unabridged audiobook on Amazon a few weeks earlier, but I bought the book itself before I went up to the discussion area.
When it was my turn to have my book signed, a female employee was nice enough to take a picture of Steve and me:

It was a pleasure to meet him in person.  Thank you very much, Steve.

2. Last Saturday night, I bowled another 200+ game playing Wii Sports’ Bowling for Nintendo Wii.  You may remember back on August 31, I bowled a 257.  On this night, I wasn’t able to match that score, but I did come close: 219.  Here’s the final scorecard, as seen from a picture of the TV taken after the game:

3. Though I had said in early June that my computer was working and “back to normal,” nothing could have been further from the truth.  The blue screens of death (BSODs) continued, becoming a matter-of-fact occurrence.  I would get at least one per day.  On some days, I would get up to four BSoDs!  I mistakenly believed they were the result of my NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA drivers not working with Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 1.  Then, in mid-October, it finally hit me: it’s faulty memory causing the BSoDs.  That’s what I get for buying four discounted 1 GB (gigabyte) memory DIMMs in late May.  I replaced two of them with Dell DIMMs after ordering them from the Dell website.  They were made exclusively for my computer, a Dell Dimension E521, based on my Service Tag.  I have not had a blue screen since installing them (knock on wood).

4. Since my last pre-order update, I’ve ordered a few more CDs:
Tom Scott, “Desire” (Wounded Bird; re-release)
David Benoit, “Jazz For Peanuts” (Peak)
Kim Waters, “I Want You: Love In The Spirit Of Marvin” (Shanachie)

Saxophonist Tom Scott’s “Desire” was originally released in 1982 on Elektra, but was re-released on October 14.  The tracks on the album are: the title track (re-recorded on “Them Changes” in 1990), “Sure Enough,” “The Only One,” “Stride,” “Johnny B. Badd,” “Meet Somebody,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and “Chunk O’ Funk.”  I’m hooked on “Stride,” and also like “Chunk O’ Funk” and “Johnny B. Badd.”

“Jazz For Peanuts” was released on October 29.  Six of the tracks were newly recorded by David Benoit:

  • “You’re in Love, Charlie Brown” (Vince Guaraldi); This track features horn player Christian Scott on trumpet.
  • “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” (Vince Guaraldi)
  • “Wild Kids” (re-recording of track from “Urban Daydreams” in 1989); This track features pianist Taylor Eigsti.  2:16 into the song, David and Taylor kick into a lively improv section.  Like Tom Scott’s “Stride,” I’m hooked on this section.
  • “Be My Valentine” (Vince Guaraldi)
  • “Rollerblading”; This track also features Christian Scott.
  • “Re-Run’s Theme”

The non-Benoit tracks were:

  • Wynton Marsalis Septet – “The Buggy Ride” (unreleased, recorded for “This is America, Charlie Brown: The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk”)
  • Dave Brubeck – “Benjamin” (from “Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!” in 1989; recorded for “This is America, Charlie Brown: The NASA Space Station”)
  • Kenny G – “Breadline Blues” (from “Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!” in 1989; recorded for “This is America, Charlie Brown: The Smithsonian and the Presidency”)
  • Vince Guaraldi [Trio] – “Linus and Lucy” (from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965)

Kim Waters’ “I Want You: Love In The Spirit Of Marvin” was also released on October 29.  I just got this in the mail today.  So, it’s too soon for me to review it.  But I like the instrumental tracks I’ve heard so far.  The “Marvin” is the late, great Marvin Gaye.

5. Tomorrow, I turn 27 years old (or young).

I think that covers everything that needs to be covered for now.  Hopefully, it won’t be another week and a half until the next post.

Ken Navarro interview feedback November 5, 2008

Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Jazz, Personal, Radio.
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Last night, Ken Navarro left a comment on Facebook to my picture of me and him at during the meet-and-greet following April’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert.  Not only was he complimentary of the picture, but he had positive feedback about our October 18 interview:

FYI – I posted links to both parts of our interview on the home page of my web site and I have had a lot of emails from people telling me how much they enjoyed it.  I still can’t get over how you spotted the “Try Again” intro sample showing up in “On My Way To Somewhere”.  You’ve got good ears my man…

The interview was indeed posted on his homepage (screencap with circle from me below)…


…and on his media page (screencap with circle from me below):


I am so proud to learn that so many people have written to Ken expressing how much they enjoyed our interview.  It makes all that work conducting the interview on September 26, editing the interview in the days that followed, and airing the final cut on October 18 worth it.  Thank you very much to all of you, and once again, to Ken.